dispense, dispense, dispense

Danish researcher Meik Wiking, and founder of the world’s first Happiness Research Institute in Denmark, states in The Art of Making Memories (Penguin, 2019) that “If we have encoded and stored information or [sic] an event, we have the opportunity to recall or retrieve it. A memory is only a memory when you remember it…” and “The more you think about a memory, the more likely it is to be remembered” (pg 135).

So, looking through my digital notes, I came across this entry dated June 7 2016. It appears I was trying to develop a writing practice back then too, although I only managed nine digital journal entries. Here’s something I forgot I had written:

Dispense, dispense, dispense…those were the curious words one instructor used on the first day of class when reviewing the attendance, punctuality, and other rote rules of Emily Carr University’s syllabus outline. She understood that things happen, and that therefore we can’t always be punctual and attend all classes. She said she herself might be late sometimes.

Here’s the actual script from the university’s grading policy and her response:


  • Attendance is mandatory. Absenteeism, chronic lateness and non-participation will affect the final grade….dispense
  • Every absence not excused by a doctor’s note or formally documented as extenuating circumstances will result in a 5% penalty from the final course grade. More than three unexcused absences in a class will result in failure of the course…dispense


  • There is a 5% penalty from the final course grade for every two late arrivals or occasions when a student leaves
  • Students will be considered late if they arrive after roll-call, when the session has formally begun. Furthermore,
    students will be penalized if they leave class before it has properly ended…seriously, dispense
  • Students will be considered absent if they arrive more than one hour after the session has started…dispense

She was a good instructor! I can’t remember her name! I didn’t record it!