With two weeks left to go in the semester, things are winding down. Unless someone fails to turn in a portfolio paper, or does not show up to the final, grades are mostly set. This, of course, is cause from drama for those who are going to hop aboard the FAILroad. Thus, the Litany has begun.
The Litany is the last gambit of the student who knows a) they're going to do badly, and b) it's beyond too late to do anything about it.
The opening feint of the Litany is sickness. Whether it's personal or familial, someone spent the semester fixin' to die (in one memorable case, it was a grandma, and for the third time). Hospital visits/admissions, massive amounts of drugs...all prevented Precious Snowflake from completing classwork. Usually this feint can be blocked by asking for documentation of any type. A doctor's note (from a doctor that does NOT have the same last name, thank you), hospital paperwork, anything. No docs, no grade bump.
The secondary assault usually involves stress/anxiety/overwork/the Freshman 15....take your pick. It boils down to "College is haaaaard, and I didn't realize that I had to manage my own time and schedule appropriately!" Honest bonus points awarded to the guy who flat-out admitted that he partied too hard and studied too little, and deserved his "D," but was hoping for the best.
Whatever strategy is adopted, the fact is, no one can go back in time and do what needs to be done: work harder.
Sadly, they lesson won't be remembered next semester, either.