I remember the feeling of being late to class in college (trekking across campus through the snow, or getting caught up in the practice room, or just missing an alarm…). It often took all my willpower to enter a classroom late, even if only by a couple of minutes. The disruption, and the attention, were too much – plus a voice inside that said, “You’re already getting dinged for being tardy…what’s the difference if you’re just absent?”
It took time for me to learn to be OK with walking in late. Tardiness is a problem, and we should all try to avoid it. But it’s better to be there late than to not be there at all.
Now, as a teacher and conductor, I seek the same thing from my students. An understanding that their tardiness might briefly disrupt, but their absence will be a much deeper disruption to their success and to the success of those around them.
Don’t be late, of course. But better late than not at all.