Dear Professor Demas,
I’d like to start by thanking you for an amazing semester. I never knew there was so much to learn about the Bloomsbury Group and British literature at the beginning of the 20th Century. It had all been a blur for me before, but you made the characters and history come alive. I often left your lectures blinking, dazzled by the daylight, shocked back into a 21st century existence and longing for the following Tuesday at 9:30 am when I could leave it all behind once more. Even the number, 401, that graces the door to your lecture hall, has become a sacred numeral to me, and I see in it an almost mystical quality when it appears in other aspects of my life, such as the cost of a yogurt parfait with tax in the dining hall. Your assistance during your office hours, my dear professor, has been invaluable. Even the snatches of conversation I caught while waiting in the hallway for you to finish with another student were filled with such wisdom that I wrote them studiously down in my notebook to be pored over later.
This is why it pains me–nay, kills me–to make a request of you, who have already given me so much. And yet, I must. Because I have really not been feeling well and you know how it is this time of year with things piling up etc. etc. and I’ve been feeling a bit depressed ever since my girlfriend dumped me earlier this semester. And I know–I know!–that all of these things will pass, with time. Your class, Professor Demas, has given me the wisdom to see beyond my narrow set of circumstances. And yet wouldn’t Virginia Woolf herself have occasionally needed more time with a final paper? She was, certainly, someone who understood that mental illness and exhaustion could not be ignored or there might be terrible consequences that would weigh on a professor’s conscience forever.
And so it is with a heavy heart that I must put forth this inquiry: can I have until next Wednesday?
Thanks for the extension on the analysis. We really appreciate having the extra time to do a more thorough job, and fully expect it to be done by Sunday evening.