As I checked my phone at 09:30 after class, there were a few apology e-mails already waiting for me. Some students were on a university field trip, a couple of others were ill. Heino, however, had a completely different excuse.
"Dear Ms Martin, I'm sorry I can't come to class today. I have a date with my doctor and I'm waiting for him".
How dare he go on a date instead of coming to my class! Dates are for the weekend or for the evening. They are part of your private life.
And is a doctor allowed to have a relationship with his patient?
Heino was confusing words. A date is between two lovers, or at least two people who may become lovers. A professional meeting, however, is an appointment. Heino had an appointment with me, but also had a doctor's appointment. As there was a clash, he couldn't keep my appointment.
What about other types of meetings, though? In business and in a professional setting you have an appointment. If you want to get to know a nice man or lady better, you have a date. However, what about plans with people who are in between?
English prefers to use verbs than nouns. Therefore, you might say "I'm meeting up with my friend Winifred" or "I'm going to the pub with James" or "I'm seeing Susan tonight". These are all in the present continuous (progressive) because this is the tense we use to describe future plans. When you talk about what you did the next day, you may say "I met up with Winifred last night, we went to the pub with James".
So Heino, your lecturer doesn't want to know about your private life, but I hope your doctor's appointment went well and you can make our appointment next week!