I'm a birgin as well, but I've taken off many days of class in a row as an undergraduate student to attend music festivals. Here's what I've learned so far:
1) I'm not sure if your university has the same option, but when I registered for the next semester's classes, I was able to see the name of the professor that would be teaching that section of the course. Take note of the names (if you are given that information), and find out where their office is located. Most universities hold their fall registration during the previous spring semester, which means that these professors should be available for a meeting. I would meet with these professors before the class was scheduled to begin, and explained to them that I would be missing two or three days of classes (depended if the class was MWF or Tu/Th). I then asked them what I could do to stay ahead of the courseload, and not once did I have a professor that was upset about my predetermined absence. I think asking ahead of time shows that you are prepared, and that you respect the professor as an educator and as an individual.
2) If the name of the professor isn't listed with the course when you register, visit that department's main office and ask to speak to the staff member that is responsible for assigning professors to class sections. I've been able to weasel out the professor's name this way in the past.
3) If you think that your major could have anything related to anything that is going to be on the playa, pitch the idea of turning in an extra assignment to your professors as a way of showing that your academic life comes first. I've done this a couple times, and it's actually turned out in my favor. I was a photography minor in my undergrad, and I told my professor that I could take photos of people at a music festival that would tie into my aesthetic, and he bought it. I'm a graduate student studying Counseling Psychology (research interest in sex therapy), and a few professors have expressed an interest in my gathering first-hand interviews of people on the playa about their opinions on various sexual issues.
Lastly, this is so important:
5280MeV wrote:I would recommend spending three weeks over the summer to nail down the first two weeks of all your classes. Be way over prepared. That way you have the first week back to decompress rather than stress.
Hope this helps!