The idea that the earth will end in 2012 comes from the Mayans. The Mayan’s believed that the end of the world would come in 2012 (or 13 cycles after the creation of the world, according to there scholars). I don’t think the world will end next year though.
2012 is only a number, measured from 1 AD [which was a guess] so from a statistical point of view its as likely to end in 2012 as in 2011 or 2112 – from a cataclysmic event like a meteor crash. So a poor excuse for not working. “but sir, I didn’t mark the fluids-3 exam because the world was going to end before the marks had to be given back to the students” doesn’t go down well.