I didn’t think I was going to do this this term…

28 04 2012

…mostly because the semester’s been a bit of a whirlwind for everyone: as you might imagine, the belly and its impact on the rest of my body have been a bit distracting, and a lot of my students seem to be similarly off in the clouds this term.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot of great folks in my classes, because I do, but I’ve also lost more to attrition than I ever have before (even though I started out with fewer of them), and have heard more true-ringing stories about friends’ funerals, family troubles, job conflicts, head injuries, and (by implication anyway) illicit substances than in any preceding semester: this cohort seems to have a lot on their plates, so I’m not surprised that me and my class don’t seem to be all that high among most folks’ priorities!

But then today I changed my mind, because I found this email in my inbox from one of last semester’s students, and it deserved preservation and sharing, both for the sake of my own now-and-future sanity and for the other teachers I’m friends with whose students do, sometimes, think these things, whether they take the time to say them or not.

From E:

Subject: Freshman Year

Hello professor,

As the final semester to my freshman year is coming to a close quickly, so are the due dates for all of my assignments. So, while I am doing all of my papers and what not I happened to stumble upon my Freshman Composition papers from first semester. I looked over them briefly to see what I had written from what seems like so long ago, and noticed that my writing style has changed very much so, thanks to your class. I see myself as a much more fluent and proficient writer now; looking at the errors I was making in September now seem so obvious and careless to me! So I wanted to take the time to thank you and tell you that (surprisingly to me) I actually did get something very useful out of a 100-level course that I will continue to utilize in whatever career I wander towards.
Sincerely, your former student,

I take back what I said a month or so back on Facebook.  Some of them are totally listening.



One response

28 04 2012

That’s the kind of email that deserves a frame. Or, at the very least, your fanciest fridge magnet 😀

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