I’ve written a lot here about how much I love teaching and my students in particular.  They make me laugh, smile, and generally remind me that I have the best job in the world.  But there are quarters when things are more challenging than others, and this has been one of them.  This is the only group of second-quarter Python students I’ve ever had where I only had one or two in their first-quarter Python class.  Starting fresh with students in a class that is markedly more difficult than the prerequisite can be a hard slog.  While I think we’ve reached a place where they are engaged enough to be learning, I haven’t felt the same kind of positive return from them that I have from previous classes.

So this week was a bit of a surprise.  On Wednesday I developed a nasty stomach flu at 6:30 am on a day where I teach from 11:50 am – 3 pm.  Sitting in my bathroom I realized there was no way I was going to get someone to fill in for me with only 5 hours notice, so I dragged myself to my computer and sent out the e-mails necessary to cancel class.  So that they wouldn’t have to show up to a room with an impersonal sign I included my students in the e-mail flurry.  Then I retreated to my room and tried to get better.

When I got back on e-mail I was surprised by the number of them who had written back with get-well wishes.  One of them had suggestions on what to eat.  And one of them sent me a program, written in Python of course.  Entitled HowAreYou.py, when you run it the following screen appears:





Of course, I selected the “Not too well” button, which causes the following dialog box to display:



I couldn’t resist trying the other button, even though I didn’t feel well, and that one displays this dialog box:



This cheered me up so much at a time I was feeling absolutely rotten, and it also let me know that at least some of my students appreciate me as much as I do them.  I told him it was the best get-well gift I had ever gotten.