The fall quarter officially ended yesterday.  I still have grading to do, and in a horrible twist another exam to write, but essentially the most difficult fall quarter in memory is over.  I’ve been too busy and exhausted to do much reflection in the past several months, but my preparations for Thanksgiving tomorrow are reminding me that even the difficult times that began in late September and early October have brought me some wonderful things.  So for a few minutes I want to say thanks for all the good that has come in the past three months.

I’ve written about my favorite class this quarter, but an acknowledgment should go out to all of my students. Thanks to those I had since the start of classes in September for being patient with me as I got more distracted and exhausted as the quarter progressed.  Your consistency, tolerance, and sense of humor are appreciated.  Thanks to the students I adopted in October for having such a good attitude in the face of difficult circumstances.  I was sure you would never accept me, much less appreciate me, and I was delighted to be wrong in so many cases.

While my time for research was limited since September, the fall quarter turned out to be one of the most promising times in recent memory for starting new collaborations.  Thanks to my DePaul colleagues for their faith in wanting to include me in so many of their projects, even when I essentially disappeared during October and November. I hope I’ll make it up to you in December and beyond.  And thanks to both my old and new collaborators outside of Chicago.  Your ideas and enthusiasm kept me looking ahead to better times, and I can’t wait to see what we produce in the coming months and years.

The biggest thanks, of course, has to go to my family.  You were the most patient with me, both early in the quarter as I prepared for and attended a conference, and then later in the quarter when I nearly buckled under the surprise third class.  I couldn’t have done any of it without you, and I look forward to spending more time with you in December.

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