Today is the last regular week of the quarter, since final exams begin on November 19th. (Before those of you at semester-system schools collapse from envy, I’ll be teaching until mid-June next year. We pay for our early conclusion in the fall later in the academic year). I’m tired. My students are tired. To top it off, my more energetic class is in the recursion part of the quarter, so they’re frustrated as well as being tired. It hasn’t led to happy feelings during the past week. In fact, when I learned that one of my students is switching from game play programming to game design because of the Python courses, I got downright depressed.

So an interaction during my office hours couldn’t have come at a better time. A student from the accelerated Python class wanted to come talk to me about the material we covered today. After we got done talking, we had the following exchange:

Student: “So after the final exam next Wednesday, do we have any more classes?”

Me: “No. That’s it for the quarter.”

Student: (with a sound of great disappointment, said almost to herself) “Awwwwww.”

Me: “Wow! That is so nice to hear.”

Student: “It’s just that this class has been really enjoyable. Will I be taking more Python after this?”

Me: “No. You’ll be moving to Java. I’m sure you’ll enjoy that too.”

My entire mood changed with that single awwwwww. I wonder if she knows how much I needed to hear that.