Like most instructors, I don’t enjoy grading. Yes, it’s necessary and provides useful feedback, like meetings and answering email, but it is also boring and tedious. But occasionally students will do things that make me laugh a bit when I’m grading, and I’m highly appreciative.

For the most recent assignment in the accelerated Python class I asked them to write a function that takes a name as a parameter (e.g. Djengo, in an arbitrary capitalization) and prints a message using that name. The specified message is below:

Djengo, I love you so.
You brighten my day.
Oh, D J E N G O !
I wish you could be with me always.
But alas, Djengo, you must stay away.

I told them in class that I would accept alternate messages (and told them that the names given as examples were my cats so that they wouldn’t feel too weird about writing love notes in a programming class). I got a couple of great ones when I graded the assignment. The first was a riff on what I wrote, and much more romantic than the original:

My dearest Djengo, how I miss you!
Hardly a day goes by without you crossing my mind
Oh, D J E N G O !
I promise my love,
I will see you soon, Djengo

But my favorite was one that changed the context of the love from romantic to parental and added a Star Wars twist:

Djengo, I love you so.
You brighten my day.
Oh, D J E N G O !
I wish you could be with me always.
We could rule the galaxy together as father and Djengo.
But alas, Djengo, I must lightsaber your arm off now!

Sometimes my students make me very happy.

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