It’s been a particularly difficult quarter for me. Fall quarter is usually busy, but I’ve had two or three fairly significant service tasks added to my already full plate that pushed me into a bit of overload. What little research I’ve done is also on tough things like teaching programming and student retention, which at times can feel more discouraging than inspiring.

Luckily, twice this quarter I got notes from students that helped boost my morale. The first was a thank-you note from a student who recently graduated. I found in my mailbox when I finally checked it this quarter after a long summer away. His note is below:


The second morale-booster was a note that one of my programming students wrote on her final exam notes yesterday:


Obviously, reading these two notes is wonderful. But what is especially helpful for me is that I don’t recall doing anything special for these students. In both cases I think I was just doing what I normally do when I teach, and yet it so positively impacted these students that they wanted to let me know. When I get discouraged it helps to think that while I can’t make a difference for every student, I can help some.