One of the classes I helped develop and regularly teach is a bridge class designed to help students move from the introductory Python sequence to the data structures courses taught in Java. I’m the only one who teaches the class, so it isn’t offered every quarter. At some point in 2017 a student who wasn’t able to take the class at the right time contacted me and asked for my notes and examples so he could study the material on his own. I was happy to oblige.

Fast forward to this quarter when I was walking the halls between my classes. A student I didn’t recognize called my  name, and I stopped to talk to him. He explained that he was the one who had asked for my Java notes, and he said they had really helped him. I was having a tough week, and that moment of gratitude really boosted my mood. It meant so much that he saw me, recognized me, and took the time to tell me how useful my materials had been.

It made me realize that there are people out there who make my life easier in a lot of ways, but I don’t often take the time to thank them for it. And I need to change that. So every week I plan to let someone know how much better they make my lives by what they do. Often the small things that people do can make a big difference to others, and I need to start making sure people in my work life realize how much I appreciate them.