The Winter quarter is ending for us today, and I filed my grades this morning. I still have to get ready for Spring quarter which starts in 10 days, but it feels good to have my toughest quarter of the academic year over. I had a 2-credit class overload this quarter, and it’s the busiest time for SIGCSE business during the year, so I was often tired, stressed, and bit crabby. Sometimes it leaked into my interactions, both with students and colleagues.

So I was especially touched to get a thank-you card from a student this week. She wrote:

Thank you so much for all the work you put into helping me, as your student. I have never felt so supported and comfortable asking questions in a college class. It is clear that you really do care about helping students learn and grow, which is not a characteristic that most of my professors have. I am grateful I had had the opportunity to learn from you. It is inspiring to see female professors who are extremely knowledgeable in their field. Because of your classes I feel empowered to pursue a degree in computer science. I know your (sic) an incredibly busy person and I appreciate your dedication and help throughout this Quarter.

I don’t think she’ll ever know how much what she said means to me. I plan to keep the card in my office and re-read it when I’m especially tired in the Spring quarter.