Midterms for my classes were last week, and one of the few joys of giving exams is reading the notes students put together for the exam. I’ve written multiple times about exam notes (specifically in May 2022, April 2022, December 2021, and February 2015) because I often find informative and entertaining things there. The midterms this quarter were no exception.

There were the usual encouraging messages for themselves, the best of which are below:

Inspiration, part I
Inspiration, part II

As I told the student who included them in her notes, if I ever need a pep talk I’m heading straight to her. This time around though I also got a note card that I actually got permission to share with the rest of the students. The advice that my student wrote for herself was so on track that I wish I had thought to write it up for my students myself.

Wise advice from a student

We happen to be starting recursion this week in the class where this card originated, so I shared it with them after our first recursion problem-solving session. I’m hopeful that they’ll find it useful (other than the test groups/clumps of code at a time, which I pointed out isn’t really possible with recursive functions). And it might actually mean more since it was created by one of them.