Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year's Greeting from Student

ECC Building

You see above the Ewha building where I work, namely, the ECC, an abbreviation for "Ewha Campus Complex" (I think). It reminds me of the parting of the Red Sea . . . not that I'm old enough to have experienced that! Anyway, I teach there, and this is where I encounter most of my students, some of whom even remember me with positive feelings, such as one who sent me this message yesterday:
I am . . . [a student] from your Research Writing Class in the year 2010. It's been [a] few years since I . . . [wrote] a painful and yet fruitful paper under your guidance. But the first long paper I have written since entering university became quite unforgettable. As a greeting for the New Year, I wanted to once again thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn from you. It was a wonderful experience and a new motivation for leading my academic path in the right direction. I will continue to work hard to build upon what you have given me. I hope everything goes well in 2013 and I wish you a happy new year!
I think I recall this student -- she supplied her name -- but I wanted to be sure, so I wrote:
Thank you for the New Year's greeting. I'm trying to recall your research paper . . . and (given my faulty memory) your face. I'm terrible with names, but I think that I know which student you are. Did you write on North Korean refugees in South Korea? Or something else? Do you have a photo to jog my memory. I almost always remember faces. Just last week, I was getting a coffee in Ewha's ECC Starbucks, and a student greeted me happily. I recalled her face, but not the course . . . till she reminded me.

Anyway, I'm grateful to hear that my teaching was of some use. I'm sure that most of the credit goes to you, and I wish you the best in this new year!
And I meant my words about the credit going to the student. All I can do is try to supply students with the proper academic equipment and help them find their way along the scholarly path best suited to them. The students are the ones who carry the burden and tread the path . . .

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