Monday, December 20, 2010

Pitching in to help students . . .

I might not look much like a teacher in the photo above from last summer's Ozark trip home, but I look even less like a farmer, so all of my American Gothic gets focused on instructing students . . . using the pitchfork as motivator, of course.

But I must be doing something right in my teaching, for a couple of students handed me notes of thanks. Both were for my Research Writing course, though from different classes. The first note was given to me in an envelope, and I joked, "An envelope? There's money inside?" Unfortunately, I opened it to find only nonpecuniary praise:
Dear, Prof. Hodges

Prof. Hodges thank you so much for your "Research Paper" class this semester!! I really enjoyed learning how to write a paper for academic stuff. I hope you can teach us international politics for another course perhaps? I really enjoyed discussing my politics-related paper with you (I learned a lot while discussing it with you). You're not going to check for grammars in the letter, are you?! He he. I'm just joking!! I'll visit your blog time to time! Hope you've enjoyed our class too!! Happy early Christmas!! See you next semester. Bye bye.

P.S. 교수님이최고에요. You Rock, Prof!!
She'll be pleased to discover that I indeed did not check for 'grammars' but left the note in the form that it came to me. I don't want to alter someone's voice . . . .

The other student handed me a card only, no envelope, but I joked again anyway about maybe finding a check inside the fold. Once more, however, just non-monetary words of praise:
Dear Prof. Hodges.

While I was editing my paper for the last time, I had mixed feelings about completing the paper and the course.

It was indeed a difficult and long process and there were times when I was tempted to let go everything.

Yet, as I now look back I have swum across an ocean that seemed endless and deep in depth. And without your guidance I would not have reached the shore.

Surely, this is not the end of my journey and there will be many obstacles I will encounter. But at least I now know that I have a teacher who I could always ask advice and wisdom.

Thank you for everything.
I recall a lot of email questions from this student, so she must have been referring to the advice in my replies. I don't recall offering any wisdom, however.

Both notes were signed (and handed to me personally, for that matter), but I don't know that either student would want her name posted here, so I'll leave their praise anonymous.

Now to move toward actually grading those final research papers . . .

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At 12:29 PM, Blogger Brandon said...

Hmmm. Maybe I should start using a pitchfork to motivate students.

At 12:41 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Give 'em hell . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:04 PM, Blogger Carter Kaplan said...

Nice notes! That's how it's supposed to be.

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Things seemed to go better this semester . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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