Working in academia is a perfect way of truly understanding the meaning of the expression “You cannot make everybody happy“. You see, this maxim describes particularly well what teaching entails.
I teach an average of 500 students or so per semester (note added in March 2020: Now it’s all online due to the worldwide health emergency) so, statistically, I am surely not everyone’s cup of tea. Not by a long shot.
The nature of the beast is that one should always give students the grade they actually earn; I take pride on that because I take my job very seriously. Alas, oftentimes that’s not the grade that the student wants. They generally don’t like you very much if they do not get what they want (and to be fair, I didn’t like when it happened to me many moons ago when I was on that side of the academic fence).
On the other hand, once in a while I get appreciation notes and messages from my students. I cherish these, and I keep all of them.
Today I wish to share with you a nice and thoughtful note with a drawing with a (very good) likeness of yours truly from a student, drawn in the back page of the Spring 2019 pharmacology final exam. This happened almost a year ago.The best part of this story is that the student, a young woman in science, was an excellent student, with great grades in my class prior to the final exam. Her appreciation was genuine…
This is what it is about. Enough said (:’-)
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