Today I received this email:
Well just wanted to say a couple things lol…..
First of all I am foolishly going to admit that i have a huge crush on you (im sure you get that one all the time) ha ha oh my goodness sorry totally inappropriate…. (im sure you have a husband or boyfriend, not to mention you have two kids)
Second of all i have to know why should i like the big lebowski? i watched it and the verdict is still out on whether i loved it or hated it. =p
Third i really wanted to say thank you, i really appreciate your teaching and encouraging my writing, its to the point where i am actually contemplating becoming a writer or something involving writing. its pretty fun, just never thought I was tallented enough to make it more than just something to do in school or work. =)
I doubt you will respond, however if you do, you should tell me why i should like the big lebowski or at least why you do lol. Or to give me any suggestions on how i should go about taking the steps to becoming a writer… or any good schools to transfer tooooooo.
ha it would be really stupid of me to say my name (this email is bad enough, gotta save some dignity) but yea obviously im a student and since u read my writing im sure u could figure it out. anyways peace.
– ps – sorry if u completely dissregard this i will understand lol
First, let me start off by saying that this is a student of mine from the community college who finished class today by taking his final exam. Also, I know who he is because even though he sent me the email from an unidentifyable account (for example: studentwholoves firstname.lastname@example.org) his real name comes up on my email server. How? I have no idea; it’s the magic of the internet. However, he’s not as anonymous as he thinks.
Second, while it is sweet that he has a crush on me, that really doesn’t concern me. One, he’s 18. Two, crushes often develop between students and their instructors, and not usually because of looks or age, but rather because of the power structure between student and instructor. And while I don’t believe that I take an all-powerful position as an instructor, it doesn’t really matter—it’s still there. (Which totally explain that weird crush I had on an ancient–and gay!–professor in college).
Third, what I find to be the most flattering is when he says that he appreciated my teaching and that he is now considering becoming a writer. You see, this particular student came in hating reading and writing; he seemed to hate school, in fact. I often wondered, during those first few weeks, why he was even in school. He had such an apathetic attitude, complete with the looks to match—hair hanging in front of his face, a constant and disinterested look, etc… you know, you’ve seen these kids.
But slowly as the semester wore on, he began to change (he even cut his hair…though I won’t take credit for that). He really loved the novel he choose to read (The Kite Runner), and though his writing right from the start was decent, he began to care about his topic choices and what he actually wrote.
And he became a GREAT writer. I always saved his essays for last because I knew they’d be good. This 18-year-old has more talent than most–definitely more than me when I was his age! He just needed a little encouragement and he just…
This makes me swoon with love for my job. While the majority of students leave my class as better writers, they don’t usually take the time to thank me, and there are some students who leave and are not better writers and could still care less.
But if I changed one student, made one student believe in himself and hone in on a talent he didn’t know he had (and perhaps even gave him the self-confidence to begin thinking about transferring to a “good school”) then I feel complete in my job and fulfilled as an instructor.
Ahhhhh, I’m so thankful for this email.
*Note: I told the students one of my favorite movies was The Big Lebowski, but I think he’ll understand it better in 10 years.
*Note: Even though his email is filled with typos and misspellings, he really can write. Beautifully.