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12/8/05 11:53 AM
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dracovich
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Edited: 08-Dec-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 7433
 
I've been thinking about sending one of my old highschool teachers a quick email to tell them that they really helped me and gave me the confidence to go into the studies i have. But it's just not really my style and it feels too Hallmark'ish lol On one hand it seems overly girly and whatnot to send him something like that, i mean come on that's something you'd see in a Meg Ryan movie. However, on the other hand, the guy is/was a great teacher and if it wasn't for him i would've never gained the confidence in my ability to learn math, and jumped into studying physics despite having a less then stellar background to do so. And i'd imagine that it might be nice as a teacher to get to know you've made a difference somewhere. To be honest though i think he may not care too much, he's the most stoic guy i ever met, i never saw him smile (he was a nice guy though), he was very to the point, and as soon as he entered the room EVERYONE shut up and learned (even though he enver raised his voice). Just one of those guys with a stonecold look, never gets excited or upset but commands extreme respect from everyone without ever demanding it. Anywho, just thought i'd throw this out there and see what people think about it.
12/8/05 10:19 PM
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ChrisPayne
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Edited: 08-Dec-05
Member Since: 03/19/2002
Posts: 684
Send him the email, if a teacher had a profound effect on your life, he deserves to know about it.
12/8/05 11:16 PM
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Andrew Yao
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Edited: 08-Dec-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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He will appreciate it a lot, guaranteed. He won't think it's girly.
12/9/05 4:34 AM
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Revolver of Reason
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Edited: 09-Dec-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 28821
it's only girly if you gush. tell him respectfully that you are thankful for his hard work in pushing you academically. he will probably be glad to know he had an effect and did his job right.
12/9/05 10:41 AM
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dracovich
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Edited: 09-Dec-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 7440
lol MMA Warrior :) Thanks for starting my day with a good laugh. Revolver: You're propably right, i just need to make sure it's not a hallmark card or something.
12/9/05 5:18 PM
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vermonter
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Edited: 09-Dec-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 5732
Being a teacher is one of those professions where, if you've done your job right, you never hear a peep, but man do you hear about it if you tell one little bastard to bugger off. More people should do what you are considering. -doug-
12/11/05 7:21 PM
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luchador1
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Edited: 11-Dec-05
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 1140
I sent two teachers e-mails when I graduated from university. One was retiring so, I think he had been hearing alot of that sort of thing, the other is a guy just reaching his prime years of teaching and talked me into applying and taking the ACT. Both were pretty appreciative of the e-mails especially the second.
12/17/05 3:17 PM
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Tyson86
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Edited: 17-Dec-05
Member Since: 06/08/2003
Posts: 1712
My father is an English teacher, and nothing makes him happier than hearing from old students that say he has helped them. As vermonter said, most students are quick to critisize if things aren't their way and don't say anything when it's ok. Teacher can be a very hard job, it's nice to get some appreciation for it.
12/17/05 11:12 PM
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DustDevil
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Edited: 17-Dec-05
Member Since: 06/27/2004
Posts: 582
Everyone is correct on this thread. Here's a suggestion though: do the guy one better than just the email. Write a letter to his supervisor. I took some psych courses from a professor that was newly recruited to the school. He gave me some great coaching on how to prepare for grad school that also helped immensly with all of my other academic work. I wanted to thank him for his help by dropping him an email, but since he's the "new guy" in his department I thought I'd write a letter detailing the same message to the college president and academic vice president. He helped me out, so I thought I'd help him get his name in front of the big cheeses.
3/27/06 8:59 PM
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meow mix
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Edited: 27-Mar-06
Member Since: 11/19/2005
Posts: 15
Despite the fact that I am a girl and have written a professor that really inspired my love for law, I would definitely write an email. My professors response was "thank you and here's my daughter's email who's working in a law office in D.C. She can probably help you out.." The off chance probability of a really great connection that you may not known you're teacher to have is there.. It's most definitely worth it..
3/30/06 4:02 PM
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FudoMyoo
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Edited: 30-Mar-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 12974
does thisimply that being " girly" is bad?
4/24/06 3:55 AM
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FightFan424
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Edited: 24-Apr-06
Member Since: 04/10/2003
Posts: 272
ttt
12/22/06 5:04 AM
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dracovich
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Edited: 22-Dec-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 9672
hah i dug this thread out since i remembered i made it. Long story short, i kinda forgot about the whole thing, but after i came to the states and experiencing all these crazy things here, i couldn't help but think back to where it all started, so i decided to send him a quick email, went something like this (obviously translated): "Hey [Name] You propably don't remember me, god knows you teach a lot of students and i graduated over 3 years ago. But i wanted to throw you a quick line and thank you for the help you gave me without sounding like a little schoolgirl. So as i said, i graduated 2003, and i was in one of the lazier classes (and i was no exception). Didn't have much confidence in my math abilities, but despite of that my interests were mainly in science. This feeling of inadequacy when it came to math, meant that i didn't even think of pursueing it at a college level, even though this was what i really wanted to do. To cut a long story short, after my last year at the school where you taught me math, i gained more confidence in my ability to learn math, and waited a year, taking extra credits in math and physics in nightclasses to get into school, and ended up going to Denmark for univresity to study physics [I'm icelandic]. It's gone quite good, and i'm now spending a year abroad in USA studying. Don't get me wrong, i'm no genius or anything, but i do ok and as things look now i should be graduating on time. Well that's about the extent of what i wanted to say, just thought you might enjoy knowing that your teachings are not wasted (i actually know other similar stories from my own class, friends who went into engineering etc). Hope all is well, Kári" Basicly he replied a couple of weeks later telling me " .. some teachers feel that their efforts were worth it if they got through to just one student. I'm one of those teachers." and asked me to come by and talk to him when i was in town (he actually wanted me to talk to students in similar positions as well, but i'm never at home during schooltime so that might be hard). So that's pretty cool, sounds like he enjoyed the letter and i'll enjoy having a talk with him when the time comes.
12/22/06 4:06 PM
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Ted Bennett
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Edited: 22-Dec-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 5051

I've gotten letters and e-mails like that from students back when I taught - they are *never* girly or or a bad idea. Matter of fact, I've saved all of mine....except for the one from the exceptionally hot student who told me that while she loved my class, learned a lot, and I helped her with applying to grad school, etc., but she also wanted to keep coming by the building after the class was over just to see me and talk to me.

She was so hot (and smart to boot), it was a tremendous act of will not to take her up on it. :-)

Turns out my morals/ethics served me right, as our last communication went something like this:

ME: "Sonya, I just can't have a relationship like that with you. I can't risk being thrown out of my Ph.D. program for this, even if the class is over. You got a very high A - what if we started dating and another student saw it and then said the only reason you got the A is because we were together before the class was over?" etc., etc.,

HER: "I guess you're right. I'm sorry. Besides, I guess I was just holding off on trying to work things out with my husband." :-O  I had no idea she was married, she didn't wear a ring.

For the next month, I kept looking over my shoulder waiting to be pursued by an angry, shotgun-toting husband :-P

12/23/06 9:11 AM
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The Detriment
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Edited: 23-Dec-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 4179
You did the right thing, Ted. I've sent letters of support to two teachers. The first was a young TA who used to get all kinds of grief from smart-ass kids in class. I basically wrote her and told her I enjoyed her class and thought she did a good job. The second time I wrote to a guy who taught a sociology class about families, and these radical feminists got super pissed when he was talking about the differences between men and women. They started raising hell, and I wrote him to tell him how terrible I thought the feminists were and to keep on doing what he was doing.
12/29/06 1:19 PM
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eabeam
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Edited: 29-Dec-06
Member Since: 08/28/2001
Posts: 2235
Dude, working in education is 99.9% thankless work. Say thanks. It may be years before somebody does it again. You may single-handedly convince someone to stay in the profession.
12/31/06 3:10 PM
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ocianain
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Edited: 31-Dec-06
Member Since: 02/05/2006
Posts: 637
Do it, he dedicated himself to education, I'm sure he'll love to hear he was appreciated.
2/7/07 9:55 PM
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rkjmd
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Edited: 07-Feb-07
Member Since: 01/03/2007
Posts: 1122
Good story.

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