The office manager noticed me picking up my mail. "Looks like you are popular with students" she said.
"How awesome to come back after the break and find these cards" I replied.
If this is how a new term begins, then I am confident that I am doing the right things.
I returned to my office and brewed myself a cup of coffee. I opened the envelopes as if it were at the Oscar ceremony, fully knowing that the Oscar was for me and nobody else ;)
Lengthy handwritten notes in the inside of both cards, and true to their personalities--one was filled with humor, and the other was a measured tone from the beginning to the end. The third had a printout inside. How wonderful to read those sincere sentences of appreciation and thanks.
The funny one included a lottery ticket as well:
The postscript from the student read:
Here is the ticket that may grant you the $1,000 that you keep asking students. It is yours to keep
Of course, I have no plans to scratch the card to see if have won the $1,000--the card is, after all, way more valuable than a measly thousand bucks.
Over the winter break in the old country, during one of the conversations with my father, I told him how lucky we both are. "You have stories of the buildings you helped design and construct. From factories to dams to schools" I told him. Including the school that provided some of the most cherished moments of my life. "A value-adding tangible contribution to society" I added.
In my case, it is about students, of course. There are so many wonderful stories that I will carry to my end; after all, when dying, only our memories will accompany us.
And thus I begin yet another term to create more memories.