Inspirational Email

The following email was sent to me on November 3, 2005.  Throughout my career I have endeavored to give my students the best possible instruction I can. One never knows whether such efforts have an effect or not.  I have received numerous "thank you" notes from students over the year and have saved them.  This email, however, was perhaps the most touching "thank you" I ever received from a student and has reassured me that I am doing a good job.


Professor Gill,

I am not sure if you will remember who I am or not.  I had your class spring
quarter, 2002 and I came to see you several times offline about problems I
was having with your class.  I was about to graduate and leave that summer
for the Marine Corps and I was afraid of not getting the 2.0 I needed to get
credit for the class.  Anyway, you were kind enough to make time for me and
help me out, I ended up with a pretty respectable grade considering all of
the slacking I had done.

I am writing to you today because I am sitting on a base in Fallujah, Iraq
and a major op is about to kick off.  I have seen quite a few things over
here that I would like to forget,  but it was a mortar attack the other day
that compelled me to write.  My life, as cheesy as it sounds flashed before
my eyes and one of the moments that flashed before me were the times I
talked to you in your office.  I promised myself if I made it through that
attack, I would contact all the people that were in those flashes and thank
them....It's funny how sometimes how extreme things have to get before you
start to appreciate something you should have appreciated all along.

Anyway, thank you again for that help that quarter.


Corporal [name deleted], USMC
[address deleted]