I just received what, for this teacher, is the best present ever.
I became friends with a few of my extraordinary students from last year at Dream Uni. One, in particular, is very special to me. We are pretty regularly in touch, and actually mean quite a lot to each other.
I got home tonight (from drinking wine! with new friends! and it's going to be every week!) and there, in my mailbox, was a package from her.
Now, the story with her is that she's spectacularly brilliant, but that she had a hard time emotionally and personally last year, and basically messed up most of her year. I had a lot of awkward negotiations with her about late work, etc. (She has taken this year off from university, which I think is a great thing, and is working at a job R and I hooked her up with, through connections.)
Anyway, so this package contained a mix CD for me, which she made for me months ago but which has been sitting in her car, unmailed, ever since - she would mention it sheepishly every time we talked or emailed. The note with it (written on a recycled envelope with a giant picture of a rollerskate diligently pasted on it) says this: "Well. Are you surprised? This mix CD, not unlike everything else I've ever given you, is a couple of months overdue...ahem! At least I'm predictable!" A few lines later, it says, "I love you lots and lots. Take a deep breath and smile."
And the CD's - there are two - are labeled like this:
CD one: I will deduct 5% per day from our friendship, for every late mix CD I receive.
CD two: "I'm sorry, I'll make it up to you, I promise..."
I love this girl. I love that our professor-student relationship has become this great, hilarious, reflexive friendship. It makes it all worthwhile.