Ana and Nikki pointed out at dinner today that we give lots of feedback, but it's mostly negative (since that's when we pay attention). When things are going well, the usual response is blank silence. She also pointed out that "the staff and faculty are just as insecure as we are" - not that we're inherently neurotic people, but that it's often hard to tell when you're doing things right, so you worry too much that you're doing things wrong.

So a group of students convened in the lounges tonight to write thank-you letters to every single staff and faculty member on campus (Nikki went through the student handbook and labeled envelopes for everyone, and Tim pulled them into some semblance of alphabetical order by the fireplace). They're still sitting in the 1st floor lounge of West Hall, and will be out until Tuesday, when people will start picking them up and delivering them by whatever means they think best.

If you're around, drop by and fill an envelope; most of the letters are a couple lines long on a strip of torn paper, but we all know from experience that a small note is all it takes to brighten someone's day. If you aren't around, do it to the folks you are around. Or send emails and letters back to the folks here who touched your life. It only takes a minute to type a short thank-you.

The best part about teaching, someone once told me, is the students who come back. Doesn't matter how well you did in their class, whether you turned in your papers or not - just coming back and saying "hey, you made a difference in my life" is what teachers live for.