While I was at the NSSA conference in Las Vegas in late March, I had a chance to visit with a former student who now lives in the area. He was an excellent student at UAFS a few years ago, and presented some interesting and fun research on the contagion effect (he was interested in both yawning and laughing) at our Psych Symposium several years back. Anyway, he graduated, enrolled in counseling courses at John Brown University, earned his Masters in Counseling, and has a thriving career. It was great to learn how he used his research skills to help his particular client base, and also great to learn that his intellectual curiosity knows no bounds. We had one heck of a great conversation.
We never know where our students will land. I keep in touch with only a precious few, and I am grateful to keep hearing from them as they achieve any of a number of milestones in their lives. One of the things that folks like me live for is the occasional recognition that we somehow made a difference in someone's life. We do. And in turn, these same students make a difference in our lives. Finals week is drawing near for me, as I suspect many in the academic world. As we are madly grading away and students are completing final projects and exams, let's remember to show a bit of kindness to one another. That will matter in ways that may not seem obvious in the moment, but will be readily apparent in hindsight.