2/19: a visitor
My office hours were unexpectedly busy this afternoon. While I was talking to the last student, someone in a suit looked into my office and then sat down in the waiting area outside it. His face looked familiar; I figured he must be an alum, but I couldn't place him on the spot. When I finished with my student, the visitor came in and immediately introduced himself. As soon as his name was halfway out of his mouth I realized who he was. He graduate in 2006 or so, and since then he's gotten a PhD in Biology and a good job in a lab--he was passing through town because of a business meeting in Little Rock, so he thought he'd stop by. He thanked me in a really sweet and genuine way for something I did for him at the very end of his undergraduate career. It was a thank-you that was all the better for being a decade after the fact (though I'm sure he thanked me at the time, too). I second- and third-guess myself so very much, and I'm not always confident that I'm having a good effect on people's lives. I was grateful for the reassurance in this case at least.