Sunday, November 19, 2017

How a student made my day

Two months ago, we at the Medical University of Sofia were carrying out our regular additional autumn exam session, known among students and teachers as the "liquidation" session. It can be best described as "just another last chance" for students who have skipped or failed some exam both at the regular session and at the September corrective session. Unfortunately, while many students had learned at least the minimum of required knowledge and passed, others had not. (The ribosome, already proven to be a Waterloo for some, remained so; this September, two students independently prepared for me depictions of it as a circle surrounded by smaller circles like petals of a flower. I even composed a ribosome haiku: Know thyself and thy ribosome / And remember that it is crazy / To draw it shaped like a daisy.)

After one of those very hard exam days was finally over, I went out in a rush. There was a parent meeting at the school of one of my sons, the first such meeting for this school year. I didn't want to be late. The only way to get there quickly was by a taxi. I saw a free taxi, jumped into it and started to explain the destination to the driver.

Suddenly, a young man - apparently a student at our Medical University - shouted in English: "Doctor! This is a false taxi!" He came closer and pointed at the list of prices displayed at the front window of the car. The numbers were indeed about twice higher than those offered by most taxi companies. I usually check them, but not when I am in a hurry. Expensive or not, this taxi was my chance that night. So I said to the student "Thank you!" but did not leave the car. With it, I reached the school just in time.

That student made my day. I always try to teach well and to examine justly. And while I say that "I do my job the best way I can, and I do not care what others say", I'd wish my efforts to be appreciated... sometimes. That young man showed goodwill to me in circumstances where he could simply pass by. I am sorry that, with my poor ability to recognize faces, I shall not know him if I see him again. But I will remember him.

(This post, stuck in the pipeline together with many others, was called to existence by one of my current 1st year students, who rightly remarked that I should write not just about the poor students but also about the good ones.)

1 comment:

Charles N. Steele said...

Thanks for this. Your unnamed student has also made my day.