Friday, August 01, 2008

A Positive Note

The other day, I wrote a couple letters of recommendation for a student and sent them off. And then, as is my habit, I dropped her a quick email to let her know that I'd sent the letters. I remember worrying about everything when I was applying to grad school, and I assume that at least some of the students who ask me to write letters worry too, so a quick note gives them one less thing to worry about. It's also a nice opportunity to say something encouraging, since I pretty much only write letters for good students and it's sort of fun to remember how good they are.

Today I got a nice email thank you.

I complain as much as the next person about things, but sometimes it's really good to step back and realize that most (by far) of my interactions with students are very positive, often fun, and usually make me glad I'm in the ed-biz.

One of my goals for the coming semester is to procrastinate less, and doing this letter early was a little step. We'll see how it goes.

In other news, my bike took me out for a good 20+ mile ride today, on the local mini-rolling hills (as in, the Tour de France folks wouldn't notice them enough to change gears), and I averaged 15+mph. I realize that for a real biker, 15mph is slow as anything, but for me, it's a good speed. I worked hard at pedaling, and now my legs are nicely tired.

I'm thinking of taking a bike tour vacation thing to Yellowstone next spring. It's a supported tour thing with a company, but it seems like an incredible way to experience the park. But I'm worried about keeping up with other folks, especially in the altitude. I need to make some inquiries, but if I'm going to do it, this coming spring would make sense in a lot of ways.


  1. I love getting thank you notes!

    I always send them, too. Handwritten, of course. Although I will admit that one time I sent one to "nudge" a writer (notoriously late with these things, but a good letter writer) to get a letter written and sent. I had been told that his letter hadn't been received yet and it had been awhile. I was behind on my thank you note writing, so I decided that was a good time to do it. In just a little over a week I heard the news that his letter had been received.

    The bike tour sounds awesome! I would imagine that they have different skill level tours, so surely there's one that's just right for you.

  2. Thank yous can make a big difference.

    Do the bike tour. It sounds great! The altitude is probably not too bad... and it's likely to be as much a problem for everybody else as for you. if you're really worried about it spend a few days in Jackson Hole or Aspen (or Ecuador!) first. Or, actually, Leadville, Colorado. I understand it's the highest city in the US :)