I have been teaching a good long while now. And every now and then, about once a year, I get an email or letter from a former student. Most of the time, it is from a student that I worked with a lot. Some of the time, it is from someone I’m surprised to hear from. Regardless, it is always lovely to get a note validating what you do in the classroom. I am always saying to my current students that if they take on board what we are trying to do, think about, read, and understand, it will help them down the road. It is gratifying and humbling to receive such praise; I am glad that there is such generosity in the world:
Dear Mr. Ed Chang,
I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I took your English 242E class: Reading Fiction: “Reading Intersections: Literature as Worldmaking” in the Winter of 2008. I should have written this email years ago, but for some reason wasn’t ready to write it. This may sound a little primitive for a now graduate student, but your class had a profound effect on my life; it made me fall in love with reading again. Truly, before I took your class, reading always felt like a chore and a hassle, not that I was bad at reading, but I definitely didn’t read for fun. However, after taking your class, I found a love that I had lost years ago, and now not only do I love reading, it has become an essential part of my life. My favorite books by far from your class were Sula by Toni Morrison and White Noise by Don DeLillo. These novels truly opened up my eyes to a world I didn’t know existed. Finally, the social awareness aspect of the class was really powerful and has stayed with me, thank you!
Thank you for your thoughtful teaching and passion in the classroom!