In the mail this week I received a hand written, 3 page letter from a student I taught here a few years ago. She is now a happy, successful student at a big name school. She wrote to congratulate me on finishing my Geometry book for our school and to share with me how important her experiences in my class – an Honors (non AP) Calculus class – were to her in her attitude about thinking and learning. I remember a particular conversation with her vividly. She was struggling early in the year and she was NOT used to struggling in class. She asked for a meeting and we looked at her last assessment. She told me ‘I thought my job in a math class is to know what formulas to use and how to solve equations with them.’ I explained to her that this was certainly part of her job, but that success in a math class should involve more than that. She became one of my most consistent students in that class. Most of us assumed that she would be a lawyer one day – like her successful dad – but she informed me that she is seeking a career in medicine. She wrote a bunch of really nice things in her letter and I will treasure it. However, what impresses me the most is that she took the time to actually write it by hand. It feels more meaningful in a way I cannot describe.