Over the weekend, I got this email from a former independent study student:
I hope everything is well. Just wanted to say a huge thanks for going over integrating factors, homogeneous equations, Bernoulli’s equations, etc. way back when. I know I didn’t quite get why it pertained to the course at the time, but in hindsight it’s definitely made my first two weeks of differential equations quite easy and enjoyable. I’ve gotta say this is one of the first times where I’ve been ahead of the curve in a Yale class. I know the course is sure to get much more challenging very soon, but for now it’s nice to not feel completely lost at the beginning of a course for once. Hopefully you’ll have time to continue integrating that material into your calc classes in the future. Thanks again!
That was pretty encouraging.
A student who struggled on the first test has asked a couple of times since then if he could come after school to talk about the day’s concept. That in and of itself is a good thing.
Today, though, was just great. He was well-prepared, had everything he needed, and could point to where the problem started. I told him the one key concept he hadn’t quite heard, he looked at it, and said, “Oh, is that it? I was over thinking this. Thanks, Mrs. GF!” I’ve become more and more impressed with his responsibility and with his demeanor. After finishing with me, he stopped and talked for a moment with a teammate of his who had stayed in my room to finish his computer program. It was good to see two young men talk to each other and enjoy being with each other without cutting each other down.