Ways to repay my professor?

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  • #1
proton
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i'd like to thank one of my professors for writing me a letter of rec to help me get into the REU program. i can't think of any ways to thank him other than writing a thank-you card or buying him chocolates? :smile: can you guys think of better ways? also, i have finals this week and then have to leave for my REU so I don't have much time. hopefully he won't be disappointed that I thanked him so late in the school year as I was so busy and totally forgot about him
 

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  • #2
mathwonk
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repay him the same way you repay your parents, by doing them proud.
 
  • #3
oedipa maas
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repay him the same way you repay your parents, by doing them proud.

:smile:

Why don't you write him a little e-mail when you start work? Enthuse about the project you're working on and thank him for writing the reference for you.

In this case I think chocolate is going a bit overboard.
 
  • #4
epenguin
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If not more than you wanted to spend and you can choose right, a book sort of on the side of the academic subject like history of the science in question, shows interest and can write thanks in it?

PS depending where you are sometimes interesting old 2nd hand books cost no more than new ones, just an idea.
 
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  • #5
pardesi
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just link him to this...or atleast ask him to join PF this shud make him proud enuf
 
  • #6
HallsofIvy
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Write a letter of recommendation for him- to the chair of his department.
 
  • #7
ZapperZ
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You'd be surprised how much a simple thank you note means, since not many students do that. I know I certainly was highly appreciative when students tell me that they appreciated what I had done and how it has affected them.

So you really don't have to buy your prof. anything, really (after all, how would you know what he/she really wants or likes?). Besides, depending on how strict the ethics code is at your school, your prof. may be prohibited from receiving any kind of gifts from the students. Just the fact that you wanted to let him/her know that you appreciate what he/she had done is more than sufficient.

Zz.
 
  • #8
Choppy
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Hi Proton,

Anything more than a simple note of thanks, in my opinion, is inappropriate. Writing reference letters for students comes with the territory of the profession.
 
  • #9
lisab
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A heart-felt message saying thanks would be great. Sending a hand-written note or card is much more effective than an e-mail.
 
  • #10
mathwonk
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i agree with a note of thanks and a note to the department head. professors get very few thanks for the many routine acts of service and support they perform. but every semester the head reads a litany of anonymous gripes from students who wanted a higher grade, in the form of "class evaluations".

and lisa is right too. I probably still have the two or three handwritten notes I have received in over 30 years of teaching and service. I don't know if I have any of the emails. Once I got a really nice ecard, but unfortunately trashed it out of embarrassment. I would have saved an actual card.

As to the note to the head, think how much more it means to you practically, to have a letter of reference than just to be told you did a nice job in the course. In the same way, the prof feels good to be complimented, but is actually benefited practically by a letter to his boss.

E.g. I once received a generous award for service in which I think a key element was a letter from a student who had been especially grateful for the impact of my class. I appreciated the letter just for itself, but that award also helped feed my family that summer.
 
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  • #11
proton
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wow i didnt know that buying a gift would be a bad idea, let alone prohibited possibly

well i already sent him an email a few months ago, telling him that I got into the program and i thanked him. but i haven't spoken to him since then, and i don't even know if he's still around campus as we are in finals week and he might not be teaching any classes this semester.

would sending him another thank you be appropriate?
 
  • #12
Shackleford
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wow i didnt know that buying a gift would be a bad idea, let alone prohibited possibly

well i already sent him an email a few months ago, telling him that I got into the program and i thanked him. but i haven't spoken to him since then, and i don't even know if he's still around campus as we are in finals week and he might not be teaching any classes this semester.

would sending him another thank you be appropriate?

If you do send another thank you, at least add some updates in it as to avoid being obsequious. lol.
 
  • #13
Phrak
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"cant think of any ways to thank him" Wait until dark and drop some cash in his mailbox.
 
  • #14
Moonbear
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You'd be surprised how much a simple thank you note means, since not many students do that. I know I certainly was highly appreciative when students tell me that they appreciated what I had done and how it has affected them.

So you really don't have to buy your prof. anything, really (after all, how would you know what he/she really wants or likes?). Besides, depending on how strict the ethics code is at your school, your prof. may be prohibited from receiving any kind of gifts from the students. Just the fact that you wanted to let him/her know that you appreciate what he/she had done is more than sufficient.

Zz.

I agree. The few thank-you notes I've received are just so wonderful, especially when they come with a gushing report of the wonderful progress my students are making on a project, new job, new school, etc.

If you've already sent one note at the time you were accepted, I agree to wait until you have an update to send. It's nice to hear when one's students are doing well and what they're doing.
 
  • #15
Beeza
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Should you still write a note even if you still work for them daily? Does it make it awkward? Also, should it be written on a thank you card or type something up formally?
 
  • #16
proton
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alright, i plan on sending him an email in a few weeks thanking him for the letter of rec and providing him with details on how I'm doing in the REU
 
  • #17
Moonbear
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Should you still write a note even if you still work for them daily? Does it make it awkward? Also, should it be written on a thank you card or type something up formally?

If you have the sort of interaction where you're seeing them daily, I think a thanks in person is sufficient. If you've already moved and they won't see you much again, then an email or thank you card are better.
 

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