Today a professor made me cry, but in a good way (finally!). Just six posts (but fifteen weeks) ago I was suggesting that I was woefully under-prepared for a seminar. This indeed turned out to be true, not just angst-ridden speculation on my part. I tanked the midterm essay, and while I can certainly point to things like travel and funerals that contributed to my overall sense of intellectual malaise at that point of the semester, that would really just be me trying to save face. I tanked, no real explanation needed. However, the professor let me re-write the essay, and I promised I would do better in the future. That mid-term was a one-time aberration, I promise! I did rewrite the essay, and she seemed genuinely pleased that on my second attempt, I did not sound like quite as big an idiot as I did on my first attempt.
Today I stuck my head in the door of said professor's door as I was passing by, and she said that although she hasn't graded my final paper, she was very pleased. The words "fantastic" and "beautifully written" were used, as was the phrase "you fulfilled your promise and more." So, good for me, I say. That might be the only time in my entire graduate career I hear that, so I'm writing it down for everybody to see.