Letter to the Editor

Teacher enjoys delayed gratification

Thursday, April 17, 2008

To the editor:

It was wonderful to receive an e-mail from Peg McNichol with a link to her enjoyable blog about me, her "old" geology prof. After I retired in 1999, I wrote a "Local Comment" for the Detroit Free Press that talked about some of the joys of teaching. I included this observation:

"A phenomenon that is somewhat peculiar to teaching is delayed gratification. While there are daily moments of satisfaction, the greatest joy is often experienced only years after a student has left the classroom. All of us appreciate seeing the product of our labor. It may be a work of art, a house that we've helped build, a good job of cleaning, or a student learning about geology. For teachers, however, pleasant surprises pop up to us and remind of work done long before." Peg's note and blog are one of those pleasant surprises.

KEN VAN DELLEN, Grosse Pointe Park, Mich.