Two years ago, students decided to take our inactive chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (the English honorary fraternity) and to make it active again. Last year, for the first time, they had an end-of-year reception for graduating seniors. It was really a nice event, and not particularly formal. Basically a time to celebrate what students are doing after graduation and for faculty, students, and parents to mingle and eat delicious snacks (all brought in my faculty and students). Also, last year, the students decided to give an award to the "professor of the year," which is very nice, especially because our university doesn't really have any awards that come from students. So anyway, last year one of my colleagues got the award, and I thought what a nice award it was and the thought crossed my mind that this would be an award that would really mean something to me.
Now, my colleague Dr. Nice-Professor is very involved with all of these student-oriented service sorts of things, and we've worked together on improving student advising and other such endeavors. Dr. N-P sent me an email earlier in the week asking if I was planning to attend the reception or if I would mind attending because she could use my help with something. She was vague. I said, "Oh yes, I can be there. Just let me know what I need to do." She didn't really answer my question in her reply, but I've been so busy I didn't think anything of it. So I show up at this thing today, and she didn't tell me anything, but I figured she'd let me know what she needed from me when she needed it.
She didn't need anything from me. And I'm such a doofus I didn't really see it coming. (It did cross my mind last night, but I thought I was having delusions of grandeur.) The students voted me "professor of the year."
I was a total dork when I received my award and my present, and I was actually a little choked up. I'm not sure what to say other than that, except for that this meant so much to me.
And you all thought I was crazy-cynical and that students didn't really like me and that I didn't like them very much! So there!