A couple of weeks ago, I helped a student research some obscure intelligence test for a paper she was writing for her Master’s-level psychology course. We were only able to find a handful of articles, all authored by the same group of individuals. Together, we came to the conclusion that these people must’ve been the ones who created the analysis tool as they were the only ones being cited.
Yesterday, she came into the library again for more assistance. This time, it was about a different topic. However, before she explained her new problem to me, she asked, “Do you remember you helped me last time?” Now, I’m usually very bad with faces. I help dozens of students every day and I can’t keep track of every one of them. However, I remembered her and I was even able to vaguely recall the topic she had been researching. (I must have spent about 30-45 minutes with her that day. That is significantly more time than I get to spend with most students.) So once I responded in the affirmative, she said, “I got an A on that paper. My professor was very impressed because she wasn’t even aware that the tool had existed. It’s so new that she hadn’t even heard of it yet.”
I’ve had students come up to me days or weeks later and thank me. However, I’ve always been at a loss as to who they are or how I’d helped them. In some cases, I’d forget by the next day. (I don’t know whether this is a testament to the volume of questions I field everyday or to my poor memory.) In this case, the student took the time out to explain to me who she was and exactly how my assistance had helped her.
To my knowledge, this is the first time that my services had gotten someone an A. Needless to say, I was beaming.