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Author Topic: End of Semester Gifts  (Read 5868 times)
alchemist
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« on: May 03, 2012, 1:02:59 PM »

A 'gift' I got today made me think of this (a $50 bill) which has now created a major bureaucratic nightmare for me to properly (and transparently) dispose of.

But I've gotten many gifts  that I've considered not-bribes, and kept: including a bottle of wine with molecules on it called "educated guess"

What are the best and worst end of semester gifts you have received?
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forest_and_the_trees
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 3:54:48 PM »

A student gave you fifty bucks?  If so, you could donate it to a charity in her name.  She should get some kind of thank you note from the charity.  There's your transparency.

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prof_cj
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 4:03:53 PM »

Whoa.

Did you know it was money? Was it given in person in an envelope or hand-to-hand?

"Quandry" doesn't even really cover what this might seem like (but I know isn't).

The obvious solution is, as F_A_T_T said, donate it to charity in the student's name.
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kshenko
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 6:22:20 PM »

Unlike some of you, I don't really have ethical concerns accepting gifts from students, as long as there is no immediate grading issues involved.  So, when students offer gifts before I finish grading, I tell them to hold on to the gifts until they get their grades.  Most students don't come back, by the way...
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peitho
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 6:38:40 PM »

It's so rare to be given a gift or a card that I never refuse. 

However, I understand your quandary with the cash gift.  To be generous to your student, they may have given cash so that you could spend it the way you liked--it's an old-fashioned expression of thanks, but so much better than a gift certificate to a store or restaurant that you never visit. 

Last week a student tucked their payroll check into their homework assignment.  That has got to be the funniest gift I've ever received.  (Yes, I made sure it was returned.)

Nicest gift:  students that still keep in touch years later.  I'm a marshmallow.
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melba_frilkins
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 6:55:58 PM »

Quote
What are the best and worst end of semester gifts you have received?

Worst? Home canned goods of an indeterminate nature provided by failing student.
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daedalus
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 8:18:21 PM »

Just FYI, there have been a few large-ish threads on this matter.  Got some really nice advice when I wanted to give a few professors a small thank-you during my last year of ugrad.  Some people seemed OK with it, others disliked anything more substantial than a "thank you."

Nobody seemed likely to turn down a bottle of hooch.
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chemystery
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 10:47:56 PM »

I don't often receive gifts, which is fine by me.  Besides the occasional email sent after grades are posted (I'm suspicious of compliments before then) thanking me, the nicest gift I've received was a framed photo of the class.  It was especially meaningful because my life outside of work had been crumbling and completely fell apart just before the end of the semester.  The stability at work and that particular group of students, who had been a lot of fun, may very well be a big part of what held me together.  They also included a gift card for coffee, which is always appreciated.
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mended_drum
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 6:41:40 PM »

Always welcome gifts:

1. Coffee
2. Tea
3. Chocolate
4. Wine
5. A nice thank you card

Worst gift ever:

1. A damned goldfish with a bow around the bowl.
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baleful_regards
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2012, 9:56:50 PM »



Worst gift ever:

1. A damned goldfish with a bow around the bowl.

Hello bathroom toilet.....

(not that I really would, but Ugh, do I ever had the worst history with keeping fish alive - even with earnest attempts.)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 10:00:20 PM by balefulregardss » Logged

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mystictechgal
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 12:24:09 AM »



Worst gift ever:

1. A damned goldfish with a bow around the bowl.

Hello bathroom toilet.....

(not that I really would, but Ugh, do I ever had the worst history with keeping fish alive - even with earnest attempts.)

Granted, now's not the optimal time for me, but I'd rather get the goldfish than the coffee or tea. I don't drink coffee, and only drink tea rarely. For that matter, I don't eat much chocolate. My last goldfish was a rescue from one of those county fair ping pong ball games. I'm guessing that the kid's parents wouldn't let him/her keep it, so the bag got left hanging on my Aunt's fence. She took him in, and I took him from her. Microfiche lived to be almost 14 (and wasn't so micro when he died). He had quite a personality. I'd have another goldfish, someday.
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mended_drum
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2012, 8:33:50 AM »

Good.  If it happens again, I'm sending the fish to you, Mystic.
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palla
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 9:44:43 AM »

Granted, now's not the optimal time for me, but I'd rather get the goldfish than the coffee or tea. I don't drink coffee, and only drink tea rarely. For that matter, I don't eat much chocolate. My last goldfish was a rescue from one of those county fair ping pong ball games. I'm guessing that the kid's parents wouldn't let him/her keep it, so the bag got left hanging on my Aunt's fence. She took him in, and I took him from her. Microfiche lived to be almost 14 (and wasn't so micro when he died). He had quite a personality. I'd have another goldfish, someday.

That is the first time I have heard of someone abandoning their goldfish.  I would perplex me to find a goldfish hanging on the fencepost.

Personally, I would take coffee over a goldfish any day.  And coffee is the gift I get most often.  Probably because I carry my coffee cup to class every day.  I switch from coffee to water after the first class, but students don't realize that.  They assume I am drinking coffee all day.
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iclaudius
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 5:25:18 PM »

I'm not sure if this falls into the best or worst gift category, but I once received a certificate from a nature preservation agency which explained that a water buffalo (in think in China) was cared for in my name for the next year. The student (or rather his parents) spent easily over $100 on this. I'd have preferred a gift certificate for a book store or something similar. I always accept candy from students, by the way.
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doctorladybug
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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2012, 12:28:50 AM »

I get gifts pretty much every year.  In particular, I get a lot of baked goods.  I got a book one year, a box of tea another year, and a lot of cards.  As long as it is something I can share with my class community I accept it (the book has been used in the classroom now, and the tea remains in my office when students want some during my afternoon tea time).
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