This is from a former student who gives permission to share her story. It's wonderful as fan mail, but I post it here as an example of the type of student who has to overcome huge obstacles to get an education:
I took your class Spring of '04. I was pregnant and actually had my baby a couple of weeks before the semester was over. Anyway I just want you to know that I hold you in the highest regard (even more so after I found out about your alter ego). You laid it all out on the table which so many (myself especially) are too scared to do. I am an outsider and feel it everyday I walk through campus. I listen to girls discussing their party plans for the weekend while I decide if I should attempt to go to the mall with my son.
During your class, I came out of my shell. You encouraged us to reveal our thoughts and I actually did! I told the class my worries about labor and the enjoyment of my breasts leaking at any moment! After your class, I started writing about my experiences with my son. I have developed my writing ability and it is truly because of you. Thank you, Thank you.
Also I wish I could have met the 25-year-old senior who felt like an outsider. It would have been nice to have talked to another student who understands what it is like to have your books chewed on by a 2-foot monster. Take care and please do not stop writing. If you do write a book, I want a signed copy.
P.S. Even though she had her baby a few weeks before the end of the semester and couldn't return to class, this young woman turned in all of her final assignments EARLY. AND she did more than was required. She made an A. That was the least I could do.