My father will readily admit that he's got it pretty good as far as academic life goes: tenured and promoted at a regionally well-regarded professional school, a nice group of friends among his colleagues, opportunities to do some interesting research. He came to academia as a second career, and it seems to leave him really happy and fulfilled.
But into even such a life, the occasional 'flake must fall. He received the following e-mail, interestingly enough a few weeks before final grades were issued:
I am a tough critic, not only of others but more so of myself. I work extremely hard because I expect a lot out of myself, and therefore I apply the same rationale to others. Whether my opinion has been warranted or not, I have been impressed with very few professors at Local School of Hamsterology.
However, I have been extremely impressed with not only your teaching, but also with the way you have treated myself and my colleagues. You treated us as colleagues rather than as students, and that was very clear. Whether my performance reflects it or not, I feel I have learned more about Hamster Law than any other area of hamsterology.
Even though it is very unlikely that I will be practicing in that area (I'll likely be doing Hamster Handicrafts), you have peaked [sic] my interest and given me a great appreciation for Hamster Attorneys. I appreciate your time and expertise, and wish you the best in the future.