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As a token of my gratitude, please take this _________________
June 15, 2012 5:54 PM   Subscribe

Please help me brainstorm a good gift for my teaching mentor!

I am completing a year of student teaching, and I would like to give my mentor teacher a gift. I am incredibly grateful for what he has done for me - he's been unflinchingly generous with his classroom, his time, his ideas, support, etc. I can't repay him, but I'd like to let him know that I appreciate it.

Some facts about him:
- He's in Boston
- He teaches physics
- He was a biologist in a previous career
- He often bikes to school
- He is a triathelete
- He likes cheese
- He's moving to a new building next year

Price range is going to vary depending on just how awesome the gift idea is, but I'm not trying to actually repay him in cash value, so probably less than $100.

Thanks for any ideas y'all have!
posted by Salvor Hardin to Human Relations (7 answers total)
 
My default academia-appreciation-token is a glass paperweight. Visible on the desk, not the kind of thing you normally buy for yourself, appropriately classy without being too expensive. I've seen them at gift shops and stationery stores (in addition to online), usually for far less than a hundred bucks. Some of them have simple or geometric designs, and (depending on the kind of biology your recipient was into) I also really like the jellyfish ones. Good luck!
posted by amy lecteur at 6:11 PM on June 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


It looks like there is a local place called Formaggio Kitchen that has events and will also give tours of its 'cheese cave'. Sounds like he is a person who enjoys learning so maybe that would be a good option.
posted by PaulaSchultz at 6:25 PM on June 15, 2012


Tagging on to amy lecteur's idea, which I love...Etsy has people who can custom make paperweights for you. Perhaps a quotation that is meaningful to you or to him in a paper weight would be good.
(I don't know if the seller I linked will actually do custom work, but there are likely others as well.)
posted by SLC Mom at 9:19 PM on June 15, 2012


Who has stacks of paper that need weighing down these days?

If you are local to him, I say go to a cheese shop, or even Whole Foods, and ask for the cheese monger's help in putting together an interesting basket for a cheese lover. Add some fig or quince preserves and fancy crackers and maybe a fancy cheese knife. Tuck in a thoughtful card outlining why you are so appreciative of his help - he'll get more value out of that then he would a paperweight and he'll have the knife and card to remember you by.
posted by paddingtonb at 11:25 AM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Students whose theses I've supervised often present me with gifts. The thoughtfully-chosen semi-decorative enduring-artifact ones usually become a burden (except, oddly, for student-created art), but receiving & consuming the edible/potable luxury items always makes me unreasonably gleeful.

People who've changed academic specialties can be unfond of gifts identifying them with their former speciality.

The only triathlete I know adores food.

I never have enough small knives.
posted by feral_goldfish at 12:30 PM on June 16, 2012


Yeah, as a master teacher myself, I wouldn't love a paperweight or decorative item. That's what students give me, and I have MORE than enough of those. I'm also mostly digital though, so that probably weighs into my preference (pun intended).

I would love food-based stuff. I would also love a massage certificate, but that's really for you to decide whether you think he'd like one.

I would also be really happy just at the thought shown in any gift. Thanks for thinking of it. That's the most important part, honestly.
posted by guster4lovers at 6:41 PM on June 16, 2012


I've kept every thank you note or card I was ever given by a colleague or student. I've thrown away every t-shirt and knick-knack every given to me by a colleague or student, but no one every gave me a knife. I like paddingtonb's advice above.
posted by absalom at 9:14 AM on June 17, 2012


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