The class and year has ended. I wanted to meet with a professor who served as a great mentor with me during this year. I wanted to thank her in person and discuss pedagogy. I unexplainably dissed her by leaving at the end of the last class without thanking her or saying goodbye.

Feeling great guilt and disappointment, I emailed her to set up a last chance meeting. She responded with a long winded email about how busy she was [possibly a polite-go-away], but suggested possible times a week later. I responded, in a clearly selfish and urgent manner, that I was available after the dates she suggested.

She responded with a "ok Ethel... i will write to you when I'm finished this week."

Upon further consideration, I feel that I might have come off as entitled to her time. I'm considering taking back the meeting request and just writing a heartfelt email instead, possibly before she has a chance to attempt to set up a meeting.

Does anyone have advice?

  • 3
    I think you might be over-worrying here; perhaps your professor might have felt a bit distracted or irritated by your original email (then again perhaps she might not) but in any case I don't think her second response indicates anything too bad.
    – Yemon Choi
    May 14, 2018 at 4:33
  • 4
    Did she indicate she was unhappy about being "unexplainably dissed"? I can't imagine ever being angry that a student didn't thank me or say goodbye.
    – cag51
    May 14, 2018 at 4:47
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    Someone in academia telling you how busy they are is quite often not a polite go-away but the simple truth. You have to learn to say "no" or "I am busy, can this wait?" She determined that she had more urgent matters at hand (which is common at the end of the year) and that she still would like to offer you her time, at a time where she actually can focus on what you have to say. If this is important to you and she can make time for you, I would really wait and have the meeting. It might even be a nice pick-me-up after a stressful week for her.
    – skymningen
    May 14, 2018 at 7:03
  • You probaly have no insight into the timing issues of your professor, so it is premature to make assumptions in any directions based on basically no information. Tthis is a common mistake in the relationship between teacher-student. Lecturers or teachers typically have more taske to perform than what a student sees which causes confusion and skewed perspectives of what can be expected. Apr 6, 2022 at 22:53

2 Answers 2


This might be a very busy time - grading, exam board meetings etc.

As she is prepared to set up a meeting, then meet and thank her in person - it’s always nice to receive feedback / thanks / recognition...


I recommend writing the thank-you email. The professor will appreciate having this matter closed, and not needing to spend mental energy tracking a request for a meeting on an unknown topic (mixed in with many other work items and responsibilities).

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