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I'm a student at a large university, and recently had an especially hard semester due to a family emergency. I withdrew from two classes, and the only reason I didn't have to withdraw altogether was because of some very understanding faculty members in my department.

My department adviser, after realizing that I probably wouldn't be able to go to all of my professors explaining this issue and begging for extended deadlines without breaking down, emailed all of them herself and basically bought me a couple of weeks to pull myself together. One of my professors went above and beyond and gave me "indefinite deadlines" (i.e. whenever I feel like turning it in) for all of his class assignments. My grade for his class is made up of three essays, and, even though there's only a month left in the semester, I've turned in none of them; every attempt I've made to approach him and apologize for all of the trouble I've caused him has been casually waved away.

So, my question is: what's an appropriate thank you for everything they've done for me? I've tried to end every meeting I've had each of with them by thanking them, but they always seem a bit embarrassed and wave me off (they're both pretty reserved people). Knowing that they're embarrassed by even my little attempts to thank them, I'm not sure if they'd like me getting them a thank you card or a gift card. Also, scheduling an appointment with my adviser (that's the only way I'm able to see her) just to give her a thank you gift feels a bit weird. Any tips? Are my in-person "thank you's" enough, or should I try to get them something more? And, if a gift would be appropriate, is there any etiquette regarding how I get the gift to them?

  • You know, having experienced a similar situation, where the Faculty gave me a place to live when my house burnt down, I found that just knowing that you are okay is often more than sufficient as a thank you. I fully understand the desire to give a gift though. – user41783 Nov 26 '15 at 21:05