Show your appreciation for your favorite lecturer by giving a gift that has meaning. Here are some tips for gifts that are suitable for an academic:
• The best gift that you can give is a handwritten note expressing how this person has inspired you. That simple effort will be more meaningful than any gift you can purchase. Even if you provide a gift, include a note card letting the lecturer know how they have impacted your life.
• Books are always a perfect gift, but it is better to give a gift certificate, so that your lecturer can choose a book that he or she would like
• Any type of personalized item makes a wonderful keepsake. For example, you can have any metal item engraved with a name or initials. Don’t forget to include the date, such as “Class of 2011”. An engraved bookmark can be an inexpensive, yet valued memento.
• Make something. If you have a special talent, for example you are a watercolor artist or you make pottery, there is nothing like an artisanal gift when it comes to giving something meaningful.
• If your financial resources are depleted, and you are an accomplished baker, consider making treats. Most people enjoy sweet things, unless they have dietary restrictions. Make some homemade candy or cookies and present them in a pretty jar or container.
• If you know your lecturer’s favorite charity, make a donation in their name. Many organizations will provide a card to announce that a donation has been made in someone’s name.
When choosing a gift, try to find out something about the person. A nice bottle of wine may be appreciated by most people, but what if your lecturer doesn’t drink alcohol? A leather bound journal is impressive, unless the person is a vegan. Keep these things in mind. Never give a gift that is too personal. You may have a little crush on your lecturer, but keep those feelings in check. On an online forum, one female professor wrote that a student gave her a gift certificate to Victoria’s Secret. Needless to say, she was extremely embarrassed. If you are worried that your gift idea is inappropriate, ask your peers for their opinion.
Teachers are used to receiving many gifts that they can’t use and end up passing on. If you want your gift to be used, put thought into it. Also keep in mind that this type of gift should not be too expensive. Even if you are a person with deep pockets, it can be overwhelming and inappropriate to give an expensive gift to a lecturer, or someone who is not a close friend. If you have the means and want to spend the money, make a donation to the university or college in the lecturer’s name. “It is the thought that counts.” This phrase may be a cliché, but phrases usually become cliché because they are said over and over, because they are true. That’s an idea! A book on the etymology of clichés would make an excellent choice for an English lecturer.