Some people were not sure they wanted to give their supervisor a gift because the relationship was strained.Others thought that giving a gift to a person who is doing their job is not appropriate in any circumstances.The little plate has sat on my bookshelf ever since and is often a subject of discussion when colleagues visit me.
I am no stranger to the odd bottle of wine or box of chocolates, but a little brass plate on a stand was unexpected kind of gift from a student.
First there is the question of taste, as illustrated in this clip from the Big Bang Theory where Amy gives Penny a huge painting for teaching her how to be ‘cool’: The rest of the episode revolves around Penny hiding her horrified reaction to the ugly painting and her efforts to avoid hanging it in her house, but in such a way that she wont hurt Amy’s feelings.
However sometimes, like Amy, we want to give a gift that shows how much we care and value our teachers; store bought wine and/or chocolates can feel like a cop out.
Nothing I’ll admit I was surprised when some people questioned the idea of buying a present at all.
Some explained that in their culture it was not the done thing to give a gift to a teacher (make note all you students in Sweden).