As an eighth-grade science teacher, I empathize with "Asta Bowen's discouragement (HCN, 1/18/99). At times, just one negative interaction with a student or parent can cast a pall over your whole day and cause you to wonder about your choice of occupation. Ours is a profession where the results often do not surface until years afterward, and we as teachers may never be aware of the changes we elicit in our students' lives. I want to encourage "Asta to hang in there. It sounds to me like she is the type of educator, mentor and role model our students need.