My Typography professor was a tough cookie. Of all the courses we had to take, hers was the most feared.
Besides the difficult course work, she was famous for her brutally honest critiques. She instructed all of the students to tack their homework assignments to a wall. Then, we would perform a peer review of this Wall of Shame, marking those works we thought were good with our initials. Then she would tell us why we were wrong.
It was during one of these reviews, as we busily scurried about, scratching our marks on each other's pieces, that she suddenly halted the class.
"Who's initials are those?", she demanded. All eyes followed her finger to the wall, desperately hoping not to find their initials scribbled at the end of it.
Of course, they were mine. She was pointing to my mark—a "JS" drawn in the top right corner of the sheet so hastily that they ran together and were barely discernable as letters. My stomach felt like it hit the floor. I raised my hand and braced myself for the inevitable wave of public humiliation.
"This is a lovely gesture." she said. She went on, describing how she loved the interplay between the letters and how I fused them into a single iconic form. She insisted that I should refine it and continue to use it.
I did a double take. I was caught totally off guard, but eventually managed to spit out a somewhat mumbled "Thanks."
So, there it is at the top of this page. I guess I owe her one.