There is this student, let's call her "Emily", who wants to do a Major in Spanish with no previous background in the language. This means that she has to take a full year of Beginner Spanish, then a full year of Intermediate Spanish, and then a semester of Advanced Spanish (2,5 years altogether) before she can start taking more advanced literature courses. "Emily" feels that this is too slow. Two and a half years of just taking language courses is boring and it doesn't take her closer to her goal fast enough.
So she decided to take an advanced literature course while still in her second year of language learning. Everybody told her that this cannot be done, she will fail the literature course, it will be a huge waste of her time. I thought about it, though, and decided to let her into my advanced literature course. I like students who want to achieve more than what's expected from them.
Now, the course is very difficult. We start with Medieval readings that even native speakers find hard to understand. "Emily", who is still just beginning her Intermediate Spanish II, is struggling. But she works hard and perseveres. We wrote our first, very difficult mini-quiz last week. And "Emily" did great. She got 90%, which puts her ahead of almost everybody else in the course.
It's students like "Emily" who make my job so rewarding.