Well, here goes nothing...[said in that nervous, self-deprecating way, one does when on the verge of trying something new]. Anyways, hello friends! And yes, I presume most of those of you who have signed up for this, are friends in one sense or other, and not a few of you have been my students...and, despite the distance of such relationships as they are conceived of today (seriously, how many of you would say you are friends with your college teachers?), I'd like to think of you as friends. Great teaching involves friendship and mutuality--and look, here I am already with the cliches! (But hey, it's substack, no editor! I can use as many exclamation points and semi-colons as I please, and gawd dammit, I will! Speaking of which, this short essay
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