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Please begin with an informative title:

is simple -  it is a community that has made a huge difference in my life.

It is through writing here that I developed a voice on education, and occasionally on other topics

I have developed friendships, some with people I know only electronically even to this day, but friendships that mean a great deal to me

It has kept me connected in many ways - with issues, with people

It has challenged my thinking

It has been a community that has supported us in trying times - the loss of beloved pets, my wife's illness - and congratulated us in more enjoyable times - my teaching award, my new teaching job, the good news about my wife's illness.

I have been here a long time.

I have seen flame wars, pie fights, primary battles, I-P disputes, etc.

The first thing to remember is that if something or someone is so upsetting to you, you do not have to engage.

Sometimes I am satisfied just to enjoy the words of others.

Sometimes I am delighted when others appreciate what I have shared - the number does not matter, because if what I write speaks to one or two people, it is enough, dayenu.

In 1st Thessalonians we read that we should "hold fast what is good" - affirm what we can, be able to offer our disagreements where we cannot affirm without being disagreeable.  At most attack the idea, not the person.  

I do not always live up to that standard.  I am grateful when others call me on it and give me a chance to correct.

Most of all I am grateful for the shared experiences that connect us beyond our common political beliefs.

I speak only for myself.

I am grateful for this site, for the community it has enabled to come together and thrive.  It has enriched my life immeasurably.

Peace.

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