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Well, look at that!  I got home from lab tonight around 8:00pm, put away my things, ate my dinner (a delicious sandwich - and yes, as a northern New Jerseyan, I refuse to call it a hoagie despite having lived in Philly for 4 years now!) and then checked my email.

Lo and behold, I was pleasantly surprised to see this!

Screenshot of Daily Kos subscription for user mconvente.

This lovely email came into my inbox this evening!

Whoa!  I was having a pretty good day so far, but this really made me super happy!  Many, many thanks to my anonymous benefactor.  For you, and for the rest of this community, I want to offer some reflections about my time at Daily Kos below the fold.

I've been a registered member of Daily Kos since November 6, 2006.  That was the day before the 2006 Election.  I was 19 year old sophomore at Rutgers University and I had CNN on my TV screen and Daily Kos on my computer screen.

November 6, 2006 seems like such a long time ago, but the remarkable thing is that I had been a lurker ever since the 2004 Election.  As a 17 year old.  What can I say, I grew up in a super political (and liberal) family.  My first exposure to politics that I remember was my grandmother screaming at the TV whenever Ken Starr came on during the Clinton impeachment gatherings.  She was a strong liberal and raised my mom and uncle well.  She passed long ago in 1999, but if she were around today she would be even more fiery against the crazies that populate the Republican party today.

It's been just over six years since I registered here.  My super active involvement (i.e. - diary writing) ebbs and flows, but I've always made Daily Kos my number one destination for reading and learning about politics.  Now that I've been at the University of Pennsylvania for 4 years (and been surrounded by a lot more geographic diversity than Rutgers, which is 90% students from New Jersey), my peers are often surprised and impressed about my knowledge of their state-specific politics, whether it be their federal representation, or events strictly at the state and local level.  And that is 100% because of Daily Kos.

But this place is much more than just politics.

It's been said much that people come here for the politics, but stay for the community.

I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.

Most of my contributions here have been through my science diaries.  Most of you have likely know me for my diary about my graduate lab's work on researching a devastating orthopaedic disease in "Tales of the Stone Man", or my diary about the 10 year anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome, or some of my other science diaries on gene therapy, debunking anti-vax idiocy, male contraceptives, and the controversy of gene patenting and its connection to breast cancer research and Komen.

I am proud of all of those diaries, as I like to help educate this community about varying science topics, mostly biology and policy related.  But my favorite diary that I have ever written here was a story about how a simple but powerful statement of mine ended up on PostSecret.com and made quite the splash across the internet.

"No benevolent God would send this man to hell for killing himself."

This Is My Secret. This Is His Story.

I thank this community for the great discussion that diary of mine generated here.  To be honest, my of my time spent here at Daily Kos is in diaries written by members of this community at large, as opposed to the front page.  I think the front pagers won't be mad at that; in fact, I think they view that as a good thing, as the diaries that are displayed on the right side of Daily Kos truly encompass our totality of experiences, many of which I am ignorant of because of my age, where I grew up, my sex, my sexual orientation, etc.

Daily Kos has made my existence much more real, and for a place that posits itself as the reality-based community, I'd say job well done.

And finally, I have been fortunate enough to actually meet some fellow Kossacks in person, both in NYC and right here in Philly.  I love interacting with fellow progressives offline, and I share a sentiment that is often made here - we have met at most a few times, but it feels like we have known each other forever.  It feels comfortable.  And to feel that after meeting you for only a few times - that's something special.

So to my anonymous benefactor, I give you my utmost thanks and gratitude!  I truly appreciate this gift, and will use it well.  I am most excited to use the image library (and now have access to other images in it).  Of course, most people say the no-ads part is the best, but I could've done that a long time ago with my AdBlock plugin for Chrome.  But I always felt bad blocking ads on DKos, so I never did, haha!  So I might keep the ads anyway. ;)

To you all, thanks for making my Daily Kos experience amazing for the past 8 years (6 as a registered member).  Even after how much we have already grown together, I'm excited to see how we will continue to progress in the near and far future.

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