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Giving of thanks

I've been working all day, and I'll likely be working most of the evening: I'm behind, and this is my chance to catch up. But as learning and the process of learning has been on my mind today, I'd like to take this moment to thank the people who have taught me so much over my lifetime.

My Family: Most people get their greatest teachings from their family, and I'm no exception. I need to thank them for teaching me about loyalty, priorities, and perseverance. I'd especially like to thank my brother, who periodically reminds me that when up against the challenges of the world, your three best weapons are a cheerful smile, boundless confidence, and a roll of duct tape.

Old Web Hands: I'd like to give a quick word of thanks to those anonymous but not nameless web hands who introduced me to this strange and wonderful 'internet' thing back in the late eighties. Whenever I help some friend or classmate with the fecklessness of Microsoft Windows or the frustrations of technical support, I'm doing some small bit to pay back the debt I owe the men who taught me. I'd particularly like to thank the men who taught me the basic rule of netiquette: that the quickest way to make certain someone can't hear you is to yell at them.

My High School Teachers: These are the people who encouraged even my strangest dreams, only stopping briefly to ask if what I was doing was practical. After all these years of higher education, I'm still amazed how often I find myself falling back on what I learned in high school. And so as not to slight the teachers I had prior to Alabama--it helped that these guys had bedrock to build upon.

My Oxford Friends: Thank you for being the craziest people I've known, the most creative and at the same time the most tolerant and accepting. These were my masters of lateral thinking. Thanks for teaching me that when faced with an insurmountable obstacle, it's often best merely to remake the problem a bit.

My Friends Now: What can I say? We're still learning from each other, and barring that, at least we know we're not suffering alone.

These, of course, aren't the only people to thank, but I think they're people to whom thanks are most overdue. Given how behind I am in my studies, I'm likely to remain behind in my praise for quite some while.

Oh, and thank you, my readers, for making this blog what it is. I hope to be thanking you on at least two further Thanksgivings. But time will tell.

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