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I am wanting desperately to find some still place to regroup, but I have to keep moving: I have to pack and get myself to the airport and go home, where I have to prepare for some beloved guests who will be arriving from the U.K. and all I can think of is the hundreds of ways I need to apologize to them, and to all of us. I am sick at heart, and sick to my stomach, contemplating where we find ourselves today.

In November 2004, I was teaching an Introduction to Media Studies class, and the morning after, my students and I talked about the degree to which the election results signaled a desperate need for media literacy. The outcome of that election, I told them, did not give me hope, but it did give me purpose.

I am trying to find myself in that sense of purpose again, but it’s going to take me a bit longer to process what last night suggests for my current project, about the possibilities for real communication across the borders of the academy, for generosity in the face of dismissal and divisiveness.

In 2004, I felt that I might have a lot that I could teach. Today, I cannot help but feel like I have much, much more to learn. And it’s not going to be easy, or pleasant. But — and this is as much an exhortation to myself as it is a declaration — I will not run away from this.


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