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I went through all of my LinkedIn contacts today and removed everyone whom I either had forgotten or couldn't remember why I added as a contact when they asked me to. Most of them were students whom I presumably had taught or otherwise knew.

In one case, I removed a student I worked with for three semesters. He is an associate editor at top automobile magazine now. When, several years ago, as a senior, he applied for a job with the magazine, I told him his cover letter needed to be really, really different, so he and I went through about four versions of a letter that left the reader with a seven-word impression of him: "smart motorhead with a sense of humor." They hired him.

I haven't heard from him since. He's one of more than I care to count.

I think people teach to leave a mark or, at the very least, to leave fingerprints on students' minds and—dare I say it?—souls. Over the past couple of years, when I've dusted for my fingerprints on alumni lists, LinkedIn contacts and lists of vanished blog friends, I haven't found any.

It's time to start selling men's clothing at JCPenney.

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Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”

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