A wise teacher taught me never to begin the concluding paragraph of an essay with the phrase, “in conclusion.” Being ornery, of course, I always began concluding paragraphs in her class with “in conclusion” and then crossed it out.

I think that was an exercise in philosophy. It’s similar to the question of the tree falling in the forest. If I write something and cross it out, she can’t dock points for it, yet it offends her sensibility just the same. If you write something and cross it out, did you write it? Or did you not write it?

For the record, she was one of my favorite teachers. I wouldn’t have been as difficult with a teacher I disliked. I think that’s only natural.

In conclusion, I have no conclusion.



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