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Introduction: A Letter to Marco

by on October 30, 2021

29 October 2021


A former student of yours contacted me.  She had my email address from class years ago; then we had a wonderful conversation about an exciting idea for the site.  She was in your Fall 2011 Intro to Anthropology class with me, and was also in one of your Death and Dying classes later on.  She was initially going to send some excerpts to you from her private journal – one she has been keeping since 2011.  I had forgotten about our old Google Blogspot page, but she’s been following your writing since then.  I suppose we never know who’s lurking and benefiting from your efforts, even if they don’t participate in the comment section.  

The majority of her journal entries are written as letters to you.  How fascinating is that!  Evidently there’s a wealth of material and she said writing has been extremely therapeutic – perhaps even lifesaving.  Over the years there were points in her life she felt suicidal.  Years ago her therapist suggested writing letters to someone, even to herself, without necessarily sending them.  Since she gained so much from your 2011 Intro class, she chose you as the “recipient.”   

Everything I’ll be sharing with you and the public is with her full permission.  Without any pressure I mentioned posting on the site and how that might inspire and help others as well as herself.  I’m elated she agreed to this!  She will have complete anonymity and a pseudonym.  I also assured her that as site administrator I can edit or delete at her request, as can you if she lets you know.  She’ll provide some context to preface each entry, such as what she may have been struggling with at the time.

Sadly, she’s been experiencing a challenging mental health episode, and so began reading her earliest entries to see where she was in 2011 and beyond.  I can relate to the shyness over telling you about the letters; many of us have been starstruck in your presence, as well as anxious about submitting work to you.  My critical analysis essay kept me up at night until it was graded.  Despite how approachable and caring you are, I think the anxiety comes from knowing you can easily detect insincerity and more.

I’m happy and grateful she’s willing to contribute to the site with something deeply personal.  We considered the possibility of reader comments, but for now she declined responding, even through me. Since she’s been lurking on the site she knows you reply to every comment. Perhaps she will eventually contact you as well.  

Oh – almost forgot to include this.  She asked that I suggest some names for her pseudonym, and Sasha came to mind.  Despite the mostly male Russian nomenclature, I like it.  I’ll create a separate section on the site for her entries, but we couldn’t decide on a title for them.  “Letters to Marco” or something to that effect might work, but she’s open to suggestions since you own the site.  

I’m really looking forward to this, and feel I might benefit as well.  You should know how much you have inspired and helped others.  


Update:  Marco not only agreed to the idea, but also suggested a name for the entries. The author of the journal and I are thrilled with his title:  “Letters from Sasha.”

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  1. Thank you, Dana. I’m always glad to be of help where I can. I can think of several circumstances in which I, belatedly, wish I could offer my thanks and words of gratitude to people I now can no longer reach – for one reason or another. I’m sure many readers on this site can understand that.


  2. Dana permalink

    You are a help in more ways than you know, and I hope you never feel some of your efforts have been in vain.


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