One of my students sent out an e-mail this morning to a few people with a list of things she was thankful for. Mostly this kind of thing would make me crazy, but she was so earnest (and normally a kind of cynical person) that I found it really kind of moving.

So after a lot of thought...could you please make it a CHEESE burger.

Sorry, I had to. So anyway, after a lot of thought, my answer is this: I am thankful that I have a place in this world. Seems like many do not.

I'm also thankful that Zoë likes Jerry Garcia and that she calls everything in the world that tastes good a "cookie."

I'm thankful that, despite its basic inefficiency (so far as biological operations are concerned), beauty still makes the world a better place.

I'm thankful I grew up in Portland.

I'm thankful for my wife, saying why is impossible.

I'm thankful that my mother took me out of school for the King Tut and Alexander Calder exhibits and that she let me be late to class once so we could sit in the car outside my high school for a full twenty minutes listening to the rest of a radio station's morning focus on Paul Simon's Graceland.

I'm thankful that I can say I've been a professional musician. (I'm thankful for that 100.00 tip I got from a drunk dude, even though he was surly the next week).

I'm thankful for students who say things like this in their presentations: "2001: A Space Odyssey is a movie you just have to be patient with." That girl is going places.