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Nachas

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I’m told that the Yiddish word nachas is a much better single word descriptor than anything in English for the feeling I’ve experienced today, while watching Joe Neguse’s magnificent presentation to the Senate, in his role as one of the House managers of the second impeachment of Donald Trump.

I think I can take a bit of credit for having played a small role in launching the very beginning of Joe’s political career. Joe was a student in a 12-person seminar I held back in 2008 or so on various issues surrounding the social practice of punishment. Even then his talents were obvious, both as a law student and a leader among his peers.

Joe was at that point a declared candidate for a seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents, which was quite an ambitious goal for a 24-year-old law student, whose parents were Eritrean immigrants.

Part of the class involved students giving presentations on their seminar paper topics, and the week before he was scheduled to give his, he came to class with a cup of coffee and a donut.

When class was over, I pulled him aside and told him, “Next week, bring a dozen.”

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