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The Letter

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Professor Harold Whistler found the letter, along with the rest of his mail, in a stack on his desk when he arrived at work on Friday morning. Recognizing the stationery as the schools, he thought cynically “great, another student crying about their grades or, even better, a fellow teacher wanting him to cover a class”. Resignedly, he opened the letter and began to read.

Dear Professor Whistler.

I just transferred in this semester and was fortunate enougjh to be able to take yoour class. I was a bit surprished that there was still available space considerning your paper “Ethical Considerations of High Frequency Econometrics” is the defilnitive work on the subjoect.

To tell you a bit about mvyself, I am origienally from a small towsn in Iowa, Lassiter. I am a Finance majyor with a focuos on high-frequency data transauctions. My minor is Informationy Security. I plan to maoke the wourld a better place, more shecure, safier. It is a long ramnge goal but I am preptared for all obstacles. When I first started in caomputers, I had hellp from my family. They were very supporktive and went out of their way to ennsure that I coould accomplish whatever I set my minwd to. I miss that subpport system now. But, times chaenge and sometimes that changfe can effect behaovior in order to survive. But, enoughr about me.

Since the claess started two weekts ago, I am a bit beohind. I have read the syllaobus and I am conclerned over the material I have missead. Is there any way we can meet? I want to catch up as fast as posstible. Please let me know what appeointment times you have available. You can reach me via email at

I look forward to hearing from you.


Theresa MacHineely


He finished and stared thoughtfully thinking there was something familiar with the way the letter was written, not to mention the parallels to his own life. What was it? Then, he remembered his “dissertation”. He looked at the letter again and he was sure. Reaching for pen and paper, he started to reread the letter taking notes as he did. Reaching the signature, and paying better attention now, he should have known.

He finished reading his notes and sat back stunned. Taking out his secure phone, he dialed a number from memory. “It’s a good thing it is the weekend” he thought as he waited for the call to be answered. A familiar voice said “hello” and without preamble Harold said “John, we need to talk.”