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Ms. Anne Thrope watches NCIS and knows many of the rules set forth by Leroy Jethro Gibbs. She also knows several of the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition and has read The Cider House Rules, by John Irving. She established rules for her coffee house to maintain order, and she reminds Donigian especially during discussions of A World Worth Saving or Donigian’s other writings or favorite authors and politicians or his nickel lecture on Armenian history.

The rules:

Rule #1: Respect—others and yourself. Ms. Anne welcomes intense and honest conversations, but keep it level. Screaming and name-calling and ad hominem arguments are not welcome.

Rule #2: Relax, relate, and be real. Don’t try to be someone you’re not.

Good rules for conversations in person and online. Anything else seems superfluous.