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In the spring of 1973, when my classmates and I were completing our second semester in law school, we learned that Grant Gilmore was returning to Yale to teach. We knew this was an important event, but none of us was sure what to expect. We had been told, of course, that Grant was a great teacher, and through the grapevine we heard from friends at Chicago that the students in Grant's contracts class had given him a broken crankshaft to mark his departure. Having just read Hadley v. Baxendale ourselves, we thought this was a wonderful gesture and it somehow made us feel more at home in our new profession. But its meaning eluded us, and as we talked among ourselves, we wondered what secret pedagogy this man possessed. Grant's reputation was enormous, but the stories that gather around a great man conceal him from view, and so we waited to discover what it was that had inspired the affection and the anecdotes and the filial reverence.
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