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Prologue

Ira Glass talks to Sam Ashner, whose debilitating fear of spiders was ruining his life. So he opted for an extraordinary treatment — the nuclear option — to deal with it.

Prologue

Ira talks with comedian Rob Delany, who suffered the worst kind of loss a parent can endure — the death of his two-year-old son, Henry. Rob describes what his grief has been like and what he’s learned from it.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass goes to a block in New York City where, over a year into the pandemic, neighbors are still clapping for health care workers every night at 7 p.m. (7 minutes)

Prologue

You can’t get herd immunity until you deal with the herd, and get enough of them moving together in the same direction. That’s been difficult this past year, in a way it’s never been during any other epidemic in our history.

Act One

Reporter Paul Tough and Host Ira Glass look at the biggest change in admissions this year: colleges no longer requiring the SATs. Paul speaks to a student whose SAT score determined her future.

Act Four: Boiling Under

Lots of things go unspoken between family members, sometimes for years. We searched for a parent who had a question for their kid that they’d never been able to ask before.

Act Three: There’s a German Word for That

Ira Glass talks to journalist Jochen Bittner about a political lie from 1920s Germany and the lessons it holds for 2020s America. His op-ed about this ran in the New York Times. Bittner’s one of the people who runs the Opinion section of the German newspaper Die Zeit.