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I liked the initial exercises in this chapter.. up until we had to implement get / set and modify. Then i got lost.

I poked around for a tutorial, and i found this > https://softwarecorner.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/scalaz-state-monad/

you might want to incorporate the approach that blog's author took. I found his article helpful after i implemented flatmap and map2 as per the initial exercises.. the combination of those exercises and the above blog (and hours of beating this into my head) finally clarified the stuff for me.