Wait, who are you again?
Iâ€™m proud of my ability to remember names. I learned long ago to match faces to names, and then gaze at the person while I say their name in my head five times. It works! Not only do I remember names and faces, but I retain them in my memory for quite a while. People love to be remembered.
But now Iâ€™m teaching a course online. And the only â€˜faceâ€™ I have to go on is a tiny square photo — if that. Some students donâ€™t even give me a big smile to gaze at in their photo, or some curly red hair as an identity marker.
So, dear students, in your introductory posts, do your poor old professor a favor: give me something to hold on to. The one student whose name and person I remember best was the one who shared that she (yes she!) is part of a Christian motorcycle band.
Now that I can remember.
Maybe you live by the post office — you can introduce yourself as Post Office Joe. Or maybe you work in a coffee shop. You can be Coffee Annie, or Poodle-owner Kate, Montana Jake, or Work-At-A-Bank Steve. Of course, these identity markers donâ€™t capture the breadth and depth of who you are, but they are a start.
Whatever it is — give me a sign! Who are you? Itâ€™s too easy for me to communicate with you online without ever actually identifying who you are. As I type my responses to your often thoughtful and even profound postings, I am embarrassed to ask myself, â€œwait, to whom am I responding again?" Who am I talking to?