Sister C called me up just now to congratulate me on the job at Northwestern. She had just heard about it from someone in my hometown who reads my blog.* Obviously, she and I don't talk on the phone very often. My mother, however, was among the first people I told when I accepted the job, and Sister C and my mother often talk on the phone multiple times a day. It's kind of unsettling to imagine months going by without my arising as a topic of conversation. Sometimes I feel like a ghost who floats about on the periphery of my family, making intermittent corporeal appearances around holidays and then slipping back to the ether of academe. Understand, I'm not faulting anyone else in my family for this; I have nobody to blame for it but myself.
* To that someone: You know who you are. Thanks for providing the update!