Finally, you write “I’d rather be able to connect what people say to who they are.” You know what? I find this to be a not-so-charmingly naive statement. “Who they are” is contingent on context and situation. What I write, here and elsewhere, is a far better measure of “who I am” than a formal title on a faculty website. In some contexts, “who I am” is a 39-year-old white woman who wears glasses. In others, “who I am” is “that blogger who writes about nature, photography and academia.” In others, I am “that yoga student who keeps drifting in and out of practice.” At times who I am is “pantheistic Unitarian Universalist who votes Green.”
If you Google my legal name, none of this information will come up. In fact, what will come up are references to about fifteen other people who share my name. On the other hand, if you Google my pseudonym, and read my blog – which I link to in all my comments on other people’s blogs – you will learn all these things.
In other words, my real name is a lousy tool for figuring out “who I am” – unless you are interested only in my degree and where I teach.
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