I finally have a label for what I’ve been working so hard to avoid for the past twenty years. Context collapse. Of course I’ve read blogs, and use Facebook, and Twitter, and have established an identity of sorts in various online forums and in various online classes for a good twenty years. But I never ventured into any of this before figuring out how to avoid context collapse. My figurative Aunt Harriet has never met my students online, and my students are very unlikely to have met me online before we encounter one another in the classroom or online. And my students certainly don’t know the many lovely quirks of my figurative Aunt Harriet. At times it has been very tricky to hide from Aunt Harriet or from my students in various places, but I think I have more or less done it. Just yesterday, one of my siblings brought up an episode from our early childhood in which our father was bayoneted by a member of the National Guard while working as a journalist during a campus protest in the late 60s. We all reflected on this experience in a fairly public forum; but I don’t expect that my students would find this, and I wouldn’t really want them to. It’s not that I’d never ever mention it to a student if it were relevant for some reason, but it would feel very strange to me for people I have not yet met to have already encountered this little part of my autobiography. So, context collapse, I guess that’s what I’ve been avoiding all these years.