My son just turned 26, and I often wonder if he sees me. He'll stop by for a visit and a nice conversation precipitated by my non-intrusive questions. Then as he is leaving, I say with a tinge of sarcasm, "So how was your week, Dad?" He'll glance up sheepishly, "Oh right... how was your week Dad?" I know he has to go, so I laugh and say, "Next time." I'm just trying to remind him that I am an actual person too, not just his "parental unit." In a similar way, it is easy for students to see faculty as figures rather than full-orbed human beings.