When I was a kid growing up on Long Island I used to love those occasions when a field trip or other event gave me the opportunity to ride the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). I loved watching all the commuters. With their trench coats and briefcases and newspapers, they all looked so official and purposeful and adult. I looked forward to the day when I too would board the train, not as a kid on a school outing, but as a adult employee of some New York city museum — perhaps The Met — taking the train to get to my job every day. That day would never come. I ended became an English professor instead of a museum administrator, and I’ve never lived more than 10 minutes away from my work. So when I recently had the opportunity to take the train into downtown San Francisco for a several days of meetings, I enjoyed watching the other commuters just as much as I used to when I was a kid. The commuters were a lot more different colors and genders than when I was child, and there were very few trench coats. But they looked just as official and purposeful, and traveling to work alongside them made me think of my 9- or 10-year-old self and smile.