Life got a bit strange last week because some research I was involved in got noticed by the mainstream media. I was co-author on the paper that is generating the interest, and most news reports don't mention me by name, and some that do got part of my name wrong. I am happy to let the first author have all the glory because the few media interviews I did were very disconcerting. It's very different from teaching -- when you teach, you have lots of opportunities to say things in several different ways until you are sure you get the point across. In an interview, you get one shot to sound intelligent. Or not.
A common question I have been asked is how I got involved in this research. It is actually quite far afield from what I typically do, but a year or two ago a friend of mine from grad school realized that some of the types of analyses that I do for very different purposes might be useful for something he was working on. We tried it just to see if it would work, and it turned out to be really interesting. This was a nice example of collaborating across fields.
When asked that question about how I got involved in research with this researcher at another university, what I really want to tell the interviewers is that this colleague, a former collegiate football player, was my bridesmaid at my wedding. It is true, he was, and he was a lovely bridesmaid. I only had one bridesmaid, so technically he was my maid-of-honor as well, but he has said he prefers to be referred to as my bridesmaid, and I just have to respect his choice.