"Dear Senior Faculty" began the e-mail message, and immediately I had to check to make sure it hadn't been sent to me by mistake. But it was no mistake, which suggests that someone in a position of power thinks I'm Senior.
When did I become Senior Faculty? I don't recall taking part in any Senior Faculty Initiation Events and I've never mastered the Secret Senior Faculty Handshake. I've been on campus a mere eight years, which is the second-longest tenure in my department but mere infancy compared to the careers of some colleagues in other departments.
I don't feel particularly Senior, but I don't feel terribly Juniorish either. If anything, I fall somewhere in the broad middle range between the tried-and-true and the up-and-coming. That would make me Middle or Mid-Career Faculty, which sounds too much like Middling or Mediocre.
But if the Powers That Be want to see me as Senior, there's not much I can do to stop them. Do you suppose there's a pay raise involved? Maybe I'll start asking for the senior discount at the bookstore.