One of my students, who took a class from me this past summer, started calling me "Doc" last week. Now another student, who I didn't know before this term, has taken it up. A third gently asked after class if he could call me "Doc" too.
Of course, such a nickname makes me think of old crusty dudes in Westerns. I can only hope that rather than a sign of my old crustiness, this is an affectionate ironic appelation designed to underscore my lack of crustiness, my relative youth, and all of the ways I'm not what they expected . . .