A really nice experience is to be able to respond to “I’ve been reading your book” with “which one?”
Another nice experience is to be able to say to graduate students, “You don’t need to find a job at an R1 institution to do a lot of research.” Their advisers keep telling them that unless they get employed by an Ivy, they are doomed to doing no research. So my mantra of “don’t let the job define you because it’s you who needs to define the job” is a revelation. I support the mantra with personal example, so it’s convincing.
P.S. I’m on a break between sessions, in case anyone suspects that I rudely blog during talks.