This really has nothing to do with them, it's more about my need to self-identify as a non-student now. I don't think I was quite ready to do this last year, because I still felt like an impostor. But going to the ASA meetings helped change this - I sat in panels, actively thought about the research, and felt qualified enough to make substantive comments about the work. While I did all of this before, I didn't feel as confident in my knowledge, nor in my wisdom to know when to correctly apply my knowledge (or to keep my mouth shut when I really know nothing!!!).*
So now I'm answering emails with Dr. Idealist, rather than Practicing.*** It feels weird, but after awhile it will start to feel normal, as I ossify into my professional identity more and more, and leave behind the student identity I cherished for 83% of my life.
*To be fair to myself, I always was "wise" enough to keep my mouth shut, because I did believe I knew nothing, which I guess made me unwise because I didn't speak up when I should have? Now, I am starting to realize the differences between what I really do know something about (and speak up about it!), and the vastly wider area of stuff that I still know nothing about.**
**I love the ridiculousness of the wording in that previous footnote. It makes me happy sometimes to write convoluted language.
***Note: I would much prefer signing Professor to Dr., but since I'm still a postdoc, it's not really the right term. Dr. does seem awkward, though.