“Hoffman? As in, Maddie and Emily Hoffman?”
Every first day, without fail. Before I have even said “here,” I watch my teachers’ eyes glaze over while they dive deep into their mental Rolodex of students to find the memories of my two sisters. They often smile or offer me an amusing anecdote before moving on. Maddie and Emily are four and eight years older than me, respectively. Our age differences meant that we did not overlap for a single year in school, and therefore we had relatively separate experiences educationally. Still, I had the task of following up what I saw to be an academic legacy, with my brilliant, focused, and hardworking sisters unintentionally creating massive shadows that I was worried I would fail to outrun.