Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I always sit there in conferences sometimes not understanding what is being said (or how it is relevant or interesting), and some other times having a burning question or suggestion and kind of hoping that someone else will bring it up in the discussion afterwards- or that I will get to speak to whoever it was afterwards and ask.

In some ways coming here, to the US helps me get into perspective that actually it can be really important to speak up yourself. Not just for your own sake to understand what is going on, but also because it gives people are chance to 'pool their cognition' and look at things in a way they might not have before. I have always excused myself silently thinking, 'well they must have already thought of that- or maybe it is not a relevant question', and I think that this is almost always true. But sometimes it isn't. I think there should be mandatory graduate student questions at every talk, bring in the silly questions, see what other people think is relevant that you didn't, catch academics (including ourselves?! are postgrad students academics?) on opaque technical terms that confuse rather than explain the issue. We must rise up and rebel :) hehehehehe.

I suppose in way this explains in part the change in title: finding a voice. This has also been inspired on a more serious note on two important people to me passing away in the last year or so. And whatever there stories are, were and continue to be is now in some way my responsibility to express, and by withholding it I am denying them a voice too. All the women and men that have lived before me and influenced me. If I believe some of the things they said were important then have a right to be heard through me. You know? I think it is important to think of yourself as the current voice for eons of thinking and sharing and communicating that has culminated up to this point through all the things you have learned. You can't afford not to Speak Up!


Blogger bulanjdjan said...

Good for you Soph! The world needs your voice! I've long been a fan of asking 'stupid' questions.

I'm curious though, why has being in the US brought you to this conclusion? Because it's a different school to the one you've been trained in, therefore different assumptions are made, and therefore you (justifiably) need clarification on some things and can offer a different perspective on others?

Keep on postin'!

12:02 pm  
Blogger Sophie said...

Actually I think it is a combination of getting a bit older (people dont think I am 16 any more!), and also realising that there are plenty of things people just don't know about in the USA by virtue of never going to Australia, or thinking about Australian languages, and if I don't tell them they might never know. Also- on a different note, having a Fulbright scholarship makes me feel a bit obliged, they gave me all this money to be here and a unique opportunity, I should make sure I talk to everyone about everything I can think of. etc. you know?!

12:25 am  

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