Katherine Babka, a fifth year doctoral student in UGA’s College of Education, spoke recently at one of the Friday Speakers Series lectures sponsored by the Institute for Women’s Studies. She talked about her graduate work in a lecture entitled “Finding Myself in My Work: Dual Narratives of Academic and Researcher Identification.” An excerpt:
“Where I start from is the idea that education isn’t just about learning ideas and theories and how to do stuff. It’s not just mastering skills.
“It’s also a process of identity. So, what you do is not just learn about stuff and how to do stuff, but you become part of the community you’re learning about.
“If you learn about the academic community in graduate school, you learn how to be this certain kind of person. You’re not just talking about ideas in your field or about people in your field, but you learn to talk as a member of this field. . .
“So there’s a process of discourse where the language you use to describe yourself and the language you use as you’re speaking about the field, that’s how your identity comes out.
“The further you get into (academia), the more esoteric the language gets. Especially in the fields I study, we tend to make up words. There is a language that you have to learn, but I think it’s important to not just to be able to use that language, but also to be able to explain your ideas in everyday terms.”