How to talk about people so that you alienate them

July 15 2023

I have one year left in my PhD. It’s fascinating looking back and reading my previous two (1, 2) blog posts on the topic of my research. In addition to loosely charting my thinking on the topic over 2 years, I’m glad I wrote about my feelings on it as well. My initial fear has evolved to a healthy motivational fear — I have to figure out the next step if I want to get things done. Wanting to be done with grad school is a great motivator at the moment. There is a small part of me that’s afraid that I might have nothing to show at the end of it all, but I’ve plowed through that fear so many times at this point it’s a trace of what it used to be.

This is an evolution even from my most recent post, where I was still quoting the Litany against fear for my research. Of all things. At this moment.

So what’s new since then? Two papers, a talk at EACL that was received well by a few choice people, and most importantly, an idea for a long-term research niche. Generalization, in Language, and across languages and communication mediums. A rich vein I can harvest for years to come. If I stay in academia.