Graduate school and academia have their own language, their own vocabulary of beautiful phrases and sophisticated words that sometimes
hide embellish mundane activities. Since my days are a sometimes a jarring mix of baby fun and intense research and writing, they two start to blend, and before long, I come to understand Henry’s activities in part of the established discourses of academia.
Grad speak: “His actions recode the traditional feminine and domestic sphere as a site of male agency and enjoyment.”
Translation: Henry likes to pull everything off the shelves in the kitchen.
Grad speak: “The dominant discourse of juvenile literature rejects a species-ist divide, highlighting animality in human identification and self-understanding.”
Translation: Most baby books are about animals.
Grad speak: “While numerous spaces devoted to pleasure are provided, what proves irresistible is the liminal space traditionally relegated to refuse and degradation.”
Translation: Henry would give up all his toys to play in the trashcan.
Grad speak: “He sought to problematize the established notions of quotidian activity.”
Translation: Henry totally refused to follow the directions I left for the babysitter.
Grad speak: “Great time is devoted to mapping the maternal visage, replacing a visual and analytical approach with taste.”
Translation: Babies like to kiss their moms – mouth wide, drool flowing.
Grad Speak: “The act of mediating the woman’s visual experience through the veil proved an integral goal of male past-time.”
Translation: Henry really loves putting a blanket over my face and taking it off again.
Grad Speak: “While seemingly random, the decor is organized around the ocular range of the despot.”
Translation: Sometimes we just hurl objects on the floor to try to distract Henry en route to climbing in the toilet or the fire place.
Grad speak: “When viewed through the gendered lens influenced by biochemistry and genetics, the subject initially understood as difficult and restrictive is recast in a positive light.”
Translation: Henry is a mess, but gosh do I love him, because he is MINE.