Sabrina is a rookie coder, trying to answer what committing to the response by serotonin means at cellular and evolutionary contexts by looking at biological data.
Here she reflects on academic writing and doctoral identity.
As I was parallel drafting both my thesis chapter and an editorial for the past couple of weeks, I realised how quickly I flipflop between different personalities when I write different pieces. From this realisation resurfaced a much bigger realisation—I switch my personality every time I communicate in English.
“Learning another language is like becoming another person”- said Haruki Murakami. I sort of agree. Donning a second language feels really very similar to donning a “work outfit”- I am a different person with my work shoes on vs what Aussies call “thongs”. Communicating in the language of academia adds another layer of complexity: it’s like putting on suits. To an outsider or someone who is communicating in English as a second language speaker, this may feel like a new dress-code with a new, more complex set of rules. Having multiple voices in the research arena can be an opportunity, but it can also be a challenge.
Pretty much every PhD student who communicates in academic English has been challenged with some aspects of it. Here are some of my insights to ease the friction of switching between personalities. I am organising my thoughts into two layers: being comfortable in your new outfit; and assembling a wardrobe. Continue reading