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Ten words I have used more since starting graduate school.

  1. Poem/poetry/poet: Naturally.
  2. Problematic: The first thing they teach you in graduate school is that everything is problematic. There are so many problems, and all they want you to do is identify them and get frustrated about it.
  3. Gender: Because it’s problematic.
  4. Navigate: This is how we deal with the problems: navigating them.
  5. Argument: There is a noticeable trend here. Let’s argue, everyone.
  6. Tired: The most popular response to “How are you?” nearly loses all meaning. It’s like, “Yes, you’re tired, but that’s the base level of existence here. HOW TIRED ARE YOU?!” This goes along with stress, and I’ll agree with Mindy Kaling on this one – in her book, she rants for a paragraph about how she doesn’t believe stress is a legitimate topic of conversation. I feel that, Mindy. Especially in graduate school. I mean, we’re all upset. But we need not talk about it. (Here is where I will talk a little more about Mindy Kaling and “The Mindy Project.” Crack me up. Here is a list of wisdom from the girl who says all the things we know to be true but may not say out loud.)
  7. Interesting: If I were actually interested in all the things I’ve claimed to be interested in over the past year, well, I would have told the truth more often. Also my brain might just whirr to a stop from activity overload.
  8. Couch: This was used in two forms. 1, on Saturdays) “I have not left my couch for hours because I do all my homework/tv watching/eating/accidental napping there.” 2, on weekdays) “I’m going to couch that in ___.” (Okay, honestly, I could not think of how to explain this use of “couch.” My Apple dictionary says it means to “express (something) in language of a specified style: many false claims are couched in scientific jargon.” So, this post is obviously couched in nonsensical graduate school jargon.)
  9. Mediate: Sometimes we mediate between two opposing points of view during a discussion; as in, we see how they speak to and inform one another. And sometimes we mediate between people who fight in class since we are always ARGUING about something. I had to mediate a raised-voice disagreement during a presentation once. Seriously, people. I believe I channeled some Kid President and said, “Guys, we’re on the same team.”
  10. Coffee: As in, “Bring me some,” “I’ve had five cups of,” “I haven’t had, don’t talk to me,” etc. Duh. It’s how we live.
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