13 May 2009

Life in the Hertweck-Alexander household: A few words about communication

In the car riding to work this morning, Bill and I had a nice meta-level conversation about communication. Specifically, how we communicate with each other. His comment?

"Talking to you is like trench warfare."

Why, thank you, honey!

After a relationship of almost five years, we're still trying to figure out how to talk to one another. I like to think this is because we work so well together...I will never get bored. Bill likes to talk about random things, sometimes to the extent that I feel like he practices lectures on me that he'll later use for a class. Unfortunately, this often has the inadvertent side effect of making me feel like he thinks I'm dumb (which happens often enough in graduate education).

He definitely won't get bored, either, cause he always reminds me how I like to twist words around (Example. Bill: Do you want to eat a salad for dinner? Me: You think I'm FAT?!). He finds this quite infuriating, but seems proud of himself when he's able to do the same to me.

How much of these differences are due to gender? Are they artifacts of two academics hanging out too much? How much comes from subtle differences in life experience? After all, Bill spent his time in college hanging out at a fraternity, talking lots to other men. I spent a lot of time as an undergrad competing in speech and debate, learning to listen, interpret, and make strong arguments (although I never made people cry like some of my old teammates).

Why am I thinking so much about communication lately? I was a communication minor as an undergrad, but I never really took it seriously as an area of research in which I might be interested. I suppose I'm thinking about it a lot because I'm working on writing up results of my research, and preparing for an oral presentation at a conference this summer. When combined with my traveling over the last few months and the computer programming I'm learning (which seems like learning several new languages), differentiating between different types of media and languages is taking on new urgency.

Anyone out there with smaller feet than me (I wear a women's size 9-9.5)? I knit these socks and they are a bit too tight, but I like them too much to rip out. They're mostly wool with a bit of nylon, handwash cold. Let me know if you'd like for me to send them your way.


Katy F-H said...

I love your glimpses into the Hertweck-Alexander household. But somtimes it is scarey how similar we are. I feel like Corey is often giving me lectures, but I will wither just tell him I am not listening anymore, or ask him if I was supposed to add anything to this or if he was just practicing hearing himself speak. So there you go, we have 5 years on you and yet we have acomplished very little.

The Slip Up said...

I love reading your blog. And if they fit size 8 feet, I am game for the knitted socks. I have been watching you knit for two years and wish I had the time (in other words patience) to learn again.