faculty-grad student divide?

The other day, the new professor, Emily West, was in town and Carolyn hosted her, Leda, and Erica for dinner. I hung out with them for a bit, through a bit of clothes shopping and lemoncello….Erica was teasing herself about something she’d said or done (which for the life of me I can’t recall), and made a comment to the effect of how it could be taken out of context as part of a rumor mill. I said, “I could help with that! The benefits of living in Carolyn’s house.” A silence befell the group. The conversation struggled to get going again, and I soon excused myself.
Pure speculation, but whaddaya wanna bet my comment reminded them of my status as a graduate student, eliciting a collision between a faculty discourse of colleagial teasing and the threat (which I never intended to be taken as real) of a student discourse which could verge on the disparaging…? I meant to tease, and I was invoking my student status, but I didn’t anticipate that it might strike a nerve of …. doubt? ­čÖé (Raz “The Romanian Case” – near the end of these conference abstracts – would say something like, “Steph can find a PM anywhere!”)

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