Read about the final stretch of Chelsea Szendi Schieder’s PhD research…
That Last Little Lift
By: Chelsea Szendi Schieder, PhD candidate East Asian Languages and Cultures, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
How I wish I could share with you summer photographs of vistas seen, stories of people met and scintillating conversations shared! Instead, my journey was solitary, my encounters were with texts, and my view…well. My summer was spent deep in the belly of Columbia University’s Lehman Library, bathed not by the summer sun, but by the soft glow of my laptop. The Weatherhead East Asian Institute remained my steady companion on this last leg of an academic journey, with a summer grant that supported me in the least glamorous — but most critical — stage of my dissertation project. Even now, as I enter what is by my calculations my 23rd grade, they remain by my side. Under the auspices of the Junior Fellowship in Japan Studies, I will emerge from my florescent-lit incubation at the end of this academic year, and defend my dissertation in May 2014. As I near completion, I am aware that although the process is lonely, I don’t feel alone. Although this dissertation might make me forgetful even (did I eat lunch?), I am not forgotten. It means the world to me to have WEAI support, without which my project would have never advanced this far over my six-year career at Columbia University.