As is tradition, the Summer Dialogo is edited by a rising second year in the College as part of an internship with the Division's Office of Communications. This year, Katherine Sinyavin wroted and edited the issue. This piece is her self-profile and reflection on the experience.
I have a twin sister named Elizabeth, so for some people sometimes I’m Elizabeth.
As a kid I imagined how this concept of “Katherine” was a thumbtack dropped from some indeterminate sphere onto planet earth and onto a particular body and a particular situation.
How that was all that I really was.
I also wondered what existed outside of the universe and whether “nothingness” was the correct word for it.
During my sophomore year of high school I watched The Matrix series.
Naturally, I became a philosophy major.
I read many books.
My favorite ones being Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and Immortality by Milan Kundera.
I have only just now realized the quantitative (or, perhaps, lack of a quantity) similarities between those two titles.
I’ll be an English major too, probably.
There are many reasons why I interned with SSD Communications, the most interesting one being that every day of it would be different.
The days of a school year do have a tendency of falling into a comfortable yet unsettling routine.
I’ve always suspected that routines made time go by a bit faster.
Every day of my internship has in fact been different.
One day I’d be interviewing a professor about an Ethnography class that he is teaching.
The next day I would be attending a virtual event about aging populations in Asia.
Unpredictable but not spontaneous, varied but not random: just the way I had wanted it to be.
I learned how to talk with people by only asking questions.
And the differences between journalistic and academic writing.
I figured out how to write and send emails.
Not that I didn’t know how to do that before, but when you have to send five emails in a row, worrying about the placement of each word just is not practical.
I learned about some of the many methods of social science research.
And what statistics is.
Apparently my understanding of what statistics is had been incorrect before.
I attended a conference called “Reimagining / Reinventing Police,” where I was introduced to many new perspectives on the problems of policing in the United States.
I would not have known about this and many other events, if not for this internship.
I was also amazed to see how much behind-the-scenes work goes into the university running smoothly.
Well-organized newsletters and events sometimes seem to appear out of nowhere.
But they don’t.
It was like becoming aware of some hidden world I’d known was there but hadn’t known about.
I really enjoyed hearing from professors their thoughts about their jobs.
What it's like to do research, what it’s like to teach and how sometimes those two things fit together.
How they write books when they have so many other responsibilities.
I learned a lot.
This was a summer well spent.