Jin Huan (MA in Chinese Languages and Literature 2010)
One of the most memorable classes I had in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures is Prof. Robert Hegel’s “Chinese Theater” seminar. Not only because the gentle sunshine and the fresh air at 8:30 a.m. on campus always woke me up, but also because the fantastic stories about heroes and beauties took us on the vicarious journey back to the ancient China. To perform on the stage of Chinese theater demands years of rigorous training, but to read, discuss, and imagine the plays brings tremendous pleasure, especially when one knows s/he enjoys it together with those who “knows the tone” 知音.
Rumyana Cholakova (Ph.D. in Chinese and Comparative Literature 2009)
I have always suspected that I was born to be a reader in a library. That is probably why the workload in our program did not feel like "a load" to me and I have mainly happy memories from my time as a graduate student. Our beautiful library with the competent and helpful librarians (thank you, Mr. Tony Chang!), the nice and capable administrators (thank you, JoAnn and Debra!), the best Chinese teachers in the US (thank you, Wu Laoshi, Liang Laoshi, Wang Laoshi!) and the knowledgeable and friendly professors (thank you, Professor Hegel, Professor Grant, Professor Chen, Professor Hatch, Professor Tsunoda, Professor Miles), all these people make my studies at Washington University in St. Louis an unforgettable experience. The memory of the meetings with my fellow-students during our regular "Happy hours" (and the beer we drained together) also wakes up a desire to go back in time and start studying "Chinese and Comparative Literature" from scratch. The only thing I would change is to make St.Louis's Indian summer longer because I miss the colorful autumn there.
Chun Mei (Ph.D. in Chinese and Comparative Literature 2005)
While at WashU, I had hundreds of conversations about my projects with my advisor, Prof. Robert E. Hegel, conversations we continue to have years later. Those conversations always felt unrushed, as if he had unlimited time for me. He approached my projects with the same enthusiasm as his own. Prof. Hegel and the other professors at WashU shaped my identity as a literary scholar. They taught me how to excel in the study of literature and yet remain appreciative of the sheer joy of pursuing the humanities. They made my time at WashU so wonderful that many years later, at an age when envy occurs less often, I remain truly envious of anyone who is starting their doctorate at WashU.