The Yale Herald Volume LV, Number 10 New Haven, Conn. Friday, April 12, 2013
From the staff All winter long, the act of walking past the backyard of 66 Wall St. would cause me to feel this terrible sense of pity. Because behind the house’s wooden picket fence, in snow or sleet or freezing rain, you’d find Maggie— all day, every day. Maggie is a very old dog, with super dramatic cataracts and a bark that makes it real obvious that she’s cranky. It was impossible for me to pass that house without shivering vicariously for Maggie, who just looked so miserable staring at the Wall Street traffic. The point is, there’s tons of stuff going on at Yale that you’re not aware of. Maggie, whom I consider a hidden gem of the Elm City, might be an example of this phenomenon. But if you’re even a bit conscious of campus talk, you’ll know that the way we grade is a huge deal right now. In the wake of the Yale faculty’s decision to table a vote on University grading policy until November 2013, we’ve got an A+ cover story: Culture Editor and friend4lyf Micah Rodman, BR ’15, examines the tradition and culture surrounding grading at Yale and at other colleges. It’s huge. It’s important. It will affect your—yes, reader, your—college experience. And it’s yours to read in these pages. And while you’re getting schooled about University policy, you should definitely read this issue’s piece by Kohler Bruno, SM ’16, looking into the way Yale deals with financial aid, and Alisha Jarwala, PC ’15, clues us into immigration activism and civil disobedience in New Haven. Also inside: Lara Sokoloff, TC ’16, talks Marxism and more with John Roemer, Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science and Economics, and we get inside the mind of Vincent Tolentino, PC ’14, on a MetroNorth train ride. We’ve got reviews—Mad Men! The Knife! Tyga! In the Opinion section, Leland Whitehouse, SM ’14, ruminates on the way we deal with money, and Jake Orbison, BK ’16, considers the way we compartmentalize our lives. We’ve even got an infographic on Connecticut’s new gun legislation, and a photo spread of all nine landed secret society tombs. Also, log on! Check us out on da web—make sure to peep thebullblog.com for even more Herald crew cyber-fun. Like everything else, the Internet is somehow just so much better now that spring is springing. Really, from my spot on sunny Cross Campus, I’m even finding it harder to pity poor old arthritic Maggie the dog quite so much these days.
<3, Maude Tisch
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
The Yale Herald
Volume V, Number 10 New Haven, Conn. Friday, April 12, 2013
Editorial Staff: Editor-in-chief: Emma Schindler Managing Editors: Colin Groundwater, Eli Mandel, Maude Tisch Executive Editor: Emily Rappaport Assistant Executive Editor: Olivia Rosenthal Online Editors: Marcus Moretti, John Stillman Assistant Online Editor: Micah Rodman Senior Editors: Sam Bendinelli, Ariel Doctoroff, Carlos Gomez, Lucas Iberico Lozada, Nicolás Medina Mora, Clare Sestanovich Culture Editor: Micah Rodman Features Editors: Margaret Neil, Katy Osborn, Olivia Rosenthal Opinion Editor: Andrew Wagner Reviews Editor: Elliah Heifetz Voices Editor: Sophie Grais Design Editors: Julia Kittle-Kamp, Lian Fumerton-Liu, Christine Mi, Zachary Schiller Assistant Design Editor: Madeline Butler Photo Editor: Rebecca Wolenski Business Staff: Publishers: Evan Walker-Wells Director of Advertising: Shreya Ghei Director of Finance: Stephanie Kan Director of Development: Joe Giammittorio Senior Business Adviser: William Coggins
Online Staff: Webmaster: Navy Encinias Bullblog Editor-in-chief: John Stillman Bullblog Associate Editors: David Gore, Alisha Jarwala, Grace Lindsey, Cindy Ok, Micah Rodman, Jack Schlossberg, Maude Tisch The Yale Herald is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, incorporated student publication registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office. If you wish to subscribe to the Herald, please send a check payable to The Yale Herald to the address below. Receive the Herald for one semester for 40 dollars, or for the 2012-2013 academic year for 65 dollars. Please address correspondence to The Yale Herald P.O. Box 201653 Yale Station New Haven, CT 06520-1653 Email: Emma.Schindler@yale.edu Web: www.yaleherald.com The Yale Herald is published by Yale College students, and Yale University is not responsible for its contents. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of The Yale Herald, Inc. or Yale University. Copyright 2011, The Yale Herald, Inc. Have a nice day. Cover by Madeline Butler YH Staff
IN THIS ISSUE
COVER 12 Micah
Rodman, BR ‘15, ponders the implications of changing Yale’s grading scheme and scrutinizes some of the alternative systems for evaluating students’ work.
Lara Sokoloff, TC ‘16, talks youthful rebellion and analytical Marxism with John Roemer, professor of economics.
Vincent Tolentino, PC ‘14, brings us along on a MetroNorth ride.
OPINION: Leland Whitehouse, SM ‘14, examines the near-universal taboo that is money, and Jake Orbison, BK ‘16, considers the ways we compartmentalize our lives.
Alisha Jarwala, PC ‘15, clues us in to the New Haven immigration justice movement Unidad Latina en Acción, and where Yale student activists fit into the equation.
Learn about Connecticut’s newly passed gun reforms with a handy infographic!
Join us on a photo tour of Yale’s nine famed landed secret societies. The tombs await!
Kohler Bruno, SM ’16, looks into the implications of the recent changes to Yale’s financial aid policy.
Elliah Heifetz, TC ’15, on rising star Jessie Ware’s debut LP, Devotion. Also: Mad Men, The Knife, Tyga, and our weekly staff list.
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
THANk GOD IT’S FRIDAY The Herald’s week in review: what rocked, what sucked, and who took the lead in IM softball.
The sun It came! Was it good for you? Because that was incredible for us. Those were some new moves, weren’t they? Spring just sprang all over our newly tanned bodies and—you’d know this if you’ve lounged on Cross Campus at all this week—shirts came off. Sometimes that moment of glorious consensual catharsis is simply worth the long, long wait (we’re hot and hormonal, we really do not need SO many months of foreplay). Honestly, if it were up to us, we would roll around on the field and get grass stuck in our hair and mud on our knees for hours, for days, all season. Are you kidding? Of course we think it will happen again. We’ll be the initiators next round, you’ll see. We like it, we love it, and, above all, we want some more of it. Come again soon, and next time stay longer.
Society There’s a classic Margaret Thatcher quote from a 1987 interview that goes: “There’s no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families.” (Rest in the deepest peace, MT.) Breaking news, everyone: despite the not-sosecret tap shenanigans happening all over campus this week, it turns out that society just doesn’t exist at all! These hoops silly juniors are jumping through (sometimes literally) are all just one joke on us; seniors do not get together for 12 hours a week to brag about how interesting their very young lives are, because that is preposterous. The biggest secret about the whole system is that it’s a facade and a farce. Surprise! (Okay there is such a thing as society and people really do give those indulgent bios but wouldn’t it be lovely if we woke up and the whole thing turned out to be a very well and horizontally planned April Fool’s joke?)
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
SWUG talk Hey! What’s absurd, pathetic, and indulgent to the point of being offensive? Current discourse! If you can call it discourse. I mean, it’s simply wonderful when white girls who go to Yale think out loud on paper in extreme and, frankly, extremely strange, generalizations. The one-sided conversation (that’s so unfortunately blowing up all over the likes of New York Mag and Jezebel) is especially productive is when it’s about how a small group of women are sexually empowered and totally not dependent on the validation of boys because they constantly complain about not having enough sex with boys. Oh, is “not giving a fuck” a new and forward-thinking brand of feminism? We must have missed the memo. We were too busy GAFing about things that have nothing to do with hook-up culture, things that are real and important and bigger than the world that we make up with our three best friends. Also, when will all y’all just shut up about hook-up culture? We’ve only been asking you for years. —YH Staff —graphics by Christine Mi YH Staff
TYNG CUP STANDINGS
INCOMING: Anthony Weiner On Apr. 10, New York Times Magazine devoted over 8,000 words to announce that our favorite crotch-shot pioneer (and politician) was probably going to enter New York’s mayoral race. I’m not going to lie. I think the NY Post’s “Weiner’s Second Coming” headline was funny. I think the comeback of the Facebook group “Reerect Weiner” is exciting. I can’t wait to wipe the dust off of the “Weiner Condoms” box I bought in 2011. But buddy, even I don’t buy your recent defense that you just wanted to be liked on the Twitter-verse. Tip from me to you: I may not be the most social of gals, but baking cupcakes and saving puppies always work. (Also, maybe invest in Snapchat?)
OUTGOING: Exclamation marks On Apr. 11, Ann Coulter joked in her Fox Nation blog post that Meghan McCain ought to be killed. “Let’s start with Meghan McCain!” she joked when referring to MSNBC’s Martin Bashir’s suggestion that Republican senators need to lose a member of their families in order to understand the gun proposals. A day later, Coulter went on Sean Hannity’s show and explained that she was obviously joking. The proof: she used an exclamation point. My mind is spinning. Exclamation points as we know them are a lie! When I say “I want to sleep!” or “I want to watch the Rachel Zoe Project!” am I being sarcastic? Have I been lying my whole life? Goodbye to the sincere exclamation points of my youth. It’s been real. Ann Coulter, I really liked when you matched your blue dress to your eye shadow!
— Olivia Rosenthal YH Staff
TOP FIVE 5 4 3 2 1
Ways to hold on to your sadness even though it’s spring
“I just don’t enjoy seeing people smile.” “I still haven’t figured out my summer!” “I wish I went to Stanford.”
1. Trumbull 2. Jonathan Edwards 3. Ezra Stiles 4. Pierson 5. Saybrook 6. Morse 7. Timothy Dwight 8. Branford 9. Davenport 10. Berkeley 11. Silliman 12. Calhoun
866.5 860.5 785.5 726 693 688 639 618.5 595 503 472 150
INDEX 43 Percentage of American seniors who mortgage or sell their primary residence to pay for health expenses.
32 Percentage of American children who are obese.
70 Percentage of American children who are cured after having been diagnosed with cancer.
5 Number of the 95 Nobel Prizes that Americans have won in the 20th and 21st centuries that were awarded for work done in government-funded laboratories.
“I’m not able to do any work.”
Percentage of medical research in the United States funded by the government.
“I”m so pale.”
—Jesse Schreck YH Staff
Sources: 1) Journal of General Internal Medicine 2) National Institute of Health 3) CDC 4) WIkipedia 5) Medpage Today — Jake Orbison
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
SITTING DOWN WITH john roemer by Lara Sokoloff YH Staff Courtesy of John Roemer Raised a socialist, professor of political science John Roemer became a revolutionary during his time at UC Berkeley in the 60s. After his suspension from the University and a brief stint as a math teacher at a secondary school, Roemer received his PhD in economics and spent the next 26 years at UC Davis before coming to Yale, where he has been for the past 13 years. The Herald sat down with Roemer to talk about his tumultuous 20s, analytical Marxism, and his most recent research. YH: Why do you believe a socialist society is possible? JR: Do you know what the distribution of wealth looks like in the United States? Who are the top one percent? They are people who, first of all, have inherited a lot from previous generations of rich people; they are CEOs of large corporations; they are certain highly-paid professionals, lawyers, and doctors; they are movie stars, they are star athletes; and they are capitalists like Bill Gates who have been fabulously successful. Do you think they have to be paid this much to do their creative work? My answer is obviously not. Why? Because they would be willing to do that work for much, much less—because what else are they going to do? You don’t have to pay people this much. So why do we pay them this much? The incentive argument, that people won’t work hard without incentive, I don’t think holds at the very top. What else are they going to do? We can do it all through taxation. In the end, what has to happen is that the social ethos has to change. The social ethos, now, is an ethos of greed: look out for yourself, don’t care about anyone else, get all you can for yourself, nothing wrong with that. And the opposite of that is a solidaristic one, where people care about people. YH: What was your time like at Berkeley? JR: I went to Harvard as an undergraduate. I majored in mathematics and I took very little other than mathematics—I was a mathematics fanatic. My parents had been socialists, so I always thought of myself as a socialist, but I was not politically active until I went to Berkeley. I went to Berkeley as a mathematics graduate student in 1966, and I quite quickly became involved in campus politics there and radicalized around the Vietnam War. I was doing pure mathematics in group theory, and I decided I wanted to do something that was more socially use-
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
ful with my mathematics. My transfer [to economics] was accepted, and I took economics courses for about a year. I was then expelled for political activity in the fall of 1968. The student movement had occupied a student administration building called Moses Hall, and had been expelled by about 800 highway patrol men, even though there were only about 70 of us in the building. We came up before a student-faculty hearing, and if we recanted, then they just gave you probation. If you did not recant, they suspended you, and so I was suspended. YH: Did you ever consider recanting? JR: No, I didn’t. I thought it was a principled action and it was important to set an example. So both my wife and I were suspended. In the process of suspension, I lost my draft deferment. I was born in the period that if you went to university you received a draft deferment called a 2S. So I took another job as a high school teacher of mathematics in San Francisco because it got me a deferment. While I was doing that, I was active in the teacher’s union, and quite active in some terribly militant strikes. We were fighting for a better educational system. I taught at a virtually all-black junior high school in this ghetto called Hunter’s Point. I was then moved, as a kind of disciplinary measure to break up the movement that we had organized at that school, to the college prep school in San Francisco. At the age of 29 I was readmitted to Berkeley [where] I wrote a PhD dissertation and got my PhD. YH: What did you do next? JR:I was offered a job at UC Davis. In fact, when I was being interviewed for the job, the FBI called up the chairman of the department of economics there and said, ‘You know Roemer, who you’re thinking of hiring, is a communist?’ And the head of the department said, “I don’t care. He’s a civil libertarian.” YH: In what ways have your areas of interest and research changed and developed over the years, both at UC Davis and here at Yale? JR:I would say I began doing Marxist economics, which basically meant trying to redo the Marxist theory of exploitation using modern tools of economic analysis like general equilibrium and game theory. We were all young guys
and so we got together and formed a group, and we called ourselves The No-Bullshit Marxists. The reason for the no bullshit terms is we were putting ourselves in opposition to the Marxists who believed that you proved things [by] quoting something from Das Kapital. They treated Das Kapital as kind of a Bible. We said no, you have to make an argument, and you should make an argument using the best modern tools that we have. We published quite a bunch of stuff in the 80s and tried to reconstruct Marxism on a modern foundation. In the process of doing that, I decided that the theory of exploitation was only a superficial theory of what was wrong with capitalism, that there was something deeper, and that was the unequal distribution of wealth. So I became much more generally interested in the unequal distribution of assets. I also became much more interested in the philosophical questions. YH: What does your current research focus on? JR: One [project] I have been working on is equity in a warming planet. What’s the just way of allocating the scarce global commons of our atmosphere, which we can’t put too much carbon into? What’s the equitable way of dividing up usage of that biosphere across generations and regions of the world? [Another] thing I’ve been working on is a theory of cooperation. I have kind of an economic theory of how people might cooperate. I would say the most important question for me is the one that I have not made as much progress on, but it’s what I want to think about for probably the rest of my life. What are the laws of motion of social ethos? How is it that the social ethos changes? Can we expect that the social ethos might change in a more socialist and egalitarian direction? We are just beginning to get to the period of mankind where material scarcity has been conquered. The majority of the people in this country live better than kings did hundreds of years ago. It seems to me that the period of predation, of people preying on each other, is perhaps associated with this period of material scarcity, where you have to literally fight for your life. As we come to a period where that’s no longer the case, where there’s enough for everybody, I think it’s quite possible that the social ethos could change. Some may call it a hope or a wish, but I like to think there might be something to it. —This interview was condensed by the author
MNR by Vincent Tolentino YH Staff
12:14 p.m. “The biggest pyramid in the world? With a church on top?” The ad is for Mexico. The station is Bridgeport. I’ve spent the first quarter of this train ride staring out the window, putting off work. The first leg of a longer journey, to Los Angeles, home, for the break. Rachel is alternately reading Hesse and dozing on my shoulder. To my left: three birds flying through the rain past a spider-web colonnade of factory and machinery. Graffiti on the walls of the grassy abandoned lots. A century-old painted sign, almost entirely washed out now, just blue lines, yellow lines, brick. To me, every one of these inlets and locks is nameless. Every scene, a historical photograph. We pass a tenement, and a black silhouette leans over a ledge, shakes out a rug: people do seem to live here. This, too, has an address. They, when they think of going home, think of here. I don’t understand how anyone can ignore the windows on a train. Right now, to my left, the bombed-out, punched-in, blown-up windows of an old brick building (a schoolhouse? a schoolhouse in Warsaw?) are yawning at our passing. Now, three Chevrolets from the ’40s, one black, one blue, one electric yellow, line up face to face in a muddy lot. Now, Porsches and Mercedeses outside an unmarked warehouse. A water tower painted bright red, owned by “BJ’s.” Porta potties packed like bricks in a fenced-off lot. A monolithic concrete structure. From afar, it could be a ziggurat—someone decided to build this, why. A house painted the color of the “daiquiri ice” ice cream my dad used to buy me. Another train passes in the opposite direction, its contents a mirror of ours. I look around my own carriage now and see: a sepia-toned, oxygen-sapped pocket of New York City. Everyone going to the city. Everyone about to be there. Everyone moving toward the center of the world. All roads, I think aloud. The urban world, according to this sample, is constantly wired, earbuds in, phones out. The ads near the doors are for Bloomberg Businessweek and Crowe Horwath, a smiling beady-eyed man in a three-piece suit who’s saying something about “making you feel valued as a client,” as if they’ve given up on actually valuing you or convincing you that they’re going to try, now they’re content to tell you, squarely, that they just want you to feel valued. Greenpoint. The trees here are dying for no apparent reason. Falling over, toppled onto the highway guardrails, decaying at the feet of other dying trees. Is it just the centuries-old, smoke-choked sorrow, or the decades of lost privacy, the feral, impatient eyes on commuter trains 20 times a day going north, and 20 times again going south,
250, 000 humans a day, half a million eyes ignoring? A plastic lawn chair hangs upside down from a tree branch. This part of the forest has become a series of backyards. I close my eyes:
Port Chester looks like an Irish sailing town. Things hanging from wires and poles, grills and bars and austere neon signs. A general oily wetness. A general oil-cloth slickness. Clean enough. Efficient.
The smell of a forest floor. A luscious day like this, half a day’s rain plumping up the moss, perfuming the bark. A stream’s whisper-soft prattle. I try to ignore the white mechanical hum mounting around me, the sound of machinery at my back, the buzz, the grate, the trucks in reverse. I see the trees being leveled and yanked from the earth. I smell the thick layer of asphalt purling, magma-like, out of a spout. The dampened brambles and sod being suddenly, unceremoniously petrified.
Who had time to put all this graffiti down? Who walked along these railroad tracks, end to end?
The smell of breakfast sandwiches reaches me. One greasy sausage patty. One folded egg yolk-type-liquid, fried. One Kraft American cheese single, melted. English muffin, sliced. SMOKE FOR LESS PREMIUM CIGARS Another pond slides beneath us. Bridgeport, I remember being told, has an income equality index that is worse than Bangkok’s. The doors open, the engineer’s Connecticut yawp comes over the PA. I look at the white air outside as passengers board. I wonder if oxygen is flooding into the car or if it’s colliding and then stopping against the commercial steam in here, a thick yellow cloud, resisting it. A train of three boys, all roughly the same height, walks down the aisle, their mother and perhaps a grandmother walking behind them. They’re each wearing baseball caps, orange, blue, orange. Another magnificent tree split like a toothpick. The break is ten feet above the ground. The upper fallen portion is still half-connected, and the wood at the base that’s still rooted points skyward. The marsh grass along the railroad is like red witches’ hair, scraggled over the rocks. We pass a golf course. No one is playing. The greens here, too, are hairy, overrun. A stretch of unlikely bamboo. And now, the infinite bay. The real body of water. The hand at the arm of the ocean. Boats hitched to personal docks are wrapped for winter, spittled up like sugar lumps, spun like flies in spider-webs. The lights go out, the white noise near the ceiling stops, for three seconds, for people to look up and out. And then we’re back to the highway, and back to the iPad, back to the phone. The honest ones have no headphones, no mobile devices. They’re playing cards, reading paperbacks, falling asleep.
The engineers chat from either end of the train. Their voices are more or less interchangeable. They are navigating the quick stop at Harrison, for people who thought they stepped onto the local train. This, apparently, is the express. We stop. The doors open. The PA: “Thanks, Aaron.” Chatsworth with its brownstones and chalets. I can’t tell whether the median income on this train ride is increasing in direct proportion to both time and dislocation from Point A. It might be. The rules are off at Point B. The buildings grow taller. The day darkens. New York Sports Club. Chase bank. United Stage Accounts. Post Storage. The walls along the railroad, in retaliation to the darkening, have ramped up their color. We pass a graveyard. The train slows. The lights go out. The ceiling-noise stops. A phone rings. Which is to say that an electronic device, all plastic and metal, has made a digital sound mimicking the sound of bells ringing inside a telephone set. The oldfashioned tone, in fact. The real rotary shit. Bells, real bells, real digital bells. I know the next town has some charm because it has no signage indicating its name. Only quaint, brightlypainted, Berkeley-style birdhouses. Fogged in Connecticut grey, granted, but handsome still. A stone wall with yellow paint draggled down its surfaces. The faint molten remains of letters— When the kids along with their cousins, older cousins, asked why some walls weren’t graffiti’d, they were told that it was either because of the rain, which would wash out anything that wasn’t covered, or because of the material, which wouldn’t hold that paint, and which would wash out, too, with time. This is the kind of stone that resists, they said. The kind of stone that takes everything you do for only so long, and pushes it all right back out where the wind and rain can get it, and send it away, send it somewhere else, anywhere but here… So underpasses and porous concrete and other painted surfaces, the kids learned. They learned it quickly. And no one ever learned it the hard way again. It’s just like this. I was here. I was here, and it’s seven minutes left until this laptop dies.
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
opinion Money side up
life in compartments
by Leland Whitehouse YH Staff
by Jake Orbison
For years, I’ve thought of myself as having a healthy relationship with money. By all measures, I’ve lucked out big time. My dad’s dad made a hell of a lot of money a long time ago, and his generosity with that bundle of cash has made a comfy lifestyle possible for at least a couple of generations of Whitehouses, including myself. He paid for twelve years of private school in Cleveland and he’s paying for four years at Yale. I’ve known about this since I was little and have done my best to be a smiling, loving grandson who earns his keep and writes plenty of thank you notes. At the same time, I’m extra-lucky in having had parents who made a point of pulling me back from the cliff of privilege. I grew up with used cars and the expectation that if I wanted to spend money on CD’s or pocket knives, I’d have to make it on my own. So, for years, I’d thought that I’d developed a reasonable attitude towards money: equal parts grateful for the cushy seat that the fates landed me in and happy with a lifestyle that requires very little by way of funding. But recently, I’ve realized that my own relationship with money is far more complex than I had previously thought. A few weeks ago I sat down to beers with my cousin and for the first time learned what my family’s finances actually look like. He laid out in plain English and real numbers how much there was and how much there is and how much there’s likely to be for me. I’ve spent a lot of time and sweat trying to wrap my head around what exactly I’m supposed to do about the situation I was born into. Among the questions that I’m yet to land on an answer for are: What do I owe and to whom do I owe it? What do I take for granted and how important is it? What’s this mean for the kind of job I shoot for? Am I an entitled little cake-eater prick? I’m under the impression that I can’t be the first person to wonder about this sort of stuff. I’m also sure that there is an equally perplexing set of questions that come with being anywhere else on the Loaded to Broke Scale. And yet, since that conversation with my cousin, it’s occurred to me that the kind of questions I’ve begun
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
asking about my relationship with money are not questions I hear us asking often enough or openly enough, given the degree to which money is driving the ship around here. We talk seriously and regularly about things like race, gender and politics, but manage to leave out all of the tangled complexities that money injects into the way we live and the way we make decisions. I tried to put together a podcast cut from the same cloth as this article, stitching together the voices of a bunch of Yalies talking about all the complicated ways they dealt with money. I hoped to prove my conviction that everybody’s money shit stinks, and in doing so to take some of the edge off of the taboos that surround conversations about wealth and poverty. I sent dozens of emails asking people to anonymously talk about their money, their parents’ money, their thoughts about making money in the future... no one would talk! So I had to bail on the project. Truth is, as far as I can tell, we’ve all got screwy relationships with money and it’s on all of our minds somehow or other. Got tons of it, got none of it, want a bunch of it, want to get away from it. Every twisted up possibility in between. Future artists and writers gritting their teeth (or chomping at the bit) for a decade’s worth of Ramen and Salvation Army flannels. Future consultants already picking out Beemers. A whole lot of “Who knows but I hope I figure out how to pay rent.” We’re all being confronted with this sort of thing all the time. But we don’t talk about it! We’re so hamstrung by self-consciousness and embarrassment that most of us only rub this particular worry-stone in the silent privacy of our own checking accounts. Money can be a massively uncomfortable topic, but so can sex and parents and all kinds of other knotty things we’ve discovered benefit enormously from a little bit of open discourse. We’ve gotta start talking honestly and thoughtfully about money. We’d all wind up twice as enlightened and half as stressed out if we could just lay all of our messy cards on the table and help each other decide how to play the hand we were dealt. —graphic by Christine Mi YH Staff
“My main criticism is structural: I thought the individual parts of the essay were fascinating, but the relationships or connections between the parts were not so clear.” —English professor, on my paper
I’ve always eaten my peas and carrots together. If there are multiple components of a dish, I’ll mash them up to synthesize one balanced, delicious mix (as far as stands to culinary reason). I love one-pot meals, stews, and, obviously, the perfect bites. I’d write far past the margin, sleep in the living room, and use one notebook for every class. I preferred the unified mishmash to the intelligible multiple, probably because it is easier to keep one functioning mess in mind than a system of moving parts. Unfortunately, this young proclivity seems too simple for Yale life. New Haven Jake, as my professor points out above, has developed a tendency to compartmentalize. Here, there are well-established tree trunks of social connection, each with branches of preexisting friendships and individual leaves. The problem is that it is hard to separate the leaves from the trees, the people from the confined way that I have met them. If I associate an individual as an outcropping of some larger group, I might be in a mind set that is specialized for that group. While I don’t try to present myself differently based on an audience, I’m sure that I play certain roles in various social bubbles—we all do. And yet, I didn’t just step onto campus and adopt this mental software. In high school, I had to have thought the same thoughts, even if I might not have noticed them before. I think it’s something about Yale, or college, or coming to college from a school I had slowly made my way through since I was four. I came onto campus from a life that had been blending together over the course of 18 years. Everyone I was getting to know fit into this hodgepodgey structure. We all did the same things and had the same stories; we were complicit in making things run a certain way and didn’t need to explain anything. However, when you step on campus, you step into a new set of complicities to be tapped into and figured out. Here there are social structures as stony and imposing as the actual architecture, and with them come broad, collective rec-
ognition. Some of them actually come with their own buildings. When you meet someone, they’ll probably ask, “what do you do on campus?” This is effectually a litmus test of personality. Each response and the combinations thereof—“the Herald,” “the farm,” “crew,” “Chaplain’s fellow”—all serve as a new vocabulary of self-identification and collective history. Frightfully, these begin to replace the hometown or personal histories that came before them. To utilize them we need to submit to them, give up some individuality to take on the traditions and identities of these groups. We warp majors and the social establishments into heavy-handed indicators of who we are or want to be on campus. But for me, the institutions are so strong that I can’t help but use them as social lenses, means of human compartmentalization, at least initially and briefly. What’s unsettling in all this is that these tacit, instantaneous thoughts have an opportunity to bleed through into actual relationships. I fear that I might take the epithets too strictly, painting people with broad brushes and missing opportunities to know them in their particularities. That’s why I have been on social defense: how do I know this person and what am I like to the people they know? Why are we being introduced—I’m not funny, who told you that I’m funny? Well now that you are expecting me to be funny, I’m going to look at my shoes in this funny way. It’s a product of being exposed to such a wonderfully diverse community and not considering myself uniformly appealing. And when everyone is playing his or her personality close to the chest, it takes a bit longer to thaw the social ice. It’s clearly not that freshmen don’t have real friends or large friend groups. But I, an amalgamator, was taken slightly aback when I realized that college and life as an unbound person means partially divvying up and institutionalizing friendship. Nevertheless, there is always more room to introduce the great people that don’t know each other and to get to know them all more substantially. For me, a freshman, there is still much hope and time to mix friends, introduce the peas to the carrots, and leave Yale all unified and mushy. Then again, some walls should stay standing: peanut butter goes well with crackers, but so does hummus. Maybe a simpler way to put it is that I’m just messy and a bit shy.
helmuth rilling Guest Conductor
Dvorak: Stabat Mater
yale camerata · yale glee club · yale philharmonia Friday, April 19 · 8 pm Woolsey Hall 500 College at Grove
Free; no tickets required. Free parking. Presented by Yale School of Music · Yale Institute of Sacred Music · Yale Glee Club. music.yale.edu
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Letters from an Unknown Woman: Joseph’s Dream Yale Literature and Spirituality Series Friday, April 12 · 2:30 pm Marquand Chapel (409 Prospect St.) Free; no tickets required. Free parking. Book-signing and reception follow. Presented with the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale in collaboration with Yale Divinity Student Book Supply.
The hundred-dollar difference A look at Yale’s financial aid reforms by Kohler Bruno YH Staff
n Mar. 12, Yale announced a series of changes to its cost per term and its financial aid budget for the 2013-14 school year. Tuition will rise by $2,200 next year, and students on financial aid will be expected to earn an additional $100 of their scholarships through term-time job commitments, bringing the total student contribution to $3,300. Twenty-two hundred dollars is a big jump in the cost of Yale tuition—3.98 percent to be exact—but this article is about the $100. While at first it may seem a minute, relatively inconsequential change, in the eyes of many students it reveals a disconcerting trend. A term-time job is work that students must do in some capacity on campus in order to earn part of their financial aid package. According to Caesar Storlazzi, Yale’s director of financial aid, the average term-time job commitment this year for a student on financial aid at Yale is eight to 10 hours a week. “It means you have 10 hours less time per week to devote to your studies or to devote to extracurricular pursuits,” Diana Rosen, PC ’16, who has written two columns for the Yale Daily News about the experience of being a Yale student on financial aid, said in an interview. The University calls this a student’s “self-help contribution,” and Storlazzi echoed this language of personal advancement. “We do think that having a hand in the financial aid picture actually is a good thing for students, training for life after graduation,” he said. “There is an investment of time, not an onerous one, toward that student’s self help.” Yale, it should be noted, has a robust financial aid system. Fifty five percent of
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
undergraduates receive aid from the University, and the average grant for the 201213 school year tops $39,000. Families who make less than $65,000 per year pay nothing, and Yale meets 100 percent of demonstrated need. Perhaps in an effort not to tarnish this sterling report card, the University announced the changes to next year’s budget in a whisper: it was posted in a bulletin on the YaleNews website—not an especially popular destination for Yale undergraduates when web-surfing—on Mar. 12. No email was sent announcing the changes. Moreover, most students were off- campus for spring break, far away from Yale’s ivy towers. “The decision to release the informa-
“It’s a big decision that has a really large effect on the student body,” said Greenwood, “and it was made when most students weren’t on campus to comment on it and to talk about it and to think about it.” Other students echoed this concern. “I thought the timing of the announcement was problematic,” Alejandro Gutierrez, CC ’13, said. YaleNews did send out an email on Mar. 12., but it neglected to mention the change. Instead, the lead story of that email reported, “Infants prefer individuals who punish those not like themselves.” Storlazzi unambiguously denied the claim that the University had specifically chosen to release this information at a time when students would not be on campus to
they voiced disappointment over the content of the reforms for next year, citing the time pressure created by term-time jobs. Rosen explained that the student contribution for her financial aid package was covered this year by a private, outside scholarship, but she worried about the prospect of balancing her time next year with a term-time job once her private scholarship expires. At the beginning of last semester, Rosen worked at an organization outside Yale called Vote Mob, an organization that rallied support for Chris Murphy’s senate campaign. The work was unrelated to her private scholarship or Yale’s work requirements, but she put in 10 hours a week at Vote Mob, a roughly equivalent amount of
“I think it’s wrong to be indebted to the university because of the financial aid package that you’re given and to feel that they’re in some way purchasing your silence.” —Diana Rosen, PC ’16 tion then disenfranchised a student voice,” Yoni Greenwood, BR ‘15, said. Greenwood is a member of Students Unite Now (SUN), a campus student group whose goal, according to its Facebook page, is to “unite to change our university, our city, and our world.” But SUN had no opportunity to organize a discussion on the decision because many of its organizers, along with most Yale students, were not around to talk.
react. “The timing was pure coincidence,” he said. “We make the announcement as soon as we can, and all these decisions are being made and weighed and balanced against the University’s budget over January, February, and March. Would we like to see those numbers broadcast earlier? Sure, but we do it as soon as we can.” For many students on financial aid, the problem was not just the way in which the University publicized the changes. Rather,
time to that which will be required next year for her term-time commitment. “That was a lot,” she said. “It was hard, and I definitely am concerned about that going into next year. I know it means that I’m going to have to cut back somewhere, whether its on free time with friends, or with the amount of time I spend on classes, or on extracurriculars.” The actual change in time commitment created by the extra $100 is relatively
small, amounting to less than 10 more hours of work over the course of a school year, or roughly one more hour of work per month. But any increase in time commitment, Gutierrez claimed, is bad policy. “It’s astonishing the ways this policy creates a different Yale experience dependent on class,” he said. “Oftentimes reputations are measured by extracurricular activities, but people who have to work jobs because they have no other choice don’t get to fully have that part of the Yale experience.” Storlazzi agreed that looking forward he
Yale established the student ambassador program in order to recruit low-income high schoolers to apply to Yale College. The ambassador program sends Yale undergraduates to high schools in low-income areas near their hometowns in order to inform students of the financial aid opportunities Yale provides. Andrew Wang, SM ’16, visited two high schools just outside of Los Angeles through the ambassador program, and he felt that the program was reflective of Yale’s earnest interest in recruiting a more socioeconomi-
Yale’s desire to make financial aid concerns a priority. “I can’t think of a better way for Yale to reach out to low-income kids,” Karl Xia, SM ’16, said. Xia also visited two high schools over spring break near his hometown of Canton, Ohio. “They literally have a fleet of eager and willing foot soldiers traveling to high schools across the country to talk about how accessible the college is for low-income high schoolers,” said Xia, “That’s pretty good, I think.” Nonetheless, Gutierrez said he felt that there is an issue in the way Yale approach-
“We do think that having a hand in the financial aid picture actually is a good thing for students, training for life after graduation.” —Caesar Storlazzi, Yale’s director of financial aid would be wary of increasing the term-time work contribution. Since 2008, the amount of money that students must earn has risen $800, from $2,500 in the 2008-2009 year up to $3,300 next year. “Are we getting to a point now where if we increase it anymore, [it would] be difficult for students?” Storlazzi said. “Possibly.” Yet while some students feel that open discussion about Yale’s financial aid policy has been lacking, Yale College has begun to set up a wider infrastructure around financial aid. This spring administrators announced the establishment of a five-week summer program for incoming low-income freshmen—as well as first-generation college students—in order to soften the adjustment to life at the University. In 2004,
cally diverse applicant pool. “A lot of people have preconceptions that Yale is this distant place that is really expensive and inaccessible,” he said, “Based on my visit I think I drastically changed a lot of those preconceptions, so I think it was successful in that regard.” At the two high schools Wang visited over spring break, one in a markedly poorer area than the other, he noticed that the students at the less affluent school were distinctly more receptive to his presentation. “There were clearly a lot of kids who perked up when they heard that if your family makes less than $65,000 Yale will cover your whole education.” Other students similarly touted the student ambassador program as a reflection of
es financial aid in its budget. “I’m not sure what the University’s priorities are when it comes to spending,” he said. Rosen echoed this concern. “I think it’s somewhat misleading that Yale sets itself up as this place that is accessible for students of any race, of any sexuality, any gender, and now any economic class, but then for those students to be told that when they come here, ‘Well, you’re lower class. You’re going to have to work for your education.’” She hastened to add that she doesn’t have a problem with the idea of working for money during college, but argued that the fact that only Yale’s lower-income students must spend 10 hours a week working creates an imbalance on campus and propagates a problematic culture. “I think the problem is when
it’s only the bottom half of the population that has to do it,” she said. “Then it creates a class divide.” Storlazzi acknowledged the fact that the term-time work requirement eliminates a degree of free time from the schedules of Yale students on financial aid. “A student who doesn’t have to work has more hours in the day,” he said. But he struck a note of realism. “There’s a basic unfairness in the world, and that’s not going to go away,” Storlazzi said. “But again, we don’t think that the 10hour average weekly commitment adversely impacts a financial aid student. In fact, we think it helps them connect to the University in a different, more meaningful way.” Perhaps this is so, but it is also true that term-time work contributions further cramp schedules that many Yale students feel are already packed with social, academic, and extracurricular commitments. In the past six months, both Rosen and Gutierrez have written columns in the Yale Daily News about the financial aid culture at Yale, and they both said that having an open conversation about financial aid issues at Yale is the best way to effect change. They added that open discussion of issues regarding financial aid was important not just for the students whose daily lives are impacted by financial aid reforms, but also in determining the texture of Yale’s culture when it comes to class. “I think people feel weird talking about class on this campus,” Rosen said. “But I think it’s wrong to feel indebted to the university because of the financial aid package that you’re given and to feel that they’re in some way purchasing your silence. It shouldn’t be a $40,000 grant to keep your mouth shut.” —graphics by Devon Geyelin YH Staff The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
Making the grades Micah Rodman, BR ‘15, looks into how institutions concepetualize assessments of academic achievement, and considers the implications of changes to Yale College’s grading policy
f it had passed, letters would have been swapped for numbers—A-B-Cs for 1-2-3s. “Do we want to chant something?” asks Scott Stern, BR ’15, to the crowd of nearly 60 inspired undergraduates who have gathered around the entrance to Science Hill’s submerged Davies Auditorium at about half past 3 on Thurs., Apr. 9. Some are holding homemade protest signs, some are holding flyers to give to any distinguished looking passerbys, all organized to keep their beloved professors from turning against them. I stand emptyhanded, near the back of the pack, as the security guards protecting the entrance make the auditorium seem like the United Nations. Mary Miller, GRD ‘81, dean of Yale College, walks by. Stern offers her a flyer. “I think I have all of your information already,” said Miller. “And I don’t want to waste your paper.” If Miller had decided to take the paper, she would have found on it some reasons to vote against the set of grading policy
reforms that were up for consideration at this meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. This past fall, Miller created the Yale College Ad Hoc Committee On Grading to assess and recommend changes to the College’s grading policy. On Thurs., Feb 7, the committee, chaired by economics professor Ray Fair, presented its findings to the Yale College faculty. In its report, the committee recommended that Yale College transition from a letter grade system to a 100-point scale, impose recommended grade distributions, and allow departments access to their own grading data. Only nine weeks after the introduction of the major reforms, the faculty met at the Davies Auditorium. Yale students really care about their grades, so the rushed time frame, obscure meeting location, and security guards weren’t enough to keep them from protesting. A few days before the meeting, Stern, the protest organizer, had created a Facebook page to publicize the event. Entitled “We are the 79 percent,” his
protest was inspired to organize the 79 percent of the Yale student body who are against the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee report, according to a Yale College Council (YCC) survey. However, Stern states he organized his fellow students as a sort of last resort. “I went to the [Yale College] Dems, and to SUN [Students Unite Now] and asked if they would organize a protest,” he said. “But this is not in their purview. If everybody wouldn’t, I would.” As Stern and his supporters stood outside the bunker-like auditorium, they were not just protesting the content of the report but also their lack of input in its conception. The Committee had no student representation. There was only one faculty member in the humanities, Paul North, assistant professor of German Language and Literature. The Committee proposed relatively radical reforms that were rushed to a vote in a matter of weeks. The fate of the transcripts of future Yale grads were left in the hands of the faculty
members who could find the time in their schedules to walk up Prospect and attend a faculty meeting. Stern and his pals were not allowed inside the meeting; few faculty members took their flyers; and their limpid chants had no chance of penetrating the concrete walls of the auditorium. Ironically, this lack of student presence was the precise reason the vote on recommended grade distributions and the change to number grades was shelved until November so students can have a presence on the Ad Hoc Committee. “This is what we would have expected from the start,” said Danny Avraham, BR ’15, current YCC vice president, chair of the YCC Academic Committee, and YCC president for the 2013-2014 school year. In effect, Yale has kicked the can down the road until November. These unpopular measures could be passed when they come up again in seven months. Conversely, in seven months, the grading system of Yale college could be completely The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
different—we could be graded in Chinese if we could convince the faculty that this was a good idea. “Everything will be on the table,” says Avraham regarding the process of the committee with student involvement. “Nothing will be rejected from the start.” IMAGINE ELI. WITH HER LONG-SLEEVED Yale t-shirt and residential college pride, she is the perfectly average Yale student. Being perfectly average, Eli, along with 78 percent of her classmates “are not in favor of a 0-100 grading scale instead of letter grades,” in the words of the YCC evaluation survey. But Eli is also earning an A or A- in her courses a whopping 68 percent of the time. That’s As or A-s in around 25 of her required 36 courses she will take at Yale before she graduates. Or in other words,
infamous for his refusal to conform to the aforementioned grading culture. His students’ evaluation of his “Introduction to Ethics” course states things like “Kagan’s serious about the grading system...essays that would get an A in any other class will get a B or a C here,” and, “You will get a C on the first paper for sure. Take it cred/ D.” But again, this is all sort of, by design. Kagan points to the Yale College Blue Book, in where the grades are defined. “A is excellent, B is good, C is satisfactory, D is passing, F is failing, and I try to take those grades seriously,” says Kagan. To solve the problem of grade inflation, Fair and his committee, who refused to comment for this article due to the continuation of committee functions, advised that the faculty institute a suggested grading curve where 35 percent of grades are As and A-s, 40 percent of stu-
scale, and the grading system hasn’t changed since. Some professors in the humanities haven’t taken issue with the proposal. Jim Sleeper, DC ’69, lecturer in political science, shared that when he was an undergrad at Yale, his grades were numbers, but he didn’t mind. “It didn’t bother me much,” he said. He believes that grades might bring more effort out in students, but still wonders what ultimate change they will inspire. “Yale is stuck between two imperfect measures,” he says. In a student forum organized by the YCC, Fair built off of Sleeper’s sentiments and claimed that many teachers wish to have more tools than a number system would allow—the idea being that more precision will allow detailed quantitive feedback to become qualitative. Students don’t trust this reasoning.
“Yale is stuck between two imperfect measures.” —Jim Sleeper, DC’ 69, lecturer in political science Eli’s final transcript will only show 11 grades lower than an A-. Think about your transcripts. Sounds about right, doesn’t it? If Eli had taken the same classes 15 years ago, in 1998, only 55 percent of her grades would have been in the A range. As and A-s would account for around 21 of her 36 total courses. Four of what would have been Bs, Cs and B+s would now be As or A-s. Now Eli is preparing to graduate from Yale, is moving to New York City, and with her average-for-Yale-but-not-average-forthe-real-world 3.58 GPA, she’ll go to work at J.P. Morgan in June. No wonder Yale students don’t want things to change— according to the only way they’re being evaluated, students like Eli are doing really, really, well! When asked, 44 percent of that same set of students who disapproved of the proposal in such a wide margin still believed that Yale has a problem, with another 20 percent who aren’t sure. That problem is of “grade inflation,” or as the Ad Hoc Committee terms it: “grade compression.” The report states that Yale is approaching the point, at least in some departments, in which the only grades are A and A-, which is “close to having no grading.” The impact here is that grades have become essentially meaningless tools of providing students with feedback. “If I’m giving everybody an A minus as kind of a default grade, and something that’s especially good gets an A, and something that’s weaker than that gets a B plus,” postulates Shelly Kagan, Clark Professor of Philosophy. “Then, you’ve robbed the letter grades of having any informational content.” This grade compression is bad because it keeps students from learning what they’re good at and makes it harder for them to improve at things they’re not already good at. For this reason, Kagan has become
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
dents receive B+s and Bs and the rest, Cs and below. But under this system, the easy A that students were getting is no longer so easy. Letter grades still carry their previous connotations of difficulty. To completely shift away from this problem, the report concludes that we need a new “currency”—numbers—to combat this problem. However, to many students and faculty who recognize grade compression, the curve and the change of currency are inadequate solutions—especially by students and faculty in the humanities. “When I think of the humanities as a whole, this is a terrible thing,” says Karl Young Professor of English Leslie Brisman. “Numerical grading, like computerized grading, establishes an atmosphere in which one assigns points to particular things, ” he adds. To Brisman, the only way to grade an essay on a number scale is to adhere to a pretty strict rubric, contradictory to the notion that, “We should be looking for ideas and the expression of ideas,” he says. However, number grades, like changes
“Why stop at 100?” asks Stern. “Why not 100.0? The idea of trying to grade a paper so finely is ludicrous. It’s impossible. Especially when it’s not inconceivable to assume a large portion of the class is going to do A work.” Stern expresses another counterargument against grade compression and the remedy to fix it: that through rising admissions rates, Yale students have become too talented to receive anything less than what they’re getting now. “To try to establish a single grade curve for the entire college is just wrong, given the fine work that Admissions has done in making sure that we have many fewer C students than we used to have,” says Brisman. However, professors roll their eyes at this. Last year, for an article on grade inflation, Alessandro Gomez, professor of mechanical engineering and instructor of a thermodynamics lab known to be one of Yale’s hardest courses, told the Herald in an email that he sees fewer “stars” than he used to—though he qualified this statement with some uncertainty as to if this is just his own perception, or
ports the Committee’s proposal. As admissions rates and college GPAs are only arguably inversely proportional, one thing is for certain—the final vote on number grades has been pushed back until Nov., if it will even reach the floor of at the faculty meeting at all. Surprisingly, it was Kagan who made this suggestion. “I am very much opposed to grade inflation,” he says. “I’ve been trying to fight it for all my time at Yale, and so substantively I’m in favor of making the kind of changes that the Committee’s recommended. But procedurally it seems to me a mistake to try to cram something like this down without a lot of student input, and so it was a mistake to have gone to this point, and we need to have another several rounds of discussion.” Now, Yale College students will have the chance to alter the future of grading at Yale. What should they consider? THE 1960s WERE A TIME OF IMMENSE social upheaval. Students were beginning to examine power structures outside the Ivory Tower and turn this critical gaze inward to the structure of their universities. “For me it was a feeling that I had, that what I had been experiencing was not what I thought might be possible,” says Elliot Maxwell, LAW ’76. “It wasn’t inspiring. I didn’t feel like I was the focus of the process, that I didn’t know what a college education might mean, but it was an is-this-all-it-is type of feeling.” As undergrads, Maxwell and Ira Magaziner authored The Magaziner-Maxwell Report, which established the New Curriculum at Brown University. These reforms introduced the conception of an open curriculum to the school, where students could graduate taking any number of classes pass/fail, with the additional option of receiving a narrative evaluation. According to Stephen Lassonde, GRD ’94, formerly a deputy dean at Brown, Lassonde says he knew of a few students taking all of their courses pass/fail who planned to go on to professional school. However, he is skeptical about how this option is perceived: “I think if students do it categorically like that it is making a philosophical statement. But law schools get suspicious when students pick or
“Procedurally it seems to me a mistake to try to cram something like this down without a lot of student input.” — Shelly Kagan, Clark Professor of Philosophy to the grading system in general, are not new for Yale College. Up until 1967, grading units were numerical. In the fall of 1967, in response to social unrest, grading changed from numeric grading to a system of Honors, High Pass. In the fall of 1972 grading changed from this system to A, B, C, D, F with no pluses or minuses. In the fall of 1981 Yale was introduced to pluses and minuses are added to the grading
if—as studies have shown—undergraduates spend less time studying than they once did. Kagan also thinks that students aren’t spending enough time developing their academic skills. “There are, admittedly, other skills, yet again, that you get in your extracurriculars,” he says. “But I certainly do think that the ratio has shifted too much, and to shift it back in the other direction, that would be good and not bad.” Kagan expressed that he sup-
choose what courses they do that for,” he says. A Brown sophomore, who wishes to remain anonymous, states that he has never received a narrative evaluation nor would he know how to request one. “I’m not sure how universal this experience is, but I have found that the option to have a narrative based eval is certainly not as publicized as it might seem to be,” he says. While this experience at Brown shows
that these unique grading policies are hard to maintain in the cutthroat environment of an elite university, at Bennington College in Bennington, Vt., the school’s small size and committed faculty have allowed the administration to maintain a more rigorous version of a narrative-based grading policy. Bennington has a narrative evaluation system that is the exact inverse of Brown’s: students receive narrative evalu-
studies and associate dean of engineering for technology management at UC Santa Cruz. If it is our goal to fight grade inflation and reclaim the meaning of our letter grade system, then Princeton might be the best model to examine. In the fall of 2004, in a response to grade inflation that pushed more than 50 percent of grades into the A range, Princeton Dean Nancy Weiss Malkiel instituted a grading distribution that
said that for her first assignment, she often gave grades in the form of check, check plus, and check minus to “help students get a sense of how they are performing in this class; and to recognize that it [the class] is going to require a certain amount of engagement and work,” she says. Miller’s classroom policy is what currently takes place on a much larger scale at MIT. There, students test the waters as they take all of their classes pass/fail in
“Grading can be a great pedagogical tool.” —Mary Miller, GRD ‘81, dean of Yale College ations for every course, and can request grades for courses they if they so choose. “The great insight of Bennington is to not confuse the function of grades for purposes of developing what I would call a kind of lingua franca that allows the transmission of a student’s work across institutional lines,” says Elizabeth Coleman, president of Bennington. “But to confuse that with the act of really telling a student about the quality of their work—Bennington hasn’t made that confusion.” This narrative grading ideal might not be a great fit for Yale. “Bennington is a small liberal arts college. It does not have the same level of expectations for its faculty of publication and research. Santa Cruz does,” says Miller when I ask her if Bennington’s evaluation system would be appropriate for Yale. “I would say Santa Cruz is an interesting model for you to look at,” she said. I took her up on her recommendation. The University of California Santa Cruz campus opened in 1965 as an alternative to the more traditional University of California campuses. It was one of only a few colleges across the country to solely rely on a narrative evaluation system instead of formal letter grades. Until 2001, UC Santa Cruz used a grading system that focused on narrative descriptions written by the professors that evaluated student performance and assessed the students’ strengths and weaknesses. Students had the option of either receiving a grade along with the evaluation or a “Pass/No Pass” designation. The model collapsed under the weight of the structure of the modern research university. “They were unable to sustain that kind of steady, thoughtful evaluation of student work,” says Miller. UC Santa Cruz shifted away from a narrative evaluation system about eight years ago, and more recently transitioned to a volunteer narrative evaluation system where faculty can choose whether or not to write evaluations. “I would say that part of it was larger classes, but another part of it, was that a grade was a fairly effective summary of a student’s performance, such as in math classes where the curriculum is well understood as fairly standardized,” says Brent M. Haddad, professor of environmental
set a common grading standard for the University, under which As account for less than 35 percent of the grades given in undergraduate courses. As with Yale’s proposal of a grade distribution curve, Princeton’s curve doesn’t have a hard ceiling. However, in an email, Princeton English professor William A. Gleason says that he hears from students that some instructors “announce to their classes that they can only give a specific number of A grades in a particular course because of the ‘rules’ of the grading policy,” which, as he writes, “[is] not how the policy is intended to work; it sets overall guidelines, not course-by-course quotas.” Through this system, Princeton has garnered the reputation for being stingy with the As. “There is at Princeton tremendous resentment among the students over the grading policy, and they feel as though it disadvantages them in graduate school applications,” says Stanley Katz,
their first semester. When I asked Miller whether her classroom policy would be as good a fit for Yale as it is for MIT, she explained that mapping her classroom policy onto the whole university made sense for MIT, but not for Yale. “Which institution in the Ivy League do you feel has the reputation for having the most robust extracurricular life?” she asked me. As our interview occurred on the first real day of spring and I was currently in a college administrator’s office this one was sort of a no-brainer. “Yale,” I answered. “I would say it probably does too,” she leveled. “I think that would be the challenge if we did not have grades freshman year—to help students calibrate the proper balance between extracurricular and curricular life their freshman year.” As she sits in her office at SSS, Miller is far removed from the mindset of making instructional decisions about the daily operations of her class. Now, she realizes
education. However, if the community is only willing to talk about grading currency and not about the quality of education, there is a problem.” Far removed from his time at Brown, Maxwell agrees. He still believes that a discussion about grades should be accompanied by a discussion why we have them, and what we want them to say about us. “It’s really remarkable how little people talk about their education at Yale while they’re being educated at Yale. It’s kind of amazing,” Maxwell says. “It’s like saying you’re making cars, but nobody is talking about making cars. You’re sort of going along and you slap the door on. Well, that’s not what an education should be about, and it’s surprising how little people talk about it.” Then, of course, there is the opportunity of eschewing grades all together. At Saint Ann’s School, in Brooklyn, NY, there are no grades, only twice yearly narrative evaluations. “We’ve had no problem in effectively conveying to colleges and universities what students accomplish,” says Vince Tompkins, head of school. Without grades, Saint Ann’s values intellectual risk-taking. “In many subjects there is no right and wrong, and even if there is there are different ways of getting at it, and I think that is important always to know,” says Linda Kaufman, associate head of school. “We don’t think education should be a competition, and basic to our mission is to look at each student as an individual.” Each of these institutions wants to use these evaluations as a way of broadcasting the identity of the school, in perhaps the most tangible way possible. In the nature of these relationships, these institutions express different end goals: Saint
“If the community is only willing to talk about grading currency and not about the quality of education, there is a problem.” —Elizabeth Coleman, president of Bennington College professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. “I think its probably demonstrable that there is greater psychological pressure here than there was a few years ago. I think students are more stressed about grades. I think there is more fixation on grades, and so from that point of view, it has been a very difficult change to implement.” BEFORE SHE WAS APPOINTED DEAN OF Yale College, Miller taught full time as a Sterling Professor of The History of Art. In her own lecture course, she pursued thoughtful and creative grading practices. “Grading can be a great pedagogical tool,” she says. “Let’s say for art history, the grade could consist of quizzes and tests and papers, but also such things as crafting an intelligent 150-word museum label.” Beyond assignment differentiation designed to grade a variety of skills, she also
that what once worked in her classroom does not necessarily work as university policy. The University is more than just the sum of its classrooms. There are unique aspects of institutional culture and identity that need to be considered in making decisions that define will ultimately steer the development of the institution. This shows that grading systems both define and are defined by the institution they are in. Grades are a window into the quality of education carried out in the institution as a whole. In Vermont, Coleman agrees. She thinks that discussion of grades should move beyond the currency and into the bonds between teacher and student that define the university. “A culture exists insofar as people are asking these questions at all, about how well am I doing?” she says. “It’s a deeply passionate issue, and it has to do with students coming to grips with what are they making of their
Ann’s and Bennington—to get students to think without constraint; Brown—to get students thinking individualistically in a university format that shows student creativity and inquisitiveness in the wider world; Princeton—to uphold a tradition of academic rigor and excellence. Over the next seven months the Yale community—students, professors, and administrators alike—will have a chance to define what exactly this identity is. Are we the school with letter grades? Hippy paragraph evaluations? Numbers? “Yale has the flexibility, because it’s Yale, to be able to do something different, or to provide more alternatives, it certainly has the resources to provide more communicative forms of evaluation,” says Maxwell. Everything is on the table. —graphic by Julia Kittle-Kamp YH Staff
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
Students in solidarity Yale activists and the fight for immigration justice in New Haven by Alisha Jarwala YH Staﬀ
f all has gone according to plan, when you receive this letter we will be under arrest.” That’s the beginning of the letter Greg Williams, DIV ’15, sent to the Yale Divinity School community on Feb. 20—a call to arms to protest the pending deportation of New Haven resident Josemaria Islas. On Feb. 21, Williams, a longtime community solidarity activist, made good on his promise, committing an act of civil disobedience outside the federal courthouse in Hartford that led to the arrest of him and several members of Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA). Williams is a Yale Divinity School student and one of several student members of Unidad Latina, a New Haven grassroots organization that calls itself a “multiethnic movement for worker justice.” Through rallies, protests, and civil disobedience, ULA works to draw attention to problems facing New Haven’s immigrant community, advocating for “equality among everyone, not just people who have papers.” Williams credits ULA’s organizers, John Lugo and Megan Fountain, TC ’07, with the group’s vibrancy and community involvement, which he claims sets it apart from other grassroots organizations. While “most [organizations] have a professionalized class of ‘change-makers’ who run the show,” Williams said, “ULA was founded on the principle that the people fighting for change need to actually be the members of the community affected. So we make sure the immigrant community is involved.” To this end, especially with the towngown relationship always under close scrutiny in New Haven, striking a balance between community and Yale involvement poses a tricky question. When talking to Williams, it immediately becomes clear that he views immigration justice as more than a passion; it’s a responsibility. “I have a commitment to work for this,” Williams said. “I want to have genuinely human relationships with people who are my neighbors.” At the same time, he recognizes the extent to which privilege plays into his involvement. “The American imperial regime continues to view us, by virtue of our passports and white skin, as among its chosen people,” he wrote in a Feb. 20 email. “We will never face the violence that Mr. Islas faces right now. Civil disobedience is a luxury afforded to us by our privilege.”
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
Williams is particularly wary of undergraduate involvement in this fight. “We’ve got to be careful of involving the Yale community because the whole point of ULA’s style is that we are not in charge,” he said. “Those of us who enjoy white privilege or middle class privilege—the majority of the Yale student body—directly benefit from exploitation of immigrants.” Williams says that Yale undergraduates will continue to turn a blind eye to problems that require them to
work against their own interests to resolve, such as boycotting popular restaurants. NONETHELESS, STUDENT ACTIVISM ON campus has emerged in the form of MEChA, (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán), a Yale student organization dedicated to social justice and community empowerment for the Chicano/Latino population in New Haven and more broadly. MEChA’s moderator, Katherine Aragón, TD ’14, says that MEChA and ULA have an active and positive part-
nership. “We build off each other,” she said, noting that the groups focus on many of the same issues. They’ve also hosted a number of events together, including the May Day parade Todos A La Calle and various panels with the Yale Democrats. According to Aragón, ULA has also been instrumental in providing MEChA direct access to the local immigrant community and the opportunity to begin cultivating relationships. This year, MEChA is working on the issue of wage theft
in New Haven and hopes to share the data with ULA to create policy recommendations. In addition, members of MEChA attend ULA rallies. Aragón insists that having more warm bodies always helps to make a statement, regardless of which part of the community they come from. Evelyn Núñez, SY ’15, is the community action chair for MEChA and attends ULA meetings every week with what she estimates to be about 20 regulars. She disagrees with Williams’ concerns about undergraduate
involvement, adding, “The immigrant community is hesitant to act for good reason, and they need people behind them showing support and telling them that they aren’t alone.” Núñez and Aragón believe that Yale has evolved from a school that just caters to the upper-class white to one that appreciates diversity and encourages activism. They see the problem not as a lack of solidarity, but as a lack of awareness.“I think the real problem is that Yalies are not really aware of what’s happening a lot of the time,” Núñez said. MEChA is working hard to right this through their work, currently creating a directory of restaurants that exploit their workers to publicize wage theft. But Nuñez admits that the process is daunting—each entry needs concrete evidence, and workers are sometimes reluctant to talk about their jobs. NÚÑEZ AND ARAGÓN AGREE THAT ULA’S strategies—rallies, sit-ins, and civil disobedience—are effective. Last fall, ULA picketed Christy’s Pub on Orange Street along with members of Seminarians for a Democratic Society, a group at the Yale Divinity School, to get back pay for employee Joel Matamoros. On Apr. 2, ULA organized a sitin at U.S. Representative DeLauro’s office in a continuation of the protest against the deportation of Josemaria Islas. “No press is bad press,” Aragón quipped. With the deportation case of Josemaria Islas, Núñez and Aragón both agree that ULA’s civil disobedience has been necessary to keep immigration issues in the spotlight. For Aragón, the sit-in at DeLauro’s office was a natural progression of events, starting with unanswered letters and several attempts at civil conversation that were not covered by the press. Still, MEChA students have not been involved in ULA’s more extreme efforts. Aragón and Núñez feel they have clearly defined roles: working to supplement and support ULA, sometimes from the back seat. For Williams, operating outside New Haven’s established system is necessary to drive change. “The people who write the rules of the game are the ones who are benefiting from things staying the same way,” he said. “So we have an interest in conscientiously breaking those rules.” —graphics by Zachary Schiller YH Staff
INFOGRAPHIC: Connecticutâ€™s new gun law reforms
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
CULTURE Berzelius: Built between 1908 and 1910, Berzelius’s building was constructed as a society of the Sheffield Scientific School.
With the arrival of spring, inevitably, secret societies become a central topic of campus conversation. Here, we strip away some of the mystery surrounding the whole scene by presenting a photo tour of Yale’s nine fabled landed secret society tombs. Book and Snake: Book and Snake was founded at the Sheffield Scientific School, and its windowless, Greek Ionic style tomb was built in 1888, modeled in large part after a temple of Athens’ Acropolis.
Mace and Chain: Mace and Chain acquired a regular meeting place in 2001. It may just be a downtown New Haven house, and not an imposing windowless tomb, but legend has it that the structure’s interior crown moulding is salvaged from Benedict Arnold’s New Haven house.
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
Elihu: Although Elihu’s Elm Street building has windows, they are blinded. The house is, in fact, the oldest of all of Yale’s secret society buildings, constructed during the colonial era and resting upon an even older (early 17th century!) basement. In fact, it’s purportedly one of America’s oldest original structures still in regular use.
Manuscript: While other societies boast elaborate neoclassical architecture, Manuscript’s building is mid-century modern. Its eight underground floors house a vast collection of art; in fact, Josef Albers created the brickwork intaglio mural.
Scroll and Key: The Scroll and Key building was designed and built in 1869 in the Moorish Revival style. The Bullblog has referred to it as “the nicest building in all of New Haven.”
Skull and Bones: Built in increments over the period between 1856 and 1912, the Skull and Bones tomb is mostly in the Egypto-Doric style. The fabled society also owns Deer Island, a St. Lawrence River island retreat.
St. Elmo’s: The Lynwood Place house is St. Elmo’s third tomb to date. It pretty much just looks like your standard New Haven building, though.
Wolf’s Head: The Wolf’s Head building was designed in 1924; it was completed just before the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. It’s said to contain an Olympic-size swimming pool.
Photos by Anna-Sophie Harling and Rebecca Wolenski YH Staff
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
REVIEWS Winning our devotion by Elliah Heifetz YH Staff
essie Ware is 28, Jewish, and a London native—and has more in common with Beyoncé than any other pop star at the moment. Hear me out on this. In a world of Britneys and Taylors and Justins and god knows what else, Beyoncé is special. Different. Untouchable, perfect, goddess-like, irreplaceable (ha). She’s the Queen—the impossibly talented ideal. Jessie Ware may come from a world incredibly different than Lady B’s, but her story is just as mythic: in the best tradition of recording industry Cinderella stories, Ware began as a back-up singer for live groups in London. Hers, though, is not the typical “found by a talent scout, rocketed to stardom” tale. In fact, Ware never imagined that a thriving solo career could await her. Her musical success came as a surprise; and it came from more than just her high notes, or her well-marketed looks. It came from her whole, and wholly stunning, voice—and it came from her songs themselves. So in this sense, she’s too humble to be the cocky young upstart; too innocuous to be the self-destructive artist; too understated to be the outrageous diva. She’s untouchable, perfect, rather goddess-like, and, I’d argue, irreplaceable. Of course, her music takes more notes from Whitney Houston, Depeche Mode, Adele, or even Florence Welch than it does from Béyonce’s mega-dance-pop’n’b. Although she released her debut LP, Devotion, in the UK in the summer of 2012, it sees its North American release on Tues., Apr. 16—and, just as it took off in England, the record’s impressive blend of soulful, synth-drenched R&B is likely to soar stateside this spring. Impressive is a surprisingly accurate word for Ware’s particular sound. After all, the most evident aspects of Devotion are its subtlety and understated grace. Over beats so simple and considerate it edges on the monolithic, Ware’s voice dives in and soars out, restraining itself nearly all of the time, exploding into the heavens only (and precisely) when it needs to. On stadium-shakers like lead single “Wildest Moments,” Ware holds her rich, agile voice tight to her chest until the end of each sung phrase, teasing the microphone in a truly thrilling way. Then there’s the thick, New-Wave blips of “Still Love Me,” which press up against a breathy vocal track, chilly and paralyzing. This kind of toy-
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
ing with tension and release, restraint and electric burst, is not just impressive—it’s physically imposing and alarmingly sensual. What makes Ware a cut above the Top-40 rest, though, is that her songwriting is just as strikingly unassuming. The carefully paced, soothingly repetitive “Running” is a smart mid-tempo ear-worm; similarly, Ware’s intricate and commanding ballad “Night Light,” submerged in an echo-chamber of guitars, is both catchy and genuinely moving. Furthermore, her beats are freshly lush, and borrow creatively from late 80s soul and R&B, deliberately employing washed-out horns and vintage synths. Interestingly, despite all of this, Ware is not especially original. And this is not to her discredit. Devotion is simply just as much a nod to the indie-pop world from which she came as it is an RSVP to the Billboard party. Because Ware, like a whole generation of young British R&B singers, has the tools and the potential to be an American superstar—and it shows. “Wildest Moments” is undoubtedly a nod to the atmospheric, soul-rock of Brits Florence and the Machine (Ware co-wrote it with Kid Harpoon, who co-wrote Florence’s hit “Shake It Out”). Airy, lightly driving songs like “If You’re Never Gonna Move” and the nearly-immaculate “Sweet Talk” follow the sultry sounds of fellow emerging artist Emeli Sandé, and the vocal leaps of Leona Lewis—both English. And on nearly every song, when her vocal delivery reaches its climax, Ware takes the lead of the ultimate belting British chart-topper: Adele. These pop sensibilities may be the key to Ware’s continued success. There’s a new British invasion these days—this time of female R&B powerhouses in their 20s—and they’re redefining the mainstream pop sound. Just look at OneRepublic’s last album, Native, product of American hitmaker Ryan Tedder (whose songwriting credits include Jordin Sparks and Beyoncé herself): the 2013 release’s melodies and arrangements don’t sound quite like OneRepublic so much as like the average between OneRepublic and Adele. Even Timbaland on Justin Timberlake’s excellent comeback record The 20-20 Experience samples the kind of soul-romp R&B that these British women have been making popular. So, in this light, Ware is one of many—part of a clear and influential trend in contemporary pop music. But this makes Devotion all the better, and all the more unique. Because an album that is both intelligent and accessible, almost democratically moving, is the only surefire way to gain as many devotees as a goddess needs. And, with this kind of debut release, Jessie Ware might be looking at a rather celestial future.
Music: The Knife The Knife’s aptly named fourth studio album, Shaking The Habitual, may challenge or even alienate much of their previous fan base; gone are the in-your-face hooks of songs like “We Share Our Mother’s Health” and “Hearbeats” found on the band’s widely revered 2006 album Silent Shout. In their stead, The Knife has crafted a much more percussive and surprisingly acoustic soundscape that intrigues and teases the listener to follow along. (Case in point is “Old Dreams Waiting To Be Realized,” a 19-minute of entirely ambient noise.) But beyond challenging the audience to rethink The Knife as artists, the duo also seeks to challenge how they perceive societal institutions, gender, and authority. In interviews and press releases, they have cited feminist and queer studies treatises as inspirations for the album, and it shows in songs like “Full of Fire,” in which Karin Dreijer, with her reliably pitched down and otherwise filtered voice, croaks, “It’s not a vagina, it’s an option,” and ends the song repeating, “Let’s talk about gender baby, let’s talk about you and me,” as though it were a part of a demonic ritual. In spite of how intentionally distanced The Knife makes much of the album’s sound, Shaking The Habitual has strong moments of intimacy in songs like “Wrap Your Arms Around Me” and “A Tooth for an Eye.” These moments remind the listener that The Knife made their music not merely to speak, but to be heard. The hearing is not always easy, but it is definitely worthwhile. —Kevin Su YH Staff
TV: Mad Men “Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road, and woke to find myself alone, in a dark wood.” As Don Draper, 1960’s ad man, recites the beginning verses of Canto I of Dante’s Inferno, the camera opens on a provocative picture of Megan Draper’s midriff—and the sixth season of AMC’s hit series Mad Men begins. After the fifth season’s high-energy denouement, “The Doorway”—the two-hour premiere of the show’s penultimate season—proves that Mad Men remained aesthetically stunning and dramatically intense, and also gained remarkable breadth. The Drapers’ vacation in Hawaii opens the first 15 minutes of “The Doorway,” and Jon Hamm as series star Donald Draper seems curiously alienated in a land of beauty and paradise. While Hawaiian performers dance the hula over the course of a B-grade meal at a Sheraton resort, and Megan’s new celebrity status as a soap star eclipses his personality when she runs into a fan, Don is entirely silent. While the remainder of “The Doorway” takes place in Manhattan, the unsettling tone set in Hawaii deepens over the course of the episode, in which Hamm portrays an increasingly unstable and depressed Don. But Donald Draper does not monopolize the entire episode—January Jones as Betty Francis, Don’s ex-wife, makes a dramatic reemergence onto the show after Jones took a limited role for the fifth season due to pregnancy. While Don appears to be collapsing on the inside (much as Betty once did in Mad Men’s earlier seasons), Betty is getting older, more courageous, and perhaps wiser. Similarly, John Slattery’s return as a seasoned, tired Roger Sterling is equally impeccable, and the signs seem all right for an excellent year of Mad Men. But a word of caution may be necessary—because even if Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner has expertly bound together the concepts and execution behind the show’s making, he perilously risks losing the narrative in its various ideas, themes, and motifs. Perhaps it’s fair to suppose that Weiner’s office resembles Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce’s in a crucial way: the creatives run the show. It’s a great thing for now, but as any ad man would agree, the story is the most important thing. —Alexander Saeedy YH Staff
Music: Tyga It’s been nearly two years since Tyga released his gritty chart-topping single, “Rack City,” which garnered widespread support throughout fraternity basements across the United States. Since then, he’s released his second commercial album Careless World: Rise of The Last King—ironically enough, criticized for its unaccredited use of Martin Luther King samples—and made an adult film. With the release of his third commercial album, Hotel California, Tyga fails to change any perception of his career with regards to music. The first two tracks, “Get Rich and Get Loose” and “Hit ’em Up” (feat. Jadakiss), along with final track “Dope” (feat. Rick Ross) possess the same grinding instrumental vibes that will indeed rock the proverbial house at college campuses and nightclubs across the country. On the track “Molly” (feat. Wiz Khalifa), Tyga blandly infuses a slowed-down sample of Cedric Gervais’ 2012 electro single of the same name with predictable lyrics about the women he’s getting, the drugs he’s taking, and the money he’s making. While Hotel California boasts many feature rappers such as Lil’ Wayne, Future, The Game, 2 Chainz, and more, a look at the production credits makes it quite apparent that this album lacked a high-enough budget to support the kind of production line-up on his last album. But even so, Hotel California definitely has some highlights that make for some casual listening singles: the “Hijack” beat contains that raw sound that enabled him to sell millions of singles just over a year ago, while “Switch Lanes” provides a tough sound—especially with The Game on it. Overall, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend Hotel California to anyone not in the Tyga camp. But if you are, do head on over to iTunes, and be sure to get down the Young Money Entertainment star’s newest album. —Gabriel Audu
Here’s what we’ve been up to Where we’re studying: Outside. Outside! It’s so nice out! Who cares if the grass stains our pants and kind of gets stuck on our backpacks or in our books? Or if we have to check the mirror 50 times to make sure we look good enough to sit out on Old Campus? This really isn’t sarcastic—with weather this suddenly beautiful, no #YaleProblems really apply. Grab the hammock while you can! What we’re eating: Haribo Peach Gummies. 1:30 a.m. Gourmet Heaven was, at one time, a regular struggle. There was always that one flavor—that one taste that you knew would hit the spot—but you never really knew what it was. Well, long gone are the days of steak egg and cheeses; of dried mango; of cheddar cheese nips. Long gone are the days of searching for that one true flavor. Because we found that flavor, and it’s the taste of Haribo Peach Gummies. That’s a promise. What we’re looking forward to: Bulldog Days. Under all of that complaining, all of that “but I can’t hook up with such-and-such while I’m hosting someone”; all of that “pre-frosh are so weird and gross”; all of that “I’m so busy planning my group’s event”—you know you’re excited. Come on. You remember your days as a starry-eyed visitor to the lovely Have, and you relish the nostalgia. Breathe a little. Admit that you kind of love it. What we’re listening to: Wakin On A Pretty Daze, by Kurt Vile. Vile’s follow-up to his masterful bong-hit of a record Smoke Ring For My Halo is just as intimate, warm, and all-around beautiful as its predecessor, but it feels much more like an exhale than an inhale. Songs like “Never Run Away” and “Too Hard” are crackly, biting, and expansive takes on the big things in life: love, purpose, society, sleeping. A satisfying listen for an easy spring day. —YH Staff
The Yale Herald (Apr. 13, 2013)
BULLBLOG BLACKLIST The situation is emphatically not serious enough to give the advice “you’re not alone.”
At first we felt violated. Now we’re just bored.
We’re just too old to walk like toddlers who can’t walk.
YDN op-eds about society anxiety
Can everyone plz take a moment to think about real this is?
People writing about “our generation”
Can’t I just participate?
Worse, not being acknowledged by the person who took a body shot off of us.
Not acknowledging the person we took a body shot off of
Readjusting to warm weather footwear
Getting in trouble with the powers that be FellFe
Maybe it should be flattering that they’re always watching but it’s really...not.
Instagrams of Harkness
That temp tats aren’t 4ever
It’s still ugly, even in this weather and that filter.
Why not? Herpes is.
The Yale Herald (Apr. 12, 2013)
Congratulations Yale Menâ€™s Hockey!
Letâ€™s Go Bulldogs!