The Yale Herald Volume LVI, Number 11 New Haven, Conn. Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
From the staﬀ Excuse us while we take a brief break from all things academic. Please stop talking about frameworks and social constructs now, section assholes—the only power dynamic we’re interested in is the home-field advantage. The Game’s always better at Yale, and the tailgate is perpetually less lame—even fun—in the Elm City. Day drinking without the party bus means you know which New Haven hot drink you want to spike! Not to mention, it’s your Harvard high school friends’ turn to beg to sleep on your floor. We’re down. Each year, Herald brings you a guide to The Game; this is one we’re really amped about. We’ve got the dopest of infographics by Kai Takahashi, BK ’16: learn everything you ever wanted to know about the Yale Bowl’s cool architectural features, with complementary pieces by Alisha Jarwala, PC ’15, and Kevin Su, MC ’16, elaborating on the stadium’s interesting history and surroundings. Channel your inner Plastic with a sassy (yet informative!) tailgate map by Christine Mi, ES ’15, and chow down like a gridiron baller with Kohler Bruno, SM ’16. Your favorite weekly celebrates your favorite weekend—what’s not to love? Looking for more Harvard-Yale fun? Our Voices interviewer, Joe Giammittorio, JE ’15, chats school spirit with the Whaling Crew; Culture’s got a uniquely Herald blend of satire and serious reporting on Harvard-Yale. If you’re not over New Haven yet, check out Features, in which A. Grace Steig, SM ’16, examines the NHPD’s new neighborhood watch program. In Opinion, Cindy Ok, PC ’14, examines the role of nostalgia in mental health, and Austin Bryniarski, CC ’16, unpacks the significance of the referendum on divestment. But if you’re just living for vacation, be sure to check out Reviews, where you’ll learn which movies are must-sees and which are okay to skip. Like your tailgate cup, our issue runneth over. There are Herald treats for all—and after you’re done, there’s turkey to be eaten. This year, we’re thankful for our staff, our friends, and our readers. Touchdown, Maude Tisch Editor-in-chief
The Yale Herald
Volume LVI, Number 11 New Haven, Conn. Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
EDITORIAL STAFF: Editor-in-chief: Maude Tisch Managing Editors: Micah Rodman, Olivia Rosenthal Senior Editors: Sophie Grais, Eli Mandel, Emily Rappaport, Emma Schindler, John Stillman Culture Editors: Austin Bryniarski, Katy Osborn Features Editors: Kohler Bruno, Alisha Jarwala, Lara Sokoloff Opinion Editor: Andrew Wagner Reviews Editor: Kevin Su Voices Editor: Jake Orbison Design Editors: Madeline Butler, Julia Kittle-Kamp, Christine Mi, Zachary Schiller Assistant Design Editor: Madeline Butler Photo Editor: Rebecca Wolenski BUSINESS STAFF: Publishers: Shreya Ghei, Joe Giammittorio Director of Advertising: Steve Jozkowski Director of Development: Thomas Marano Director of Finance: Aleesha Melwani Executive Director of Business: Stephanie Kan Senior Business Adviser: Evan Walker-Wells ONLINE STAFF: Online Editor: Colin Groundwater Bullblog Editor-in-chief: Micah Rodman, Jack Schlossberg Bullblog Associate Editors: Kohler Bruno, Austin Bryniarski, Navy Encinias, Lara Sokoloff, Jessica Sykes 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 2013-2014 academic year for 65 dollars. Please address correspondence to The Yale Herald P.O. Box 201653 Yale Station New Haven, CT 06520-1653 Email: email@example.com 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 2013, The Yale Herald, Inc. Have a nice day. Cover by Zachary Schiller YH Staff
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
IN THIS ISSUE
COVER 12 Nov. 23 will mark the 130th time that Harvard and Yale square oﬀ at the annual event now known simply as The Game. This year, the Herald’s put a unique spin on the tradition. Whether you’re looking for a glimpse at the Yale Bowl, a funky map of the tailgate, or a taste of a football player’s daily experience, we’ve got your back. Boola boola!
Joe Giammittorio, JE ‘15, sits down with Andrew Sobotka, JE ’15, and Hal Libby, JE ’15, of the Whaling Crew to talk Yale sports spectatorship and predictions for this year’s Game.
Will Theiss, BK’16, finds the souls of lost sailors, stares at dark waters and ales, and contemplates an unpolished and long-standing family treasure, “the cabin,” as its future hangs in jeopardy .
OPINION: Cindy Ok, PC ‘14, describes the unexpected benefits of nostalgia, and Austin Bryniarski, CC ‘16, discusses the impact of the divestment referendum.
A. Grace Steig, SM ‘16, investigates the relationship between the New Haven Police Department and the Elm City’s various neighborhood watch groups.
Nitika Khaitan, SM ‘16, examines the Yale Divinity School’s new inclusivity initiatives and the institution’s changing role in the 21st century .
Charlotte Weiner, PC ’17, sheds light on a recent partnership between SOM students and a local charter school network.
Aaron Berman, SY ‘16, twirls around with Yale’s very own baton girl. Also, a guide to The Game: Yale’s Cheer Team, an Instagram rivalry, H-Y Missed Connections, and Harvardscopes.
Margaret Schultz, ES ’16, on Mary Ruefle’s Trances of the Blast. Also, the Herald’s rundown on which movies are worth watching over Thanksgiving Break. The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
THANK GOD IT’S FRIDAY The Herald’s week in review: what rocked, what sucked, and who took the lead in IM tailgating.
Day drinking Everyone loved kindergarten. Why? Because “academics” were grounded in playing games, all-day snacking, and naptime—literally everyone loves these things. When I ask my professor for recess and/or snacks and/or naptime, they’re constantly being like, Nope. You are only allowed to play games, snack, and take naps when you’ve been drinking since before sunrise. It’s socially acceptable to nap until 6 p.m., having passed out from too much Franzia, and wake up thinking it’s 6 a.m. the next day. If this Saturday will be your first time day drinking this fall, shame on you. I hate that. Me and men’s lacrosse have been setting 6:30 a.m. alarms for game day for weeks now. Sometimes I think to myself, dude, what would it have been like to have come to Yale to play on the Men’s Lacrosse team? And the answer is always, “Fucking amazing, that’s what.” This is mostly because I love hot guys. But also because I love their carefree attitude and their high tolerance for alcohol, which can only be a result of being young, rich, straight white men. Yale rocks!
D: Happy hour If there’s one thing my mother taught me, it’s that happy hour is ah-mah-zing because it combines her two favorite things: discounts and drinking. And so it makes perfect sense that my 21st birthday party was at 3 p.m. at Chevy’s (best TexMex happy hour in the biz). There is not a single bad thing about $5 margaritas and $2 beer (less the bloat). Happy hour, unfortunately, is also parent to cheap alcohol’s evil twin: discounted appetizers. Please-—I’m already getting free chips and salsa, which by the time I’m done with them will have out calorie’d my 1000 calories burned at zumba. The last thing I need is to be wooed by my server into ordering “Shrimp & Crab ‘Dilla” and “Poblano & Veggie Queso”. Even in my wildest dairy/meat related dreams, I do not wish ‘Dilla on my worst enemy. But Lord knows that drunk vegan Jessica literally loves cheap TexMex meat fondue (only culturally Jewish). She just hates calories more but has no self control when drunk at dust so like, whatever.
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
Drinking at night is stupid. It’s the Longchamp/Barbour/whatever of drinking. Just like, I get it. It’s easy, it feels more legal than drinking in the morning. But it shouldn’t be, because night drinking is by far the most dangerous type of drinking. Things that can happen to you when you are drunk at night: absolutely anything. What happens to me mostly at night is I drink and then get bored and go to sleep. I’m not intentionally drinking to fall asleep, it just sometimes happens like that. I treat night drinking like I treat day drinking, meaning I consider them marathons. The problem is that night drinking isn’t a marathon, it institutionally ends at 2 a.m. And late nights are just tangentially related to some late night food spot, and by now we know how much I hate that. Now don’t get me started on winter drinking. It’s appalling that winter drinking hasn’t been abolished yet. I guarantee our mental health would all vastly improve if we refused to drink when it’s dark outside between the months of December and February. That whole drink-to-keep-you-warm thing? Bullshit. The only way to stay warm in the winter is to move back to California. —Jessica Sykes YH Staff —Graphics by Julia Kittle-Kamp YH Staff
TYNG CUP STANDINGS!
INCOMING: The Game The Game is incoming, as in incooooming, as in a football smashing into your unprotected face when you didn’t duck in time. To me, Harvard-Yale is like a taut, textured-leather oblong sac of air ramming into your temple every year around the third weekend of November. Like clockwork. Full disclosure: I have never been to a Harvard-Yale game. The one time I approached the stadium, a wave ofa noise and nausea passed over me, and I rode that party (school)bus right back to campus. BUT. Guys, I’m sure it’s gonna be fun this year. Go get ‘em, tigers! Play safe, wear mittens, and watch out for fly balls.
OUTGOING: Daylight Guess what, kids. Tonight the sun sets at 4:28 p.m. You heard me, 4:28 p.m. That means if, as an average college student, you stumble out of your stinking den at 10:28 a.m. for your 10:30 a.m. class, you will get to appreciate the world around you as illuminated by the sun for a mere six hours. Huh? According to the American Psychiatric Association, a healthy, young adult needs to remain conscious for at least 12 hours per subjective “day” to be considered human. Are you following this math? It means that even if you are fully functional, which, let’s be real, many of us are not, half of your day will be spent in darkness. But just because winter, Copernicus, and the straight white men in charge of daylight savings time are conspiring against your tanning time and your happiness, it doesn’t mean you can’t reclaim the darkness! Now you can knit by lamplight, have a proper séance, pretend your bed is a funereal Viking bark pushed out into black night—all before Jeopardy! And if you’re looking for more reasons to get out of bed before the sun sets, tailgating brings out the early bird in all of us. So rise with the sun and the solo cups this Saturday—no time like game time to catch some rays. And when you fall asleep by 5 p.m. from dartying too hard, it’ll feel, and look, just like bedtime. —Rachel Lipstein
TOP FIVE 5 4 3 2 1
Ways to look like a football fan for The Game
Wear all the blue-and-cream swag you’ve got, obviously, but go for the generic “Yale” vibe over the dead-giveaway “Yale International Relations Association”look. Slap some face paint on that cute mug of yours. A couple finger-breadth stripes under the eyes, and it’ll at least look like you know the difference between the safety and the tight end.
1. Jonathan Edwards 2. Davenport 3. Trumbull 4. Ezra Stiles 5. Pierson 6. Berkeley 7. Timothy Dwight 8. Branford 9. Saybrook 10. Morse 11. Silliman 12. Calhoun
380 332 313.5 305.5 282 247.5 233 215.5 210 192 174 56
INDEX XVII Number, in Roman numerals, of the current Handsome Dan
Weight, in pounds, of Handsome Dan XVII
6 Age, in months, at which Handsome Dan XVII was brought from his native Tennessee to be Yale’s mascot
03/21/07 Birthday of Handsome Dan XVII
Actually go to the goddamn game.
Year football tackle Andrew B. Graves, YC 1892, purchased Handsome Dan I, the University’s first live mascot.
Yell at the ref. Everyone yells at the ref. Make him feel like he’s doing a sub-standard job. “Hey ref, go fuck yourself” is a safe bet.
Wander around asking “Hey, anyone know the spread on this game?”, then take a pull on your beer and say “Anybody? None of you assholes know the spread on this game?” and spit.
— Leland Whitehouse YH Staff
Dollars Graves paid for Handsome Dan I.
Sources: 1,5,6) yalebulldogs.com 2,3,4) news. yale.edu — Joseph Tisch YH Staff
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/10fal8ea0nﬂx/?view=att&th=1427881a44df456d&attid=0.1&disp=emb&realattid=ii_14278817a667991f&zw&ats h=1 https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/h/10fal8ea0nﬂx/?view=att&th=1427881a44df456d&attid=0.1&disp=emb&realattid=ii_14278817a667991f&zw&at sh=1
SITTING DOWN WITH THE WHALING CREW
by Joe Giammittorio YH Staﬀ Since arriving at Yale, Hal Libby, JE ‘15, and Andrew Sobotka, JE ‘15, have been some of the Bulldogs’ biggest fans. The outlet they created for themselves and their fellow fans, the Whaling Crew, named after the iconic Ingalls Rink, now serves as the University’s primary student fan group, organizing trips to away games, hosting tailgates, and selling merchandise. This week the Herald sat down with the self-described “two least athletic guys at Yale,” waking them up from an afternoon nap for some Game predictions and Yale sports nostalgia. YH: Over the past couple years you two have dedicated a lot of your time to increasing athletic support on campus through the Whaling Crew. How did it all get started? HL: It started freshman year when we went to the Georgetown tailgate, the first football game of the 2011 season, which was actually pretty good. But the second tailgate of the year, the one against Cornell, was horrible—there were not many people there. Sobotka and I had Intro Micro together, so in class one day, we were talking about starting a cool student section at sporting events. YH: So the Whaling Crew was born out of football, rather than hockey, despite the name. HL: Yea, we hadn’t even gone to a hockey game yet, but we had heard that our team was good. It was about halfway through the football season by then, too, so we were planning ahead. There was a long deliberation period with the potential names, many of which were atrocious. AS: Yea, they were really bad. YH: Like what? HL: Ingalls Jingles. AS: The Bowl Weevils. HL: The only decent one we had was Sons of Eli. I thought it was a little too much like Son of Sam, though. YH: After starting the Whaling Crew, both of you also started working for the athletic department. How does that affect the work you do for the Whaling Crew? HL: Since I work in marketing, my boss basically does with the larger community what the Whaling Crew does with students. We pretty much act as a branch of his outreach, and we coordinate. We have to—if there’ s a game on Tuesday and another on Wednesday, and we promote one and he promotes the other, we’re gonna get 15 kids at each game, but if we work together, we can at least get a good turnout at one of them. Just look at basketball’s home opener Tuesday. It was the biggest crowd I’ve seen at a basketball game that wasn’t against Harvard. AS: They’ve been very helpful in our growth. We’ve become a source of information for kids who want to know what’s going on with sports at Yale, but sometimes we can’t answer all the questions. We feel comfortable approaching the guys in the athletic department. HL: They also help us do cool things, like getting buses down to the Frozen Four or tickets to the football game at Princeton
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
Joe Giammittorio/YH last week. That would have been a lot harder if Sobotka didn’t work in the ticket office. But it’s a perfect symbiotic relationship. We’re the grassroots movement Athletics has always wanted, and they’re the nice people that we never knew existed. We’ve been way more effective since we started working with them. YH: There are clearly sports fans on campus, but there’s not always a lot of interest in Yale sports. Why do you think that is? HL: Generally people think Yale sports aren’t good. It seems that hockey aside, people assume we play Ivy teams and the Ivy League isn’t competitive. Really though, the lacrosse team consistently makes the national championships, and the basketball team could contend for a tournament berth this year. The fact is, sports at Yale are the Harvard-Yale Game, and we’ve lost 11 of past 12. All we need to do is get a couple wins, and the entire atmosphere will change. Football is the big pull. There’s a reason that they play in a 60,000-seat stadium, even though they don’t fill it. AS: One of the most frustrating things here, especially in our early days, was that huge sports fans wouldn’t go to Yale games because they thought the games weren’t worth their time. Personally I think the vast majority of our sports are high quality. Are they Georgia? Are they Ohio State? No, but they are good, and they wear our school’s name on their jerseys. HL: I also think some good things will come with the regime change. I don’t think Levin was the biggest supporter of Yale athletics, and that’s being kind. Salovey and Pollock are in a position to make a change. Plus, winning a national championship can’t hurt. YH: Would you say that Yale sports lack the support of other comparably sized institutions’ sports programs? HL: Well, at almost every hockey game there’s a good student contingent and so many townies. But football is disappointing for me because we’ve got a big stadium and it’s supposed to be a marquee sport. After all, football started here. AS: I think wherever you go the fans will follow good teams. Penn football, Harvard basketball, Brown soccer—when the team’s good, people will go to the games. The real difference is that the administration doesn’t support athletics as much as other schools do. YH: Going back to the national championship, tell me a little bit more about that experience, because that was a turning point for you guys and for Yale athletics. HL: Those were probably the coolest two games I’ve ever been to, period. Not only that, but going into both games as an underdog, and having Malcolm step up against UMASS Lowell to put us in the finals, and then again against Quinnipiac, who had clearly showed they were a better team throughout the season. But nobody told Jeff Malcolm. One of the things I remember best was the parents crying and the kids going crazy because that just doesn’t happen in professional sports—that’s college sports. And having one of my best friends, Trent Ruffolo, win a national championship, was an awesome feeling.
AS: For me, one of the best moments was the home opener this year when they raised the national championship banner. Sitting in the stands, you could feel the personal connection between the team and its fans. The parents, students, teachers, administrators, alumni, locals—they were all there. We all live in the same place, and we all go to the same classes. These are our people, and being able to celebrate a victory that was all of ours was incredible. YH: You guys are both juniors, so what’s going to happen to the Whaling Crew when it’s time for you to move on? AS: We’ve got a very informal system. HL: A system of levers and pulleys. AS: Starting in the spring and especially next fall, we’re going to slowly retire. The sophomores who are going to take over are incredibly capable, and they’re completely on board with the mission of the Whaling Crew. I’m very optimistic about the future. We always knew this organization wasn’t going to reach its peak while we were here. YH: Do you have any advice for freshmen and other students attending their first Game this weekend? AS: Take it all in, soak it up, and think about how much fun it is to be surrounded by your school. People passionate about sports teams or any cause really know the feeling when there are lots of people around hoping for the same thing. Let that energy take over. Think about how much fun it is, and realize that it doesn’t have to happen just once every year. HL: I remember the opening 15 minutes of my first HarvardYale game, when Yale took an early lead. I felt like I was watching Florida play Florida State. I think we’re the only school in the Ivy League that can offer that atmosphere in football. When it comes to the Harvard-Yale Game, it’s a real college football game. I can’t even imagine what would happen if we win. The other thing freshmen don’t understand and what we barely understand is the pain of losing so many times in a row. If we beat them this year, that’s right up there with a national championship for me, not to belittle what the hockey team has done, because they are incredible, too. YH: What’s your game prediction? HL: We’ve got a shot, and I know Varga’s coming back, which makes a huge difference. Last year we scored early, and the place was electric. We have to get up early and be in the game at halftime. These seniors don’t want to be another Yale class that graduates without beating Harvard. AS: We have the talent, but the injury bug struck right before the Game again. It’s gonna be close. HL: 28-24 Yale. AS: 28-24 Yale. That’s what it’s gonna be. YH: And your plans for Saturday? AS: Tailgating and watching the dogs roll. —This interview was condensed by the author
HOMESTEADERS by Will Theiss YH Staﬀ
THE LAKE IS SMALL, REGULAR, AND THE PEOPLE WHO come visit it have usually gotten lost or are just passing through. But the lake has its secrets. In one corner the banks come greet each other, but then open up again to create a bay—the bay is called the inkpot, and at the bottom of the inkpot there is a ship with buried treasure and the spirits of the drowned sailors. Some summers we would arrive and there would be low tides, so that the banks blocking the inkpot were above waterlevel, and we could not go inside. We would only drive the boat up to the shore, and I would stand on my tiptoes to peer past the pines and shudder at the thought of the inkpot. “Not this year,” my dad would say, “and thank goodness. Now the spirits can’t come into the lake.” The next summer the tide would be high enough to clear the banks with the boat. No doubt the water there was darker, from the wood of ship or the curse—I never did understand the specifics. We killed the motor. “Right below us,” said my dad, “here.” And it was the same feeling one gets when visiting the site of some great moment in history, where the traces can’t be seen but are felt. Later, I sat on the dock dangling my feet in our side of the lake and plunged a wooden paddle with all my might into the water, so that it would vanish briefly, and then pop up for me to catch. I threw it, and it vanished for good. The tides were high, and the spirits of the drowned sailors had made it across. I went inside and told no one. FOR A COUPLE OF GENERATIONS NOW MY FAMILY HAS owned a cabin in the Midwestern state that is north of the Midwestern state in which I grew up (Illinois, Wisconsin). ‘Cabin,’ here, is a somewhat loaded term. My family does call it that, but I think it’s in order to remove it from socio-economic implications of the other designation, ‘lake house.’ To be fair, what I’m talking about is a house, and it is on a lake, but a cabin takes longer to drive to (seven hours). It’s a place that requires a bit of work by the first visitor of the summer to kindly evacuate the spiders that have kept an eye on things during the winter; it’s a smaller, quieter affair; it’s what comes to mind when I hear the word ‘hearth.’ The cabin has occupied my mind of late. More and more spiders enjoy the vacancy as our visits to the cabin become more rare. There has been talk, therefore, of selling it, along with the miniature Mickey Mouse fishing poles and the old board games in the closet, which are included in the package, all-or-nothin’. That fizzled quickly; I think I should start again: Lately, in my mind, I have occupied the cabin. Just as moving Eeast did to my Midwestern roots, the prospect of selling the cabin has made me fiercely attached to it, and furious at the spiders and spider families who now regard us as visitors, and are right. SO WE HAVE THE SPIRITS AND THE INKPOT. WHAT OTHER memories—can you guess them? I’m certain you could, and they are no doubt more worthwhile to me than to you, so I will try to keep them down as they spring up. It’s a difficult task, not to say how my dad, who is a camel, would insist on driving the whole way straight through without stopping. (In
realized what fun it is to push trees, so they joined us. We built a lean-to with the trees we timbered, which is still there, beside the cabin, a lean-to which I would just as reluctantly sell.
fact he would make phone calls from time to time along the way, and I knew he was ‘working,’ but he would never turn the radio off while he spoke, only down, so that I knew his ‘work’ was less important than the road to the cabin. That way I didn’t know, for surprisingly long, what his work actually was (corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, it turned out). My work, I have thought, will be like that. Or how when we fished the others would make a big show of standing up in the boat and flailing their poles about to cast the line as far away as possible, while I was content to just sit with mine straight down, patiently, with my worms and my wishes. It isn’t a good strategy, by the way, for catching big fish. I have already confessed to feeling like a Midwesterner, which is not to say I know the first thing about agriculture; it merely happened that way, and in fact you would not have trouble finding better representatives than me. Still, I know about the air by the cabin that has the taste of newness and becoming, like everything along that road just grew out of the soil not long ago. And, from the window of the car, look: the open space there awaits the innovator who will shape it up. When we would slow down and pull off the highway onto gravel, my grandparents’ dog would know perfectly well what it meant, would stand up and bark at the window and wake me up, because I’ve got to look at this! Or we would stop for gas, and at such times I’d wish we hadn’t kept the car so clean, or that we had one of the ones that sits three across the front and gives the dog more room to roam and growl in the back. Another time, after a big storm, my siblings and I went out and found that a bunch of trees were broken or partially uprooted so we ran around pushing them all down. My mom and uncle came out to supervise, but no doubt
THE TOWN NEARBY HAS BARS THAT SERVE BEER AS dark as the inkpot—they call them ales—ales— and we would sometimes go there. I always thought the dress code of the place, old shirts, suited my dad best, and he talked more eagerly the vernacular of the cabin than the language of mergers and acquisitions. “You getting out, even with all this rain?” he would engage the barman who was also a fisherman, as could be seen. “A little, sure.” He’d put down potato skins. “Yeah, us too, and we’ll be out early tomorrow if the storm goes south like I think it will. The weeds—a hula-popper, they seem to be goin’ for it.” “I’m a spinner man myself.” I knew that the weeds were where they were, and at the cabin there were plenty of hula-poppers and spinners lying around, and tackle-boxes with which one could wrangle in a marlin. It has occurred to me that I do not know what sort of man I am vis-à-vis fishing-lures. “You here long?” the barman asked. The question always means we’d been found out, that the cover was blown; we might as well pack it up and forget the whole thing. “About a week, but back in no time, you know how it goes.” WHEN I HAVE SET ASIDE SOME DAYS, WHEN I HAVE filled up and made the drive (past lake houses) to the cabin, and fumbled the keys and lit a fire and poured a bowl of Cheerios—what then? A book? A newspaper? Quick bits from abroad—“Catalonia Secedes”—something like that. On the dock, before I swim, it might occur to me that books are like lakes or waves or muck or something. But the waves aren’t so big in our lake, so it will be fine to swim. “Well nobody goes,” he’s said. “Maybe we don’t want it.” “Do you not want it? I’d go.” “Sure, I want it.” No, selling it wouldn’t do at all. There used to be a law in the United States, which said that you could stake out some land in certain parts of the west, live and work there for five years or so, and it then would became your property, your homestead. In, 1862, the decree was sent out: to qualify for a homestead you had to be 21, and you had to have not taken up arms against the U.S. government. I’m not 21, but I’ve never taken up arms against the U.S. government. After 1976 you could only homestead in Alaska; after 1986, you couldn’t at all. Homestead is a term that’s even heavier than ‘cabin.’ The homesteaders were Oklahomans, these real rough types, they knew perfectly well what sort of men they were with regard to lures, and boots, or glasses of ale. And I am no homesteader, nor an Oklahoman. —graphic by Julia Kittle-Kamp YH Staff The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
THE UPSIDE OF NOSTALGIA by Cindy Ok YH Staﬀ Homesickness reveals childishness, dwelling on the past seems indulgent, and longing for it is just plain weak. Or so the conventional thinking goes. The Western Canon would have you believe that nostalgia is the cause of all human suffering, emptiness, sadness—“a sufficient reason for a weak man with broken nerves to go insane,” as Chekhov wrote. My mother would have you believe that it’s the cause of all human laziness, restlessness, masochism. Sick at college and sick of college, I called her a little over two years ago and told her through dramatic sobs, “I want to go home, I want to go home—but not to LA or to our house, I want to go to some home I can’t picture or explain, a home that’s already gone.” I had thought it was in her job description to indulge her 19year-old daughter’s bewildering heartbreak over absolutely nothing, but she responded, “That doesn’t make sense.” Before hanging up, she also said, “You’re fine.” I was and I wasn’t, and maybe I did need to hear that, but in either case I was not alone in that experience of nostalgia. I’m also not alone in thinking that, though its reputation is all about suffering, the emotion has its upsides. Nostalgia was initially introduced as a disease that befell Swiss mercenaries in the 17th century, when the mercenaries were banned from singing the traditional song of Swiss herdsmen because it caused too much “mal du pays” (homesickness). In the Civil War, American army bands were similarly banned from playing “Home, Sweet Home” and some 5,000 soldiers were diagnosed with nostalgia—74 deaths were attributed to it. It continued to be considered a pathological maladaptation until the late-70s, when researchers in psychology and neuroscience started gathering more and more evidence of the emotion’s benefits. Contrary to the advice I’ve collected over the years as a highly nostalgic child and adolescent—variations of “let it go,” “live in the moment,”—recent findings about this “sentimental longing for the past” are ultimately hopeful. The pain of returning home, even a home that no longer exists, and maybe never existed, turns out to be healing. On a very basic level, nostalgia builds what researchers like to call self-continuity—the idea we need to have of ourselves as a cohesive whole, as beings that make some kind of sense. We tiny humans can’t viscerally understand time and space without our self-narratives, and we create those
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
stories from revisiting all the ones we’ve lived. Because returning to the past is how we find existential meaning in our lives (or fabricate it, if you’re feeling cynical), people who tend toward nostalgia have a greater sense of meaning in their lives than those who don’t. The nostalgic among us also have lower anxiety levels, and lesser fears of death—both in and outside the lab. Going backward in memory to the past makes us more hopeful about the future, and happier in the present. And aside from helping to keep us psychologically well, nostalgia also literally makes us feel more physically comfortable, a University of Southampton paper found. We respond to the cold the same way we respond to emotional cold; we get nostalgic, which makes us feel warmer, physiologically and psychologically. The implications of this understanding of nostalgia as beneficial are boundless. Even being aware of the fact that nostalgia effectively and systematically combats loneliness is helpful on an individual level. Once I understood my strange and compulsive longing for some conception of home as a stretch back toward childhood, and for safer-feeling high school years, I could recognize that familiar longing as a heartening sign that I had felt whole, and fulfilled, that I would again when what I called my “sophomore slump” passed. Nostalgia protects and can even boost mental health in this way because as much as nostalgia is always about longing, it’s also always about belonging. Emily Dickinson’s catchy first line, “Where Thou art—that—is Home— ” truly is the case for our psyches. We can give ourselves self-worth and our lives meaning whenever we want thanks to the sometimes unbearable and sometimes relieving weight of our memories. Yearning for an unidentifiable home does “make sense,” but my mom was still right about what we are in the moments when we are overcome with nostalgia: fine—finer, in fact, than we were before it came along. —graphic by Zachary Schiller YH Staff
WINNING DIVESTMENT by Austin Bryniarski YH Staﬀ For too long, climate change has been largely ignored—by the media, by the government, and by our tendency to only focus on what immediately concerns us. Besides rare events, like the climatic catastrophe the world just witnessed in Typhoon Haiyan, climate change is normally an abstract problem that we easily put out of our minds. And yet, the past few weeks have seen climate change become a major topic on campus, due in large part to the new referendum process. The final vote is a victory for Fossil Free Yale and the campaign to convince Yale to divest from fossil fuels—not simply due to the fact that the majority of voters approved of Yale divesting, but also because conversation around climate change is happening on campus in unprecedented volumes. This conversation has been fueled largely in part due to the Yale College Council’s new referendum platform. Last year’s presidential search made clear that opportunities for direct student participation in the administration’s agenda are slim to none and that something had to be done about it. The process of picking a new University President was criticized for being too cloak-and-dagger and shrouded by closed-door meetings of the Yale Corporation. Although there were some outlets for suggestion, they were few, poorly publicized and not student-run. The referendum process alleviates the divide between student and administrative bodies, since it is entirely student run and takes advantage of the YCC’s direct channel to the ears of the administration. The referendum system is successful because it promotes activism in a directed way and, in the case of divestment, has sparked discussion of climate change issues that were previously dormant. The conversations stemming from the movement have given a face to something of an invisible phenomenon and has provided a concrete platform to rally around. Last year’s YCC elections exemplified historically abysmal student participation in College-wide elections. In contrast, the requirements of the referenda prevent
campus-wide policy platforms from being decided by a measly turnout of voters. Referenda can only be considered if at least 50 percent of the student body—about 2,700 people—votes. This stringency actually serves as a mobilizing factor, prompting canvassing students to generate dialogue around the vote that might not have otherwise existed. The referendum’s framework sets a tangible benchmark for students to work towards. In turn, Fossil Free activists have become more focused and coordinated in disseminating their message. While informal rallying can contribute an inspiring display of solidarity, it doesn’t always inspire the administration. Whether or not the administration goes through with Fossil Free Yale’s proposal is still entirely in the hands of the administration. The administration still has the power to completely ignore the issue and continue business as usual, in spite of the winning vote. Even if the administration ultimately chooses not to divest, the referendum must be considered a success. It has served as a mechanism to create momentum around divestment and has made the efforts of a single group accessible to the entire student population, laying the groundwork for future efforts to decrease Yale’s climate impact. Students must not allow this powerful momentum to die. Divestment is only one of many solutions to the climate change crisis, so students must continue to find creative ways to make Yale more environmentally sound—using the recently published sustainability strategic plan as leverage, for example. As students, we need to keep working towards battling climate change and keep our administration accountable in doing the same. This means that the group of individuals that have had any involvement in this initiative—whether they spent months plan“ ning or seconds voting—must find new ways to devote their time to a more environmentally-conscious Yale. It is important that students not think of divestment as a final solution, but as only one step on a larger path. One action is not enough. Divestment has given the student body and student bodies around the country the opportunity to concentrate on a singular issue that is cognizant of a greater issue that needs to be fixed. Now that the referendum is over, this focus must be concentrated on something else, because it is too precious to lose.
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Watching the block The NHPD leans on the city’s neighborhood watch groups for boots on the ground and eyes on the street by A. Grace Steig YH Staﬀ
eslie Radcliffe recalls that when she moved into her house on Truman Street four years ago, before becoming captain for the neighborhood watch, “Truman Street had a reputation for being one of the worst [streets] in the Hill,” she said. When the skylight of her house was shot out in a random act, she insisted she would not be frightened off; instead, it confirmed her desire to help change her block’s notoriety. Radcliffe reached out: she learned who the alderwoman and Police Department district manager and walking beat officers were for her part of New Haven’s Hill area. She met neighbors who, like her, wanted to be involved in street cleaning, neighborhood beautification, and a community garden. The Truman Street watch is a volunteer group of citizens whose primary goal is to support public safety in their neighborhood; it is one of at least 45 neighborhood watches of varying sizes in the city of New Haven. This month, the NHPD began sharing its daily Flash Sheet newsletter with New Haven volunteer block watches, signaling a deep trust between police forces and volunteer citizen groups. The most common tasks that these watches take on are simply keeping an eye out for crimes, such as theft or vandalism, and getting in touch with the police, either to prevent a crime or to help inform authorities of what occurred. In her own yard, Radcliffe started gardening for the first time. Digging in the dirt outside gave Radcliffe, who works as a senior administrative assistant at the Yale School of Medicine, an opportunity to socialize with people in the neighborhood. At first, she would meet people, such as children on their way to school, who were surprised that a
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
neighbor was greeting them. Over time, her private garden provided a way for anyone to communicate over a shared interest in their street: “I would have interactions with the neighborhood drug dealers, and they would say, ‘That’s pretty.’” What she didn’t bring up during these cordial conversations was that she was providing information to the New Haven Police Department with the goal of reducing drug dealing and other criminal activity—and that the eight person block watch that she led was helping to shut down six locations on the street known for drug dealing. This June the NHPD hosted the first bimonthly meeting with neighborhood block
The meetings can also open the doorway to share creative strategies to fight crime. Lisa Siedlarz, captain of the 500-member SoHu (South of Humphrey Street) neighborhood volunteer association in lower East Rock, was able to share the success of a neighborhood strategy to catch someone who was stealing packages off porches. In response to widespread package theft, neighbors placed dummy boxes filled with scrap metal or rotten grapefruit. After neighbors saw a man try to take the fake packages, one was able to call the police and have him arrested. Following a request at the June meeting, Savannah Smith, project coordinator for community watches for the NHPD, created a
the blank space represents an opportunity. “We’re hearing from more people who want to start watches,” Smith told me. “One of the big things is encouraging people to start them in their neighborhoods.” Police hope that a more filled-in block watch map will help accomplish their goals of monitoring New Haven’s various neighborhoods; with information from watches spread all over the city, the police hope to better understand the spatial distribution and movement of criminal activity. THE DEPARTMENT’S NEW PROMOTION OF block watches comes at a difficult political moment. A specter looms in any conversation
“They’re our eyes in the community. They’re out there. They’re seeing things happening in their neighborhood, and they live there so they know it better than we do.”
— Savannah Smith, NHPD project coordinator for community watches
watch officers. At these meetings the Police Department’s media liaison, Officer David Hartman, talks to new captains about how to properly run a block watch: how to collect the information they would need in order to report a crime, how to reach their district director and beat officers. For more experienced watch members, attendance means an opportunity to understand their neighborhood’s crimes in the context of the whole city.
map showing the blocks covered by watches throughout the city. The map is the first of its kind and gives a sense of the connectivity— or disconnectedness, depending on who you ask—of the city’s neighborhood watches. The map shows large, fully filled-in regions in East Rock and Wooster Square, while other parts of the city are less sketchedin, or not at all (in fairness, they may have their own block watches, but Smith does not know of them). According to the NHPD,
about neighborhood watches since Sun., Feb. 26, 2012, when George Zimmerman, a volunteer for a watch in a gated community in Sanford, Fl., shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager. In media coverage during Zimmerman’s trial, the watch was sometimes portrayed as a vigilante group that encouraged citizens to arm themselves to defend their neighborhood through lethal force. The New Haven Police Department’s decision to reinforce a block watch program comes
two years after the 2011 appointment of Dean Esserman as police chief. Esserman helped champion community policing while an officer in the 1990s, but by 2009, this approach to policing had fallen out of practice in the NHPD. Now, as chief, Esserman has reintroduced the practice of officers walking beats and getting to know the communities in which they work. The NHPD’s brand of community policing aims to empower citizens to maintain the safety of their communities. Its website features a guide to “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design,” which gives advice on “defin[ing] and protect[ing] territory” to show that a house is cared for and to warn would-be criminals that a break-in would be noticed. These messages are signaled through features such as “decorative shrubbery, which is neatly trimmed especially under windows and around doors.” The guide also encourages neighborhood outdoor events such as block parties, clean-ups, festivals, and tag sales, as a way to help neighbors get to know one another. Community policing strategies inform the way that police and these neighbors interact. A neighbor, the department believes, is much more likely to reach out to a beat officer if each considers the other a member of a shared community. “If something happens and you need to call the police, it makes a world of difference if you’re talking to someone you already know,” John Fitzpatrick, a block watch captain in the Chapel-Ellsworth block watch in Westville, said. “That makes us more comfortable working with them.” Still, questions remain about the ways these watch groups approach issues of racial prejudice. Zimmerman gained infamy from his perceived racial bias against Martin, and Peter
Webster, the captain of Wooster Square block watch, said New Haven is not free from harmful racism. “I find this a racially polarized city,” he told me. “I think it’s because people don’t know how other people live.” Even within the Wooster Square watch he has witnessed the issue of unjust perceptions of race. He recounted how one of the watch members, who is not white, felt the need to respond to a white fellow member who was failing to treat him fairly: “He said, ‘Can’t you just see me as a human being, and as your neighbor?’” The association with Zimmerman is an uncomfortable one, and Webster explicitly expressed disgust over Zimmerman’s actions: “We don’t chase kids in hoodies down in dark alleys with guns.” In fact, most New Haven neighborhood watch groups don’t chase anyone; instead of patrolling neighborhoods, they gather information by keeping an ear to the street. “They’re our eyes in the community,” Smith explained. “They’re out there. They’re seeing things happening in their neighborhood, and they live there so they know it better than we do.” The Wooster Square watch most commonly serves low-scale crime preventive purposes. It was revived from dormancy in 2009 to deal with the fact that Court Street between State and Olive Streets, which serves as a thoroughfare from the Square to downtown, was “exceptionally dark,” Gustafson remembered. The resulting outbreak of muggings directed toward pedestrians passing in either direction led neighbors to publicize the issue on SeeClickFix—the website through which residents can share specific concerns about the city and have them addressed by officials. At this point the neighbors began to gather as a block watch. From their first
meeting, city officials supported the project; the police chief and a city lighting engineer showed up to the initial meeting. Today, the block watch has a strong online presence. Following a precedent set by Gustafson, Webster is sending out regular e-mails to a recipient list of 536. These emails condense information learned at the NHPD’s Flash Sheet newsletter or bimonthly hosted meetings—for example, a bulletin alerting neighbors to citywide Honda Civic tire thefts—and they include practical advice on avoiding crimes: the types of lugnuts to use on hubcaps to keep tires in place; the names of local automotive shops that will change the parts out). DECADES BEFORE THIS RESURGENCE, the Wooster Square block watch had played a strong role in the neighborhood. Alexander Bragg, a former pilot in the Air Force, had grown up in the neighborhood and became captain after moving back about 23 years ago. I walked into the square with Webster and Bragg, who asked a man sitting at the granite monument called the DeLauro family table if we could share the table. He did not give a discernible response, and we sat down at the table, which Bragg regularly treats with protective applications to keep it shiny and graffiti-free. Bragg told me that when he was block watch captain, he took a “boots-on-theground” approach in the position. He would identify people who were not from the neighborhood behaving in ways that indicated drug-related activity—for example, unfamiliar cars with people waiting inside them—and would ask them not to engage in that activity in the neighborhood: “I would treat them
with the ultimate respect, and 98 percent of the time they stopped.” In these instances his method was not to involve police or to seek arrests in the first place, which he said was a successful approach. The other two percent of the time? “It was problematic,” he explains. If they threatened him, he wouldn’t engage, instead calling the police. As we spoke, Webster interrupted with concern, “This guy’s in pretty bad shape, Alex.” He was looking at the man who had left our shared table and was hunched near a tree. Bragg acknowledged his comment, “He’ll be okay, we’ll check in later.” Now Bragg, who is retired, volunteers as a Guardian Angel, an unarmed civilian patrol group that works in a few neighborhoods including Bella Vista, West Haven, and Columbus Mall in Wooster Square. In contrast, none of the current watch officers I spoke to have any sort of patrol in their neighborhood. Still, they can be visible. John Fitzpatrick in West River said that when he meets neighbors for the first time, they will sometimes greet him with, “You’re the block watch guy, right?” On Truman Street in the Hill, because of concern for their safety if they were known to be communicating with the police, most block watch members are not public about their involvement with the watch. As with elsewhere in the city, these are neighbors actively engaging with their community in a variety of ways—cleaning up streets, polishing monuments, and tending gardens. The block watches throughout New Haven, Leslie Radcliffe says, “may work in different ways, but we’re working towards the same thing, which is to provide safer neighborhoods—not just for ourselves, but for our neighbors.” —graphic by Jin Ai Yap YH Staff The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
Bowl so hard
In 1914, while there was not yet a Rose Bowl or a Fiesta Bowl, there was a Yale Bowl. The Bulldogs might not come to mind when you consider college football; however, they werethe pioneers of the gridiron, the first team to play the game in its modern form according to Yale alum Walter Camp’s new rules. Moreover, Yale football players were the first to compete in a “bowl” stadium. Like the sport it hosts, since its first appearance at Yale, the “bowl” would become popular on other college campuses across the country. Check out some of the features that make the Yale Bowl so special.
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The scoreboard, added in 1958, is notable because its time clock is arranged verticallyinstead of horizontally.
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The Bulldogs have won three games in the Bowl this year. Yale football's all-time record is 865–341–55.
The press box, rebuilt in 1986 after a wooden press box caught fire, features carved stone bulldog motifs. School spirit!
In 2012, the Bowl's old bleachers were reused as a décor element at the then-new Shake Shack on Chapel Street.
The structure currently seats 61,446 people. This makes it the third-largest stadium by capacity in the second tier of college football, NCAA Division I FCS—and the largest actually owned by the school itself (the two schools with larger stadiums rent them from NFL teams).
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
This year's Game will mark Harvard's 47th visit to the Yale Bowl.
During construction, parts of the Bowl's facade were treated with acid so the structure could fit in with the campus' neogothic aesthetic. The treatment may have given the stadi um a certain pizzazz, but it also quickened the struc ture's deterioration. A 2006 renovation fixed the crum bling walls just in time for the season home opener that year.
Looking for a way in? There are 30 entrance tunnels to the Bowl—one of which is extra high to accommodate loads of hay to put on the grass surface of the field in case of frost.
The Bowl holds nearly 18 miles of seats. That's, like, 36 times the walk from Phelps Gate to Payne Whitney!
—graphic by Kai Takahashi YH Staff
The Bowl back in the day When the Yale Bowl opened in 1914, it was the largest stadium built since the Roman Coliseum. Fittingly, it has a prolific athletic history even outside of The Game. Historically, high school football was a staple at the Bowl—on Thanksgiving 1948, Hillhouse and West Haven high schools set a Connecticut high school spectator record, with over 40,000 people in attendance. While that number seems astonishing, it’s nothing compared to the 70,000 who attended the 1969 NFL exhibition game between the New York Giants and the New York Jets. When Yankee Stadium was under renovation a few years later, the Giants convinced Yale to let them use the Bowl for the 1973 regular season. This didn’t pan out well for the Giants, who ended the season with a 1-11 home record and moved to their own stadium the next year. Outside of football, the Bowl has hosted the 1995 Special Olympics, Yale women’s lacrosse (from 1981-2001) and was a serious contender as the site for the 1994 World Cup. Despite losing out to other stadiums, the Bowl has still managed to host its fair share of international soccer teams over the years: Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and FC Milan, to name a few. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Bowl next year, Yale Football will be playing against the Army’s team for the first time since 1996. Planning has been in the works for the past five years—since the Army is a Division I-A team, it needs a special waiver to play Yale. The Army and Yale have played each other 45 times since 1983, and the last Yale win was in 1955. Next fall, in the tradition of past Army-Yale games, Cadets will take the train to Union Station and march three miles to the Yale Bowl. Fifty-nine years after the last Yale victory, it’s likely that turnout will be high—but the 70,000 spectators for Giants and Jets is a hard number to beat. —Alisha Jarwala YH Staﬀ
Superstars who have headlined at the Yale Bowl
1.The Grateful Dead, 1971 2. The Eagles, 1980 3. Led Zeppelin, 1970 4. Simon and Garfunkel, 1967 5. Yes, 1971
—Graphic by Zachary Schiller YH Staff
Beyond the Bowl It’s easy to settle into routine here at Yale. We time exactly when we can wake up without being late to class, learn the shortest path to take, arrange for pit stops in libraries and dining halls between inevitable sections and meetings, and even have our go-to couches, liquors, and rooms to go decompress in. The Harvard-Yale Game is the sort of capital-e Event that punctuates what can become a numbing routine. But we shouldn’t need a once in a year event to get excited and take a chance on new people and new spaces. On the way to the game this weekend, you’ll pass through the West River Memorial Park, a park that most Yalies have probably never heard of, let alone been to. In fact, this park’s existence and location remains a mystery to most New Haveners. A large part of the problem is its location; the park is surrounded by large busy roads and is just a bit too far from downtown New Haven to be a convenient destination. As such, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision for the park as a lively public recreational space has been largely unrealized. But the park has a lot to oﬀer as an alternative to your usual routine. Looking for the natural beauty of East Rock? West River Memorial Park has 200-acres of it to oﬀer. Interested of art outside of the YUAG? Check out the World War I Memorial statue constructed as part of the Depression era’s Works Progress Administration. Tired of watching squirrels rummage around campus? Peep some osprey from one of the three observation platforms or chill with the reptiles at the Barnard Nature Center. In the immortal words of Selena Gomez (circa Spring Breakers), “I’m so tired of seeing the same thing every day.” West River Memorial Park might just be the solution. —Kevin Su YH Staﬀ
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
Breakfast of champions by Kohler Bruno YH Staﬀ It’s easy for a sedentary human being like myself to lose sight of what actually goes into being a football player. My idea of a workout is a quick, quick run—emphasis on the quick—on the treadmill, followed by a brief walk around the gym in order to see and be seen. But these football guys are always training, hours and hours each day—and a football player’s diet obviously needs to reflect the energy spent on and off the field. And the football life is definitely demanding—even beyond the grueling drill seshes. Your average football day begins with an early-morning meeting or lift—before 8 a.m.—followed by mandatory team breakfast every day but Sunday and Monday. And then there’s class. Then lunch, meetings— and then it gets really strenuous, with practice and practice and practice. Dinner means time to replenish all the energy spent during training so that it’s possible to think work or strategy before your 1 a.m Hombe Hambre (if you don’t know what this is, you’re obviously boycotting GHeav). A protein shake or three, and then it’s bedtime. Restart that routine the next day, and on and on. Occasional Payne Whitney visitors like myself might be ignorant about intercollegiate athletics—sometimes. But even we can’t go through these few days unaware that it’s The
Game Week. Football time! Harvard-Yale! But I don’t really want to get a commemorative T-shirt—or pair of sunglasses, sweatshirt, hat, three-by-five-foot Yale banner, flask, legwarmers, eye-patch—because I already have maybe too much Yale stuff as is. So I came up with my own demonstration of sporty school spirit. I went for a cultural immersion experience and decided to eat like a football player for a day. I woke up early—for me, that is. 9:55 a.m. It’s no crack-of-dawn team breakfast, but I’ve been told that this kind of life requires training. I headed straight for Commons and started gathering my spread. Two omellettes, two chocolate chip pancakes (plus syrup), home fries, scrambled eggs (salt, pepper), one brownie, a few bagels (who bothers to count anyway?), and two hard-boiled eggs (which is a way of preparing eggs that I hate). I grabbed two cups and filled one with red Powerade and one with blue Powerade. No ice—this isn’t kindergarten. (I don’t really understand the need for liquid power at every meal but I was trying to act the part and I wasn’t going to break character because of drink-related technicalities.) The omelettes didn’t hit me immediately. Halfway into the first pancake is where the going got tough. First of all, the syrup was just everywhere, but the real issue was that
I had clearly overdone it with the eggs. Not even the tall, chilled glass of delicious Mountain Berry Blast Powerade could counteract the effects of the mountain of egg in my stomach. I looked down at my tray. As a picky eater, I’m a pro at moving food around on my plate in order to hide the fact that I haven’t eaten very much of it, but the Commons dining hall employees have a canny ability to see past this ruse. Still, I was sitting there staring at a pancake and a half, a good amount of homefries, two hard-boiled eggs, and some bagel scraps. So… I put the two hard-boiled eggs in my pocket, finished the pancakes/hash browns (literally against all odds), handed in my tray and walked out of Commons. By 10:30, I got to my room and fell back into bed. It had been a long morning of hard work and I deserved some me time. I was going to try my hardest to do the authentic day-to-day football thing—shots of muscle milk? Lines of protein powder? But I caved. Maybe, if I apply myself, I’ll work up to it. Someday. For now, I think it’s enough for me to admire the eﬀort and energy that goes into daily life as a member of the football team. Yeah, it’s enough.
“There is only one man in NEW HAVEN of more importance than WALTER CAMP, and I have forgotten his name. I think he is PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY. Everyone tells you this indirectly when they speak of Camp....
Graphic by Christine Mi YH Staff
It was rather with a feeling of humility that I went to New Haven last week to see how the Yale eleven prepares itself for Thanksgiving Day. Mr. Frederic Remington went with no such feeling. He was returning to the scene of his former triumphs. It was an old story to him. But I do not think he has any idea that at his very first attempt to tell ex-captain ‘Billy’ Rhodes and Holter, the present manager, how to play the game that they would at once remind him of that old, old story of how he dipped his jacket in a pool of blood at the slaughterhouse to make it look more businesslike. It struck him as hardly fair when so many traditions and landmarks had passed away, that that particular story should alone rise out of the past and comfort him. —Richard Harding Davis, “ A Day With the Yale Team,” published in Harper’s Weekly, Nov., 18, 1893.
Divine plans The Yale Divinity School implents new inclusivity initiatives by Nitika Khaitan
DS is changing in a number of great ways,” said Yale Divinity School (YDS) Student Council President Chris Washnock, DIV ’14. The changes Washnock referred to include the new inclusivity initiatives on race, sexual orientation, and other marginalized identity-groups that the Divinity School has promoted over the past three years through a Diversity Committee comprised of student and faculty. “It’s a great time to be here,” Washnock added. Last year, Ohio State law professor Michelle Alexander spoke to YDS about race-related issues in the prison system. Every student received a copy of her book, The New Jim Crow. Following the talk, the school organized three more events on race, including a lecture by Alan Boesak, an anti-apartheid activist. “The fundamental thrust of all these events was helping us to think about white privilege,” said Divinity School Dean Gregory Sterling. Some may not initially associate secular issues like race with a divinity school education. But YDS, as students and staff point out, has a long history of facilitating such conversations. Sterling recounted talking to alumni from the 1960s at a recent reunion lunch about busloads of students traveling to the South to participate in civil rights activism. In the 1980s, YDS students were actively involved in New Haven AIDS awareness initiatives. In more recent years, Yale’s Divinity students have contributed to projects that support LGBTQ youth, such as the “It Gets Better” campaign. This concern with social justice outside the classroom is rooted in the academic focus of the courses at the Yale Divinity School. As Sterling noted, social justice activism is present in the
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
religious texts that the Divinity School students study: both Old Testament prophets and Jesus were deeply concerned with the voices of the marginalized, he argued. Yet there are complications that inherently arise when controversial conversations take root in a religious community. But according to Jennifer Herdt, associate dean of academic affairs, “That’s just why it’s so important to have these conversations in environments of faith,” she said. If the only way
The student leaders of the groups Right to Life Fellowship and Seminarians for Reproductive Justice, for instance, fall on different sides of the spectrum on issues like abortion but both identify as Catholic. But, Washnock said that the two groups treat each with respect, and students and faculty alike describe the YDS as an open welcoming place. Sterling admitted that in the past, divinity school students have not always been
ty through performance. In its first performance, a black female student who doesn’t feel respected by her male classmates was advised by her professor to talk to the only black female on the faculty. She doesn’t feel comfortable doing so, never having met her, and instead goes to her advisor, who is white and male. In the succeeding dialogue, Washnock recounted, classical assumptions get broken down and the dialogue was followed by a talkback session with the audi-
“What people need to learn is how to treat each other with respect, even if you don’t agree on the final analysis.”
—Gregory Sterling, Dean, Yale Divinity School
around conflict was for people to give up their faith, Herdt commented, then people would ultimately indulge in only superficial pleasures, such as shopping. Kayla Parker, DIV ’16, a Diversity Committee student representative, believes that the Divinity School facilitates discussion on difficult subjects like sexual orientation. “People always bring their religious beliefs to the table,” she said. “The difference in YDS is that there’s no space to hide [their beliefs].” For Parker, the advantage of a divinity school is that religion is openly talked about, and people are more comfortable discussing their religious belief in the context of any issue. While the majority of the YDS student body is Christian, Washnock claimed that there are people with “much, little and no faith” within the same tradition, who hold opposite views on a wide range of subjects.
good examples of fostering open discussion. “What people need to learn is how to treat each other with respect even if you don’t agree on the final analysis,” he said. Sterling identified this as part of the reason that a rising number of people in younger generations are turning away from religion. Learning how to balance opinions and openness, then, is one of the main challenges YDS wishes to pose to its students in the 21st century—in Washnock’s terms, the school wants to make its students “aware of differences without being damned by them.” This year, the Diversity Committee is focusing on starting a conversation about sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) issues, for which it hosted the Cornell Interactive Theatre Ensemble (CITE), a group that aims to facilitate dialogue on diversi-
ence, where the actors stayed in character and analyzed whether she should indeed have gone to the female faculty member. Parker said the program has helped to initiate organic conversation about identity and sexual orientation on campus. “A lot of people thought that race and gender didn’t need to be talked about anymore, and that this was a community that needed to be aware of these issues,” said Herdt. For Herdt and Sterling, providing questions for students to grapple with is intrinsic to the educational philosophy of the Yale Divinity School. But according Parker, the past years of inclusivity initiatives have served another equally important goal: “It makes us all the more able to tell our own stories in our own perspectives.” —graphic by Madeline Butler YH Staff
Chartering a new course SOM students will train the future leaders of local charter schools by Charlotte Weiner
he academic gap is something that we should fix,” said Yaou Zhao, SOM ’15, who has recently partnered with a charter school network as part of a Yale School of Management community outreach initiative. Zhao and his partners Kesson Anderson, SOM ’15, and Karl Hirt, SOM ’15, will add a three-hour a week class to their spring schedule to help train them for their work with Family Urban Schools of Excellence (FUSE). The SOM Outreach Non-profit Consulting Club facilitates pro-bono work between SOM students and local non-profit organizations, including a yearly initiative that pairs groups of three SOM students with one non-profit. And this year, Zhao, Anderson, and Hirt, all relatively new to the politics and procedures of running a school, have been enlisted to help lift a fledging charter network off the ground. FUSE IS AN EDUCATION NON-PROFIT THAT expands upon the work of the Jumoke Academy School, a high-performing urban charter school geared towards low-income stu-
As the charter network is developing, the need for competent and passionate executive directors to run each school is rapidly growing. “We are continuing to expand, and that’s why we need to create a really solid program for the executive director,” Sharpe said. “Every time you expand, you’re managing larger budgets, more people, and you’re
then had a week to rank their preferences and were assigned to organizations based on their preferences. Each non-profit was paired with three students. WHILE THE SOM HUMANITARIANS POSsess a passion for service, deeply a part of SOM culture, they come equipped with little
“I came to Yale because it was a school where I could work towards being a leader for business and society.” —Keeson Anderson, SOM ‘15 dents in Hartford, Conn. that first opened in 1997. Over the span of 15 years, the waitlist for Jumoke Academy has grown to 450 families. To meet this growing demand, FUSE CEO Michael Sharpe formed Family Urban Schools of Excellence (FUSE). “The idea of FUSE was to bring into urban communities a tried and true model in terms of growing excellence in low-performing schools,” said Sharpe, who served as the executive director of a Jumoke Academy School before founding FUSE in 2011. FUSE currently manages four charter schools in addition to several other schools, and will soon open at five new sites in Baton Rouge, La. A hallmark of FUSE’s program is to place an executive director in each of their schools that works alongside the school’s principal. The executive director focuses on the policies, and administrative aspects of the school, allowing the principal to focus on developing the school’s academic core.
dealing with the politics of every community that you go in,” Sharpe said. Currently, FUSE employs two executive director fellows for the 2013-2014 year through a 12-month fellowship program that prepares them to manage high-performing charter schools. FUSE hopes that SOM students will grow this program for the 20142015 year. “The problem is that there are not a lot of training grounds for an executive director of an organization like this,” Sharpe added. “So we thought that a great way of doing this was to grow our own cohort of executive directors to take over these various schools.” To develop this program, Sharpe and his colleagues contacted members of the SOM outreach club. FUSE was among 20 organizations that submitted proposals to the club in Sept. The submissions were narrowed to 15, and the 43 SOM club members heard proposals from each of the finalists. Students
experience. “I’ll be very, very honest,” Zhao said. “In terms of actual talent development, and attracting and retaining that talent, we haven’t covered that in class yet.” Zhao Anderson, and Hirt, all said that while they felt invested in education efforts and were looking forward to starting their work at FUSE, they knew very little about the project and have yet to learn what exact role they will play at FUSE in the coming months. They plan to meet with representatives from FUSE in early Dec., and Zhao hopes to develop a more concrete plan for the collaboration by the end of Jan., 2014. They will submit final plans at the end of April. “Hopefully we’ll have the [fellowship program] structure in place, or a rough draft of a plan, at least,” Zhao said.” Anderson comes to the project from an education background, having worked for Teach for America in both Atlanta and in the Washington, D.C. public school systems for
two years. Hirt taught at a school in England, which he said clarified his belief that improving a child’s education “has an impact that not only reverberates with what we do then, but throughout their lives.” FUSE CEO Sharpe maintains that the core values of the SOM have prepared these students for their role in FUSE: “They’ve been in a training program that’s internationally known, that specializes in giving its graduates innovative ways of thinking about projects, thinking outside of the box, using all of the creative skills they’ve learned with all the great professors and training they’ve had at Yale,” Sharpe said. And as a relatively new program, FUSE will depend on this young talent to guide their organization over the next year. Zhao agrees that the mission of the SOM (“Educating leaders for business and society”) allows the students to make up in drive what they lack in experience. He said the outreach spirit that underwrites the SOM separates it from its competitor institutions. “The Yale SOM has a tradition of having more nonprofit students and giving more to those types of organizations,” Zhao said. “They’re really pushing the social side.” Although Outreach Club Leader Tim Colter, SOM ’14, acknowledged that non-profit work is by no means the focus of all SOM students, he agreed that the SOM’s mission is evident in the day-to-day culture of the school: “There are more extracurriculars, academic activities, and students who are focused in nonprofits [than other schools],” he said. “There are more students who go into socially or publicly focused things—government positions, educational nonprofits— than you find at other business schools.” “I CAME TO YALE BECAUSE IT WAS A school where I could work towards being a leader for business and society,” said Anderson about his responsibilities as a young businessman. In some sense, the role of an executive director in a charter school parallels an SOM student’s role in the community—both individuals are focused on business and data, who can simultaneously understand of the underlying societal aims and of the organizations with which they’re involved. It is this mutual vision that SOM students hope will guide them through unchartered territory with FUSE. —graphic by Zachary Schiller YH Staff The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
CULTURE Harvardscopes At Yale, we have residential colleges. At Harvard, they have houses. Dipika Gawande, DC ‘15, consults her astrological sources to bring each house a weekend fortune. Lowell House Your famous, enthusiastically erect bell tower brings boys and girls to the yard, but being the center of attention comes with distractions. With the noisy clanging and final clubs next door, you’re in and out quick. Later this week, try for focus and follow-through. Perseverance is key, and Viagra is generic now! Adams House Your Germanic, dark-paneled, vermin-infested real estate shows your lazy taste for luxury. Uranus’s lunar aspects will encourage you to do something about it. Address the cockroaches. And that annual black-tie reading of Winnie the Pooh? Honey, inertia ain’t the new ANYTHING. Quincy House You’re versatile and adaptable. (Read: existential crisis.) When Jupiter turns retrograde, you’ll find yourself. R u a social butterfly? R u a bookworm? We hear your lib has comic books—so alternative. Cocoon there; it’s easier to introduce yourself at parties when you know who you are (or, at least, when u know who u r). Kirkland House You’re homey, but deadly fun. Canning the affection would be advised, but botulism lives long. Around the new moon, though, really try. Brainstorm alternate labeling for “IncestFest,” your annual OMG-Let’s-LockThe-Doors-And-Touch-Each-Other party. Reflect on history: when people philos their adelphos, (if you know what we mean), their sons get hemophilia… Pforzheimer House Your stately bounty is almost as oppressive as your narcissism. When Mercury turns forward, less is more. What are you compensating for with rooms that big? Pfurthermore, repeat this apffirmation: putting p’s in pfront of all f-words is pflamboyantly pfucked up. Winthrop House Beneath your clean, efficient exterior lies a real mind-fuck. Under karmic Uranus’s conjuncts, seek help. Explore how sleeping in bunk beds and knowing (just too nearly Biblically) your neighbor’s boyfriend through the paper-thin walls has shaped your psyche.
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
Leverett House You’re all about that middle ground. When Pluto reasserts his planetary identity though, you’ll be able to pick a side. Peruse your own Crimson for motivation: “Leverett is just about average.” “If Houses had relationship statuses, Leverett would be the friend-zone.” “Perpetually unobjectionable.” “...Still in search of love.” Dunster House Under that gold and crimson dome lies your intense, brooding core. In convivial Venus, try to lighten up. Take a break from your curious obsession with opera and annual goatroasting, and avoid complaining about your walk-through bedrooms. (Suitemate traffic passing through your hookup en route to the bathroom? Flip that frown; three’s company— and four’s a party!) Mather House Abject solitude is independence. Under the solar eclipse, you’ll find joy in your utter inaccessibility. Revel in your concrete fortress miles away from civilization, and move a queen-size bed into your giant single to fill the void because no one’s coming and honestly, who needs ‘em? Eliot House Your ambition for having cake and eating it too is starting to show. By Thurs., the time may be right to trim. Though your class of ’54 included the grandsons of Henri Matisse and James Joyce, and a direct descendent of the prophet Muhammad (whom your master literally called “the great-great-great-greatgrandson of God”—like maybe try to let them eat cake because you should really consider Atkins), do recall that your alumni list also includes the Unabomber. Currier House Pro/con: Mixed bag. Pro/con: Has (needs) its own shuttle stop. When Saturn slips into apex, you’ll get it together. Why do you have 3 million multi-purpose common rooms and why are you in the literal boonies? People say you’re like Canada, but we don’t know what that means because no one’s been there. Cabot House Because your mascot is literally Swedish Fish, you’re a Pisce, bitch. Mercury’s retrograde brings exciting opportunities to grow a pair. Perhaps this Sunday instead of “Cabot Sharing”—where randos can open mic their feelings and other bullshit that’s important to them—ruminate on where you may have left your ‘nads.
Missed Connections by Alex Saeedy YH Staﬀ
Star-crossed Bulldog seeks his destined Crimson partner You don’t remember me. We’ve only spoken once—I saw you dancing on top of a table at the Crimson party last November. While taking a breather from “Pimpin’ All Over the World,” you asked me for a lighter. I didn’t have one. And though most would have taken that eye-roll-and-subsequent-hair-flip as a surefire sign of “YALE BEOTCH,” I just…can’t stop thinking about you. I’ll forever keep a skyblue Bic with me, with that like obvi-unlikely hope that somehow, someway, you’ll be there…I’ll be sleeping in the basement of TD. Find me if you can.
Literally, if I ever see you at our high school reunion... What the fuck? “I’m sorry but I have too many people sleeping on my floor?” We literally went to high school together you ASS. And Jesus—what is wrong with you Yale students? All I heard when you took me to Frogs’ was the same, tired conversation: Did you hook up with this guy at that club? How much marijuana did you inject? Did you blow the captain of the hockey team in the moat? Um, no I did not. Most nights, I curl up with my blankets and watch Netflix and MISTAKENLY think back to our treasured time working on our AP Physics project of April 16, 2010. You probably don’t remember that. It involved magnets. And it was AMAZING.
Sappho searches for her Byron I don’t have time for words. They are fickle, meaningless things. I hear them rattle out of my mouth like clanging silverware. You, student admissions ambassador for my high school, spoke at length about the “values” of a Yale education. But all I could imagine was us sipping coffee together and taking a few tabs before we headed for the big city of New York City. Where dreams are made. Or perhaps lost into the void of our hearts? Now I have but few dreams left—they echo like phantoms in the dimmest corridor. I carry too many failures to confront—I live in a suburb. I go to Harvard. A homeless man groped me in CVS. I beg of you, redeem me. Or I don’t know—call me? At least read my poems in the Harvard underground lit zine? There are so many copies are sitting in my room…
A Tale of Two Instagrams Yale’s rivalry with Harvard might be ages old—but how does it manifest itself in an increasingly virtual world? One word: Instagram. Let’s begin with the basics, shall we. With a fairly consistent habit of at least one post per day for the past 72 weeks, Yale University’s official Instagram account, @yale, is quickly approaching 700 posts. The photos appear on about 9,200 users’ timelines. Harvard University’s Instagram, @harvardu, has garnered nearly 1,000 less followers with an unimpressive 150 total posts, and about 20 percent of them are reposts. While Harvard does boast a more successful following to follower ratio, it’s only because @harvardu won’t give up a follow unless a user’s account name includes the word “Harvard” in it. Yale, on the other hand, follows New Haven favorites like 116 Crown and GANT, student groups like @YaleKappa, and an adult male who goes by
the identity of @dankykong. What a circle of friends! Talk about good sportsmanship: Yale even follows Dartmouth and Princeton. Content-wise, Yale’s Instagram features the quintessential gamut of autumnal foliage, historical photos (#tbt), architectural gems, sports scenes, gallery exhibits, and campus fauna. “We see our efforts on Instagram as an opportunity to capture and share some of Yale’s creative, connected, joyful, open, and diverse moments,” Yale’s Deputy Chief Communications Officer Michael Morand, SY ’87 DIV ’93, explained. Yale posts seasonal moments too: a “Happy Mother’s Day” greeting, adorable baby bulldogs wearing Santa Hats, a Flag Day celebration (June 14—you learn something new every day!). “Yale believes strongly that the best institutional communications are wholly human, which means stay-
ing true to the institution’s values of academic excellence while allowing yourself to be a little playful,” said Emmanuel Quartey, TC ’12, who worked for Yale’s Office of Public Affairs & Communications and catalyzed the creation of both Yale’s Tumblr and Instagram. “The challenge of representing large institutions online is not insignificant. It’s a balancing act, but it is possible to remain true to your values while exhibiting soul.” And indeed @yale does just that, by celebrating moments like Yale’s epic Final Four title win last spring, students harvesting kale at the Yale Farm on National Kale Day, or the 1965 Glee Club posing in front of the Taj Mahal. @yale holds the love of the wholly human experience on campus—its dynamism, its interconnectedness, its creativity—and @harvardu needs to try harder. Here’s to being a company of scholars and a society of followers. —Lucia Herrmann
Bringing it on I
Twirlin’ girl S
he’s the girl who needs no introduction, partially because you hear the crowd of drunk people behind you in the Yale Bowl screaming her name before she even takes the field in her sparkly Yale leotard. Chrissy Houle, ES ’16, often known as “Baton Girl” or “BATON GIIRLLLLL! I LOVE YOU!!!” has been changing the face of Yale sporting events since she arrived on campus as a freshman. Houle says she is sometimes baffled by how much recognition she gets for simply doing what she loves. Back in her small hometown near Ann Arbor, Michigan, every little girl would try baton twirling— but Houle stuck with it. Before this summer, Houle had attended Twirling Nationals every summer since age seven, practicing up to 12 hours a day during the summer. Though she knew she wanted to continue twirling in college, Houle had to carve out her own opportunities to do so. She faced pressure from her coaches to twirl at a big sports school like the University of Michigan. But Houle also knew that she couldn’t pass up the academic opportunities of an Ivy League institution—one where there was no existing position for baton twirling in the
band. So, batons in hand, she smashed down those institutional barriers and reached out to the band directors of all eight Ivy League schools during the application process. She ultimately landed a spot at Yale. She’s now putting in four to six hours of practice a day with the Yale Precision Marching Band—a true exemplar of the trailblazing “you do you” mentality. Fame never comes without its downsides, though, and Houle laments that people sometimes don’t seem to fully understand her identity as both a student and a Baton Girl. Last year, for example, some students thought she wasn’t a Yale student and that the band had specially hired a twirler for their shows. Even now, she says, her peers will go through an entire semester of section or seminar with her and have no idea she’s Baton Girl, only to be completely astonished when they see her dressed up and performing at a football game. But, Houle qualifies that it is not all bad: the double persona sometimes makes her feel like Batman. She also thinks people should take it easy with the fanfare: “I’m not that cool, I swear.” —Aaron Berman —graphic by Christie Ramsaran
f teen movies have taught us one thing, it’s to envy—or fear—the cheerleaders at school. But here at Yale, the stereotype cannot be further from the truth. In anticipation of The Game, the Herald went behind the pom-poms to investigate what it is really like to be part of this pep squad. Cheerleading can be incredibly difficult, said Karen Cruz, CC ’15, who has been on the team since freshman year. She’s not just talking about the squad’s pushup tradition, where they match the scoreboard with pushups when Yale scores throughout each game. “While on game day we look happy, confident, and our makeup and hair is done perfectly, what the crowd doesn’t get to see is all of the work that it takes to make stunts and pyramids look effort- less,” she said. Still, she noted that cheerleading was a perfect fit, since it allows her naturally outgoing and cheery personality to “shine through.” The Yale cheerleading team has a storied past. In 1890, Yale introduced the first ever cheerleading squad in college football history. The squad also counts George W. Bush, DC ’68, as one of its alumni. The past decade has been a tumultuous time in cheer history—despite its recent strides. Some cheerleaders recounted the disorganization of the program until only a few years ago. Members often skipped practices, and as Team Captain Patricia Lu, ES ’15, told the Herald in an email, “Cheer also used to he grounded (we couldn’t stunt) because it was too dangerous and the girls weren’t trained properly.” Cruz also recounted how the administration was uncooperative in helping them find a new coach after the previous one left in 2012. “We literally did not have a coach for the first couple of weeks,” Cruz noted. “We had to take matters into our own hands, hold our tryouts, and eventually find our current coach.” Perhaps the largest obstacle to the team is its status as a club as opposed to varsity sport, as it is at other NCAA Division I schools. As a
result, the team is unable to recruit, hold mandatory conditioning, or arrange for long practices—all of which are the norm at larger universities. “Right now, in terms of getting new members, it’s basically word-of-mouth and maybe flyers,” Kyle Bajtos, SY ’15, wrote in an email to the Herald. Other members stated that it is often difficult to find a group of 15 to 20 students, willing to commit that degree of time and involvement. As it stands, the experience level of new cheerleaders remains fairly low. “About half of the cheerleaders cheered in high school, and only one girl and one boy know how to tumble,” Lu told the Herald. Still, this year’s cheerleading team is optimistic about the future of their squad. “We’ve gotten good at training girls and getting them up to speed, regardless of their background,” Lu wrote. “I didn’t cheer in high school, I learned everything freshman year!” Moving forward, the squad is aiming to become more “collegiate,” which entails a focus on simplifying their “look” and “increasing the level of difficult in our stunts,” Cruz said. If you plan on attending this year’s Harvard-Yale football game, look out for the wide array of changes that the cheerleading team will implement. Not only will they have a new, more minimalistic uniform, but they will also debut a new pyramid formation. While they may not be performing in the halftime show, they will be dancing along with the band. Bajtos, one of few tumblers on the team, also promises spontaneous stunting: “I can do a round-off back handspring, and am working on a back handspring-back tuck,” he wrote. “I’m pretty fearless when it comes to trying that kind of stuff, so maybe you’ll see me celebrate our touchdowns with a back handspring or two!” “Harvard-Yale is our favorite game of the year,” Cruz said. “We love to see the stands full, and with so many people there, [it] is our chance to really show what we’ve been working on.” With any luck, that means we’ll be seeing lots of push-ups, too. —Larry Millstein —graphic by Julia Kittle Kamp YH Staff The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
REVIEWS Childlike wonder by Margaret Schultz
Trances of the Blast, Mary Ruefle’s 12th full-length poetry collection, is a spectacular and baffling work. Ruefle’s poems are some of the most startlingly original poems currently being written in the English language, but the danger is that her work may be too original, her language so playfully particular that it may elude understanding. This ought not to deter readers: Ruefle’s poems are marvelous despite their occasional inscrutability, and are well worth the struggle to read. In the opening poem, “Saga,” the book establishes its paradoxical existence, admitting that, “Everything that ever happened to me/ happened to somebody else first”, yet going on to set the stage for the ensuing exploration of self. All the life events related in the book—birth, education, middle age, grief—are experiences that have, of course, happened to others first, but no one has written about them as Ruefle has. Her poems exhibit a combination of effortlessness and mania; they develop equally out of the mundane and the improbable, presenting the bizarre as if it were accepted fact: “Of course, I can only make one sound a year”. Stylistically, Ruefle is a master of taking idiomatic or customary phrases and changing them in small ways that modify their meaning without entirely eliminating their original connotations, in a way similar to a child first learning to speak might mis-repeat overheard phrases. This allows the poems to balance between familiarity and strangeness, as in the description of a sound being “as pervasive as a stream/ in the not-too-distant”, which abruptly ends with “distant” rather than completing the phrase with an expected “past” (“Metaphysical Blight”). Her slightly unprogrammatic syntax works with a child-like logic, insisting on a perception of the world that is perhaps more accurate in so far as it is unique to her. This eclecticism, however, is not intended to be prohibitory, but to make Ruefle’s universe more accessible, to reduce the distance between “I” and “you.” Although they originate from one highly specific point of view, the poems offer various forms of address—to the reader, to inanimate objects, to themselves. Tonally, this allows for an intense playfulness that yields to a great despair; the fear of poetic dialogue being ultimately that the addressee is absent, that the speaker is talking to no one. In “Jaroslav”: “Oh what a lonely head/would say such a thing/and then repeat it, / indefinitely.” All the lonely head wants is for someone to listen—for the reader to allow the intrusion. (“Le Livre de Ma Vie”: “Please accept the pressing in/ of your eyes.”) Ruefle’s poems are often very
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
surreal and funny, but the comedy springs out of a sense of urgency, out of the imperative “explain yourself or vanish.” And, like the best comedy, there is deep suffering underneath. The poems’ suffering springs from an alienated self: the child who is maladjusted to the normalcies of the world, who has tried and failed to conform to expected modes of behavior. (From “Fireworks”: “The world was designed and built/to overwhelm and astonish./Which makes it hard to like.”) The poem “En Route” describes a childhood memory of looking at one’s image in the reflective glass of a window and the realization that this is not an acceptable thing to do in public: “people/ didn’t have to look or/ maybe they didn’t want to.” The speaker is never quite able to understand this “not looking,” and just as she pushes back against the social conditioning of the child, so too does she subvert traditional poetic representation. The details of Ruefle’s poems do not have symbolic or metaphoric significance, but are simply truthful depictions of the arbitrariness of thought, of the brain that is always looking at itself. Ruefle’s problem is that some things are too painful to be examined by either brain or poem; there are some types of pain that cannot be expressed. This is a submerged theme humming under the surface of much of Trances of the Blast, the words “blast” and “trance” hinting both at violent trauma and its resulting psychosomatic state, but it comes to the fore most movingly in “New Morning.” Here she compares her younger self to “the littlest animal,” a figure of wounded innocence whose suffering is “unbearable,” and also, importantly, inexpressible in the language of her present self. There is a sense that Ruefle’s poems struggle to say what cannot be said at all just as a child’s words might fail to express their true intentions. Trances of the Blast is fraught with this danger of misunderstanding, which is ultimately what makes it so remarkable and so very exciting to read.
The Herald’s movie rundown
Our writers weigh in on what to watch over Thanksgiving Break
From the creators of the films Love Actually and Notting Hill, About Time introduces itself as a quirky and modern romantic comedy. The story revolves around recently-turned-21 Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) who has learned from his father (Bill Nighy) that all the men in his family can travel back in time. Tim, sweet and somewhat awkward, decides to use his newfound power to improve his lackluster love life. Surprisingly, however, Tim’s burgeoning relationship with Mary (Rachel McAdams), a relatable character with hair she thinks is “too brown” and a frightening enthusiasm for Kate Moss, is not the film’s entire focus. In fact, About Time does not end with Tim and Mary acknowledging their mutual feelings; instead, it follows their lives after they’ve said their “I do”s. This allows all the characters and relationships within the film to receive equal respect and development, including the supporting characters, who are given a depth and originality that is often lacking in romantic comedies. Tim and his father are especially successful in communicating their loving, playful, and deep connection thanks to stellar performances from Nighy and Gleeson. In spite of being a film whose premise is based on time travel, About Time manages to stay grounded in reality by dealing with the more human aspects of life: happiness, sadness, and death. In the end, About Time is far more than a stereotypical romantic comedy; it is possibly the most moving and realistic film I have seen in a long time. It is a love letter to living your life to the fullest which declares: Don’t be afraid of letting go. Don’t worry about fixing everything; you can’t. And live every moment of every day as if you could never repeat it, even if you could travel in time. —Katherine Barnes
Thor: The Dark World
Let’s level with each other, shall we? I didn’t go to Thor: The Dark World with anything serious in mind, and you certainly aren’t going to either. I went for the reasons you might go: I liked The Avengers. I could use Chris Hemsworth’s abs as a washboard. I still have a crush on Queen Amidala of Naboo, even after Black Swan. None of these things contribute to compelling cinema, but you and I don’t care, do we? We just want more of Joss Whedon’s big-budget Marvel franchise, served over-the-top with a side of Natalie Portman. OK, that’s out of the way. I’m glad we can be honest with each other. Because we can be honest with each other, I have no shame reporting to you that this Thor sequel kicks ass and takes names. Hemsworth’s Norse God/alien superhero/whatever is big, loud, and dumb, just how we like him. He yells, waves his hammer, and cuddles with Portman, whose performance as “brilliant astrophysicist” Dr. Jane Foster is pleasantly vacuous. Supporting performances from Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Demmings provide well-placed comic relief between Whedon’s melodramatic dialogue and hyper-indulgent action sequences. Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Thor’s conniving brother Loki is a little too good for a movie so committed to being awesomely bad, but nobody’s complaining. Plot summary serves no purpose here, since again, we don’t really care. Something is attacking Earth, and Thor needs to do something to stop it. More importantly, Thor looks hardcore stopping whatever that something is, the alternate dimension-planet things look cool, and the whole thing ends before it gets too boring. So Thor 2 gets two thumbs up as a reward for meeting expectations. Seems like a low standard? Don’t complain; you and I set it. —Colin Groundwater YH Staff
Great Expectations, Mike Newell’s new take on the Dickens classic, doesn’t fully live up to its name. Though beautifully shot in muted colors, the film skims the surface of the novel as blithely as it glides across the English countryside. The film tells the tale of Pip (Jeremy Irvine), a blacksmith’s apprentice, whose fate is mysteriously turned around by a secret benefactor; he promptly moves to London and transforms from tanned country bumpkin to pale city sophisticate. Even while Pip gets swept up in intrigues and adventure, he never forgets Estella (Holliday Grainger), his childhood love. Condensing a thick, intricate novel into a two hour feature is never easy, making the pacing of the film crucial. Regrettably, Newell makes up for a dawdling start by having a second half that’s too rushed and haphazard. Denouements follow each other improbably quickly, with a convenient fish-eyed lens trick warning us whenever another important flashback is coming along. All this comes at the expense of character development: Estella’s emotional development and, more importantly, Pip’s budding maturity—the main thrust of the bildungsroman—are largely glossed over. Irvine’s and Grainger’s somewhat bland performances do not help. Though Irvine is sufficiently unassuming to portray the generally decent but slightly baffled Pip, he always seems half-hearted; moments such as Pip’s condescension to his brother-in-law or his utter humiliation do not have the emotional impact that they should. On the other hand, Estella’s heart is supposedly trussed up as tightly as Grainger’s hairdo is. But Grainger—even at her iciest—is merely tepid and lukewarm, never reaching the characteristic subzero temperatures of Dickens’ Estella. Newell’s new film may be adequate entertainment for two hours, but it doesn’t do full justice to Dickens’ deliciously tangled plot. Like its cinematography—be it images of desolate countryside, flickering lights, or the gloomy grayness of Victorian-era London—the film is pleasant, but hardly surprising. —Mengshi Zhang
Recent recommendations Watch: 12 Years a Slave Gravity Skip: Ender’s Game Carrie
The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)
BULLBLOG BLACKLIST I know I don’t care and you do, but are you trying to get a reaction? I know our team’s not good, but I’ll, like, fight.
Something blew in our eyes three hours ago and it has been hurting and watering since. So fuck us!
Leaf scraps blown in our eyes We hope they cover this in next semester’s gut QR.
People messaging you on FB chat when you’re just not in the mood
When people are actually aggressive about the outcome of Harvard-Yale
The amount of time we’ve spent strategizing how to maximize drinking Friday night and Saturday morning
Because we’re already dreading it. But look out for The Herald 100!
The week after Thanksgiving
Papers due over Thanksgiving Break When Marichal Gentry puts “The Game” in quotes
It’s not you, it is really me.
Sweating in layers
Give me a break.
People who are weirded out by their Herald Crush invite
Does that mean he’s just being sarcastic with all those rules?
It is real. We don’t know what to do ‘bout it.
Don’t be stupid. Shut the fuck up and come. We don’t know you anyway but we just want you there because it’ll be fun if there are a lot of people there. You really are just a body in this situation. Stop emailing your one friend on the Herald. It’s just a party. You don’t like parties? Have you ever been to an off-campus party? You haven’t? Do you even know where Orleton Court is? It’s behind Pierson. The Yale Herald (Nov. 21, 2013)