All I had associated with Yale before this week were the Life and Death Brigade, the Yale Daily News, and the halls and buildings of Pomona College, in Cali, where the TV show Gilmore Girls was actually filmed. People either love or hate the show, and I’m staunchly in the love camp. I think I identified with the bookish heroine: quiet, smart, content to live a second life in the world of books…
But then, two of my best friends got into Yale for grad school, making it the perfect second (and main) stop on my East Coast tour.
My hostess was my oldest friend. She came to my school in third grade, and my teacher asked me to show her around. Here we are, 15 years ago:
Now, she’s going to be a Master of Bassoon, and my favorite part of the trip to Yale was seeing her place. I met her friends, stayed in her apartment, ate her snacks, and saw her school!
Another one of my favorite people also happens to go to Yale, for a science PhD – my Walla housemate Jeremy! I also got to hear about the School of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, a whole different beast from the School of Music. And my two friends got to meet, for some inter-school bonding. Jeremy was a fantastic guide to the best things to do in New Haven…even for my School of Music friends.
My first impressions of Yale, from my grungy hipster west coast seattlite mindset: sooo many collared shirts. I joked to Nellie that it was common at Whitman to show up to class in pajamas and bare feet, which is only a little bit of a joke. The style at Yale is very classy, which I have come to associate with the East Coast (they’re at least more classed up than the West, somewhere between us and Europe).
The architecture is Hogwartsian. Apparently Yale frequently receives large donations (in the $100,000+ range), accompanied by particular requests to use the money for building churches. Consequently, the buildings look like churches while actually being academic or residential in nature. The library was an example of this phenomenon. The Cathedral of Knowledge. It definitely makes for a beautiful campus. I read outside the library to the tune of church bells.
And of course, we had to make a stop at GPSCY (pronounced “gypsy”), the grad student bar. And it had to be on Wednesday, to take advantage of their 2 for 1 drink special. Or 6 for 3, as it is affectionately known by some.
We also ate some delicious pizza, which New Haven does very well, and visited Old Campus, home to busts of various Revolutionary War heroes and academic stars who contributed to Yale’s illustrious history. Yale is so old!
The town of New Haven, though not the safest of places, was fun to explore as well. I particularly enjoyed the view from East Rock, which we caught after a hike through glorious red, yellow, and orange fall leaves next to a tranquil river. I am a Connecticut fan.