Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yale and the view from within the walls

Stephanie, Jessica and Matt in between lectures

Yale Photos

Sterling Library

The "lucky foot" of Theodore Dwight Woolsey, elected President of Yale in 1846. He was a huge supporter of the crew team back then and pushed the team off to race with his foot. The team won every time he did this which is why they said he had a "lucky golden foot." Students to this day rub his golden foot for good luck. Mrs. Kronenberg, Mr. Ramsey and I all rubbed it while passing by.

The first dorm at Yale University

These past few days have been fantastic. The students, Mr. Ramsey, Mrs. Kronenberg and I have been making the most of our time since we arrived on Friday. As the students have expressed in their blogs, we began our day early on 7/24 arriving at ECHS before 4am. After a long and tiring journey east with a connecting flight in Chicago, we touched down in Hartford, CT with out driver awaiting us.

Matt, Jessica, Stephanie and Yohanna were the first of the Ivy Scholars to check-in to their residence halls and as they mentioned, realized immediately that they would be needing fans! The humidity hit us hard the moment we got out of the van! After the students checked in, we met Mrs. Kronenberg and Mr. Ramsey for dinner at Zinc's for a lovely dinner. By the end of the meal, we were all feeling the many hours of travel and lack of sleep wearing on us. We walked the students back to the dorms and headed back to the hotel for a much needed night's rest. That night, two things I noticed were the lightning storm out my window with the tapping of the rain along with the sound of sirens down below. That was another thing that stood out in our minds right away was the huge presence of the police force patrolling the Yale campus. The interesting thing was there really isn't a major divide or separation from the community or outside neighborhoods and the Yale campus. However, all of the residential buildings, lecture halls, libraries, etc. area ll completely enclosed and it is virtually impossible to get in unless you have access. How do we know this? Mrs. Kronenberg, Mr. Ramsey and I tried!

As the students mentioned, yesterday's tours of Connecticut College and Wesleyan were great and I believe they gained a lot from this. Wesleyan seemed to be the favorite of the two but for obvious reasons. It is a top tier school and it truly showed. I personally enjoyed the tour at Wesleyan more simply because there were students on campus and there was a lot going on while Connecticut College was a ghost town and the only people were caught a glimpse of were in a wedding party posing for pictures!

The students had their orientation last night after dinner where they were quite impressed after being introduced to their professors, classmates and the director of the Ivy Scholars, Professor Minh Luong. After speaking with them and reading their blogs from last night, the students all went to bed feeling excited and eager to begin this Yale experience after several weeks of anticipation. At the same time, they also realize that this is intense and is probably one of the most rigorous (if not the most) in the country. What a great experience for them!

Matt, Jessica, Stephanie and Yohanna began their day today bright and early with breakfast and their first lecture at 9am. Mrs. Kronenberg, Mr. Ramsey and I went on a tour of Yale this afternoon and then met up with the students for their 3:00 lecture with Professor Hennigan on Political Ideologies. The tour of campus was great (though hot and humid!) and we were taken aback at the mere beauty of these buildings and the architecture itself. One of the architects of Sterling Library actually poured acid on the outside of the building to make it appear older than it really was. He also purposely left space where a statue or figure could be placed so that it would appear that the building had been tampered with...again for the appearance that the building was old.

All of the buildings are completely closed off and are surrounded by walls, gates, locks ensuring safety for students and staff from the crime that hides in the shadows on the streets of New Haven. As Mr. Ramsey mentioned yesterday, Yale could be in the middle of the Iron Triangle, that is the feel this place has and it is surreal for such a prestigious, top notch university.

Some facts about Yale that stuck out the most were:

  • Yale was first called "The Collegiate School" before being called Yale

  • Yale means to cultivate mind, body and heart

  • The unofficial slogan for Yale is- "For God, for country and for Yale" Nathan Hale said this. He was America's first spy and was an undergraduate at Yale. He ended up being caught and hung in New York City in his twenties.

  • 5,000 undergrads and 5,800 graduate students

  • There are over 12 million books spread out among the libraries at Yale.There are 4 million alone at Sterling Library!


  1. Sarah,

    You may get tired of reading it but I’m going to continue to write it nonetheless: Great photos—thanks for posting them.

    Dr. Dr. Luong told us that you all would need a fan but it’s easy for those of us here in the Bay Area to take such admonitions with a grain of salt. I found it amusing that Stephanie seemed overjoyed with having gotten a fan. [Are the classrooms and lecture halls air conditioned?]

    I hope your dinner at Zinc’s was a good one. I’m not sure that I would go out to eat at someplace named after a poisonous heavy metal.

    After your lengthy day I’m surprised you all were even able to stay awake through the meal. I stay up all night all the time anyway but for most people, getting on a shuttle at 4 Am is just plain early and unless you’re milking cows it’s just not natural to be up that early.

    Charles has fled me in on the dividing line between the civility of the Yale campus and the real world just across the street. Considering that we both come from Richmond, his words were not reassuring. At least Yale seems to be addressing the possibility of intruders.

    Considering that Connecticut College only has 1900 students, I wonder how much more occupied it might have looked had you been there in the middle of the Fall.

  2. "The unofficial slogan for Yale is- "For God, for country and for Yale" Nathan Hale said this. He was America's first spy and was an undergraduate at Yale. He ended up being caught and hung in New York City in his twenties."

    That's exactly the type of trivial knowledge that I'll remember!