In Which I Drop the Red from The Red and the Blue
Posted on 20th November 2014
Friday was most notable for my trip to Yale. Taking out the ‘red’ from Penn’s Red and Blue to Yale’s dark azure, I rode a charter bus with the Glee Club for a good four hours before arriving in New Haven, Connecticut. When we arrived, two of our hosts from “The New Blue of Yale”, led us to a dorm where we would wait for a while for the rest of them to arrive. My first impression as we walked around the buildings and into the dorms was awe at the ornate architecture and wood paneling on the interiors. Antlers hung from the walls, alongside large paintings of former Yalies. Every building we walked into seemed to have its own Steinway piano and for a number of Glee clubbers this was too much to resist.
Pretty soon we sounded off in a chorus of “Bogoroditse Devo”, a choral favorite of hours, and moved on to other pieces, not stopping until a sizeable gaggle of girls from “The New Blue” (Yale’s top female acapella group). Zach, Tom Peterson, Rigel and myself were led to the suite belonging to one Elizabeth, who we were informed in advance was both very short, and would not be arriving home for a while. Thus we were let in by two of her suitemates Aga and Sai. We put down our belongings and chatted for a little, soon meeting Liz, but shortly after the other guys became tired of hanging around and decided to head out to a bar.
As it was a Friday night, I sat in the room reading (QED by Feynman) and had a chance to talk more with the others as they came to and fro from their studying. Liz herself made quite the impression, with a strong personality that gave her a much taller stature than she would have displayed otherwise. I learnt that she was an investigative journalist and photographer, currently researching a novel sport and throwing herself into learning about it, for a Yale paper. Additionally, she was a classical violinist who had only recently taken up singing. There was another surprise about her to come, but it wasn’t revealed until later.
Aga was a prize winning horse rider, and animal enthusiast. We bonded over the fact that she wished strongly to visit Australia. She was also very friendly and though she was studying, kept leaving her room to come out and talk. Sai was probably the least visible of those I met, with her head down in the books deep in study. However she was also probably the one with whom I was most excited to talk. Being a physicist/mechanical engineer was had plenty in common, and I managed to go on and on and on about Feynman as it was her book that I was reading. Right before she went back to her room to study she mentioned that the Yale accelerator would be open for one last day of tours the next morning, before it was to be decommissioned. Tours started at 10.30 and it would be my only chance. I thought I would be too tired the next day, so kind of discounted the opportunity and went to sleep.