My abdication of the royal throne of New Haven

This is my last column as the King of New Haven. As of May 27, I will be known as the King Emeritus.

I am only now coming to grips with the fact that my time left at Yale is quite limited. Today is my last day of classes. Soon enough, I will take my last final, eat my last meal in the dining hall, sleep my last night in Davenport. I will step on the Branford College courtyard millstone and walk through the Memorial Gate, and my bright college years will be gone forever. And I must admit, I will miss this place.

I’ll miss the buildings. Sterling Memorial Library. SSS. The Saybrook and Harkness Towers. I’m glad I didn’t go to UC Irvine, because the buildings there aren’t nearly as phallic. When am I going to get another opportunity to surround myself with such thrilling Gothic architecture? Lord only knows.

Of course, I’ll miss the dining halls. What other food service system in the world is creative enough to pair marinara sauce with basmati rice, or pirogis with bok choy? Who else would be brave enough to point out our dangerous blood sugar deficiencies by eliminating shredded wheat, corn flakes and Cheerios from the cereal selection and forcing us to eat Frosted Mini-Wheats, Frosted Flakes, and Honey-Nut Cheerios instead?

My favorite meal of all time will forever be the “Yellow Dinner”: fish francaise, rice pilaf, polenta, and carrot soup, topped off with a tall glass of orange juice. And by making me feel marginalized for liking the taste of flesh, the smorgasbord of soy-based menu options taught me an invaluable life lesson.

I’ll no doubt become lonely as my e-mail inbox thins out. E-mail has been my primary form of communication for the last four years, and although it will still be useful in coming years, there will no longer be a reason for me to check it 30 times a day. Soon, once a day will be enough. Over time, I’ll long for the bygone era when I received daily updates from the Party of the Right, the Anti-Gravity Society, Palestinians for a Big Powerful Israel, and other groups I apparently signed up for at the freshman bazaar.

I will miss wandering through Cross Campus and trying to maneuver my way around the pack of freaks jabbing at each other with foam swords. I will also miss the free expression bulletin board in Machine City. Both these things have served as important reminders of my own relative sanity.

I will miss the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where I spent many an occasion napping on the leather couch by the Gutenburg Bible. I will also miss my weenie bin in Cross Campus Library. I went to the same weenie bin every finals week of my Yale career. The one with the Alannis Morissette lyrics on the wall and the streak of blood on the desk. One time I got locked inside it and had to climb my way out through the top. Good times.

I will miss the Yale Daily News: the creative reporting, the even more creative photograph captions, and the dramatic corrections and retractions. Life here would be so boring if all we had was the Herald. While I’m on the subject of the Herald: I will NOT miss “Behind the Boathouse.” That comic strip is the biggest waste of space since Alexia Crawford.

I will miss Naples, Miya’s, El Amigo, and TJ Tucker’s. All wonderful eating establishments, especially when I was under 21.

I will miss having a football team to call my own. It may not have been much of a football team, but it was ours, dammit. I will miss the patented Ime Archibong PowerSlam. I will miss the hockey games, and I will miss Captain Freedom, although I am trying to repress the memory of a pants-less Captain Freedom at Exotic Erotic.

Speaking of genital exposure, I will miss the rampant public nudity. No one gets naked as enthusiastically as Yalies do. We may not be the most attractive naked folk, but it’s the thought that counts.

I will miss the Pundits, and all the hilarious pranks they pulled. Oh, wait. Slip of the tongue. I will miss Barry S. Kane, Registrar, and all the hilarious pranks he pulled.

I will miss President Richard Levin, the Yale Corporation and University Properties. Together, they made my job as a humor columnist much easier by providing so many things to make fun of. Next year, it will be much more difficult for me to find good material, because I hear the real world operates on some weird principle called “common sense.”

I will miss the dean of my student affairs, Betty Trachtenberg: my sweet Elizabeth, how the years flew. I will never forget the time we spent together — the candlelit dinners, the walks on the beach, the time we beat up those freshmen. Thank you for showing me the heart of solid gold beneath your cast-iron exterior.

Also, I will miss Dean Brodhead, or at least I’ll miss the mechanical bull in his office.

There are lots of other things I could reminisce about, but you’re probably ready to do the crossword now. So I’ll sign off.

Appreciate what you have here at Yale. If you don’t believe that a Yale education is very valuable, look at the facts: George W. Bush went to Yale, but Al Gore didn’t, nor did any of the Taliban. Notice a pattern?

I wish all of you the best of luck, except for those of you in Saybrook College, who I hope fail miserably.

It’s been fun.



JP Nogues is a senior in Davenport College. This is his final regular column.

Comments