As we peer through the bushes outside 43 Hillhouse Ave. the morning before that athletic contest some members of this species call “The Game,” we see a great deal of activity. We’re in the president’s house on the northern outskirts of Yale University, here to catch a glimpse of a rare and wonderful creature. Try to be quiet, now. There, coming toward us — What could it be?
Could it be … a Yale administrator, Canis-tauri bellipotens? Yes, a flock of Yale’s finest! Witness them here in their natural habitat, a wood paneled room.
The Yale administrator is a curious creature indeed. (Notice the precision with which another adjusts the glass spectacles on her nose.) What an astonishment they are: surely one of the wonders of the higher education world!
It’s recently been discovered that they mingle with another species, known as Cantabus jactans (the common Cantab). These appear to migrate to the southeastern Connecticut area once every two years, where they bask in the warm conditions, unknown in their native Massachusetts.
The Cantab administrators are rather numerous, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one … yes, here they are. Decked out in their crimson bow ties, they run their fingers over the fine China and gawp at the magnificent paintings.
The two species engage in a ritual known as “brunch” the morning of The Game. Sometimes you can hear a snatch of their dialogue, provided you sit absolutely still.
Listen to their conversations for a moment. What human has the most intriguing, the most fascinating plans in the natural world for enjoying The Game weekend? There must be many contenders, but this Yalie is surely one of them.
With cropped gray hair and red-rimmed spectacles, she is elaborating at length about last night’s festivities. She was “excited about Pance Party.” Recall that she and her mate were spotted participating in dance during January’s Unity Ball. She isn’t tailgating this year, nor indulging too much in her favorite beverage, Samuel Adams. Ah, it’s Yale College Dean Mary Miller! Fascinating stuff, just fascinating.
A male Cantab wonders aloud whether Miller will conduct the Yale Precision Marching Band during The Game. It appears she will. She’s quite musical, this one.
Elsewhere on campus, a male sporting a strange dearth of facial hair mingles confidently with other members of the species. Observe how they stare at his bare upper lip in wonder. Perhaps Provost Peter Salovey, too, will be enjoying a Sam Adams, or four, before The Game?
“Coffee. Black,” he says. “I’m not much of a drinker.”
Look at the carefully placed white napkins printed with the navy blue Yale seal. Now this is the work of a master host. The Cantabs are really loosening up quite a bit, thanks to President Richard Levin’s ministrations.
One of the Cantabs, a jolly fellow, asks the male known as Levin what his drink of choice is. “Coffee,” much like Salovey, is the curt answer. It seems there will be little tailgating for him.
“I like to get to my seat by kickoff,” he tells this reporter. “I’ll be there long before you are.”
For more Harvard-Yale coverage, visit yaledailynews.com/thegame.