I should probably warn you in advance. I am a second semester senior, already nostalgic, reverting back to those early weeks of freshman year when Old Campus seemed like the most beautiful place in the world and even New Haven’s most questionable characters had a kind of charm. “I like my classes! I like my friends! I like my apartment! I can do anything good!” [PLEASE GET THIS REFERENCE]
It’s like I’m in this reverse honeymoon period where everything is rosy because it isn’t forever. There’s something leaking from my bathroom ceiling? Slutever, I’m moving out in 3 months. Heat not working this week? LOL I’m young! Still don’t have a job lined up for next year? It’s ok. All I really want to do is “travel” anyway.
A by-product of this infatuation with the last of my bright college years is a desire to participate in everything I might have missed: every Liffey’s trivia night, every IM volleyball game, every German department film screening.
But despite my militant enthusiasm, I still haven’t been to a single Master’s Tea this year. Or last year for that matter. Last year, I had an excuse. As an editor of this very newspaper, I barely had time to read that Rosalind Krauss essay for class or visit my roommate in the Buttery, let alone spend a precious hour hearing from a moderately successful entrepreneur or a sophomore’s B-list actor uncle. This year, it’s more complicated.
My pre-frosh self would be disappointed. At home over winter break I came across the notebook I brought on my college visits my senior year of highschool. Under the heading “Yale University” I listed the things that stuck out to me about the school (things that could later answer the 200-character “Why Yale” essay on the Common App Supplement). By now these things, once the stuff of college brochures and campus tours, have become #shityaliessay (or don’t say, as the case may be): Residential College System, Inner Tube Water Polo, YSO Halloween Show, Sterling Memorial Library. About halfway down my list, underlined and asterisked reads “Master’s Teas.”
And yet, I still can’t seem to make it to a Master’s Tea even though I’m only taking three classes (and my senior essay, don’t judge). I did, however, sit in on one of Professor Nemerov’s lectures this week, which turns out, was just as good.
Full disclosure: I’m an art history major. I took Nemerov’s class my freshman year and was immediately converted from a semi-pre-med, potential-bio major to a lover of the plastic arts. I am not a blind follower of the School of Nemerov (although my first art history paper was based completely on the “painting hand”), but was feeling nostalgic this week and decided to sit in on his Caravaggio lecture.
As Nemz was explaining the hidden meaning behind the concentric circles of Bacchus’s wine goblet (is it the glass or the wine?) I had a moment of realization: I don’t have to go to Master’s Teas to get the full “Yale Experience.” Color-me-predictable, but at this point, I’ll take coffee with a friend over tea with a diplomat.
Earlier this week, I participated in a three-legged race. After a college-sponsored, seniors-only beer tasting, some friends and I decided to tape our legs together with novelty duct tape (black with orange-and-red flames) and run across the Branford courtyard. No one saw, although I did hear a few windows slam shut as sad underclassmen rolled their eyes at our barking laughter and got back to their reading. Just for the record: my team should have won. Our opponents saw we were closing in on victory and one rogue racer grabbed my teammate’s leg. She fell, I fell. Inches away from our destination (the Master’s house).