Chase Niesner, Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi and Mary Miller walk into a darty in Greenwich … This isn’t just any darty. It’s in Greenwich. This isn’t all we know of parties. We attend tea parties, cat parties, game parties with such time-honored festive classics as Bridge and Uno. We know. And, what’s of greater interest to you all: the Yale College faculty now wants to know all about your parties — on and off campus — too. Here we indulge them, and tell the tales of parties at and around Yale.
Party emeritus, freshman style
// by Sara Hamilton
After enduring the Freshman Walk of Shame (that mass exodus of the entire freshman class futilely hunting for booze and a nonsweaty place to consume it) for too many nights on end, my roommate and I finally stumbled upon an honest-to-god Yale party the last evening of Camp Yale. Visions of red Solo cups and kegs of Natty danced in our heads as we barged in, unnoticed. We made a beeline for the punch bowl near the door and each downed a cupful before we began scoping out our surroundings. Something seemed off. Why was everyone so old? Was that … could it be? Dean Miller, Dean Gentry and Dean Meeske going shot-for-shot in the corner? Master Pitti running the pong table? Richard Levin was remixing Kanye beats on his MacBook Pro and the entire Yale faculty was getting loose on the dance floor. I could barely fathom the magnitude of the events unfolding before my very eyes. A Yale faculty rager?! As the punch began to take effect, my roommate and I slowly overcame our incredulity, then the night began to dissolve into a haze … I woke up the next day with a murderous headache, but the fist bump I got from John Gaddis on Cross Campus later that afternoon more than made up for the wasted hours of day.
// by Kate Byron
I have a file buried somewhere in my MacBook Pictures folder titled “WhatAMess.” In it, I am wearing less than half of a purple velour shirt and ripped jorts. I’m holding a red cup and am being held by a diver in an orange jumpsuit. The black rings around my eyes are more notable size-wise than the inseam of my aforementioned jorts. The occasion: a white-trash-themed party held by the swim team for its recruits. I looked appalling. I’m glad I saved the photo, because I have exactly two memories from the evening.
1) My one conversation with the captain of the men’s team occurred when I went to get punch. I was terrified of him. I’m 99 percent sure I spilled my drink on him. That set the stage for a relationship wherein the only other time we interacted was at The Game. He yelled at me from the top of a UHaul, and I responded by sticking my tongue through my index and middle fingers. Mmmm.
2) “How did y’all let me get so drunk?” Fortunately, I have eased up on my usage of the line (slightly), but it was a staple my freshman year. Said classic definitely originated that night.
I would say, in spite of WhatAMess I was that evening, the party was still a success. There was no YPD, no vomit, no Mary Miller and most importantly, my recruit came to Yale. L’chaim.
A ride up Dixwell
// by Alan Sage
I walk with local rapper Travis “T-Miz” Pittman into Taste of the City, a Hamden soul food restaurant that transforms into a “popping” nightclub after dark. Everyone’s getting patted down at the entrance, except me, perhaps due to the Yale scarf I’m sporting that evening. We walk into the back, and a good number of stares fix on us. T-Miz has just released a song called “Off the Hook” about life in New Haven, and he supposes that the patrons of Taste of the City recognize him from the 38,000-plus views YouTube video accompanying the track. Meanwhile, I get the sinking feeling that we’re drawing so much attention because I look out of place, but we never do resolve the debate. A few minutes later, we return to his car and discuss New Haven’s racial tensions while cruising down Dixwell Avenue towards Yale.
Some clandestine cereal talk
// by Jake Orbison
Three weeks into school, my favorite Yale party story has to be the one that Mary Miller told me last Friday at breakfast. As I was settling into my bowl of cereal and orange juice, Dean Miller pulled up a seat next to me, apologetically professing that she had no friends with class at such an early hour. As we enjoyed our breakfast she told me that, after hearing the news that Richard C. Levin, her cloaked enemy, would be stepping down, she decided to throw a party in her common room. Under the cover of darkness, she and her friends — only ones that really knew Dick — convened in a sweaty huddle, swaying with breezes of alcohol and music. Just when the party was really getting going, Dean Gentry, outfitted with a lampshade chapeau, led the group into Woolsey to riff on the organ. However, much to the group’s chagrin, Dean Meeske had beaten them there to practice his “Bright College Years.” “I pulled rank and got off with a scolding, but Marichal doesn’t get to hold the scepter at Commencement anymore,” she concluded. “I’m sure I’m only saying this because I was looking over a collection of presidential portraits, but the best advice I can give you comes from the great Teddy Roosevelt, ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick.’”
For and against parties
// by Cora Lewis
Philosophers are frequently not (traditionally seen as) party people. There is probably something to this, as there are plenty of cases of history’s professional thinkers struggling with the balance between self-denial and good times.
The philosopher Henry Sidgwick once wrote, “I am bearing the burden of humanity in the lap of luxury, and in consequence not bearing it well. After all, Pascal was practically right: if one is to embrace infinite doubt, if it is to come into our bowels like water, and like oil into our bones, it ought to be upon sackcloth and ashes and in a bare cell, and not amid ’47 port and the silvery talk of W.G. Clark.”
David Hume, however, who was big on doubt, disproved induction and liked roast beef, found he could best cure himself of “philosophical melancholy and delirium” with dining, games of backgammon and generally being “merry with friends.”
Kant, who allegedly died a virgin, once said, “In the Stoic’s principle concerning suicide there lay much sublimity of soul: that we may depart from life as we leave a smoky room.” When next lighting up, take care to open a window. Don’t think too hard about it.