Palaces not required, but garrets don’t cut it

April 15, 2005
At most English universities, the suggestion that students share bedrooms — ever — is shocking. “We would never make you do that,” an Oxford professor earnestly told my friend, a prospective student, when we took a tour of Worcester College. “You have to live with other people?” asked an administrator at Yale’s own Paul Mellon »

My first English lesson: Be kind to strangers

February 17, 2005
LONDON — In the movie “Closer,” two lives tangle after some chance eye contact on a crowded London street. Never mind that people on city streets do not bounce along in slow motion, never mind that most of them are not as beautiful as Natalie Portman or Jude Law. But do let us remind ourselves »

Now serving a (rude) model of politeness

November 19, 2004
Most of us aim to be polite, and those who do not probably should. But rudeness is also an art, and sometimes a hard one to master. Knowing when to kick somebody out, when to tell him to shut up, or that you don’t care — that’s tricky, too, and it’s a necessary life skill. »

Don’t lose manners over Kerry’s loss

November 5, 2004
In her column on this page yesterday, Alicia Washington argued that young liberals — the demographic that helped make this year’s election even close — ought not to mourn the victory of Bush, but rather continue to fight the good fight. “Democrats do not have the time to complain, to whine, to be bitter or »

For silent types, time to grow up — and speak up

October 22, 2004
There comes a time in every young person’s life when he or she must wise up to polite behavior, embrace adulthood and shun the crude manners that are acceptable only for children. That time, for most of us, is now. No longer is it acceptable, let alone charming, to reject conversation in favor of muteness, »

Irony of ironies: I’m griping about griping

October 8, 2004
For the past three summers, I’ve had internships that have largely entailed filing, photocopying and data entry. At Yale, I’ve taken some bad classes and have had to attend some bad sections. I do a lot of classwork that isn’t necessarily illuminating or helpful or even educational. I’m not in Berkeley, so I have to »

Honesty, with tact, is needed in positive classroom setting

September 24, 2004
There’s a Paul Simon song called “Tenderness” in which the crooner tells his love, “there’s no tenderness beneath your honesty.” Sometimes, in personal relationships, honesty must be tempered with tact and tenderness to soften blows and prevent unnecessary pain. Education, however, is a very different story. Learning requires candor, bluntness. Whereas the ice queen in »

Nader’s approach merits our respect

September 10, 2004
On August 2, I read in The New York Times that Arianna Huffington — newspaper pundit and an Independent candidate for governor in my state’s 2003 recall election — said of Ralph Nader’s candidacy for president that “when your house is on fire, it’s not time to talk about remodeling.” According to Huffington, the George »

Campus liberals must be consistent, or quiet

April 16, 2004
Yale students are smart. Yale students are angsty. Yale students are creative. Yale students are open-minded. Yale students are many things, and not least of all is this: Yale students are lucky. We’re lucky because we’re smart, angsty, creative and open-minded; we’re lucky because we have that luxury. We’re lucky because we have famous architecture »

Weight loss addiction takes away joy of food

April 2, 2004
There is a habit to which my girlfriends are, almost without exception, addicted. I am, myself, addicted to the point of self-hatred. Even girls with mild tempers and personalities are addicted. The object of our collective addiction is a familiar subject, but it is, for some, potentially very harmful. We’re all addicted to losing weight. »

Students must visit University’s museum

March 22, 2004
Four days a week, I report to my student job at the Registrar’s Office in the Center for British Art, and from my desk I can see into one of the galleries, where everything — from the paintings, to the plaques on the walls, to the guards — seems to be in order. Groups of »

Traditional dating could mean perfect match

February 17, 2004
In the wake of Valentine’s Day, I find myself overwhelmed to the point of saturation with recommendations for a more invigorating or at least existent love life. Practically overnight, we have accumulated a Yale Herald issue focused almost exclusively on romance and sex, Sex Week and its various public responses, and, perhaps most phenomenal, the »