Lawrence: Songs of time and change

April 30, 2009
Now at the end of my time at Yale, I’ve thought back to a lunch in Venice I enjoyed with friends in the Yale Glee Club while we were on concert tour after my sophomore year. As we talked, our conversation came to childhood. One friend observed that in childhood, gifts were things, like toys; »

Lawrence: Essay

September 19, 2008
When the Saybrook fire alarm blared at 8:15 a.m. last Thursday, I did not remember, at first, that it was September 11th. The reason was not apathy — just grogginess. Then, as we all stood outside in the courtyard, the firefighters came. Even in sleepy bewilderment, I marveled at them: their bulging jackets, hefty with »

When Camp Yale became Facebook in the flesh

August 29, 2008
When did meeting real people become Facebook in the flesh? A freshman orientation program called “Facebook in the Flesh” actually took place at NYU last year. A brochure explained: “Meeting new people face to face can be much more intimidating” than “online social networking.” This program “build[s] social networks in person.” Among the program’s inspirations »

At Yale, take risks, discover passions yet unknown

April 22, 2008
What makes Bulldog Days in April and Camp Yale in September fascinating is that, in every way, they encapsulate the Yale experience: not only its wonderful energy, but also its anxiety. During these times, Yale deans often trumpet the impressive things that Yalies do — giving examples so preposterously impressive as to approach hilarity. At »

Baby-naming time for the (residential-college) twins

April 7, 2008
Yale officials deserve praise for their commitment not to name the two proposed residential colleges for rich donors. Now, the question is whom the colleges should honor. As Yale officials establish criteria by which to choose the names, they should consider the serious role that such names will play in a Yale student’s experience. As »

After Purim, a search for meaning in mayhem

March 24, 2008
“Coincidence is God’s way of staying anonymous,” my family’s rabbi likes to say. The Jewish festival of Purim, which took place this past weekend, brings this proverb to life. The holiday celebrates the Jewish people’s overcoming a plot devised by Haman, a fifth century B.C.E. Persian vizier, to murder the Jews en masse. The story »

Overcome hate with spirit, thought and love

February 29, 2008
What are we to make of hateful, bigoted acts that occur in a loving, diverse community? How should we respond? The swastika and SS insignia found on Old Campus present the most recent of far too many opportunities at Yale to address this question. Amid this familiar turmoil, we have a choice to make. We »

As Doodle departs from town, so will we

February 11, 2008
How many of us miss the Yankee Doodle Coffee Shop even though we never went there? I have eaten just three meals at the Doodle. Still, its demise saddens me. If only someone had told me it was closing, I might have gone there one last time, or many times, while I still could have. »

Altruism sets Obama above hawkish Clintons

January 28, 2008
Our world offers public prominence to far too few people who live by sincerity and big-heartedness. Trying to defy these odds can leave one flummoxed, excluded, even embarrassed. In my last column, I discussed how a false dichotomy of strong and weak warps our culture. The trend runs from Reagan’s bullying Carter to the principles »

From parties to political parties, hopin’ ain’t easy

January 14, 2008
Barack Obama does the near-impossible: He makes hope cool. One myth following Iowa’s caucuses is that Obama’s fandom arises from a visceral human attraction to hope. We see columns like, “Youth and hope: could Obama be the new RFK?” by Rupert Cornwell in The Independent of London. Similarly, on a Chicago Tribune blog, Frank James »

Swiftness of Thanksgiving glorifies the here and now

November 26, 2007
Not until college did I realize how radical Thanksgiving is. I always loved it, but now Thanksgiving is a different holiday. When we were little kids, Thanksgiving generally followed one of two paradigms. The first was the loud kerfuffle of relatives we did not know saying things that we did not understand. The feeling of »

Nearby HGS offers best location for new colleges

November 5, 2007
I did not fully understand how two new residential colleges behind the Grove Street Cemetery would transform life at Yale until I saw this article in last Thursday’s News: “Administrators contemplate building workout area, juice bar in Sterling Chemistry Laboratory.” I read on and discovered the stakes to be much higher than just whether Yale »