Li: Good night and good luck

January 15, 2010
During my childhood in the mountains of China, I would often sneak into the factory where my father worked. After a morning of hard work making toys and sewing clothes, all employees would congregate in the dining hall to take a one-hour nap. I didn’t think much of it until I arrived at Yale, an »

Li: Condoning the drinking culture

November 10, 2009
I hosted a Yalie-to-be two years ago during Bulldog Days. I wasn’t a very good host — I neither showed him around nor took him out to lunch — but my little guest didn’t seem to mind. He came back to my room at five each morning and slept through the rest of the day. »

Li: Our foods and our culture

October 26, 2009
I rarely complain about food. But let truth be told, I’ve never been fond of the stuff served in our dining halls — except, perhaps, the yogurt. A proud descendant of the ancient civilization in the Far East, I have always considered stuffing my mouth with the smelly liquid that is blood squeezed from “medium »

Li: The view from the top of the mountain

October 15, 2009
Last weekend, I decided to take a break. Specifically, after spending the early part of the weekend recounting my life story thousands of times at job and fellowship interviews across the Northeast, I chose to indulge myself with the lovely New England foliage and pay a visit to New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. The trip added »

Li: Why we love the LSAT

September 29, 2009
“Hey! Long time no see! I didn’t know you were thinking about going to law school!” “Wow, I didn’t know you were taking the LSAT too!” Waiting anxiously outside Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall on a chilly early Saturday morning to get my fingerprint collected for classified purposes, I was pleasantly surprised to see a whole army of »

Li: Waste of time, but I’ll be there

September 15, 2009
The clock strikes 7:20. Having sat impatiently through a presentation featuring the rules of a logic game invented by the fun-loving folks called consultants, a herd of Yale students simultaneously stands up, grabs their jackets and portfolios, and storms out of the chic, stylish conference room of the Study at Yale. The presentation is not »

Li: Uncommon, nonsensical solutions

September 2, 2009
Correction appended It was the winter of 1950 in the Korean Peninsula. General Oliver Smith, watching his 1st Marine Division being crushed by the superior force of six Chinese divisions, kept his chin up. “Retreat?” he answered a skeptical reporter. “Hell … we’re simply advancing in another direction!” Reading Yale Dining’s summer greetings, which outlined »

Li: Where’s the exchange?

April 22, 2009
Since the launch of Yale-Peking University program, the Yale Club of Beijing has enthusiastically listed this initiative as the first item in the “Exchange” section on its Web site. Like so many Yalies and PKU parents, Yale alumni in Beijing genuinely believe that Yale-PKU is in fact an exchange program. The club even tried last »

Li: No wings, but I’ve had my flight

April 7, 2009
When I wrote on my application to Yale that I intended to major in theater studies, I didn’t foresee that that would make me a grand strategist in some of my friends’ eyes. They thought I branded myself as the first Chinese theater studies major, and played the strategy well. The reality was neither grand »

Li: Yale’s unanswered corporate call

March 23, 2009
I find Sleeping Giant, a 15-minute drive away in Hamden, much more fascinating than East Rock. Besides the gorgeous New England foliage in October, the mountain offered me some good luck: I met a senior executive at GE on one of my hikes to the mountaintop. After a later lunch conversation on the merits of »

Li: Quotas still hurt U.S.

March 3, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, during job interview season, I was having lunch with a few friends in Commons. My phone rang. An unanticipated blessing from New York blew into my ear. I stood up and rushed out of the dining hall, barely spelling out a “goodbye” to my friends. They, of course, thought the »

Li: Why no love for the B.A./M.A.?

February 17, 2009
I frequently reference a cute little cheat sheet called “Yale at a Glance,” a pamphlet the Visitor’s Center uses to stun tourists and woo prospective students, and which it provided to me before I enrolled. Among the highlighted facts about Yale, a bullet point reads: “Joint B.A./M.A. programs.” Getting a master’s while at college? A »