Most freshmen arrive at Yale prepared to meet other students with extraordinary talents. So, perhaps you were not entirely surprised to learn that your roommate scored a 1600 on her SATs, that your suitemate could run a mile in under five minutes, or that your freshman counselor could speak three languages fluently. But these same people have other talents which, though perhaps less resume worthy, are incredible nonetheless — talents even worthy of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Somehow in the middle of dinner or at the 3 a.m. stage of writing a paper, one’s secret freakish talent comes up as the perfect conversation starter. Can you wiggle your ears? Can you shake your eyeballs? Can you hold your breath for a minute, two, three?
Some Yalies actually hold exclusive rights to these unbelievable talents. Whether they will attach their name to their talent is another issue. How about this question: can you fit your entire fist, up to your wrist, into your mouth? I’m sure you all are trying right now, but I doubt that many, if any, of you will succeed. Yet, one especially talented girl boasts this unique skill. Hoping to salvage her reputation and to avoid a possibly endless stream of phone calls, this Guinness Book of World Records-worthy girl has decided to remain anonymous. But she did share some interesting tidbits.
“I learned of my ‘talent’ on a night of drunken debauchery my freshman or sophomore year of high school,” she said, unabashedly.
Furthermore, she added that she has yet to meet anyone else who shares her abilities.
“No one else can do it quite as well as I can,” she boasted.
Though clearly proud of her talent, she is easily embarrassed, recognizing its inherent sexual implications.
“I try to hide it,” she admitted, “but when it does come out, people are very impressed.”
Other students have professed equally astonishing abilities — and many of these students are eager to share their names. Jeremy Davis ’06 and Bianca Bracho-Perez ’06 are two students with unique, extraordinary physical capabilities.
Davis, on command, can quite literally shake both of his eyeballs. Perez can take her right arm, lift it over her head, past her left ear, and wrap it around under her chin to touch her right ear with her right hand.
Davis explained that he only discovered his talent a year or two ago after watching television.
“You see people shaking their eyes on TV sometimes,” he said, “so I thought everyone could do it. I tried, and I assumed everyone else could do it too. But apparently no one else can.”
When Davis shows other people his talent, he says they are usually quite surprised.
“They don’t act like it’s normal,” he said. “They are usually a little taken aback, but intrigued.”
Bracho-Perez discovered her talent by accident as well.
“I used to take dance lessons,” Bracho-Perez explained. “We would stretch our arms, putting them behind our heads, and one day I was just thinking, ‘I wonder how far my arm can go.’ So I tried and learned what I could do.”
Bracho-Perez stopped dancing in ninth grade, but, she said, “the flexibility remained.”
How do people react to her talent?
“When I tell people what I can do, they think they can do it as well. They try, but they end up just touching their first ear. They really can’t do it.”
Some other students did not simply stumble upon their freakish talents by happenstance. Indeed, some Yalies have turned medical conditions into conversation-worthy, extraordinary skills.
Aaron Zelinksy ’06 has a digestive problem. He must consume many more calories a day than the average person. Along those same lines though, Zelinsky must also drink much more alcohol than an average person in order to feel its effects. Indeed, Zelinsky said that if he has eaten during the day, ten shots of vodka will leave him sober.
“They’ll have pretty much no effect,” he said.
Furthermore, Zelinsky one night consumed 38 shots. Of course, as he admitted, “the sight was not pretty,” yet the simple fact that he was physically able to do it remains a “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” fact on its own.
“On one hand, I was intrigued because it really is rather superhuman,” Lauren Fine ’06, who witnessed the event, said. “But on the other hand, I was also pretty frightened.”
Yet, Zelinsky said he doesn’t actually drink all that often, and that he knows he must be careful.
“You have to be careful not to abuse it,” he said of his talent. “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Another anonymous student said he believes his eyes must be attached to his nasal passages in some sort of unique way, for he is able to blow bubbles out of his eyes!
“One day, I closed my mouth, pinched my nose, and when I tried to blow, air started coming out of my eyes,” this student proclaimed.
Furthermore, when he is in the water, the air is actually manifested as bubbles. When he shows other people his talent, he says they respond with “shock and then fear.”
In the end, it may seem as if these “extraordinary talents” have less practical applications than a perfect SAT score. Yet, some students have found good uses for their “freakish” abilities. Davis said he may even put his to use in the dating world.
Getting a date for Davis? No problem. All he has to do is ask, “Do you want to see my eyes shake, baby?”