Were You Sandy or Dandy?

NASA's post-Sandy breakdown.

Classes were cancelled, curfew was imposed. For two days, Hurricane Sandy kept students locked in their suites, squirreled away in rooms in colleges around campus as the storm raged outside. Emails from Linda Koch Lorimer kept students up to date on the storm’s activity — a fan fell from Malone building, a tree crashed on Grove Street. The following dispatches paint a picture of life inside the dorms — or life stranded elsewhere — as locked-in students bonded in suites, entryways or other out-of-Yale experiences.


It seemed like a good idea, at first. That was the mantra of my weekend with Sandy. That was what we muttered, sneaking out of Durfee past curfew. That was what we repeated, as we walked past the downed wires on Grove Street. That was what we remembered, as “American Psycho” reached its climax. It seemed like a good idea to leave the dorm, it seemed like a good idea to watch that second crazy movie. Sandy made everything seem surreal — the trees bowing low across Old Campus, the leaves whipping by my window in Durfee. And through some combination of her surreal weather and the prospect of being locked in our suite for the next two days, she drove us to be bolder, crazier.

My suitemates and I were frustrated to keep “missing” Sandy. Our Monday morning expectations of pouring rain and thunderclouds were met with a persistent drizzle. Sandy’s arrival on campus was lost in our movie marathon — running through “American Psycho,” “Mean Girls” and “Titanic” in one seven-hour dash. We wanted action — adventure. We grilled our cheese sandwiches using an iron to melt together the bread and cheese. We were thrilled at the prospect of eating “rations,” excited for the possibility of fire. We went for a walk at 9 p.m. on Monday night, right after Sandy was supposed to hit. It was during our walk around Old Campus, following the long rectangular perimeter, that I saw him sitting on the other side of Phelps Gate. A homeless man crouched in the doorway under Phelps Gate, watching the group of us trip towards that “something fun” going on in Welch. I heard Sandy rumble overhead.


Sandy’s winds died off much sooner than anticipated late Monday afternoon, yet we were still forbidden from leaving our dorms through constant FroCo texts and emails from our master. As night approached we grouped together to eat our sack dinners. We were then informed that our FroCos had braved the storm and managed to order us pizzas — Study Break! Hurricane Edition. A group of about 15 of us then clambered into one of the larger suites — complete with a sectional sofa and large flat-screen TV — to watch “Saw” in lieu of the ominous weather outside. We huddled together, screaming throughout the movie, trying to laugh off the cheesy parts, but truly scared to death. After it ended, there was no way any of us were going to bed yet. So what was there to do? The classic late night G-Heav run wasn’t an option, so we decided to play “The Bowl Game.” Everyone wrote down intimate, funny and bizarre questions and put them into a bowl. Everyone then went around the circle and drew a question, revealing to the group their Calhoun crush or how they lost their virginity amongst other questions. Learning such things about each other brought us together in ways we had never anticipated. Thanks, Sandy.

Contact Lily Vanderbloemen at

lily.vanderbloemen@yale.edu .

I write this on a Greyhound, leaving Manhattan after four days. After fall break with friends in balmy South Carolina, the airline voided my Sunday flight over a technicality. I weathered a lonely 12-hour Amtrak ride only to arrive in a deserted Penn Station. I cabbed over to a friend’s downtown loft, digging in for the storm. We spent a powerless Monday night sipping wine with his three 20-something neighbors by candlelight, wasting the battery on our phones playing music. Tuesday we lounged at the Yale Club, playing pool and drinking port (I can’t complain). The walk back downtown that night was surreal, with darkened skyscrapers and National Guardsmen watching for looters. It’s what my friends back home must have felt after the Chilean earthquake. As two days turned into three, I felt (or smelt) the need for a shower, and called a Yale friend on the Upper West Side. I was luckier than many, but it was odd seeing normalcy disappear and only slowly seep back into life.

Contact Diego Salvatierra at

diego.salvatierra@yale.edu .

While I feel incredible sympathy for the victims of Hurricane Sandy both in the New Haven community and beyond, I have to say that riding the storm out in Bingham Hall was a lot of fun. The freshmen of Calhoun and Trumbull have rarely been closer. As a jazz pianist and singer, I decided that what everyone needed to help ride out the storm was some music. On Monday night, I texted many of the musicians I know in Bingham and had them come over and bring friends. Soon, tons of Calhoun and Trumbull freshmen, musicians and non-musicians alike, were packed into our common room. We had a huge jam session, playing jazz, rock, pop, rap and everything in between. Everyone, even those who normally are afraid to sing, started singing along, and, for probably two and a half hours, we forgot about the raging storm outside and only paid attention to the raging guitar and piano solos. The community was united, spontaniety was bred and, ultimately, these sessions helped us Yalies ride out a hurricane.

Contact Alexander Dubovoy at

alexander.dubovoy@yale.edu .

In L-Dub, freshmen unsheathed their creativity: everyone who succeeded at finding some ridiculous headdress for themselves was eligible to strive for eternal glory by participating in the legendary “Hurricane Sandy Office Chair Race” on the fifth floor. With a record time of 35.7 seconds, professional office chair racer Charly Walther ’16 from Germany could ensure victory for Berkeley College. While L-Dub’s varsity chair racers gave their best on the fifth floor, other venturous freshmen dared to risk their ration of the scarce emergency food supplies by engaging in gambling. According to latest information, none of the losers at “Emergency Food Supply Poker” had to starve thanks to Sandy’s considerable mildness in New Haven.

Contact Philipp Arndt at

philipp.arndt@yale.edu .

Dandy & Sandy in Austin, TX

Hurrication: a vacation inflicted on someone because of a hurricane.

on Sunday my flight from Dallas to Newark was can- celed, so I booked a flight from Dallas to boston at 5:00 p.m. Then that was can- celed, so I decided to get the fuck out of Dallas, and took a 3 hour Greyhound to Austin to party with a DKe alum. For three days I borrowed men’s clothes so I didn’t smell. my diet consisted of bota box wine and dice games til 2 a.m. I bought underwear the first day, a Halloween costume the second day and show- ered in Lake Austin all three days. I partied with twenty- nine year olds who put my drinking skills to shame and danced till my feet hurt. on

Sunday, I was annoyed by the situation, but looking back on it, it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Sometimes obstacles are put in our paths to help us, not to hinder us, to teach us a little bit about ourselves. I learned more about myself in three days with a luggage full of dirty clothes than I have all year. Fate’s funny like that: It’s always watching us, knowing when it’s time for us to slow down and think for a little. I wasn’t meant to go back to New Haven. Fate wanted me to become a traveling gypsy and find my way to Austin. I’m happy it did.

Contact Chloe Drimal at

chloe.drimal@yale.edu .

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