[The News received the following letters after on-campus printing had ended for the term.]

Law school clarifies his feelings towards the U.S. military

To the Editor:

Andrew Bartholomew wrote a fine article concerning veterans in Yale’s graduate schools. I was interviewed in the article and would like to clarify a few points.

First, I regret the use of the phrase “deal with the devil,” as it does not represent the love and respect I have for the military. Furthermore, I have never made a ‘deal’ to avoid service in any way, especially not to advance my education. The only ‘deal’ that I have made is accepting an assignment that would virtually ensure my mobilization after I complete a civilian legal job with the Department of Defense next year.

Finally, any disadvantage that the military’s ‘don’t ask’ policy may place me at as both a law student and naval officer in no way compares to the disadvantage of those who are unable to both serve their country and live their lives openly and freely.

Nonetheless, I applaud Andy for raising awareness about my fellow servicemembers at Yale – I am honored and humbled to be associated with them both in the military and the classroom.

Rich Morgan LAW ’07

Peking student discusses how friendships with Yalies can transcend cultural differences

To the Editor:

I’m a sophomore in Peking University. With the help from my Yuanpei classmates who are in the program, I want to take this chance to express my feelings and to discus what this program is about.

It has been nearly two months since the semester began. The life here with our friends from Yale is truly colorful and wonderful. We have learned a lot from each other, which is the highlight of the program.

My life has changed quite a bit since I became a participant in the program. At one time the three main places in my college life were my dorm, the classroom, and the dining hall. What’s more, there is something changed in my way of thinking and my view of things. I have seen something I am eager to have in Yale friends’ lives, that is, working hard and having fun. I have more vivid ideas about American culture and can see our local culture from a new perspective.In the 2 months since we began living together, we have done many things together. We have Yale and Beida’s professors’ classes together; we prepare for presentations together, we take part in Master’s Teas in the common room and go to Quiz-night every Wednesday; we walk around the campus and take beautiful photos; we go shopping and see movies together; we chat until late at night before bed, and talk as a group at our family dinner every week; we correct each other’s articles to make the sentences more native and fluent; we teach each other the vernacular which can not be found in the textbooks…we communicate so much with each other, from how we grew up to social responsibility, from dreams to pressures, from love to marriage, from education to politics. There is no doubt that there are some language problems, but that doesn’t reduce our passion to communicate.

Already from these two months, there are many scenes I will remember forever. I still remember the expression in one Yale friend’s eyes to encourage me to speak my opinion during class. I still remember the “晚安(good night)” with Yale accent said to those hard working guys in the common room. I still remember the delighted expression on one of our classmates’ face when she found a big cake in common room and everyone gathered, singing songs for her surprise birthday. I still remember the view of one Yuanpei girl getting a piggyback from a Yale boy running in the desert. I still remember the beautiful songs from the movie “The sound of music” we sang together in the open air. Although they are all small things, I feel so moved and so warm. I love and enjoy the life we have come to live together!

At the same time, we try our best to help our Yale friends learn more about the Chinese way of thinking and our traditional culture. I believe the experience in China is very meaningful and inspiring for them. They experienced the adulation from young children who were eager to have their signatures and hear from Americans; they experienced various of the Chinese minority cultures; they experienced Chinese philosophy and religion… Different kinds of vivid things about China are just around them, so near, so close. In a word, it is an absolutely hard-won chance to get familiar with China.

Of course, we had some differences between us, some of which maybe are beyond common understanding. Although we have some debates on many topics, it doesn’t seem to affect our relationships. We face the problems together, exchange our ideas, and solve the problems. I am confident that we will have many more beautiful memories in the days to come.

Yu Yutong

The writer is a student at Peking University.