Shopping period started today, which meant the sometime students known as Yale Daily News staffers had to go to class. Here’s what they saw:

A Cryptic Message

By the 9 a.m. start time for Prof. A. Douglas Stone’s PHYS 420 course, “Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, around 30 students had gathered in Mason Lab 107. But there was no professor.

Soon, 9 a.m. became 9:05 a.m., then 9:07 a.m., and no professor arrived. As some students began packing to leave, a man walked into the room, and without saying a word, wrote on the blackboard, “Your princess is in another castle. Stone will be back next Wednesday.”

The quote — a reference to Super Mario Bros. 3, which was released in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System — drew laughs from students who understood the joke. The man then went on to say, “I am your TA” before walking out of the room without further comment. One by one, these students, with wand’ring steps and slow, through Mason took their solitary way.

– Ben Prawdzik

A Tough Grader

In the ever-popular philosophy lecture “Death,” Prof. Shelly Kagan said that he first learned of his reputation as a harsh grader after he read an article in the News mentioning his tough grading policy. Kagan then asked whether anyone in the room had previously taken a class with him. Though TA Alex Worsnip said about 240 people showed up to class, only two people in the back raised their hands.

“See? They don’t come back,” Kagan said.

He also assured students that he knows Yale students are used to good grades.

“None of you got into Yale with a B average, I know… unless you’re also really rich, in which case, please come up to me and introduce yourself afterwards,” Kagan said.

– Diana Li and Julia Zorthian

Small Class Size

During his Intro to Cognitive Science class that packed the YUAG auditorium, Prof. Brian Scholl dispelled some rumors for the Class of 2016:

“To any freshman shopping the class, welcome to Yale. Everything they told you in Yale brochures about small class sizes—they lied to you,” Scholl said. “This is actually the second-smallest class on campus.”

– Mason Kroll