Lizzie Conklin

It feels like everyone has already said everything there is to be said about the eclipse. You either loved it or were underwhelmed and probably don’t care to hear my take. I certainly can’t compete with some of the best conspiracy theories, like the observations that the earthquake plus the eclipse is a sign that Eric Adams has lost the mandate of heaven or that the eclipse’s path traced the stripe from the Buffalo Bills logo and passed through Buffalo, so they’re Super Bowl bound.

Outside of the “path of totality” — an awesome name for anything — the on-the-ground effects of the eclipse were … eh. New Haven, even with our 91 percent coverage, did not go dark. Quite frankly, it just felt like another slightly overcast day in a long series of gloomy days. If I hadn’t been told by every single person and spam brand discount email that it was #EclipseDay, I probably would have been looking upward sans glasses just to check if the sky looked like it might clear up.

And yet, in spite of my curmudgeonly attitude towards the phenomenon, I found myself enjoying the day. The visual of the sun peeking out from behind the moon lived up to the hype. However, the five-minute event was maybe less entertaining than the fanfare surrounding it.

Despite our equal ability to see the eclipse from every part of New Haven, it seems like half of campus marched up to the observatory, and the other half meandered over to Cross Campus so they could tell their friends that “it’s so cool” in the moment, because analysis like that just can’t wait ‘til later.

In the midst of the gloomy sprint to the finish line after spring break, marred by a dislocated shoulder, final projects, sleep deprivation and a search for summer subletters — please email me — there was an inescapable air of excitement and wonder on Monday. The eclipse, coupled with the first warm days of spring, acted like a siren song emanating from Cross Campus, foisting an involuntary break upon us. 

Why don’t we have more events like this? Surely there are other occasions we could find to get excited about as a campus. Sure, we have Harvard-Yale and we had those 48 hours between the end of the Auburn win and the first two minutes of the second-round March Madness game, but why not more?

Per my very amateur research, it doesn’t look like we’re getting this close to totality in New Haven for another 50 years and 18 days, by which point most of us probably will have graduated. So if we’re going to replicate the vibe, it’s going to have to be a different event.

There are other exciting natural phenomena that we can collectively agree are worth postponing or canceling class for. I’m not advocating for astrology, but the full moon is pretty cool, right? As a colorblind guy, I don’t totally get the whole fuss about rainbows and sunsets, but if they’ll get everyone out, that’s good enough for me.

I realize that the rarity drives the excitement, but I’d sacrifice a little to have these natural interruptions more frequently. We’re not built to stare at a harsh, bright computer screen for 10 hours a day. We need breaks to do something healthier, like stare at the sun. And I recognize that we can appreciate nature individually, but there’s something special about the collective excitement. And I know that I’m essentially arguing for a return to mystical religion, but I don’t really care about worshiping these phenomena. For one thing, the lame scientists have stripped away a lot of the mystery so we know that the sun might not actually be a chariot driven by Apollo. But even if it were, I’d still care less about worshiping the event than sharing it with friends.

But it seems like the eclipse excitement was a one-time thing. Oh well. Let’s do it again in 2079, I guess.

Andrew Cramer is a former sports editor, women's basketball beat reporter, and WKND personal columnist at the YDN. He still writes for the WKND and Sports sections. He is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College and is majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics.