Jessai Flores

Something dreadful is brewing.

 As we bask in the sunshine at Cross Campus, the warmth soothes away our anxieties. We rub our hands together and kick our feet in the air, looking forward to all the exciting classes we’ll take next semester.

For people whose entire schedules are composed of seminars, the first few weeks of April are spent drafting dozens of course requests and constructing several-paged, rainbow-colored Google Sheets to organize various amalgamations of courses.

But there is a quiet course registration happening before the day officially comes. From the beginning of the semester, under-the-table deals are conducted via email correspondence, guaranteeing spots in coveted classes for the few who started early. Speed is of the essence. 

Still, you are constantly reassured that things are alright: if you are persistent enough, they say, you’ll eventually make it off the waitlist. All the courses at Yale are amazing and taught by brilliant professors, and you’ll have fun in any of them!

No. This is war. You cannot trust anyone.

The person who held the door for you is in cahoots with the professor of that history class you’re groveling for. And the one in front of you in the Commons pasta line who let you have the last tangerine: they’re one spot ahead of you on that philosophy seminar waitlist.

All is fair in love and course registration. Academic advisors and current professors alike are being solicited for their endorsements; nepotism is no longer immoral.

Suddenly, Memaw is dying and her last, fervent wish is for her grandchild to become an expert on W.E.B. Du Bois. Everyone has always had a special interest in Japanese detective fiction, and if only we knew the truth about the mystery of sleep, then all our problems would be solved.

Global affairs majors are partaking in department-sanctioned gladiator battles for half the number of classes available than usual. Philosophy and religious studies majors are forming prayer circles and supplicating to God for a bountiful course registration. English majors are going feral, prowling Sterling Memorial Library with bloodshot eyes. Those creative writing class applications will make or break their career. The pen is mightier than the sword, and you should fear their pen. 

But perhaps I’m simply being over-dramatic as a lowly freshman, tired of seeing “Instructor Permission: Pending” for a week, only to receive a heart-wrenching rejection. How does it feel, seniors, up there in the clouds, able to waltz into any first-come-first-serve class? 

How does it feel to be welcomed in the court of God (ENGL 120)?