Jane Balkoski
Contributing Reporter
Author Archive

I spoke so few words in D.C. last weekend that I posted a Snapchat story just to prove that I hadn’t died in a ditch. That I was still breathing and walking, even 300 miles away from my friends. Does that make sense? And when I checked Snapchat again, several hours later on the train back to New York, I learned that 14 people had seen the image and I felt quiet relief. I was alive!

In Search of Daughters

The Daughters of Isabella’s International Board meets every two years at 375 Whitney. In the daytime, the board members sit around a linoleum-topped table on […]

Jane Balkoski
BALKOSKI: Holding too many absolutes

Here is a quote from “The Glass Essay,” a poem by Anne Carson: “You remember too much, / my mother said to me recently. / Why hold onto all that? And I said, / Where can I put it down?”

Why Are We Here?

What follows is a response to the question — what kind of education does an elite liberal arts school like Yale offer? And why do we want it?

“The lyf so short, the craft so longe to lerne”

Caveat: I am not an English major. I am not an English major for many reasons, including a fear of large departments, a freaky obsession with Russia, and “The Victorian Novel,” a course I took last semester.

What Arbitrary Thing Are You?

The two pseudopsychological tests offered similar results: Jane is a shy perfectionist who likes her friends a lot. She even has a “creative” streak. The same platitudes hold true for a lot of Yale kids but, still, I don’t object.

Underdog Productions

Our goal is to create excellent works of cinema that will be respected by our peers,” shouts Ingrid Leigh (played by Crystal Liu ‘16) to her team-mates in an episode of B-Roll’s second season. Her fellow film-makers are unimpressed — Joanne (played by Luz Lopez ‘16) checks her phone, Elliot (Andrew Williams ‘16) bites his nails, Samantha smiles vacantly (Maxine Dillon ‘17). This goal is a little lofty for the motley crew. After all, Joanne (played by Luz Lopez ‘16) cares more about the group’s uniform. She thinks they should wear pink blazers.

What Cannot Be Described

“We find the words for what cannot be described,” says Duma Kumalo in the Yale Cabaret’s newest show, “He Left Quietly,” directed by Leora Morris DRA ’16. The words are “shit” and “blood.” The words are “noose” and “coffin.” And all of these are punchy, sure, but inadequate. Genocide is senseless and impenetrable. Our causal chains and linguistic nets will never fully capture slaughter.

Treat Yourself

But “Visual Treats: Syntax,” the newest exhibit in Katalina’s--the pastry shop up the street from Timothy Dwight--is rarely that rough. The Syntax Artists, eight local women working in mixed media, have created an engaging, thoughtful display. Forty-four pieces decorate the shop’s walls and shelves, ranging from slight to substantial, dark to vibrant, pencil to encaustic. Order a coffee, pick up a flyer -- a list of artists, titles, media, and prices -- and then peruse the offerings.

A Bizarre Take on Love

  “Tiny Boyfriend” opens with a nice one-liner: “Love is bizarre.” And in the Yale School of Drama’s newest experimental play, love is indeed bizarre. […]

The Female “I”

In her memoir “I Love Dick,” Chris Kraus writes that young women who wish to be taken seriously do not use the first person. I do not use the first person. The first person is immediate and raw and I’ve never even liked the look of it. The uppercase “I” is too tall and the uppercase “I” demands an honesty I cannot provide.