Saturday, July 20, 2013

First Collegiate School, then Yale University

I can’t believe it is Saturday already. Before heading to Brown tomorrow, we visited Yale, one of the Ivy League colleges. At De Anza High School, we had a presentation about Yale and since then I have wanted to visit the university and learn more about its curriculum and surroundings.
Visitor Center at Yale

Even though the college was closed for the weekend, the visitor center was still open. Our tour guide, Alyssa, toured us around different buildings on campus. We were given a lot of information about the history of the university and its buildings, but I had expected much more from the tour. Maybe because Yale is one of the prestigious colleges, I wanted to gather more information about the academics rather than the history of its buildings. Also, since we have had a tour of the 3 different universities where we had gathered tons of information about their academics and specialties, I thought Yale would also be as informative as the others.

One we got to Yale, we did not go right towards visitor center. Since we will had time for our tour (1:00 PM), we walked to the Yale’s art gallery. The gallery holds rich collection stretched from ancient to modern art, European art to Asian Art. Not having knowledge of art, it was a hard for me to interpret certain art (paintings particularly) into words. My first stop was Ancient Art collection where I saw many of human figure and vessels. Greek arts would usually use geometric shapes and volumes on the human figure whereas vase had different figures imprinted on them representing things like peace or victory. Some vessels had domestic setting indicating furniture, legged stool or thread. 
The vessels imprinted with domestic settings
The Human Figure (Greek Art)
Unlike Greek arts, European arts consisted more of paintings during Renaissance. Some of the fine paintings of European arts were Virgin and Child or Hercules and Deianira. 
The Circumcision of Christ (European Art)
Asian arts were spread from East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Several Japanese arts consisted of Lord Buddha’s ceramics. One of the Southeast Asian arts had ceramics of Buddha’s footsteps. On side of both feet were two figures showing respect by joining both hands and bowing their head. 
Footprint of Buddha (Asian Art)
Along with different human figures, African America arts consisted of some jewelry. The jewelries were made of gold or silver and represented both North and West African fusion of styles and techniques.
African American Jewelries
 After our little trip to art gallery, we went to visitor center and toured around Yale. Because it is summer and not much students were on campus, there was some construction going on. Buildings with construction could be easily distinguished as they had blue colored plastic covered around them. 
Building under construction (The blue plastic on the gate)
We got to learn about the history of Yale University and the name behind Yale University. Yale University was originally located at Clinton and was known as Collegiate School but was later moved to Saybrook and Wethersfield. One of the officers from British East India Company, Elihu Yale, donated hundreds of books and large amount of money. When the Collegiate School moved to New Haven, it was named after Elihu Yale. 
Oldest building in Yale as well as New Haven - Connecticut Hall
Nathan Hole (First spy of USA)
Also, United States’ first spy named Nathan Hole, graduated from Yale. His statue was placed in front of the oldest building at Yale where his hands and legs were tied with rope indicating that he was hanged and his famous quote was imprinted on the statue, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” 

Alyssa also talked about the main highlight of the Yale that is, residence colleges. As a community oriented university, Yale has 12 residential college and students are assigned to one of them. Each residential college has their own of master and dean. I had heard about this setting of college and I think this idea helps students to be social and have a sense of community. Doesn't it sound somewhat like Hogwarts? Master focuses on the well-being of students whereas Dean is adviser of students. 
Branford College
We did not get to see all the residential colleges but we got to visit Branford whose architecture was designed by James Gamble Rogers. Rogers wanted the building to look old and he built the building being inspired from England buildings. The stones on the building were ordered from Dublin, Ireland. The roof tiles were red, green or blue colors because they were buried in sands and certain mineral gave them different colors. 
Exterior of Beinecke Library

We then walked towards Beinecke Library whose design was very different from any other building. The building did not have any windows and were built out of white marble. So, how does the light get through? Well, the lights can travel through the white marble easily and the marble also does not let any UV rays from Sun come inside the building. The building had the showcase of Gutenberg Bible and is one of the rarest books. 
Interior of Beinecke Library (The walls are thin white marble)

Our tour was long but short of academic information. Fortunately, we had lunch with one of the Yale graduate, Lauren who was able to talk about the information on the Yale’s application process. She advised us to think about different kind of colleges and explore around so that we will have different options in mind. She also talked about scholarships at Yale and explained that they are willing to give out money in order for abroad visits, projects or club. 

Largest Pizza I have ever seen

We had pizza for lunch and I think it was the biggest large size I have ever seen. Also, they were not cut into the triangle shape but were cut in different and random shapes. I never knew there was pizza made of mashed potatoes. It is one of the foods one should definitely try if they come to New Haven. It tasted like potato skin and was absolutely delicious. After lunch, we thanked Lauren, waved goodbyes to her and headed back to Providence. 

We got a sneak peak of Brown University as well while we went to pick up the book from bookstore. I have already fallen in love with that pleasant environment of Brown University in that short sneak peak. I cannot wait to get the full picture of the university.

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