Before the Fall Orientation (BTFO), Day 1

So, without further ado, we come to the…

Cool Details which have come to my attention

The fact of the matter remains from yesterday, and the day before: I am here in New Haven and I am loving every moment of it.  As a sort of smörgåsbord of good things which have happened, come to my attention, or were completely expected (but fantastic), here comes the bullet point style of exposition:

-The weather here is the polar opposite of DC (my old, un-air conditioned house is stuffy and hot, while the weather outside is DELIGHTFULLY breezy and shady)
-My housemates Shannon and Ryan are getting more and more fantastic as we get to know each other better
-Shannon does cosmetology and hairdressing, and has offered to cut my hair for really cheap (thriftiness: achievement unlocked)
-EVERYONE I met at the YDS orientation today was very, very nice and extremely excited to be there, and this seems to be a trend that continues among the second- and third-year students, as well as the faculty and staff
-Unexpected MOST important items to have as a divinity school student (see photo below) are not a Bible, laptop, and notebook, but instead a nalgene container, a washable plate (in my case, my old sierra cup from Boy Scouts), and reusable utensils (in my case, again a reused Boy Scout heavy-duty spork) – the school is environmentally-minded enough that people who do not  bring reusable gear will be allowed to borrow a plate and fork, but be required to go to the back of the food line and wait longer
-the walk up the steep hill to the divinity school is KILLER (this makes the list as a positive because it will force Ryan and I to get in shape even if we don’t want to, although we have agreed to work together on getting healthy this year)
-apparently, although we STILL haven’t received them yet, our Yale ID cards get us discounts EVERYWHERE, especially restaurants (something I didn’t experience ever in DC or at AU, where things were full price and said full price was way, way too high)
-Though I previously mentioned that the Albertus Magnus College across the street will make their athletic facilities to us; it actually turns out that the closest building in their lot to my house IS the Athletic Center, so my walk to the gym and/or pool is no more than 100 feet from my front door
-I have found several really great job openings on campus (ranging from IT stuff for the libraries to getting involved in researching and formalizing a paper-use reduction for all of Yale), all of which have lovely graduate-student-inflated wages.  More on this as it develops.
-The best part of the day, however, was the repetition of an experience I have had at YDS both in 2009 when I visited as a Prospective Student, and again while I was here for Admitted Students Day.  Specifically, I refer to the fact that the chapel will fill with at least 100 people, often a bunch of strangers who have never met each other before, but will then proceed to sing at least 6 harmony parts to whichever hymn is being sung (however without any sort of instrumental accompaniment, and no practice or warm-up to speak of).  This, by the way, is actually one of the things that made YDS go from “I would really like to attend” to more of a “I sense, somehow, that I belong here, or need to be here, as soon as possible.”  More on this as the semester goes on and I hear additional music, but as a spoiler: I do have this higher-end audio recorder, and will likely try and sneak it into the chapel a few times to get some samples of what I am describing here.

Photography in New Haven

For the folks who have kept an eye on my other blogs over time, you’re likely aware that I am an avid photographer and spend a fair amount of time getting good shots of high resolution.  In New Haven I will be doing things slightly differently, in that I will go again my own policy of avoiding cellphone camera use and making a prolific portfolio with mine.  One reason for this is the fact that muggings can and do happen in New Haven (more often than in DC, especially compared to my prior residential area of Tenleytown), and so I would prefer not to carry my nice (albeit bulky) camera around with me all the time.  Another reason for this, however, is a cheap (less than $3) Android app called “Pano,” as in panoramic photograph.  This app is like a lot of camera features, in that you take the first photograph and then the camera guides you to taking the rest of the sequence accurately, and finely attaches them in one long image file.  I do not have any of New Haven yet (having been running around all day for orientation), but I will be including a couple here and there as thumbnails in these posts, thus allowing you to open them in a new window and zooming into whichever parts look the most interesting!

As an example of this, I am including the single photo I took today, of the end of orientation events on the Sterling Divinity Quadrangle, from my phone.  As I get to know people better, I will try and add additional photographs of today to this slideshow (I did take one photo from the YDS new students Facebook page, and credited them as such in the caption, as I managed to end up in the photograph of the musician for the service).  In the meantime, enjoy:

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