The good life; working IT at Yale Law School

Brushing shoulders with future presidents, on the way to hikes

When I named this initial section, I refer to attempting to balance out the slightly less exciting aspects of my previous post (in telling the story of the Diluvian Experience of last Friday I realize that even the humorous tone might make it seem like I don’t really like it here).  Nothing could be further from the truth: I have loved spending this summer working here at the Law School, and from brushing shoulders with future presidents or other important folk, to getting to understand the inner workings of the best law school in the world, to simply having good times with some excellent coworkers, it has been an outstanding summer!

An upcoming post will chronicle the specifics of how I have lost a lot of weight while building muscle over the course of this summer, but I can honestly say that one non-exercise and non-diet related foundational aspect has been working downtown at the Law School – doing IT, this is basically the first job of my life where I can leave work at work, and go home at the end of a day.  Even better, the 2 miles walk up and over the hill via Prospect Street to my house was a good one month prep for my exercise scheme – these days, I have upgraded to hiking home via East Rock and clock in nearly 7 miles of hiking daily!

Rare books and more

One of the cool parts of having Yale Law IT be located and affiliated with the Law Library is that I get to go behind the scenes and see specific details that the public doesn’t usually know about, much less encounter.  For instance, I am good friends with the head librarian of the Rare Books Reading Room here, Mike Widener.  After helping him by moving some equipment around, I got curious as to which book in the collection was the oldest, and got a fascinating pair of answers: while one 14th century book of Venetian water zoning laws is technically the oldest manuscript in the collection, they have a 15th century book which was partially bound by reusing an 8th century hagiography about a certain Saint Alexander.  If you’re curious, the reused scroll (which I have gotten to hold in my hands!) can be seen here with an introduction; there is a gallery of various shots of that manuscript here; and there are a couple of shots focused on the binding available to peruse here.

Something I never understood is the meaning or  implication(s) behind the Yale Law School coat of arms, as the chosen symbols don’t make sense to me at first glance. There is a detailed explanation and rather interesting video from Yale Law’s website, but the short version is that in the 1950’s, Yale Art faculty sat down and helped figure out a coat of arms which would incorporate heraldric components of each of the three founders, which ended up including a combat greyhound, an alligator, and metal staples!  Perhaps not the intuitive coat of arms, but certainly distinctive and memorable!

Another interesting little detail is that while many folks know that Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull had its chase scene through the college filmed at Yale, the ending scene where Indiana Jone’s has his name repainted onto his office door is actually the doorway of the Law School’s Dean’s Office – Spielberg got permission to craft a custom 50’s style door and install it into the door frame, and then filmed that shot.

If and as I find out more of these details over time, I will try and put together a follow-up blog post with a list of neat random facts I have mined while here.


In this case, I do not think I could offer a more balanced and precise photo-essay of a locale: from the tallllllll Rabbit of Love, to their inferior-to-mine fishtank, to the extraordinarily obfuscated room numbering scheme, this slideshow has it all!

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