I'll be the first to admit it. Not-Yale isn't all it's cracked up to be. They don't give you a seersucker suit along with your acceptance letter and while our dorm rooms are suspiciously nice, if cramped, they aren't outfitted with scotch and servants, privileges I imagine the original not-Yale class of 1701 must have enjoyed. Sure, we have great food (relative to most prisons) and beautiful grounds (if you enjoy faux-gothic architecture and the lingering sense that you are living in a catalogue). But let me be fair. We have two clothing stores! We have several thai food restaurants! We have a plethora of overpriced coffee shops where you can discuss Werner Herzog with the baristas! We have cheerful (read: very dangerous) locals who pepper our experiences with friendly stabbings and muggings! What more could a girl (or newly emerging gay boy) ask for?
Well, quite a lot, as it turns out. I mean, I don't mean to sound selfish or bitchy here, but where is the wild debauchery and atrociously conspicuous consumption of the era of Fitzgerald and Porter. Where are the balls and yachts and weekend getaways to Monaco? Don't give me this crap about a "recession". If there is one thing the super rich are good at it's maintaining, and perhaps even increasing, their wealth in times of economic and social crisis. To be fair, up until this point in my not-Yale career I have no idea what I would have done when faced with debauchery. With the exception of a few deeply brilliant or astonishingly well connected students the general populous here in not-New Haven can't really afford to be drunk daily. Not when there is Wittgenstein to read, or atoms to split! Not when they could be translating Herodotus and analyzing new ways to create math devoid of numbers AND letters! And how will they ever fit that Chopin concert in! Crisis!!!
But once you get to a certain point, that is, your final year in our hallowed halls, not only are you over academia but the hope is that you are under the influence. And there are helpful little groups that try and make this hope a reality, for example, there is one that I will title "An Organization for the Month between January and March". But the sad truth is that despite these nightly soirees and gatherings nothing really alleviates the deep sense that this place no longer belongs to those of us who have spent the most time here. Our ids are real, our senses of enthusiasm are faked. We barely chuckle when we see a drunk fresh person stumbling home at night. If you're like me, you sigh, take them by the arm, and escort them back to the dorm room they mumble to you as they snuggle up against your shoulder. Then you walk off into the night, letting the cold air kill your buzz.
To be fair, however, I am not entirely above juvenile behavior. For example, I just made a complete fool of myself gushing all over a graduate student from the not-Yale school of drama whose performance I witnessed last week. So it gives me hope, I have a whole new world of wonder, delight, and mental masturbation ahead of me. Thank god.
Song of the week so far? Kate Nash's adorable Foundations. Dancing drunkenly around to it only increases your cool factor.
Leah Franqui is a fairly interesting person/director/writer/reader/eater/drinker. She likes ugly dogs and dislikes her hair in the morning. She's a sucker for environmental causes and plays hardball with deals on chewing gum. She is a struggle.