May 16th, 2008

In the Yale Museum of British Art

You can tell this piece is British since it looks like one of the chairs from the British TV show "The Prisoner," except Number Four was cheeky enough to put a crumpet on it for Number Two to inadvertently sit in.

I thought that was bloody rude.
In the Yale Museum of British Art

Here's the thing to get...

... about the Yale Museum of British Art: it isn't JUST portraits of people you don't know, there are also a few portraits of HORSES you don't know.

What a waste of space :)

The toe of Theodorus Woolsey

You're supposed to rub the toe of this statue for good luck, which Yale students have done so much over the centuries that it looks polished. Basically it's the Blarney Stone for elites. If the statue favors them with luck, then they become President of the United States, where they campaign by claiming their OPPONENT is the real elite.

So turns the wheel of life.
The toe of Theodorus Woolsey

Maya Lin again...

What you see here is a partial list of Yale students killed in WWII. Supposedly this is what Maya Lin was looking at when she had the idea for the design of the Vietnam Memorial.
Maya Lin again...

Bush, Bush, Bush, and Kerry

So, how this works is that when you enter Yale, you're randomly assigned to one of many "colleges" - unless a parent or sibling went to Yale before you, in which case you can select the college that relative was assigned to. The colleges do not have specific academic foci, rather they're purely residential. So, you live with the same group of students all four years.

Basically think Harry Potter, and the different colleges are like Gryffindor or Hufflepuff or whatever. Each college has a dean, who is basically the disciplinarian, and a "master," who is basically the kindly grandfather type figure.

What you see here is Davenport College, where the last three generations of Bushes (including the current President) as well as Kerry would have stayed their last three years at Yale (the first year is spent in the college's "hall," i.e. a different building).

When I asked the tour guide about this after the tour, she suggested that the prestige/importance of the senior year "secret societies" such as Skull and Bones has diminished quite a bit from what it once was, and they're now functionally drinking clubs.


Bush, Bush, Bush, and Kerry

Heh

Here's what you do at these things: you plant yourself by the artist, look at one his artworks while stroking your beard, and say "Interesting... It reminds me of some of my early work."

You then repeat that little performance in every single studio until you're finally mistaken for some artist you've never heard of.
Heh

This couldn't be more perfect if I'd staged it...

It's the garbage a Yale student left behind, in this shopping cart by his hall's dumpster, before leaving for the summer.

Note the broken vacuum cleaner, the empty box of condoms, the empty vodka bottles, and the bong.
This couldn't be more perfect if I'd staged it...

Now there's something you don't see every day...

It turns out Yale has a musical instrument museum. The one on the extreme right is a Triebert System 5 oboe of French manufacture in the mid-19th century. I assume this is what Georges Gillet, i.e. Marcel Tabuteau's teacher, would have used early in his career?
Now there's something you don't see every day...

Relics

It turns out that the Knights of Columbus organization is headquartered here, and they have a museum of their organization's history.

These are fragments of the burial vestments of their founder, Michael J. McGivney.
Relics