Jonathan Edwards Students, We Salute You

in Endnotes

On August 27th, 2008, hundreds of young Yale men and women returned to New Haven to find a home. Instead, like sinners in the hands of an angry God, they found a place of turmoil. Some lost power, some lost boxes, and some were even exiled to the cold halls of the Omni Hotel, far from friends and frat parties. To each proud Spider who bravely stayed on campus, who wakes up each morning to the pounding of construction, and who sleeps cold and dirty at night because they cannot wash with hot water, the staff of The New Journal sends its thoughts and its wireless. We have compiled some missives from their courageous leader during this difficult time in order to commemorate their struggles.

Tuesday, August 5th
Dear Members of the JE Classes of 09, 10 and 11,
I assume that you are getting organized to return to your JE home so I thought I should give you a heads up, i.e., not all of the construction is going to be finished when you get here. As things now stand, we expect each of you to be able to move into the room that you have chosen…
What this also means is that they will have just laid down the courtyard sod and we will have to be protective of it for the first couple of weeks after you return. I will try to give you a more specific update before August 27th-a lot can change in three weeks, I have discovered.

Monday, August 25

12:15 AM
Dear JE Students,
I will probably be sending you more than the usual move-in messages (but try to keep them short). This one is about desks and the courtyard grass.
DESKS IN YOUR ROOMS: on Friday I discovered that we are short 60 new desks for JE rooms. The desks were to be assembled and shipped overnight so I hope they will be in your rooms on Wednesday or Friday (August 27 or 28). Thus, I am requesting that you NOT bother me about your missing desk until after Friday 29 August, but invite you to if your desk is still missing (and I have no idea which 60 rooms will be without a desk).
COURTYARD GRASS: Of course, the weather is likely to be nice and you will not be into homework for your first few days back on campus–an ideal time for a game in the courtyard. However, they have just laid the sod and it needs a little time to take hold before being walked on so I ask that you stay off the grass for two weeks, that is, PLEASE DO NOT PLAY ON THE COURTYARD GRASS BETWEEN 27 AUGUST AND 10 SEPTEMBER. Imagine you are at Oxford or Cambridge where they don’t let you walk on the grass all year long.

9:33 PM
Dear JE Students,
The master’s Office will continue to be open Saturday and Sunday…
You may also key my cell phone number into your address book, but if you use it to ask about a key, you better pretty well have exhausted all other options and be standing naked in the courtyard (and then I am going to have to ask some questions about how you carry your cell phone).

9:46 PM
Dear JE Students,
Well, the good news is that we have sod in the courtyard (that  you can only look at until mid-September); the bad news is that all students will be moving in on Wednesday 27 August. Fifteen of your peers and Erin Walsh (resident graduate afffiliate) will be living in the Omni Hotel until 20 September.

Wednesday, August 27
Dear JE Students,
If you discover a problem in your suite, room, or elsewhere in the Collge, please send it to me by reply. I have a daily meeting with construction management and will try to get it fixed. But here is some general information…
3) We have had some problems with hot water, i.e., twice it has been at best just warm and had to be adjusted. It is a very weak promise again tonight BUT PLEASE TO NOT EMAIL ME ABOUT THIS BECAUSE I WILL GET THEM TO WORK ON IT EARLY TOMORROW.
4) Plese keep entryway and suite doors locked.
5) And please stay off the grass.

Friday, August 29
Dear JE students,
The electrical contractor is ready to install a portion of the new circuit breakers today, and will require shutting down the power for D entry and C entryways.  THIS OUTAGE WILLOCCUR FROM 2 PM TO APPROXIMATLEY 7 PM TODAY, FRIDAY 29 AUGUST.
The remaining breakers will be installed tomorrow, SATURDAY 30 AUGUST, and will require SHUTTING DOWN THE POWER FROM 9 AM TO 5 PM to entries A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, AND I.

Saturday, August 30
Dear JE Students,
Several of you have told me that your cable is not working, but I keep forgetting to give you the bad news–it probably will not be turned on before Wednesday of next week. Sorry. You are just going to have to catch up on your reading or visit your off-campus friends.

Sunday, August 31
Dear JE Students,
I am still getting quite a few messages about missing boxes, missing furniture, things that need to be repaired, etc. PLEASE BE AS EXPLICIT AS YOU CAN, I.E., HOW MANY BOXES, AND INCLUDE YOUR ROOM NUMBER AND CELL PHONE NUMBER. Yes, I can look up both, but why do you wish to waste my time doing that for you?
Thanks for your consideration and your patience with this move-in.

Tuesday, September 2
Dear JE Students,
Starting tomorrow (September 3rd),
construction workers will arrive at 8:00 pm
to check in and get organized. They will be
instructed not to do any work that will cause
noise and generally move around and talk
quietly until 9:00 am–and then the sawing
and hammering will begin but by that time
you will all be in class. Right?
Th is might not work out ideally on
the fi rst day so wait until about Friday to
complain again. Of course, if you really are
roused from sleep between 6-6:30, you can
let me know right away. And when you do
complain, be specific: who did what where
and at what time exactly so we can get ahold
of the guy. Thanks.
– Gary Haller, Master of JE

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