Making the Grade

The Yale Teachers Preparation Program: A+ or F?

Redell Armstrong, working for New Haven's schools. Sara Mich Redell Armstrong (GRD ’10) wants to talk on a Saturday morning, so we schedule an earlybird meeting: 9:30 a.m.. Any other day of the week, Armstrong would have been awake for three hours already. Today, he comes a few minutes late—on Saturdays, he doesn’t have to answer to thirty impatient middle-schoolers. Armstrong arrived in New Haven this summer afterfive years spent teaching social studies in Harlem at a school where chalk and paper were in short. . . Read more
Sara Mich
Fear And Clothing in New Haven

Saying “I do” to a bridal shop that operates like a family.

All in the family When I first met Annette, she was testing out a mother-of-the-bride dress in front of her coworkers. It was a two-piece ensemble with a matching blazer. It was maroon, shiny, and bejeweled. Annette’s not a fan of trying things on, but there she is, decked in red, reporting she’s “pissed,” but smiling. “We all do it for Lisa,” she says of her twin sister. “We’re family.” Annette is standing in Harold’s Formal Wear of New Haven, CT, where she works among. . . Read more
Kate Selker
Food Fight

It’s crunch time for school lunches at Wexler-Grant Community School in New Haven.

When I entered the cafeteria of the K-8 Wexler-Grant Community School, a New Haven K-8 school, at 10:15, it was crunch time. Five lunch ladies, dressed in matching red-collared shirts and hairnets, were scooping canned apricot halves into small plastic containers and covering the pans of lettuce and chopped meats with foil. When the apricots ran out, they moved onto applesauce. One of the ladies stepped forward, an unofficial spokesperson for the group. “You need to do something about this,” she said, motioning toward the. . . Read more
Alice Walton
Urban Renewal

The New Haven Zen Center.

It's not easy being green. Pete Digenerro can still remember when the venerable Maha Ghosanda of Cambodia paid a visit to his two-story, white-shuttered house on Mansfield Street in New Haven. “He was one of those people you meet and they just have light come out of them,” he recalls. “He was like a big, huge sun.” Digenerro lives in the oldest continuously operating center of the Kwan Um School of Zen Buddhism, first founded by Zen Master Seung Sahn in Rhode Island in the. . . Read more
Jacqueline Feldman
The Maine Event

Out-of-state lobbyists and the Pine Tree State.

In the chaos of this fall, one state stood out. The political universes of Yale University and the state of Maine may, to the casual observer, seem more or less unrelated. That is, until a referendum for legalizing same-sex marriage appeared on the Pine Tree State’s ballot this October. In response to the news, the Yale Women’s Center began a flurry of activity around campus urging students to help phone bank for marriage equality in hopes of influencing Maine voters when election time came. What. . . Read more
Katherine Reynolds
House of Cards

TNJ goes fish in Beinecke Library’s rare card collection.

Everyone loves a good card game: Poker, Bridge, Go Fish – you name it.  All who play understand the basic premises – kings are higher than queens and each deck has four suits. But suppose one day the cards dealt a different hand: acorns instead of clubs, dancing jesters instead of jacks, floral patterns instead of the numbers one through ten. At the Beinecke Library, there are hundreds and thousands of these cards – cards that speak their own language and make their own rules.. . . Read more
Maya Seidler
Rockin’ and Rollin’

When night falls, these ordinary women can be found duking it out in the dog-eat-dog world of roller derby.

By day, they're normal women. By night... Courtesy By day, they are massage therapists.  Graphic designers.  Teachers.  Mothers. But when night falls, these women can be found rink-side, assuming colorful pseudonyms like Rinko Starr and Anita Chainsaw, lacing up their roller skates, and duking it out in the dog-eat-dog world of women’s roller derby.  They are the CT RollerGirls, self-proclaimed daughters of the American derby revolution, and Connecticut’s first and only female flat-track roller derby league. But this clearly isn’t the roller derby of the 1960s. . . Read more
Jessica Rosenthal
Off Track

Graduate students struggle to find meaningful work in a collapsed economy.

Mike O’Hara* is on the academic job market for the second year in a row.  Sitting on a marble slab in Yale’s Beinecke Plaza, he pulls out a single, typed sheet of paper that lists all the open positions in his field.  “Best Bets” includes spots at ten or a dozen universities, “Long Shots” lists places at fifteen. Then, at the bottom of the sheet, there’s a slim category called “Hail Marys.”  These jobs, it seems, might only descend from heaven as a result of. . . Read more
Rachel Caplan