A brother, a sister, and the game of LIFE.

Austin stared straight past the Rolos, Snickers, and Skittles at the New York City subway map taped to the newsstand window. When I called to him, he merely blinked and continued tracing the map’s lines with his eyes. I took his hand and tried to pull him down Third Avenue, but he dug in his heels and screeched. Reaching into my pocket, I fished out two quarters and plonked them on the counter. “Here you go, Columbus,” the vendor joked as he slid Austin a. . . Read more
Haley Cohen
Dinner in the Year 5771

Rosh Hashanah at the Slifka Center.

Serving up special food at the Kosher kitchen. Jewish law holds that meat and dairy must be stored apart, served with different utensils, and consumed separately. Shaking his head in somber embarrassment, Timothy Frye, who has been head chef at Yale’s Slifka Center for five years, admits he doesn’t know why. He must not realize he is in the majority. Stumped by the same question, medieval Torah guru Maimonedes reasoned that meat boiled in milk was too filling and “undoubtedly gross.” But most follow Kashrut,. . . Read more
Haley Cohen
Made of Mettle

53 year-old Dwight Dickerson was accepted to Yale College in part for his “exceptional background.” So why don’t most students know about it?

A young Dwight Dickerson plays the trumpet. Courtesy Dwight Dickerson Many Yale undergraduates are surprised to encounter Dwight Dickerson in their Spanish seminars and Political Psychology lectures. His usual uniform is collegiate enough – black Velcro sneakers, blue jeans, a black pinstriped button-down left untucked and a grey Yale Bulldogs sweatshirt – but his bald head and the white hairs salting his pepper black mustache suggest he is a fair bit older than your average undergraduate. Dwight sees them staring, and sometimes even whispering about. . . Read more
Haley Cohen
Paint and Switch

How one contracting company paints a pretty picture of a risky venture.

In 2008, a Yale senior made close to $60,000 in one summer painting houses. As fantastical as it may sound, especially to the many Yale students who see enervating banking and consulting internships as the only way to make money over the summer, the story of Max Rhodes ’09 is no fairy tale. In an article, seductively titled “Rhodes ’09 earns big with paint,” published in the Yale Daily News last February, Rhodes described how he spent summer 2008 running a painting business through a. . . Read more
Haley Cohen

Denise Petry claims she’s clairvoyant, but can this accountant-cum-psychic take stock of your future?

Denise Petry. You don’t have to be a psychic to grasp that accounting can be boring. Not just makes-you-wanna-tap-your-foot-’cause-there’s-nothing-better-to-do boring, but would-rather-watch-a-snail-crawl-a-marathon, potential-cure-for-insomnia, start-hearing-voices-that-nobody-else-can boring. Denise Petry, who worked as an accountant for 20 years, often hears those voices, but not in the way that will get you locked up. In fact, she started hearing them long before the number crunching and checkbook managing had a chance to erode her sanity. They don’t tell her specific things like, “Joe, the guy at the Deli counter. . . Read more
Haley Cohen
Gray Matter

Overcoming Yale students’ racial biases.

We in the Ivy League like to think of ourselves as progressive: our schools offer the best financial aid packages, record some of the highest minority enrollment, and frequently produce research at the vanguard of a variety of social issues. Lately, Yale has placed particular focus on overcoming racial barriers. In 2007, President Richard Levin asked the incoming freshman class to read Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race. Tatum, who also. . . Read more
Haley Cohen
Reaching Out

For many Yale students, academically privileged, bolstered by one of the world’s wealthiest institutions, there remains the constant question of how to give back, not merely to the communities we come from, but to the world we will enter upon our graduation.

We hadn’t planned on painting a fence as our service project. Instead, we were supposed to be teaching English to disadvantaged children at a Kathmandu children’s home, a project which, to me, sounded much more constructive than spreading chestnut colored primer over gray chain-link. Now, staring at the sizable fence surrounding the construction site of the new “Shining Stars” children’s home in the rural Nepali village of Bistochap, we were forced to wonder: this is our project? Painting this will be our contribution to Nepal,. . . Read more
Haley Cohen
Lost and Found

Two armchair historians also hunt for treasure.

If time travel existed, Jesse Thompson and Tony Cwikla would have racked up millions of frequent flier years. They’re history buffs—guys who’d prefer to throw back ale with Benjamin Franklin than with high school buddies, who’d rather watch gladiator matches with Caesar than with Russell Crowe. But since scientists have yet to find a traversable wormhole, Thompson and Cwikla must recover history instead of living it. When they aren’t working their normal jobs (Thompson as switchboard operator and Cwikla as factory worker), the two men. . . Read more
Haley Cohen

A website cures bad habits—sometimes.

Goethe once proclaimed, “What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” Well, duh. Goethe may have been a decent writer, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that at Yale, procrastination is a way of life. To paraphrase Freud, it probably all started in our childhoods. When I was nine I tried to read the Encyclopedia Britannica but lost motivation after the entry for “Anabaena” (“a genus of nitrogen-fixing blue-green algae with beadlike or barrel-like cells and interspersed enlarged spores”).. . . Read more
Haley Cohen