Mind in Hand

Is there a place for manual labor in higher education?

There is an unspoken understanding that students leaving Yale will find employment that requires them to work with their minds. Manual labor is not something that we came to this university to train for. But all my experiences—in the field, in the construction site, and even in the classroom—suggest that physical work can teach a depth of mental strength that we do not acquire in our academic studies. I’ve spent my summers at farms and summer camps; I’ve cleaned toilets, washed dishes, herded goats, stayed. . . Read more
Laura Blake

Before Irene, taking stock of the contents of an off-campus fridge.

A friend once told me that she found there to be something “very restful” about a freezer full of meat. Though I am more or less vegetarian, I see what she means. There is comfort in knowing that, come exams, crummy boyfriends, lectures on parasitic arthropods, or Hurricane Irene, my roommates and I still have ample, if not healthful, provisions. If meat is restful, are other foods festive? I’ve been feeling a little down lately, so I thought it might cheer me up to make a. . . Read more
Laura Blake
Nest Eggs

In backyards across New Haven, residents are hatching a fowl plan.

From the sidewalk, Vince Kay’s house is indistinguishable from any other on its block in New Haven’s East Rock neighborhood—white paint, two stories, a modest porch out front.  Walk past the green Jeep and white Izuzu parked in the driveway, however, and you may wonder whether you mistakenly wound up in New Haven, Vermont, a town of 1700 near the western border of the Pine Tree State.  Through the window of a weathered, wooden barn with a plaque reading “Farm Bureau Member” lies a collection. . . Read more
Laura Blake