Dialing for the Detained

Volunteers try to fix a broken communication system between the government and asylum-seekers.

When two groups of Yale Law students arrived in Dilley and Karnes, Texas, in the spring of 2015, the detention centers they saw housed over two thousand asylum seekers. The people inside were overwhelmingly women and children fleeing rising violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle, and the volunteers intended to help them stay in the United States. They were there to conduct interviews, to ask the families what they had experienced that would help them win their cases in front of a government judge. Swapna. . . Read more
Victorio Cabrera
Quality Time

Getting home, the long way.

Emma picks me up from my dorm at Yale on the first day of spring break so she can drive me to her dorm at Wesleyan, where I plan to spend the next two nights to figure things out. She looks strange in the driver’s seat, taller and calmer than I’m used to, or maybe I’m just not used to the idea of her sitting there. I still don’t know how to drive. Last summer I was supposed to learn, and the summer before that,. . . Read more
Jennifer Gersten
Management in a Mason Jar

The Yale School of Management is investing in applesauce.

The first time I met Catherine Wu, she sat with two small, misshapen apples at the Happiness Lab, a coffee shop on Chapel Street. Beside her were also three tiny mason jars, each with a different flavor of UglyFruit, the “artisanal applesauce” Wu makes from Connecticut apples and sells to local coffee shop(pe)s. I had just taken a bite of the “vanilla bourbon” flavor (savory, spicy, an applesauce iteration of how houses smell after wood fires), when she leaned across to ask what I thought.. . . Read more
Amelia Nierenberg
Yale’s Secret Chef

A student-run restaurant turns dinner into performance art.

The magician slowly slices the grapefruit in half with a large knife. He pries the halves apart, juice running down his hands. Wedged in the center of the grapefruit is a dollar bill, which he was holding just seconds before. The audience around the table applauds, enjoying the opening act of a nightlong dinner spectacle. Alone in the kitchen, the chef and mastermind of the evening quietly prepares the first course of the meal. Every Friday night, junior Abdel Morsy cooks an elaborate dinner for. . . Read more
Eliza Fawcett
The Uncertainty Never Ends

The strangest performance space in New Haven.

A typical trip to Never Ending Books at 810 State Street delivers two things: disappointment and a ratty paperback. The lights will probably be off inside the store. In lieu of posting hours, owner Roger Uihlein maintains a shelf of free books outside the entrance. If, however, you pick an atypical day, the door will swing open to a fjord-like set of bookshelves and a wall of literature devoted to the apparently one-dimensional realm of “women’s issues.” All of these books are free, too. If. . . Read more
Griffin Brown
Unmooring the Classroom

Alternative education on the water of the Long Island Sound.

Enoc Escobar watched cormorants glide inches above the waves of the Long Island Sound. Alex Mass noticed the way sandy bluffs slide towards the sea, and Alyssa Hall contemplated the impending flooding of downtown Manhattan by the water through which they sailed. “By the end of the century, it’s going to go up two feet,” she warned. As the three students told me about their educational voyage through the Long Island Sound, they painted a picture of a complex, important, and unexpectedly beautiful body of. . . Read more
Dimitri Diagne
Speed Reader

The bright orange paint on the New Haven bookmobile makes it look like a freewheeling bus of the nineteen-sixties. But if you walk inside, you will find that the carpeted interior resembles a preschool classroom. Wooden shelves jut out of three sides of the bus, filled with books of all shapes and sizes. Some are … Continue reading Speed Reader

The bright orange paint on the New Haven bookmobile makes it look like a freewheeling bus of the nineteen-sixties. But if you walk inside, you will find that the carpeted interior resembles a preschool classroom. Wooden shelves jut out of three sides of the bus, filled with books of all shapes and sizes. Some are books for young children, like Angelina’s Big City Ballet and A Mare for Young Wolf; others are elementary school favorites, like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Every year,. . . Read more
Frances Lindemann
The Murder Trail

The paranormal reanimates a stalled investigation.

I am sitting in Jillian and Scott Hamilton’s kitchen. It is small and crowded with the essentials of home life—a blender on the countertop, papers pinned to the fridge, plates on a rack. Scott Hamilton lets out a theatrical groan and gives me a weary look. “So. You like the paranormal, huh?” Scott works in a Macy’s warehouse and Jillian is a seamstress, but their preferred vocation is Family Haunts, a paranormal research group. Jillian and Scott certainly do, though they did not get much. . . Read more
Victorio Cabrera
Owning the Wilderness

Inside the the university’s largest piece of property.

Illustrations by Téa Chai I eased the SUV down a rough dirt road in northeastern Connecticut. My friend Téa, who sat in the passenger’s seat, peered into the shady woods ahead. She checked her phone to see if we were still headed in the right direction, but she didn’t have any service. Her hands fiddled with pens and papers, nervously sketching the twisted shapes of branches and leaves as we went around the next bend. Then we were there, at Myers Forest, the largest of. . . Read more
Brady Currey
A Love of Labor

Yale’s midwives help women take ownership of childbirth.

Nurse midwife Nancy Degennaro demonstrated straddling positions on a large exercise ball for Rose Gallegos, an expecting mother sitting next to her. “Sometimes we would have her sit on it this way,” Degennaro said, squatting on the ball, opening her legs wide, acting out Gallegos’s possible future delivery. “Sometimes we have her lean on it this way,” she said, moving to rest her flat tummy on the ball. “We just get creative.” Getting creative is part of the birthing philosophy in Yale’s midwifery department, located. . . Read more
Amelia Nierenberg