First Days in New Haven

Guys!  Guys!  I’m moved in!  Almost completely!  With almost no prospect of moving out until the end of April!  Yaaaay!

Yes indeed.  My new roommates, Alexandra and Victor, are getting some free rent in return for taking a short stay-cation at a friend’s house in New Haven.  They’re heading out tonight, meaning that I can move into my actual room!  The guy whose place I’m taking in the apartment will move out sometime in the next couple of weeks, meaning that Alexandra and Victor can move back in!  And the circle of musical rooms is thus made complete.

My roommates are super people so far.  I am sharing a pizza with them even now, whilst debating the causes of the Civil War and women’s suffrage.  Barnaby is stalking the pizza.  He’s settled in fine, except for developing an annoying habit of barking ferociously at whoever walks in the door, only to try beating them to death with his tail once they’re in the apartment.

The one remaining housing-related snafu that I must resolve is getting a residential parking permit.  Apparently because I am here for over three months (JUST over, I feel the need to point out), the city feels that I need to change my car’s registration to Connecticut.  This would mean that they can tax me for my car.  THIS would mean that getting the $20 parking permit (to park OUTSIDE MY APARTMENT) would cost close to $200.  I have to wait until City Hall reopens on Monday to try to take care of it again, and in the meantime, and I’m playing musical parking spaces all around Yale to stay one step ahead of the avid ticketing and towing companies that roam New Haven like warring packs of ravenous wolves.

In the meantime, I’m preparing for classes to start on Monday by looking over syllabi and trying to plan a schedule.  The course options here are overwhelming, both in quantity and awesome-ness.  These are a couple of the courses I’m looking at:

  • Jews, Christians, and Renaissance Bibles: This class meets at the Beinecke Library in order to take advantage of the original manuscripts they have down there.  As you might guess, this course studies Jewish and Christian early modern traditions of Bible translation and commentary.
  • Contemporary Christian Spirituality: This course studies ways in which spirituality is developed in modern culture.
  • Greek Exegesis: Galatians:  This course requires each student to generate a translation of Galatians, in addition to a 20 page exegesis and a handful of smaller assignments.  (This, coupled with a couple hundred pages of weekly reading, looks like a fairly typical workload.  I feel very nervous about this, and also have to admit to being thoroughly intimidated by the fact that it’s YALE.  I feel a little like I graduated from the jungle gym to the Olympic balance beam–a distinction I’m sure is far more real in my head than in life, but there you go.)

Along with expensive parking and crazy workloads, the other thing that I simply didn’t think through was the cost of textbooks.  I did not fully appreciate this at the time, but LTSG works REALLY hard to keep costs down for students.  Everything from providing books at a discount through the bookstore to limiting the number of required texts to 2-3, to making textbooks available in the library.  I don’t know about a discount at Yale, or about library stuff, but I do know that out of all the syllabi I’ve seen tonight, there’s not been a single course with less than five required texts, and usually it’s higher.  Oof!

But on a brighter and more exciting note, there is SO MUCH to do here!  Tomorrow I’m hoping to try out a neighborhood church and a swing and blues dance practicum (not, sadly, at the same time).  This Monday classes start, whereupon I predict life will dissolve into a desperate whirl of both hustle and bustle.

I shall finish with a couple pictures of places on campus I got to see on Friday during orientation.  I didn’t take them, but trust me, the places are even more stunning in real life.

View of the Yale Divinity School campus from Prospect St.  The chapel is built on top of the library to reflect the Div school motto: Faith and Intellect.
Day Mission Library at YDS.  Apparently the chairs, though scenic, are incredibly uncomfortable.
The Marquand Chapel.

2 Replies to “First Days in New Haven”

  1. If I recall, you will find a copy of most text books on reserve at the library. So taking them to class might be a trick (I can’t remember the policy on that), but word to the wise: if you check them out at the end of the day, you get to keep them all night and return them when the library opens in the morning (instead of the 2 hours you get otherwise). At least that was the policy three years ago. Also, some texts are merely “recommended” – no need to buy those. Look at the syllabus to see which are actually assigned. Also, buy them on amazon, and use the library’s reserve copy for the first week or two until you get them. There are ways around this.

    Also, as I said, you are SMART and Yale will be a cinch for you. Everyone goes through this time when they constantly think someone’s going to tap them on the shoulder and say, “I’m sorry, we made a mistake accepting you,” but that never happens. Most people get over that about October, so right about the time you leave, you’ll realize you totally belong. 🙂

    Also, since YDS has such a long spring break (two weeks), I wonder if you could get around the residence thing by living there for two stints of a month and a half each? Worth a try to save $200??

  2. Thanks for all of this! The info on the books is so helpful. I’m willing to give the 2 month-and-a-half stints thing a shot…fingers crossed! But good news, too…the landlord told me last night that a neighbor might be willing to let me rent a space behind her house. It’s not the cheapest option, but it’s there, and it’s off-street parking!

    And aharharhar, thanks for the encouragement and assurance that I’ll find I fit in just as a I leave. 🙂 You’re luverly.

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