Sunday, November 7, 2010

Why would you ever want to go to Harvard...

I could see Harkness Tower from my freshman year window, from the window of my favorite library, and from the street as I walked into my dorm at Jonathan Edwards College.
...when you could go to a campus this beautiful?  I'm in New Haven, Connecticut, this weekend visiting Greg and Joann, my best friends who just happen to be married to each other.  My college alma mater, Yale, is in New Haven.  I spent my Saturday meeting Greg's and Joann's friends and catching up with friends from college.  (Yes, 703, I saw Max Scholz.  Tomorrow, I'll let you know how that went.)  I had a lot of fun seeing people, but I also took a little bit of time on my own to walk around Yale, to see the places where I used to live and work, and to take photos.  I'll post a few of them soon...

This was home!  Farnam Hall is on Old Campus.  Almost everyone who lives there is a freshman.  I lived there during my freshman year, but then I moved back there during senior year to be a freshman counselor.  Freshman counselors are friendly seniors who make sure that freshmen are adjusting to their new lives in college.  Miss Martinez had the same job as me--so she lived here during freshman and senior years too.

Click on the photo to zoom in and see all the activities featured on a Yale bulletin board.  There's a speech by the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, a blood drive, concerts, test prep classes, religious meetings, a chili cook-off...everything happens here.

LC 102 might be the most beautiful classroom at Yale.  On the left wall, there are priceless, beautiful Tiffany windows.  This is one of those classrooms where great professors will come to lecture for 50 to 75 minutes while you take notes.  One of my favorite classes, "Reformation Europe," taught by Professor Carlos Eire, was held here

In another classroom down the hall from LC 102, I found a student named Danielle who had used the chalkboard to write scientific equations that I will never hope to understand.  She said she wants to go to graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in quantum chemistry (I'm not even sure what that is!).  During her junior year, she's studying hard--and she has the address for our blog, too!

Yale Law School is Yale's best-known graduate school.  For every 100 people that apply to the law school, about 1 gets in.  Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Sonia Sotomayor, and countless other great political minds have attended Yale Law.  I took a class on the history of the Cold War in an auditorium at the law school.

Dwight Hall used to be a library, but now it's the home of Yale's community service organizations.  Yalies get involved in overseas service trips, tutoring in local schools, homeless outreach, and many other things.  Out front, the statue of Mr. Woolsey has a shiny toe because students like to rub it for good luck.

Here's the front door to my college home (at least, sort of).  Jonathan Edwards College was home base at Yale.  Yale has a housing system that's kind of like Hogwarts from Harry Potter.  At Hogwarts, you get assigned to Gryffindor, Slytherin, or some other house.  At Yale, you get assigned to a college.  Miss Martinez and I both got assigned to Jonathan Edwards College.  JE was where we ate most of our meals, where we lived for at least two years, where we studied in small libraries, where we worked out and played basketball in a gym in the basement...JE had it all, including great, great people.  Some of my best friends in the world lived with me in JE.

They fixed up the dining hall after I graduated.  How would you like to choose your meals from this every day?  All you can eat...and if you don't like what they're serving in JE, just go to another dining hall.  There are about 20 of them on campus.

They fixed up JE's basement after I graduated too.  Now there's ping-pong, pool, and foosball down there, a big-screen TV, and a snack bar that makes greasy food late at night.  (Eat there sparingly--greasy foods aren't good for you, as we learned during advisory, 801!)

Beautiful church, right?  Nope, this is Yale's main library, Sterling Memorial Library.  There are about 3 million books in this building, along with the most beautiful places you could ever hope to read a book.

Beneath a green lawn called Cross Campus, there's an underground library that's open almost all night every night.  Take a peek inside.

On the left, Commons dining hall, the biggest dining hall on campus.  On the right, Woolsey Hall, a concert hall with a massive organ where I sang in choir, where I saw Bill Clinton give a speech, and where I saw Jimmy Fallon do a comedy show.  Underneath the sidewalk, Beinecke Rare Books Library, where some of the oldest, most valuable primary sources in the world are stored.
Guys, I'm just kidding about Harvard.  It would be awesome if you went to college there.  It takes an incredible amount of hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm to get into a university like Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, but it's well worth it.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments about Yale.


  1. Mr Tommjian this school is amazing i love to go to this school when i graduate from high school at CCAA.
    YALE would be i great choice for me and other..

  2. This school IS big, Lowsana. Over 11,000 students attend Yale, including 5,500 undergraduates and 5,500 graduate students. Keep working hard!

  3. i've been to Yale before just for a visit and i seemed to love the school but i want to go to Villanova University because because they have a goooooooooooooooooooooooooood medical program and i want to be a gynecologist and when i went there during the summer they said that they have robots that give birth and i thought that will be another god way for me to learn!!!!!!!!!!!
    i can't wait to graduate and go to collage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Mr.Toomajian how long did it take to make Yale?I like the painting and everything else. What were some of the topics you learned in your years of college? How was it? Was it hard?How were your teachers?Does Yake have a princepal? What are major topics that Yale has for us Early College Students learn about? Well I think I cleared what I wanted to say.- Jaileen :)

  5. Damola, that's some awfully impressive stuff. Villanova sounds very cool. They also have a beautiful campus, as I'm sure you know. Last year, I attended a track coach's training class there. A very good friend of mine attended Haverford College, which is right near Villanova, and he's now going to the University of Maryland for medical school.

    Jaileen, what do you mean by your first question? Yale was founded in 1701, but most of the buildings have been built in the past 100 years. I majored in history at Yale, meaning that I focused on that subject more than any other. But I also took biology, math, linguistics, and philosophy (the intellectual history that we've discussed in class actually came from classes that I took during my first year). I really enjoyed a class in developmental psychology, which has helped me to understand how children's minds develop as they get older.

    During my time at Yale, I had over 35 different teachers. Most of them were very, very good. My professors who were most demanding were often the best. In one class on economic development, I had to write papers every week--in fact, my final paper was on Haiti and the Dominican Republic. My professor expected us to do a lot of reading and writing every week. It was tough, but it helped me learn.

    Because Yale is so big, there's a lot more to be done than one "principal" can handle. There's a president who's in charge of the entire university, but then there are different deans in charge of different schools. Yale Law School has a dean, the medical school has another dean, the graduate school where Max studies has another dean, and Yale College where I studied has yet another dean. The deans don't take care of behavior, like they do in middle schools. Instead, they're in charge of organizing professors and classes so that Yale students get the best possible education.

    To put it simply, everything that we study at CCAA is also studied at Yale--just at an even higher level. Yale has departments of English, history, mathematics, biology, chemistry, economics, Spanish, political science, art, music...and the list just goes on and on. There are some areas of study that I didn't know existed until I went to Yale (like quantum chemistry).

    By the way, Yale is just one great example of the sort of excellent education that you can get at universities all over the country. The City College of New York offers lots of the same excellent classes and opportunities that Yale does.

    Hope this helps answer your questions, Jaileen!

  6. Mr. Toomajian You have inspired me to go to Yale. You inspired me by the way you speak properly and... I too Hate Harvard Down with Harvard up with Yale. Another reason you inspired me is because your going to pay my tuition each semester ha ha ha just kidding. I would like to know how did you get in ? Was it expensive to go there or did you have a scholarship? If i only get an GPA of 3.0 in high school can I got in ? Is CCNY expensive? About how Much is it per semester?

  7. BY the way its jaison ^

  8. Yes it does help Thanks :)- Jaileen