Trip Start Feb 15, 2010
77Trip End Feb 14, 2011
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My first stop upon reaching the university was to find a place to park, which is never easy near a large school. Then I located the visitor center and joined up with the next tour group. During the tour we learned a number of interesting facts and legends. I took them all with a grain of salt as many universities seem to over-glorify their achievements and histories. A few of Yale's claims include the popularization of a large grassy space surrounded on all sides by buildings, known as a quadrangle or "quad." They also claim to have invented frisbees from the days when students used to use empty pie tins from a local bakery for throwing discs. Another bit of superstition is tied to the statue of President Woolsey, one of the university's most beloved presidents
One other apparent subject of interest at Yale is the university itself and the grand architecture used to create it's formidable walls. The design is primarily gothic and was used to relate the university to such reputable schools as Oxford and Cambridge in England. The style also seemed to reflect a certain feeling of age and wisdom that they hoped would lend itself to the prestige of their school. Many of the techniques employed by the chief architect of the school actually aimed to make the school look as if it were one of the old castles it sought to mimic. Various techniques were employed to age the appearance of the buildings such as pouring acidic and corrosive chemicals down the stones to wear them away, burying wooden shingles under ocean beaches to give them an aged look before installing them, purposefully and methodically breaking and repairing the stained glass windows that glint from every direction, and intentionally leaving certain things (gargoyles) missing to make it appear that they had fallen victim to age an broken or perhaps been destroyed during some castle siege. The effect certainly does its job, and if you don't scrutinize too closely, it's easy to imagine yourself wandering around buildings that are much older than their true age, which is actually under a century
After the tour was completed, I spent a few hours wandering the campus on my own and taking the photographs that I had refrained from taking during the tour. Upon walking past the School of Drama, I noticed a poster advertising a performance for that night, so I decided to locate the school's box office and attend the show.
The show being performed was Arcadia. It would be a little difficult to explain the entire plot line, but it was a very interesting (though long) show, and the vast majority of the cast were very talented. To attempt to briefly explain, the show focuses on two separate time periods a couple of centuries apart but both taking place on the same set
Once the performance was finished, I continued my journey, driving to Hartford, CT and feeling a hint of gladness that distances between my stops are quite short in this portion of the country.