It has been two weeks since my program at Yale ended. I’ve thought long about how this concluding blog post would read. But the fact remains that there’s only so much I can convey in the prescribed word limit and this post will only offer a glimmer of what actually transpired in the five weeks I was at Yale. In my previous post, I spoke about how we spent our time out of class and how we fully soaked in all the many experiences Yale, New Haven and New York offered. In this final post, I’d like to highlight the academic experience of my summer program.
Listed under American Studies, Contemporary Visual Culture in the Americas was one of my two classes at Yale. I believed this class would enhance the Advertising major I’m pursuing back home; however, the fact that I would be studying Art History over the summer gave me cold feet shortly before this class could begin. But, Dr. Enrique Tamés put me at ease in the very first class. Every class of his was as enriching as was entertaining. He constantly strived to ensure we understood each concept clearly and illustrated with many diverse examples along the way. I think it was because of his spontaneity that I looked forward to each class with a lot of enthusiasm. I’ve always maintained that Dr. Tamés was more dynamic than probably all of his young students put together! For my final paper, I explored trends that indicated the resurgence of the Pop Art movement in the Indian subcontinent. I can’t thank Prof. Tamés enough for being an absolutely wonderful and resourceful guide along the way!
My other class, Screenwriting, a Film Studies class was taken by Prof. Marc Lapadula. A cheery man, Prof. Lapadula has in the past, taught the likes of Scott Neustadter who went on to write (500) Days of Summer, one of my favorite films! In fact, as a part of my coursework, I also wrote coverage for this film. I couldn’t have been gladder as I immersed myself wholly into this remarkable screenplay. Prof. Lapadula familiarized us with industry conventions and nuances through the course of the five weeks which aided me in completing a short screenplay of my own. The last few sessions saw each student screenplay being ‘workshopped’; a process which calls on others present to analyze and critique the same. This helped each of us identify the weak points of our scripts and guided us in delivering a stronger script.
Yale provides for an invigorating and stimulating academic environment. Every class pushes you to deliver your very best. At Yale, I’ve met not only some of the most fun people but also some of the most focused and driven people. The study sessions at the Bass Library or at the libraries of Calhoun or Morse ended up being extremely productive, especially because of the various resources that were made accessible. Towards the end, as we neared our submission deadlines, all-nighters seemed like a regular feature as several of us sat together whether in the libraries or common rooms to pore over our study material. But even that in itself was a fun experience which also saw us bonding over buttery food and night walks when a break from hours of study was much-needed. Yale, at night, has a unique charm of its own. Under moonlight, it dons on quite a different avatar. Lounging on the lawns, engaging in conversation under the starlit sky also made for memories.
When I look back, I miss all of it. The friends I made, the classes I took, residing at Calhoun, dining at Morse. I can’t fathom how quickly time flew by, I simply cannot. While I was at Yale, I was constantly asked if I felt homesick. Truth be told, the one and only time I felt sick was on the last day when it finally struck me how quickly the five weeks had ended and it was time to leave. It was all too surreal; if only I could snap my fingers to relive what was one of my most rewarding experiences so far, I would.