There She Blows!

Every morning I feel like Captain Ahab spotting a beached whale on science hill. The treacherous walk up science hill, further than any political science major has dared to go, can be a grueling adventure. In the winter the snow whips across your face, your feet slide from underneath you as you trek up the inclined path. But there’s always something warm about it, something I could never quite put my finger on…until today. I was walking up science hill dodging the scavenging pre-meds fresh out of lab as they circled around the delicious food carts like vultures when suddenly I yelled, “There she blows!” Okay, maybe I didn’t, but this huge building in the shape of a whale caught my eye. It was Ingalls Rink, the home of the Yale Hockey team. Although I’m afraid of bruising my butt on the ice for the first time (I’ve never been ice-skating) I can’t wait to try out the rink. I’m not a hockey fan but apparently we have a pretty sick team, finishing one win shy of the “frozen four.”

Anyway, it brightened my day, a hockey rink, shaped like a whale. Genius. It was then that I realized what made those long morning sprints to Orgo pop quizzes worth it. Being on the hill was like being a part of something bigger. Those brave enough to man the hill shared a common bond, a love of science, and well defined calf muscles. We become a family, staying up all night studying in random rooms in Bass Library or WLH, filling chalkboards and whiteboards with mechanisms and formulas. Plenty times I’ve had the pleasure of receiving a wake-up call from a friend, “Martin! Wake up! The music is playing!” (Being greeted by music as you walked into Sterling Chemistry Lab meant our Orgo professor was giving a pop quiz) “Start running!” The crew of the pre-med voyage is all after the same goal, in search of our own Moby Dick, together.

Being pre-med is a life decision; it entails long night affairs with Starbucks, and romantic relationships with textbooks. To quote a friend, “I’m taken guys, I’m sleeping with Zumdahl” (Zumdahl is the author of our Organic Chemistry textbook). But something about Yalies makes it an enjoyable experience. We eat breakfast together before heading up the hill shouting off equations memorized for the upcoming test, we laugh at jokes that seem incoherent to most but quite obvious to the sleep deprived. But they’re also the people I hang out with outside of classes. We go to parties, movies and concerts, share great conversations and take adventures to the nearest IHOP or Wal-mart just to get off campus. My pre-med family and I love each other, and take pride in our residence on science hill. My Hollywood influenced opinion of the Ivy League simply wasn’t true. We all look out for each other and congratulate each other’s success, helping in any way we can.

To take a direct quote from Ishmael of Moby Dick, “a whale-ship was my Yale college.” Although I’ve never been on a whale-ship my entire life, I can see what he meant. Admittedly, my pre-med quest doesn’t involve as many harpoons and oaths of revenge as Captain Ahab’s but this whale is my passion and I’ll happily continue hunting it with my shipmates by my side.