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In this post in my series “God and Man at Yale Divinity,” I discuss my twelfth week at YDS and the now infamous 2019 Harvard-Yale game.

Harvard-Yale Game

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Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes

I just completed the twelfth week of my first semester at Yale Divinity School, the last full week of classes. It’s hard to believe how quickly this semester has passed.

We’re off the entire next week for Thanksgiving, which will provide valuable time to finish papers. When we return, there are two regular days of classes, then Wednesday serves as a makeup for Labor Day, reading week, and final exams

Then that’s it. The semester is over.

While the near end of the semester is certainly exciting enough, the most memorable event of the week was clearly the Harvard-Yale game, which served to demonstrate how out of touch and pedantic the children comprising the student body at these top schools really are.

The 2019 Harvard-Yale Game

All year, I had intended to attend the Harvard-Yale football game. I have not gone to any of the athletic events this year, but this was “The Game.” I wanted to go and had planned on taking the whole family.

Even more, it was in New Haven this year, meaning I wouldn’t have an opportunity to attend the Harvard-Yale game without traveling to Boston for another two years.

My mother and sister, however, came to visit this weekend, and I could not get enough student tickets for everyone to attend. So, when I saw that it would be broadcast, I decided to watch it at home instead.

I’m glad that I did.

The Protest at the Harvard-Yale Game

The second half of the game was delayed for about forty-five minutes because student protestors ran out onto the field and refused to leave. It was like watching children collapse screaming in a supermarket aisle because mommy won’t buy them a treat.

The students were apparently protesting climate change—or “climate crisis,” or for “climate justice,” or whatever snooty buzz words the woke scold crowd has now coined for this season’s cause du jour.

They ran out with their chants and their sanctimony and their homemade signs.

(I never understood why these protestors make such low-quality, handmade protest signs—scribbled with phrases they no doubt consider clever. It costs almost $80,000 per year to attend Yale. You’d think they could afford to have some professional signs made up.)

A Really Futile and Stupid Gesture

“No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.” Otter, Animal House

After the protests, the self-congratulations began from these teenagers who think they know everything. Their opponents, in turn, will correctly point out the apparent pointlessness of their actions.

And, of course, their actions are pointless. They won’t actually accomplish anything. The reality is, however, that they don’t care about results.

I think most of them know that nothing will actually change as a result of their protests. China and India aren’t going to stop emitting because a bunch of clueless teenage blue-bloods of the American Ivy League makes demands while engaging in acts of generally benign jackassery.

The truth is that they don’t protest against anything but for something. That is, they protest for each other. They care about the virtue signaling, about demonstrating solidarity among one another with the leftist ideals that characterize elite culture in a manner that takes the fervor of a religion among a populace that generally skews secular.

Divestment: Harvard-Yale Game Protest

Their loudest demand is that Harvard and Yale divest from fossil fuels. This apparently means that the endowments should not invest in energy companies, except those promoting “alternative energy.”

So, the endowment is not supposed to invest in Exxon stock, I guess. I’m not sure what this would accomplish on a practical level. Perhaps a temporary decline in the stock price, but I can’t help but feel this demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how the stock market and the economy in general work.

The administrations may eventually cave-in to these demands, but I frankly doubt it. It is foolish for many reasons.

Virtue Signaling at the Harvard-Yale Game

The most obvious reason to me is that the kids don’t really care about the demands being met. Since everything is about virtue signaling, they’ll simply move onto the next demand. There will always be something to fight about and label a matter of “justice.”

Besides, if they were really principled about it, these protestors wouldn’t attend Harvard or Yale. If they believed that these schools were engaged in some great evil, and they actually held to their professed principles, they wouldn’t be part of these institutions. They certainly wouldn’t accept scholarship money from the endowments they so abrasively decry.

But they want the elite privileges associated with attending a storied institution, of being a Harvard or Yale alumnus. So, they bite the hand that feeds them because such nonsense has been elevated among their peer groups and by those in the administration who are heirs of similar radicalism from the 60s and 70s.

But no matter how many times they bite that hand, they will continue to expect to be fed.

The elites constantly deride “privilege.” Real privilege, however, is the ability to demonstrate ingratitude with impunity.

Finishing Up Papers

Enough about the Harvard-Yale game.

This week, I made some significant progress on my New Testament paper. I have my paper in a cohesive form, which means the most strenuous work is over.

Right now, I’m going back and adding some additional sources, making some edits, and rethinking some arguments where necessary. I anticipate this taking a few days.

Once I am done with that, though, I will be able to begin reshaping and significantly revising the paper. I am becoming much more optimistic about my ability to get everything done, though I will have a packed schedule during Thanksgiving break to get there.

Trimming Down

I have found the most challenging part of writing papers here so far to be working within the space limitations. I know that it is an excellent skill to develop—to be concise and focused—but it’s a constraint that I really didn’t face in college.

I recall my professors being pretty loose about the maximum paper limitations. I wrote several papers for undergrad—not just my thesis—that were significantly longer than what I am writing this semester.

Ten to fifteen pages really isn’t a lot of space to do much of anything. Things have to be extremely tight, and I have to jettison a lot of good material to make things work.

In the end, though, I hope to have some work of which I can be proud and which can serve me well going forward, particularly since I hope to move onto Ph.D. work when I complete the program here.

Emphasis on Papers

I picked up a stack of books from the library this week to use as sources in my World Christianity class. I have a lot of work to do on that one still. And, while working on completing these papers, I have to study for final exams.

The main concern, however, is not the exams, but the papers. They are the bulk of the work and a huge portion of my grade. They are incredibly time-consuming, yet I enjoy doing them.

I enjoy doing the research, learning about a subject, and putting something cohesive together that I can share, even if it is only with the instructor.

There is a tremendous amount of pride that comes with writing a good paper, and I am so grateful to be where I am, to have found something that I enjoy doing so much. If I can make a career out of this, I know that I will have really made it.

I am glad to be here. I am grateful every day that I have been able to come to a place like this. It is such a tremendous honor and privilege to be a student at Yale, and I will be forever grateful for it.

Final Exams

The final exams here are nothing like the exams I had in law school, which is a bit comforting.

In law school, I would dedicate forty hours to study for each exam. With five exams, that would amount to two-hundred hours of study time per semester.

I think I studied for maybe three hours for my New Testament mid-term exam, and I did reasonably well on it.

I probably studied closer to ten hours for my Greek exam, but that was mostly going over vocabulary.

I anticipate something similar for the finals. The finals are just really not a huge source of stress for me. I’ll study the best I can, and I’m fairly confident I’ll do fine. I don’t have a large amount of anxiety surrounding them, as I did with the exams in law school.

I guess we’ll see, though.

Resources at Yale

This week I had my last section meeting in New Testament. For this meeting, we went to the Yale Art Gallery, which is quite an impressive place.

We viewed exhibitions of sacred spaces from Dura-Europos, an ancient city in modern-day Syria on the eastern border of the old Roman Empire.

The recovered remains, which were buried for thousands of years, are on exhibit there. They are incredibly well preserved, and they contain the earliest known examples of Christian art. (Also on display is art from the city’s synagogue and a local mystery cult.)

It was an impressive thing to see, and it is a reminder of just how much Yale has to offer and what incredible resources the university possesses.

It is a real privilege to study here and to be a part of the Yale community. It’s a shame the protestors at the Harvard-Yale game don’t realize just how lucky they are.

This is a great place. I am thankful every time I get to step on this beautiful campus.

Religion, Art, and Resistance to Empire

There are some things here, nonetheless, that seem so absurd to me that I cannot help but to take note. (Though, it never occurred to me to protest and disrupt other people’s lives to make my point of view known.)

One such example at the Divinity School is the class “Religion, Art, and Resistance to Empire” that I noted in my previous post.

This class focuses on the efforts of the Philippine people to fight back against American rule over the islands from the end of the Spanish-American War in 1898 until the United States granted the Philippines its independence after World War II.

According to the advertisement for the course, the class “will explore religious and artistic response and modes of resistance to U.S. imperialism, using the Philippines as [the] primary case study.”

I am not one to defend the evil deeds that the United States has committed over the years. The focus, however, on America’s sins while ignoring the much greater atrocities in world history—and the great good America has done—says a lot about the attitude here and among the woke scold in general.

For example, I have not seen any classes focused on the evils of communism in light of the religious persecutions that occurred in the Soviet Union or continue to occur in China, North Korea, and Cuba.

Only European/American capitalistic cultures are worthy of disdain.

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Support Yale

Yale is a wonderful place. Absurd things happen here, the Harvard-Yale game not least among them.

But that is a reflection of the full range of offerings here at Yale. Conservatives, while in the minority, can find a place here. Avenues such as those offered by the Buckley Program and the Yale Political Union can provide an outlet for those of all kinds of political and ideological persuasions.

I encourage anyone interested in pursuing further theological education to apply to YDS.

If you’re interested in applying to Yale Divinity School, I encourage you to begin your application here. You can also request additional information from the YDS website.

If you would like to support the work of Yale Divinity School, please consider making a donation.

If you have any questions about Yale Divinity School, please feel free to email me at garrett@garrettham.com. I speak for myself, not for Yale, but I’m happy to answer questions from interested students the best that I can.

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See Also:

Week 11: Veterans Day at Yale

Week 13 at Yale: Discerning Vocation

Try The World

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