Truth Universally Acknowledged

October 7, 2010

My Address

Filed under: Yale — mboesl @ 7:44 pm

If any of you ever have a desire to mail me anything I just thought I’d put my address up on here:
Markus Boesl
Yale University
PO Box 204964
New Haven, CT 06520-4964

Wednesday Words: Yale, some preliminary comments

Filed under: Yale — mboesl @ 4:14 am

Yale is a funny place. On the one hand are long-standing areas of academia that go back hundreds of years, on the other, programs on the cutting edge of ideology and technology. Mass spectrometers are put to use next to blackboards and chalk, and ancient looking gothic spires buttress an modern glass applied physics building. A large faculty, including Nobel Laureates and former directors of the CIA, teach classes on everything from “The Cultures of Medieval Spain” to “West African Islam: Jihad Tradition and Its Pacifist Opponents” to “The Political Economy of Healthcare.” (In selecting these examples, I simply opened the course catalog randomly and wrote down the first title I saw.) One of the facets of Yale’s enigma is its extensiveness. Graduate schools cover drama, music, management, medicine, forestry, religion and on and on, while the undergraduate curriculum encompasses hundreds of academic disciplines. Politicians (Both Bushes, Clintons etc), entertainers (Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti), Thinkers, and Authors all spent time here. These were the people that shaped and continue to shape our world.

Yet in such an environment, one does not think of it being “Yale.” But only, my dear Alma Mater. Occasionally, I’ll catch myself looking at a building and thinking about who might have looked at the same scene hundreds of years before; I’ll catch myself meeting people and vaguely wondering what wonders they will accomplish, or how I will tell my grandkids, “I knew Senator X, or I went to school with Professor Y” These moments are few and far between, quick glimpses of the future, usually between rushing to classes or working on homework. In many ways, Yale is not so far from any other school.  The Ivory Tower becomes usual, the gothic structures mundane, even chintzy, and the grandeur wears off to stark reality. However, the flame of what it means to be “Yale” never fully goes out.

This is because Yale is more than a “school,” more than a place to get academic prowess, to attend classes, to get grades. It is an a place to get an education. We have the privilege of  becoming a part of an incredible place, with the brightest, most influential people, where prestige, power and pride are put aside for friendship and the common goal of learning. In the people we meet in classes, the discussions we have with one another, and the history we live with daily, we become more complete individuals.

That’s the theory at least.

September 30, 2010

Wednesday Words: First Edition

Filed under: Yale — mboesl @ 3:25 am

Yes, yes. I know. I should have written sooner. Why do I even have a blog if I never update it? What could I possibly be doing that is more important or pressing than updating my blog on a regular basis? These and other questions I have heard, and I apologize. So, in order to try to build some semblance of order and regularity to this thing, I am incepting a new concept: Wednesday Words. This means that every Wednesday I will write something, and you will have something to read. Obviously, I additionally will dedicate posts to deeper looks at more specific subjects. This new feature, though, will provide some accountability to me, and a knowledge of when new information will occur on a regular basis to those of you regular readers.

Enough housekeeping.

News Briefs:

Classes are going well. Chemistry, Chem Lab, German, English and Music Theory are rather basic. (None of the crazy Yale courses like “Hero in the Near East” or “Utopia and anti-Utopia” like Jonathan, my suite mate, is taking.) However, they are both stimulating and challenging, and encompass a broad range of knowledge. The overwork is substantial, but not too overwhelming.

I am now a member of the Spizzwinks(?), America’s oldest underclassmen collegiate a-cappella group. For a link to more information and some samples of their music, click here. Last weekend, we went on retreat in beautiful Vermont. The leaves were just turning, and it very much felt like the beginning of a New England fall. Simply sublime.

Glee club continues to be enjoyable. Today, I received the tentative summer tour itinerary.  Listen here: Stockholm, Uppsala, Copenhagen, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Paris and Istanbul. 3 weeks in Europe. I am very much looking forward to this, as could be surmised. Rehearsal is demanding but greatly fulfilling.

Alas, that you would think I am squandering my college experience participating in choral music… you would be right. Thus far. I am still working on what else I can do to fill the time on top of class, studying and 10 hours of rehearsal a week.

There is a very vibrant Christian community at Yale, a fact that surprised me. I am currently attending 2 Bible studies with great people. I am really looking forward to how God plans on using us in impacting this incredible campus.

Oh, and Ravi Zacharias is coming in October to give a talk on Christianity in a world of Pluralism. If you don’t know who he is, take a peak here or at his home page. I’m looking forward to hearing him.

In the H2o (my room number) rubber band battle. Mikey and Markus were pulling off an astounding victory over Jonathan, inflicting many unrequited wounds, before joining forces with the aggressor and attacking the the room across the hall. The inhabitants therein were routed with nary a prayer of hope, having to resort to pillows and other pieces of equipment simply to shield themselves from the overwhelming barrage. Revenge was vowed, but we are prepared.

Final thought of the evening:

It is almost time for the leaves to change in New Haven. This is odd for me, coming from the Pacific Northwest, where trees are always green. I am very much looking forward to it. As the trees prepare for winter, the green, young leaves undergo their own process of death and regeneration. The chlorophyll slowly, painfully disappears from the leaves, revealing the reds and oranges that have been there the whole time, covered by the green chlorophyll. As I looked over the rolling, tree-covered hillside in Vermont, I saw a combination of thousands of those trees creating a stunning image.

In a sense, as freshmen at Yale (or in general, I suppose), that is us. We are green to the things of academia, the way of the world world, mature decision making and being adults, but this moment marks the cusp of turning. In these first few months of our time at Yale we will grow and develop in ways we never imagined, and may not even be cognizant of. Yet right now, the leaves on the trees are still green, as are we. But, as we, in harmony with the leaves, mature and grow, so too, the “greenness” of our life wears off, showing the beauty and unique individual vitality that comprises our personality. The process is not easy, nor quick, but a glorious and rewarding one. And perhaps, if even for one fleeting moment…

the sight is stunning.

Best,

Markus Boesl

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