Personal essays

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Time lapse

Someday, once I’ve crystallized, I’ll look back through all my pictures and my nicknames and I will take delight in remembering forgotten bits of this, the transitional phase.

voices essay


I have a life-sized cutout of Lil’ Wayne. I like him. And I think he likes me. Those who have not met my cutout freeze when they see him...

Claire Thomas YH Staff

When we talk about Yale

Recently, I found myself looking through photos of the Yale class of 2013 commencement ceremony. They weren’t on Facebook, or in a friend’s iPhoto—they were on Yale’s official commencement...

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In October I found a word in my computer’s New Oxford American Dictionary that’s given me some clarity. It was—and very much still is—the strange word sprechstimme, “a style...

Julia Kittle-Kamp YH Staff

The deviled eggs

The first and only time my mother ever bought mayonnaise was when my brother and I got lice. We had just moved to St. Louis, where my brother joined...

Claire Thomas/YH Staff

Party guest, stage left

Crouching backstage, I held my breath, waiting for the orchestra to play our cue. I was used to dancing in high school auditoriums that smelled like sweat-stained props from...

voices pic


Back home, we call it “force.” four-say. That indomitable urge to keep the ball rolling, to stretch the limits of the night, to exhaust every social possibility at our disposal....

Sitting down with Alda Pontes

Sitting down with Alda Pontes

Alda Pontes, ES ’14, has been tutoring and mentoring for the last three years at the Manson Youth Correctional Institution as part of the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project. Most...

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Good fences

Rosa often misses the sound of her own voice. She does not talk much these days, except for polite conversation with the checkout girl at the grocery store, or...

Julia Kittle-Kamp/YH Staff


The lake is small, regular and the people who come visit it have usually gotten lost or are just passing through. But the lake has its secrets. In one...

Maude Tisch/YH Staff

Weeding and Reading

This past July, I worked in a bookshop in Paris; in August, I worked on an organic farm in the rural west, on the cusp of Bretagne. Neither job...

Christine Mi/YH Staff


Several times a week, I receive an email from someone with the email address “”   Directed immediately to my spam folder, the emails accumulate until I remember to...

Maude Tisch/YH Staff

Private property

Two hundred fifty million years ago, you could have taken a wrong turn of the New Jersey Turnpike and ended up in Morocco. The continents have since split, and...

Devon Geyelin / YH

The greater monster

On six separate occasions in March of 2011, I awoke as an insect.  Ripped sections of a business suit clung to me as I taught myself how to gulp in...

Julia Kittle-Kamp YH Staff

Eating quotations

Last week, my sister emailed me a picture of some cookies she had just baked—she wrote that she was sorry she couldn’t share them with me, and that she...

Madeleine Butler

Against the tesseract

THE DAY AFTER I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL I deleted my Facebook profile. I don’t say deleted lightly. It had been over a year since I’d had a publicly...

Julia Kittle-Kamp


AT THE DINNER TABLE IN AN APARTment in Buenos Aires, I have lost another word. “It’s like a small brain, un cerebro pequeño, with two lungs inside, sí, con...



I loaned someone a headband for Safety Dance last September. It was white and ribbed and actually my mom’s, and the point was to wear it when you took off...

Christine Mi / YH Staff


A few years ago, I was walking home from the subway late at night, when I saw a woman walking toward me. The walk home at that time of night...

(Madeline Butler/YH)


My family has always promoted the organic-free-range-no-high-fructose-corn-syrup lifestyle.