Sunday, May 29, 2005

Commencement

A great weekend was had by all, despite the inclement weather. My favorite part of the weekend was the presentation of the awards:
"The Great Student Award goes to-- Aaron Yuan Tang.
The Highest GPA in the Political Science Major goes to--Aaron Yuan Tang.
The Great Guy Award goes to--Aaron Yuan Tang."

At this point my parents attempted to dump me as a child and adopt Aaron Tang. I tried to explain to them that they could adopt Tang and still keep me, but they were having none of it. Yet soon enough, I finally won an award:
The Winston Howell Baines III Award for Achievement in Academic Perfunctoriness, also known as the B+ Award, goes to--Daniel Haines Berger.

I was truly moved, especially after Dean Salovey gave a speech in my honor:
"Winston Howell Baines III was a very bright Yale student in the early 1700s who devoted little time to his studies and instead spent his time playing poker and squash, drinking at the local pub with friends, writing sketch comedy, and reading political journals on the internet. He certainly could have gotten better grades, BUT he could have gotten worse grades. From everything I've heard, Daniel Berger embodies this spirit."

Right after that came another award that was up my alley:
"The Actual Rod Memorial Blogging Award goes to-- Aaron Yuan Tang"

"HE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A BLOG!" I yelled, but to no avail. I guess it was just a Tang kind of day.

Another highlight included Eleanor Holmes Norton's stirring speech, in which she repeatedly called the class of 2005 "the class of 2000" and made a completely illogical argument FOR current filibusters by pointing out that filibutsters had been used by segregationists in Congress in the past. By the end of the speech, the girl who was translating into sign language was just making the blowjob motion repeatedly.

I then moved over to idyllic Morse College for the Morse ceremony and awards presentation. This was rather boring, as Jay Blount swept every academic and character award. But at this ceremony, I also heard the combination of phrases "Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude" AND "Theater Studies Major." This is ridiculous- I mean History is somewhat of a joke major itself, but Theater Studies - you have to draw the line somewhere. It makes a lot of sense that a Physics major taking ridiculously hard classes has a B+ average but a theater major can ace easy classes and we reward that?! Sorry, I exploded.

In any case, much of the weekend was devoted to acting phony with my friends' parents and with acquaintances in my class. By the end of the weekend, I spotted three homeless people on the street and had this conversation:

Me (to a male and female homeless person): Congratulations, you must be so proud of this guy!
Me (to slightly younger male homeless person): And what are you doing next year? You're staying in New Haven, that's fantastic! Oh wow, you're living on the corner of Elm and York- that's a great location. Well good luck with that man, I'm sure I'll see you around next year.

Now I've taken some artistic license with the events described above. But let me recount to you a touching, heartfelt, REAL interaction that took place hours before I left New Haven. Waxing nostalgic, my friend Matt and I walked into Bulldog Burrito to say goodbye to owner Jason Congdon. As I've detailed before, Bulldog Burrito serves slightly above average quesadillas and inedible burritos, but Congdon loves the place so much that it's fun to occasionally go in there, get a quesadilla, and shoot the shit with him. Without further ado, I leave you with the conversation:

Me: We're taking off, but we just wanted to say goodbye.
Matt: Yeah, Thanks for all the great fresh-mex.
Congdon (beaming with joy that someone would actually come in and say this, almost teary-eyed): So you're leaving. This is it, you're seniors?
Me: Yep.
Matt: I'm moving back to L.A.
Congdon (really trying to hold back his emotions now): Well, you'll always have a seat here.

4 comments:

The ACTUAL God said...

Your use of bold face type had me choked up.

joe said...

yeah you think your parents were hard on you. my parents looked at me when he got his awards, and then looked away when i turned to them. how could another asian kid get an award over me? they can't even blame racism. my only defense was "i'm friends with him"

Anonymous said...

ok dan. this was a good blog. good work. could have been shorter but it did hold my interest.

-m

Dan said...

yes, I've satisfied Queen Molly! The other jesters and I are ever so pleased.