Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"We Few, We Happy Few, We Band of Brothers"

Like all the other days I had at Yale, my final day began with a quick shower, leading directly to a morning lecture.

Our lecture's guest speaker was the same as the day before, Mr.Paul Solman. Mr.Solman is the lead man on economics for the T.V station, PBS. I was able to pay full attention for my final morning lecture. I even got called upon to participate in a little "game" that we did in class. I don't remember the intent of the game, but I do remember what actually happened. Basically my suite mate and I were called upon to offer up some money, and then to accept some money. Keep in mind this money was REAL cash. So I got picked to be the offerer, and my friend Jay got picked to be the accepter/denier. I made a fair offer, $30 for me and $30 for Jay. However Jay was a bit greedier than I had anticipated, he declared that he would go for only $40 and no lower. Therefore we had "lost" the game and we both walked away empty handed.

The day went on according to schedule. Morning lecture ended at 11:30 AM and lunch went from 11:30 AM- 1 PM. I ate lunch with my fellow suite mates for the last time in Siliman's dining hall. We shared many laughs in that place, and I will never forget it. Our food was always good, ever-changing meals combined with a complete salad & sandwich bar. Fountain drink machine, and always a variety of deserts to choose from. Yale food lived up to its expectations.

Our lunch was followed by yet another "lecture." I put lecture in parenthesis for a reason. Our truly final "lecture" was given by none other than our very own, Dr. Minh A. Luong, and it wasn't really a lecture at all. Dr.Luong talked to us about what challenges a leader like us may face, he described to us that we went through many difficulties these past weeks and that there may still be questions lingering around, this led into the bulk of the talk. We had a massive Q & A session for everybody who wanted to know about anything at all. It was a great way to cap off our lectures.

After our lecture we all got ready for our big graduation dinner. They boys were getting their nice threads on, and the girls were getting dolled up. At around 4:55 PM we all met in the courtyard. All of the suits and ladies in beautiful dresses, combined with the flashes of a camera combined to give me the impression that I was getting ready to go yet another prom. It was a great feeling though don't get me wrong. I took many pictures with my group mates, with my suite mates, and with friends in general. Everyone looked spectacular.

We filed into a line, and proceeded to the Presidential Hall, where all other Grand Strategists before us have dined their final meal together. We waited in the waiting room for a good while, socializing and whatnot, before we were let into the main room to sit at a table with some friends and chit chat some more. We ate and talked together, and soon it was time for the award ceremony. We all got quiet and listened to Dean Nick Coburn-Palo announce the finalists and winners for each of the categories. My friend Jay ended up being a finalist for the speaking competition, and I even won an award as well. My group won the award for the best written marshal brief, we were a bit surprised when we won but happy nonetheless. We wrapped up our dinner with desert, and proceeded to our final activity of the night.

Our final event was a big end to the whole experience. 5 whole hours, from 10:30 PM-2:30 AM, with our fellow Grand Strategists. We had a plethora of activities to choose from. Board games such as Risk! and Monopoly, movies in the lecture halls, and even just a social room if you wanted to talk. I ended up floating around all the rooms, except the movies, playing a game of Risk with some friends, then going back to the social room to chat it out with my peers. The night was great. I ended up getting back to my dorm around 3 and fell asleep around 3:30 AM.

The next morning I woke up to say farewell to my suite mates, and my peers. I was amazed just how attached I had become to all of my friends. After spending only 15 days with these people, they went from being complete strangers, to some of the nicest, smartest, and funniest friends I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I'll never forget them, and thanks to Facebook, it looks like I'll always have a way to talk to them all. The YISP Grand Strategies was a great program, and I got to meet so many new people. As I drove away I thought of something to describe what I was feeling inside. This is what I came up with:

Suite mates headin' out one by one,
Every time it feels like I'm gettin shot by a gun.
I ask myself why I feel this way,
I think it's because I live in the bay.
The seas divide us, the USA too,
But we know we'll always be that same old crew!

To all my fellow Grand Strategists out there reading this, you were the best. Thanks for making those 3 weeks some of the best 3 weeks of my life. This isn't good bye, we'll cross paths one day.

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