What I Did This Summer - Sara Misgen, MAR '15

YDS students do a number of awesome things over the summer, and we've been hearing about some of them.  Today’s entry comes from Sara Misgen, MAR ’15, who spent her summer enjoying the awesome town of New Haven and doing fascinating work at the Sterling Memorial Library (which just re-opened after an extensive renovation).  Thanks Sara! 


This summer, I spent most of my time in one of two places: Sterling Memorial Library or at my house near the Divinity School.

During the week I worked full-time in the Preservation Department, which is located in the basement of SML. This largely meant evaluating the condition of various decrepit books in Yale’s collection and tracking down other copies of them, but I also got to make custom boxes for items that needed a bit of protection before they go back on the shelf. While this afforded me significant time to listen to music and discover new podcasts, I also got to see lots of items I never would have come across otherwise. Yale’s Library collections include locks of hair from members of the Lindbergh family, a dinner menu from an international conference in the 1890’s, and some beautiful Buddhist tankas (which you can see photos of here: http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/collections/highlights/tanka-collection). I was often in awe of both the depth and breadth of the Yale collection – it’s one of the university’s biggest assets.

When I wasn’t at work, I was spending time with my housemates. One of the most positive aspects of my Yale experience has been the community of Graduate and Professional Students that I live with, and I found that our relationships only deepened over the summer. Our summer was punctuated with parties – we had several birthdays, a few sendoffs for people moving away, and some just because we wanted an excuse for ice cream cake from Ashley’s. One of my roommates successfully defended his dissertation on Evolutionary Biology in July, which prompted a loud and lengthy celebration in our backyard!

Aside from parties, we spent most of June and the first part of July watching the World Cup and cheering for our respective teams – I gloated for days after my beloved Deutschland defeated my roommate’s favored Argentina in the final. We went made trips to the beach, tried a variety of restaurants, played Frisbee in Edgerton Park, hiked East Rock, and watched plays by the Yale School of Drama at the Summer Cabaret. New Haven served as our playground, and it was nice to have friends to go exploring!

While I didn’t travel far this summer, I found that Yale was a great place to be, and that New Haven provided me with plenty of opportunities. Staying put did not mean being bored.