Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yale's Lindsay Chit Tiffany Window


I just read an article about the Tiffany window of Yale's Lindsay Chitendam Hall in the Yale Alumni magazine. The author shares a significant personal anecdote about how he first encountered the puzzling story of a tiffany window's removal from one of Lindsay-Chits stairway windows. The spy story-like development of events unfolds around the author secretly coming upon the real Art, Science, Music Tiffany window hiding dustily behind a black curtain, where it in fact was supposed to have been removed by Yale in order to be protected from student destruction, a precaution deemed necessary following the uprises of the 70s.

Today this real Tiffany window hangs in its original location in Lindsay-Chit's once the great reading room, now room 102, where I have taken a variety of lecture classes from City Planing to English and more. I was tempted to write a few words on this building as I too remembered the few but relentlessly recurring moments that the great old cricketty Lindsey Chit comes up in conversation. LC was only made accessible to my use when I was a sophomore as it must have been going through renovation prior to then. I remember taking an English seminar and enjoying the brand new auditorium which felt cozy because of its relatively small size but not cozy in the same way that reminds you of centuries of academia which most other Yale buildings do.

I used to work as a telephone fund raiser for the University to make $10/hr for not more than four to six hours a week. I remember my first phone call ever was answered by a youngish male who so pitied my overly nervous voice and international accent that he had donated $1000 on the spot which was by far the biggest donation I nor any other telefunder who I personally know was able to secure. My newly gained confidence allowed me to speak more comfortably on my second call which was to an older man who had become a poet following his Yale education. I stayed on the phone for approximately 20 minutes with this man who started out by asking me if I had taken any classes yet at the newly renovated Lindsay Chittendam great hall, to which I responded enthusiastically by saying that I had. He went on about the Tiffany mural which he used to stare at during long inspirational lectures about poets whose names I do not recall. As I was building hopes that he would follow the footsteps of my previous recruit and donate a large sum, he continued to depict the old hall and how not equally lucky we were that we never got to experience the old building in its original form and that the new renovation must have been less inspiring, more common, etc. My potential donor finally wrapped up to terminate the phone call by complaining that this Yale educated poet never ended up making enough money to consider giving a penny back to his alma matter. Go figure, Lindsay Chit Tiffany Mural.