First Days at Yale


"Don't be shy," Yale's president told the incoming Class of 2016. We talked to a few first-years, and found out they're not.

Mark Ostow

Mark Ostow

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Josh Faber ’16
Roseland, NJ
Branford College

Do you have an extracurricular you’re thinking of doing?

I’m all over the place. I love writing newspaper opinion, because I have a lot of views that I’d like to articulate. Model Congress. The Independent Party of the Yale Political Union. Yale Road Running. Oh, and the Hispanic groups. My mom’s Dominican, so I’d like to learn more about a culture I haven’t been exposed to as much as I wish I had. I wrote my essay on being a Hispano-Jew. The Hillel is also awesome. They have great bagels, I hear.

Are you the oldest in your family?

No, I’m the middle kid. My brother’s 16. He’s amazing; he runs cross country. My sister’s turning 22 in about five days—she’s coming over to Yale to celebrate. She’s a senior [at Middlebury College].

Are you worried about your parents?

I think they’ll be fine. I worry about my brother. My parents are fun to be with, but we’re all so connected as siblings that without one of us there, it gets kind of lonely.



Mark Ostow

Mark Ostow

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Anusha Alles ’18PhD
Fort Worth, TX
African American Studies/English
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Do you see yourself as an academic, long-term?

Yes. If all goes well.

Do people try to discourage you?

A lot of people do. They say there are no jobs out there, it’s impossible to find a job, it’s a waste of time.

What do you say to them?

This is what I want to do. I’m just going to take it day by day and do my best.

What do you want to learn?

Everything. Everything about my subject. I’m doing African American and South Asian–American literature. Twentieth century. And twenty-first.

Tell me some authors you would recommend.

I love Toni Cade Bambara’s Gorilla, My Love. It’s a great book of short stories. Funny Boy is a good one, by Shyam Selvadurai.

What do you think will be most challenging about graduate school?

It’s just a very work-intensive, competitive environment. So you kind of have to step up to that pace.


Mark Ostow

Mark Ostow

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Jenna Kainic ’16
Riverwoods, IL
Jonathan Edwards College

What do you plan to study?

I’m thinking of majoring in physics or math. I have a friend who introduced me to Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, and I fell in love with it. Ever since then, I’ve been researching different math theorems and concepts.

Why did you fall in love with the incompleteness theorem?

I thought it was really fascinating and elegant and unusual. It was different from any math I’d heard of before.

Are there any classes in particular that sound interesting to you?

Major English poets. I really love English, too. 

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