Raina Kelley Writes an Open Letter to Her Yale Compatriots (A Satire)

Fellow Yalies:

Yesterday’s article in The New York Observer headlined THE YALIENS AMONG US has a number of vividly accurate descriptions of what  it means to be a Yalie. So vivid, so accurate, so specific that it must be a stunning breach of decorum that imperils our very existence. How is it that I was able to read details of our entirely unique expressions of entitlement in a newspaper?  Are we so weary of silently being THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE ROOM?  

We have rules. We did not spend four years in New Haven, Conn., simply to flash our Ivy powers around as if we were Harvard grads. We are better than that. More importantly, we are, each of us, special. And special people do not brag—that is for the intellectually insecure. Yalies blend in—it is our duty to act like plain brilliant people, not the majestic creatures we know ourselves to be.  

Other more ordinary Ivy Leaguers may be content to flog their college experience until just hearing the word Harvard makes you want to stab a rapier into your heart, but not us. We know that every time we tell people where we went to college, they die a little bit inside … from jealousy. That is not a pleasant way to die. It is slow, like torture, and we are against torture. Look, I know you want to brag about your every move cloistered in big brick buildings that appear to be residential colleges but are really magical wormholes to a greater plane of existence. But, when Yale took us in her embrace, we agreed to become beacons of intellectual nobility, not pompous jackasses.

So, let me remind you, there are three rules to being a Yale alum:

1. Don’t talk about Yale.

2. If anyone asks where you went to school, say “Connecticut.”

3. Don’t talk about Yale.


 That is all. 

 Raina Kelley (BK '92)