Later: Life After Yale – The View from Wall Street – If there is life in the “real” world after Yale College, odds would favor looking for it in the Wall Street district, where I have worked since 1972: you would scarcely believe the number of Yale graduates who come looking for life’s fulfillment in this corner of Manhattan.
The Story That Changed My Life – Yale seemed to be the ideal place for a Good Samaritan, and I had already made a fairly earnest stab at filling that classic role. I’d gone to church regularly ever since I could remember. But, the only story I could understand was about the Good Samaritan. Though I didn’t realize it, I had settled what Christianity meant to me – it meant helping others.
Living For Applause – At Yale, I lived a lot on the surface of things. I suppose I had a good excuse. I was on the stage a lot. In one small production, I had the leading role. The producers advertised the play by plastering a dramatic black and white photo of me on posters everywhere. I couldn’t walk down a single street in central New Haven without seeing my image hanging from a lamppost.
Seeing is not Believing – I had always taken my sight for granted, but I was having problems seeing out of my right eye, so I thought to have it checked by my ophthalmologist. He checks my left eye, and it seems fine. He then spends a long time looking at my right eye. He tells me there’s blood inside my eye, and I should go see a specialist. At that point, I am getting nervous.
Fresh Faces: Found at Home – Not too long ago I was roughly where you are today. I was a Yale freshman unpacking on campus, feeling a bit overwhelmed but eager to seize my new opportunities. More than a year before, a thick acceptance packet arrived, but since I was headed to Russia as an exchange student, I deferred Yale admission for a year. But before I saw Russia, I met the unexpected at home.
Fresh Faces: Found at Yale – I viewed it as the weak way. I was above having to go to or trust someone else in order to live. But was I? My life was in shambles and on the brink of termination by suicide.
Fulbright Blessing – In the former Czechoslovakia, conditions for Christianity and other religions were not favorable. The official and only reputable philosophy in the country was Marxism-Leninism. Basically, it is a pure materialism. All the schools taught it, from basic schools to graduate institutes. Religion was considered an “opium of mankind” (Karl Marx), used (abused) by rulers to rule, or more generally to exploit men. Religion was counted an obstacle to progress and a potentially dangerous tool to control public thinking.
On Baptism: Getting Thoroughly Wet… – The water took more and more of our legs as we stepped further out into the Atlantic. The rocks and sand below felt natural to my bare feet, and the saltwater, cool and clean. I never thought that I would be getting baptized, but a lot of changes had taken place since I had become a Christian.
A Senior’s Epilogue: I Found the Way – Yale became important to me for the first time when my friend George was accepted here in April, 1964. George, voted “most likely to succeed” by his high school class, was to end his college education with a nervous breakdown from the pressures that he encountered at Yale. But before I became a freshman here in 1966, a revolutionary change took place in my life that gave me a purpose and confidence throughout my years at Yale.
Dawning Faith – When I first came to Yale as a freshman, I thought God was going to make me the greatest doctor in the whole world. I must say I was very ambitious and enthusiastic. I was quickly absorbed into the intensive academic life at Yale, and soon I became entirely occupied with my studies. God was, if anything, one of the least concerns of my life. Although I considered myself a Christian, I did not like to talk about God.
When My Life Hit the Rocks – When my friends from Atlanta and I headed out for a weekend of backpacking in North Carolina, just two months after my graduation, we did not plan for the trip to end with three rescue squads air-lifting my unconscious body out of the Smoky Mountains.