With the spring semester underway here at F&ES, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on one of Yale’s more unique practices – the “shopping period”. At the start of each new semester, Yale students are given two weeks to “shop” courses – that is, to visit as many courses as they’d like before officially registering.

As someone who thrives on lists and calendars, I’ll admit it – I was a bit skeptical at first. Arriving on campus without knowing what classes I would be taking was unsettling to say the least. After two years of law school, I was used to registering for courses weeks (if not months) before each new semester. Following

New Year, New Semester

The New Year has begun, and with it so has my first spring semester at F&ES. I spent the holidays with my family in sunny southern California, and coming back to New Haven was a bit shocking, to say the least. Winter has settled in, and those of us on campus are hunkering down in preparation for the big blizzard, which has already arrived and is currently covering Kroon Hall and SageBoy in a chilly blanket of snow.

With the new year comes a slew of new classes to try, professors to meet, and things to do in New Haven, making this transition equal parts exciting and contemplative. In the first two weeks back we shop classes, trying out different courses that we think we might like, and slowly…

A first-timer's take on the UN Climate Change Conference

COP20 in Lima, Peru, was chocked full of politics and tactics, activists and great minds, a mix of frustration and hope— it is hard to process everything that happened. I watched the negotiations as an official observer, a status that afforded me a spot in the negotiating room after extended waits under the baking equatorial sun. Amidst all the activity, viewing the negotiations live was a highlight of my week. The COP20 talks in Lima had two overarching goals:

  1. Get consensus on a draft text to be used in negotiations for a global climate agreement in 2015. This year was all about preparing for the new, legally binding global agreement which will be adopted in Paris in 2015 and implemented in 2020, when the second period of the Kyoto Protocol ends.