Good morning! I'm exhausted after taking two trains and a cab back from New Haven, so I'll leave it to Stephen of For God, for Country, and for Yale to offer details (and, I hope, photos) of my Theology on Tap talk about my book, The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On. I can tell you that it was the best experience I've had yet at a speaking engagement. I know I'm in the right kind of bar event when I walk in and see a sign on the bannister of the staircase that reads, "Confession" — and next to it a priest in flowing white Dominican garb. (Yes, he did hear confessions after my talk as well as before — though I didn't get a chance to make one myself.) The location, in the back room of the Playwright pub, was stunning — a plank-by-plank recreation of an Irish church — and there were about 100 people there.
Meanwhile, on the other side of New Haven, student groups at Yale were gearing up for Roe vs. Wade Week. According to the Yale Daily News, the event, presumably subsidized by student activity funds, does more than just promote abortion. The organizers plan to teach attendees — not just medical students, but anyone who shows up — how to perform the "simple procedure":
On Thursday, the Yale Medical Students for Choice will host workshop on manual vacuum aspiration for medical students, using a papaya as a uterine model. Manual vacuum aspiration is a surgical abortion method that uses a syringe to remove the fetus from a woman’s uterus. Merritt Evans MED ’09 said she thought it was important to have the workshop because the procedure can be used for a variety of different purposes — including miscarriage management and the treatment of a failed medical abortion or ectopic pregnancy — and is inconsistently taught in medical school.It strikes me that Yale's traditional school songs are horribly outdated in light of the school's new mission. A $25 Amazon gift certificate to the commenter who composes the best rewrite of one of the school's anthems. Deadline is midnight tonight. Remember, do it for God, for country, for Yale, and for all those liberal arts students at one of the country's finest Ivy League universities who are about to learn how to suction a live baby out of the womb.
While the workshop is targeted towards medical students, undergraduates are also invited to attend.
“The reason I wanted to include other people is that it is such a simple procedure, but the media attention around it … makes this an emotionally traumatic and a complicated thing,” Evans said. “It’s just to be like, ‘Here is what actually happens, here is what the medical procedure is like, this is what an aborted yolk sac looks like.’ It looks like a piece of cotton.”
For further inspiration, see Yale alumnus Clinton W. Taylor's Yale songs for Talibanis and his column about his alma mater's coed bathroom policy, "Boola Loo Blues.
UPDATE, 1/27/07: Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. It was hard to judge it with so many good entries. But in the end, one entry stood out on multiple levels, with its parody, wordplay, and topicality: Leif's "Bright Sharp-edged Curette," an update of "Bright College Years":
Easy college credit; all I need's a knife.
That little papaya yolk sac will see no years of life.
How swiftly are ye kicking.
O why does my blade so quickly fly?
Thanks to Blackmun (see Wade v. Roe)
The baby's red and dead; let's go.
It's fitful strains did not avail
To keep its limbs from the trash pail.
In after years should trouble rise
I'll just blurt out that old reprise
A woman's got a right to choose
Papaya yolk sacs ain't much t'loose
O let us strive that ever we
May let these words our watch cry be
What e'er's left in that trash pail:
"For Choice, for country, and for Yale!"