“Leaving Oxford for Wales was like leaving Yale for Ypsilanti”

According to a reader by the name of Dan Lautenbach, the above quote appears in the new issue of the Atlantic, in an article about the archbishop of Canterbury.

I’m in the process of drafting a letter to Paul Elie, the author of the piece, asking what the big idea is.

As I don’t believe there’s an Ypsilanti in England, I’m guessing that he means us, and I’m wondering if he just needed a town with a funny-sounding Y-name, or if perhaps it was more personal. Did he, perhaps, know of someone who left Yale of Ypsilanti, who complained of our backwater, hillbilly ways?

Is Ypsilanti really the antithesis of Yale?

I think this calls for an investigation… and, quite possibly, an ivy league ass kicking.

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  1. Posted February 16, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    “Some people call Ypsilanti the Wales of the West. I prefer to think of Wales as the Ypsilanti of the East.”

  2. Brackinald Achery
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Some people need to leave Yale for Ypsilanti, so to speak.

  3. Elvis Costello
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Who the hell is Paul Elie, anyway?

  4. Posted February 16, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I just wish my daughter, Siâned, would comment…

  5. Oliva
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    That is so weird. I was just talking about a suspicion I had that there was a club of people who either left or got asked to leave Yale–was thinking, yea, of Bush-Cheney. And I was thinking that maybe they had an even fiercer fraternal club than any Ivy League fraternity, promising to keep secrets to the end. Dark secrets. And that would explain the past eight years (in a nutshell).

    Now I’m wondering if someone around here left Yale and might be part of that scary club.

  6. Oliva
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Love your new site, btw.

  7. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Mark, while you’re writing letters, can you also ask someone for an explanation of this?

  8. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    Remember when Kerry was running against Bush and you had to decide whether to vote for the skull or the bone?

  9. Posted February 17, 2009 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Has anyone actually visited New Haven?

    “Kettle, meet pot”

  10. Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Ol’ E. Cross:
    They are spoofing Andrea Ypsilanti, a German MP and past candidate for PM.

  11. Paw
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    An “ypsilanti” is a sex act in England. I can’t say which one. It’s very, very bad.

  12. Posted February 17, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    OK, maybe this is the connection… According to the October 6, 2008 issue of the Ann Arbor News, teacher Nina Davis, was recently awarded the Yale Teaching Award. It seems as though one of her students, a LaTisha Campbel, who is now a freshman at Yale, nominated her for the award. Here’s a clip:

    …In recognition of her efforts, Davis has received the 2008 Yale Teaching Award given by Yale University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The award “recognizes teachers from around the world who have inspired and supported their students to achieve at high levels,” according to a letter from Yale’s undergraduate office announcing the winner.

    Davis was nominated by her former student, LaTisha Campbell, now a freshman at Yale.

    Campbell, who graduated from Ypsilanti High School in June, said she remembers talking to Davis about her college plans. She was worried she wouldn’t get into an Ivy League school…

  13. KateL
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    New Haven is the home of my ancestors. I have been there, as a child, but don’t remember it. I think all of my unpleasant relations who used to live there have fled to more affluent nearby communities. However, I do believe that Yale is kind of an island in a pretty large slum. No where near as hip as we… really anyplace in that state is suspect for one reason or another. I love the east coast but…

  14. Ol' E Cross
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Dan, thanks for that. So do we essentially share a name with Germany’s Sarah Palin? Do we need to add another statue to the base of the Water Tower? Can I still hate Germans? I’m finding it all very confusing. I guess I need some time to work through my emotions on this one.

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