Slavic Reading Room: 15 decorated windows display different types of education. It's like a lecture surrounding you.
Founders Hall roof against a blue spring sky.
Right angle: Founders Hall roof against a blue spring sky. It hosts the LGBTQ center, which was one of my favorite study stops uphill.

“If you are currently on campus, we ask you to leave as soon as possible and no later than March 15.”

Those were the words I woke up to on Tuesday, March 10, after a carefree mid-day nap – the kind you can only have in the calmness of spring break. Like many others, I was not surprised; this university-wide announcement was predictable after watching what actions peer academic institutions had been already putting in place.

But predicting it did not make the information any easier to handle, and though Yale administrators’ careful choice of words and offer of support were certainly appreciated, the fact was that the calmness was over.

Betts House
Betts House: A mansion-like Yale building at the top of Science Hill, with a beautiful lawn in front, on which I rolled down once and lost my room keys.

What followed the eviction notice was fast and blurry.

International students must leave as well. Find a ticket to Brazil. Pack everything I own into three boxes and two pieces of luggage. Let my family know I was returning, and explain what a pandemic meant. Contact friends (the few that were on campus and I could give one last elbow bump).

It felt like post-May move out, but in a silent ghost town. Except there would be no returning in the following year, and I would now have to rush a goodbye to the place I had been calling home for so long.

Sterling Chemistry Laboratory and Kline Biology Tower: In the hard times that stand before us, I thought of how much of the knowledge that we will use to fight back will come from these buildings. It is like they stand ready to battle.

Sterling Chemistry Laboratory gateway and Ceiling of Sterling Music Library
Ceiling of Sterling Music Library, top: It’s also pretty when you look up. Gateway, bottom: One of Sterling Chemistry Laboratory gates. It shows a pattern of arrows that I suppose represent electrons’ spins. Science meeting art.

Without celebrations, parades, or chants, I had no option but to behold Yale’s beauty. So, I did just that, and spent most of my last days in New Haven with long walks around the campus.

Spring had just started wrapping its arms around the town, and bittersweet sunny days made Yale landscapes look even prettier, as if it was trying to give a warm goodbye.

In solidarity to those who did not have the same chance of farewell (many were asked not to return to campus after spring break), I used my camera to eternalize the way I saw Yale, and came here to share some of that week’s glances. I hope I can show both the classic majestic landscapes and a bit of the hidden gems of this magical place, and with them ignite that first-year spark of arriving at the real-life Hogwarts.

Student Life Satire: In one of the halls of SML, a series of sculptures on the walls tell a tale about a stone man. Can’t count how many times I brought guests to that hall and showed them the little tale, only to watch they laugh at this last one piece. I look forward to, in a few years, coming back here and laughing at it myself, like I never saw it before, and then realize I did see it, and that I am home.


Nevertheless, a good run.
Nevertheless, a good run: Last time I could swipe into a Yale classroom with my own Yale ID.

To my fellow classmates: I know this was not the way we wanted it to end, and this entire situation required us to make a great sacrifice.

There is no return at this point as classes moved online for good, so I suggest to you a single thing: make that sacrifice worth it. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Stay home and follow the orientations of your government and health professionals. Take the time to meditate and make plans for the future. Keep in touch with your classmates and friends. Innovate in the ways of strengthening the bonds of friendship.

And look back at your time at Yale. Look back to remember where you came from and what you have accomplished. Look back so you don’t forget the path – the one you walked already, and the one that lies ahead.

Seon Augusto de Souza Ferreira

Seon Augusto de Souza Ferreira

Grace Hopper College Class of 2020