Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's Raining on Houseparties Night

With the pre-frosh gone, the weather appears to have taken a turn for the worse. Though Sunday was the warmest day this April, it appears that Houseparties and Lawnparties are going to be decidedly cooler and wetter. Rain is predicted for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday is predicted to reach a high of 73F with a low of 55F, while Saturday's high is predicted to be 65F with a low of 51F and Lawnparties Sunday is predicted to be a high of 58F with a low of 47F.


Going Clubbing: Working Hard for Workers' Rights

Chances are high you’ve been to the U-store (specifically, the gear store on Nassau) at some point during your time at Princeton; if your father is anything like mine, these visits may even have been quiet frequent and involved the purchase of an entirely new, Princeton-spirited wardrobe—but then again, that might be a habit unique to him…

Regardless, you probably weren’t aware that the black and orange T-shirt or pair of shorts you purchased, if it was manufactured by Russell Athletic, is at the center of one campus activist group’s campaign for change. Princeton for Workers’ Rights (PWR) is an organization of students dedicated to the belief that “Princeton has a special responsibility to ensure that it does not profit at the expense of workers' basic dignity,” according to Scott Falin ’12. While the group began with a specific focus on issues pertaining solely to campus workers, they’ve since expanded their efforts to companies with whom the University invests or does business—including Russell Athletic, which club members report is a “serial abuser of labor rights.”

At the meeting I attended this Tuesday, members were busy discussing the results of an event they hosted last week, advertised with flyers asking, “Who’s Princeton in bed with? And who’s stuck making the bed?” A reference to the University’s investment in HEI Hotels and Resorts, these attention-grabbing posters seem to have accomplished their purpose, for PWR members were pleased with the turnout for the event: “We had at least fifty people come out” to listen to a talk given by an HEI employee claiming to have been fired in connection with his efforts to organize fellow workers, said Ian Carlin ’12.

It was clear that PWR’s members are extremely committed to their cause, in action as well as rhetoric: also discussed on Tuesday was the group’s recent meeting with President Tilghman, during which they presented a petition (with 900+ signatures!) asking Princeton to send a formal letter of written concern to HEI’s managerial board in relation to their reputed violations of workers’ rights. While Tilghman reportedly promised to get back to the group within a week, PWR was already planning to send a follow-up delegation to her office. “We want her to realize that we aren’t going to forget about this issue!” Carlin exclaimed.

Though several of the group’s members will graduate next month, Falin remains convinced that PWR will “continue to be a leader in promoting workers’ rights on campus,” and that administrators currently “less than enthused” to respond to some of the group’s demands will soon realize that “this is an opportunity for Princeton to demonstrate real leadership.”
If PWR can continue the momentum they seem to have built up over the past year, a response from Nassau Hall seems inevitable. Until then, I just may have to have a talk with my father about his U-Store habit…


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Is Adderall Use Fair?

Last week's New Yorker has a great story on the use of Adderall, Ritalin and Provigil for non-prescription purposes. Though it's not specifically focused on colleges, the piece relies on reports of Adderall usage from students at an elite university (i.e. Harvard). The piece touches on both the medical and ethical issues behind these drugs.

The drugs do seem to work for most people, whether or not that's due to a placebo effect. But studies show that these drugs work better for people with average abilities at the tasks tested (recall, etc.) than those with high abilities to begin with. The article mentions dependency as a primary safety concern.

But there are greater cultural and ethical concerns. First, there's an economic inequality. Right now, the average non-prescription Adderall user is a white male at a Northeastern college who's in a frat. No surprise there. As they use these drugs, will others suffer a disadvantage? Second, there's the concern that using "mind-enhancing" drugs may set a higher standard for productivity in the same way that plastic surgery sets a higher standard for beauty. A lot of people will say this is good for society, but I'm not sure if a standard of more stress that forces us to take on more than we can handle is a good thing.


The end of the dining hall conveyor belt?

It appears that the Dining Hall Tray debate has moved beyond Forbes Dining Hall and the Opinion page of the 'Prince' to the Gray Lady. The New York Times has an article today about many universities' decisions to go trayless.

It also addresses an issue left out of the Princeton debates. What should students use for sledding if the trays disappear? Leave suggestions in the comments.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

20 Sweet: Springy Jams

You wake up to stripes of sunlight shining through the slits in your blinds. You pull them open, waking up your roommate…but she doesn’t mind! It’s a beautiful day! Time to brush your teeth, get dressed, get outside, and savor the day.

What music could possibly put you in the right mood to enjoy the weather, the green grass, and the perfect-smelling dogwoods? …Well, here ya go:

1. “Glory Days” – Just Jack
2. “Solsbury Hill” – Peter Gabriel
3. “Let Me Go” – Cake
4. “Everyday People” – Sly and the Family Stone
5. “How Bizarre” – OMC
6. “Mo Money Mo Problems” (feat Mase and Puff Daddy) – The Notorious B.I.G.
7. “Reelin’ in the Years” – Steely Dan
8. “Love Generation” (feat. Gary "Nesta" Pine) – Bob Sinclair
9. “Semi-Charmed Life” – Third Eye Blind
10. “Here Comes the Sun” – The Beatles
11. “Rough Gem” – Islands
12. “Sweetest Thing” – U2
13. “You’re My Best Friend” – Queen
14. “Island in the Sun” – Weezer
15. “American Girl” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
16. “LDN” – Lily Allen
17. “Catch My Disease” – Ben Lee
18. “The Laws Have Changed” - The New Pornographers
19. “You Get What You Give” – New Radicals
20. “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” – Baz Luhrmann

Post what you’d listen to in the comments section, as always. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ivy Watch

Ivy Watch - Informative and entertaining news from around the Ivy League

Zakaria to Speak at Graduation
Brown University recently announced that journalist and political commentator Fareed Zakaria will deliver the baccalaureate address next month at Commencement. Zakaria is a New York Times best-selling author and an editor of Newsweek International.

Chi Alpha Funds Frozen
The Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship’s funds have been frozen by the Cornell Student Assembly after an openly gay member of the group was asked to step down from his leadership position. The Student Assembly has started an investigation into the matter.

Louise Edrich ’76 to Deliver Address at Commencement
Louise Edrich, the author of “The Plague of Doves” and finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize will speak at Commencement. She is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa tribe in North Dakota. Some students have found the choice to be a little disappointing and would like to have a say in the decision-making process. Others, however, like the 2009 Class Council President, were excited about the choice.

Panel Discusses Harvard ROTC Policies
Six ROTC members at Harvard University led a discussion, sponsored by the Harvard Republican Club, Harvard College Democrats, and Harvard Political Union, in front of about 60 fellow students regarding the challenges many of them face. Due to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Harvard has refused to support or fund ROTC programs. The cadets train at MIT. Harvard’s ROTC program was expelled from campus in 1969.

University of Pennsylvania:
NYT Columnist Speaks at the Annual Oration
Stanley Fish, a NYT columnist, spoke at Columbia’s Annual Oration, an event sponsored by the Philomathean Society. Fish argued that professors should not try to influence their students' opinions. They should, as Fish states, “introduce bodies of materials and inquiries” and give students the opportunities to analytically examine those materials and inquiries without interference.

No More ‘Porn in the Morn’
Yale has decided that a class taught by Professor William Summers titled “Biology of Gender and Human Sexuality” and popularly known as “Porn in the Morn” will no longer carry a science credit. Consequently, it will not be offered this upcoming fall.

**There really wasn’t too much of interest going on at Columbia (top story was about kitchen smoke setting off a fire alarm).


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gym Class Heroes to perform at 100th Lawnparties

Gym Class Heroes will highlight the 100th Lawnparties next Sunday, USG Social Chair Julia Jacobson '10 confirmed in an e-mail Sunday evening.

Their 2006 album "As Cruel as School Children" included the hit "Cupid's Chokehold," which reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their latest album, titled "The Quilt," came out in September 2008.

The four-member indie rock band formed in 1997. In 2007, they were named Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they were also nominated for Best Group.

An official announcement is expected from the USG on Monday.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Baseball's Crucial Series

This weekend, the baseball team will go head-to-head with Cornell in a key four-game series. The winner of this series will most likely be crowed champion of the Ivy League's Gehrig Division.

The first two games of the series will take place in front of a home crowd at Clarke Field. The games are at noon and 2:30 p.m. today. After these two matchups, the teams will head to Ithaca, N.Y., to play the final two games of the series, both of which will take place on Sunday.

At stake this weekend is a spot in the Ivy League Championship Series.

Last weekend, Princeton took three of four games from Penn in Philadelphia, Pa. In one of the wins, a 5-0 victory on Sunday afternoon, sophomore pitcher David Palms recorded a shutout.

The Tigers have been somewhat streaky at the plate this season, and they will need to rely on their predictable hitters in order to have success this weekend. This means that senior infielder Dan DeGeorge will need to perform well. DeGeorge leads the team with a .368 batting average and a .519 slugging percentage.

So, if you are looking for something to do while the Prefrosh are around today, head down to Clarke Field to cheer on Princeton in its key matchups against the Big Red. For the Tigers, the time is now.


Black Benches

It’s 3:28 in the morning, and I’m sitting on a black metal bench, facing Nassau Street with Firestone behind me.

Unable to sleep, I wandered through the campus for a few hours, listening to late ‘80s Korean music on my iPod while walking past the first wave of students making their exodus from the Street. Somehow, I knew that I was going to write about the black benches in front of Firestone even before I saw them.

Walking from Aaron Burr Hall on the first day of class last fall, I felt small, squeezed in between the stores on Nassau and the gigantic library to my left. I sat on one of these benches, carefully avoiding spots littered with bird feces. It may have been raining a bit.

It was all too absurd. Me, in college. In four years, expected to make something of myself and seize my place in the world. Behind me was this insanity called Princeton, in front a city that seemed a million miles away from home.

I never sat on the benches after the first day; oddly enough, people don’t really sit on benches at Princeton. Whatever the case, I’ve come back after a year of college. While there is, again, a flood of emotions, I feel different.

On that first day of freshman year, I thought of everything in terms of how different it was from home. Certainly, I didn’t fully know what “home” meant. The word was a jumbled collage of images: high school orchestra concerts, my Dad’s beat-up red truck, the park where my friends and I first got plastered. The place between Nassau and Firestone was simply a border between two unknowns.

But sitting again at the same bench I occupied less than eight months ago, I sense that Nassau is smaller. I recognize most of the stores – Twist and Panera Bread stand out. Firestone, sitting tall, grey, and empty in the background, is not the monolithic, unfriendly edifice it once was.

The boundary between Princeton and Nassau, the invisible line that separates school from the city is not what it once was. It’s confusing. Is Princeton my home, or is it a place to enjoy until I go back to my real home? Is Nassau the “real” world, or is it simply a collection of restaurants and clothing stores? Where is my home? Is it where my family lives, or is it where my bed and Econ book is? In one moment, this border is frightening, reminding me that in three short years I’ll be in some far off place called “job.” But in another moment, I see that the world is in fact just a small town, full of places I become more acquainted with every week. I’m no longer certain that the gap between the campus and the city is real.

This in-between place has become a part of me. I am the boundary. My mind determines what the city means, what the campus means, and what the bench I’m sitting on means. What’s more, my mind is changed by the campus and the city as I live new memories and experience new images to keep in my collage for later days. Things are still, as ever, confusing. But now, I have a connection to the place around me.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

From a Kappa Sister to the South

The Prox recently received this e-mail, sent by a first year at the University of Virginia to her Kappa Kappa Gamma pledge class— with orders to be “extra girly and domestic” as the school heads into the week before finals.

I know this sounds pretty pathetic but I am worried about our boys and hell week and the potential knock on effects this week may have for finals etc. I know this week is supposed to be pretty awful-- so lets try and be extra girly and domestic and look after them.

So i was thinking we should all try to carry some basics on us at all times (water, tylenol, sandwiches, fruit, face wipes etc) so that if we see someone who we know and love going through hell week we can give it to them.

Also try to think about who is in your classes and bring extras then. Maybe even try to bring a tooth brush or a to go box from ohill or the pav.

Try to think of who you are close to and see if you know their schedules or when they have one class (i.e. do you eat with them at the same time on tuesdays before they go to class?) and try and meet them there and bring them something to make this a little easier.

I also attached the the Zete schedules of first years. Look to see if you're in any of their classes. Sorry that we don't have the other frats' schedules but keep an eye out for tired and run-down boys!

Best of luck with the last week of classes, Tigers. Please let the Prox know if you need a face wipe.


UFO Film for the week of April 20: "Revolutionary Road"

This weekend UFO transports us to Kate Winslet-land, a strange and bewildering place where everyone cries all the time and even the little kids are addicted to drugs. That's right - it's "Revolutionary Road," the movie that takes the highly novel approach of portraying 1950s suburban America as a kind of unfriendly place. Doubt that one's been done before. But seriously, "Revolutionary Road" is the worst kind of Oscar-pandering movie-making, dressed up in all the accoutrements of an art film but with none of the substance. Kate and Leo shout a lot, the costumes are pretty, and there's a terrific supporting turn from Michael Shannon as the "wise fool" of the piece, but the movie never transcends its function as an Oscar-magnet. A New York Times review brilliantly described director Sam Mendes as filming 1950s America "like it was a foreign country." Couldn't have said it better myself.


Lawnparties band announcement imminent?

It looks like the USG may be close to announcing who will headline the 100th anniversary of Lawnparties on May 3rd.

Check out this e-mail that USG Social Chair Julia Jacobson sent out earlier today to academic departments in the area:

On Sunday May 3rd, 2009, the eating clubs on Prospect Street will be holding their annual Spring Lawnparties. This year, together with the University Student Government (USG) the Princeton Quadrangle Club we will be hosting two bands. This concert at Quad will go between 2:30pm and 6:00pm. While I can't speak for the other clubs on the street, I just wanted to make you all aware that there will be loud music at Quad, as well as at other clubs between 11:30am and 6pm on Sunday, May 3rd. We would appreciate it if you could relay this information to faculty and staff in your department, just in case they plan on coming in to do work on Sunday afternoon. We apologize in advance and regret any inconvenience we may cause.

Hosting TWO bands. Check back throughout the day and weekend. We will let you know who they are ASAP.


Meet a Pre-Frosh: Julia Yue

What’s your name?
Julia Yue

Where are you from?
Waterford, Connecticut

What is the one most important thing you do outside of school?
Sports, exercising

Other than Princeton, what schools are you considering?
“Dartmouth. Brown. But I’m pretty much all set on Princeton already.”

What makes you want to attend Princeton?
“My sister goes here, and the Preview weekend has been amazing. There’s so much going on.”

What makes you want to attend one of those other schools?
“Princeton’s the best school.”

What are you looking forward to learning this weekend?
“More about the culture, and what the people are like, what I’d have to do academically.”

How do you feel about the color orange?
“I didn’t really like it, but I’m pretty sure I’ll learn to love it.”


Going Clubbing: Princeton's Very Own Circus

If you were out and about last Sunday afternoon, you may have witnessed a strange gathering on Cannon Green—although, then again, after a weekend of pre-frosh excitement, I doubt anything short of a three-ring circus would have surprised you… Brightly colored objects flew through the air, bowling pins were tossed from hand to hand, something resembling a glow stick tied to a string was twirled overhead in increasingly complex patterns: in other words, it was just your typical Princeton Juggling Club meeting.

Formed more than twenty years ago, the group now consists of students (about twenty core members), professors and community members—just about anyone willing to put in the time and effort to learn to juggle. While some, like Bilesh Ladva ’11, arrived at Princeton with the basics already mastered, just as many try juggling for the first time at a club meeting. Ladva admits that it takes “hours and hours of practice” to learn a new trick but insists that the basic motions are simple to perfect, even for the uncoordinated (He offered to teach me, but I didn’t have the heart to prove his theory wrong).
While the meeting I attended appeared highly informal, with the group broken down into smaller circles and pairs experimenting with various tricks and techniques, the club does prepare and put on a choreographed performance each year in addition to making several appearances at smaller venues. This year, their show took place in February and was entitled “The Juggler of Oz,” and actually featured routines (and costumes!) inspired by the movie.
Although almost all of the jugglers I’d previously witnessed (admittedly not too many) used a set of juggling balls, Juggling Club members also work with bowling pins, rings and what I learned was, in fact, a glow stick-on-a-string—formally known as “poi”. The club has even progressed to using knives and fire, says Ladva proudly: “The University doesn’t really look kindly on the use of fire near trees and such, though, so we practice that at the home of a professor who’s also a member of the club.“ Perhaps I looked worried, for he quickly added, “We haven’t killed anyone yet!” I suppose that’s a good start…
Asked about the benefits of group as opposed to solo juggling, Ladva emphasized the collaborative nature of the activity: “It can be boring or frustrating to juggle by yourself, and it’s great to have other people to help you learn new techniques.” Judging by the relaxed attitudes and frequent bursts of laughter I observed at the meeting, it’s also just plain fun.


Chou '10 enters race for senior class president

Class of 2010 Social Chair Michael Chou is entering the race for senior class president, joining incumbent Aditya Panda and class secretary Phoebe Jin.

While Chou had originally announced his candidacy for class vice president, elections manager Sophie Jin '11 tells election rules allow candidates to change the position they run for up until the Friday before voting beings.

Stay tuned for full coverage of the new three-way race in Friday's paper.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

20 Sweet: Nature Songs

Happy day after Earth Day! In case you feel like you didn’t squeeze in enough planet Earth celebration yesterday, this week’s 20 Sweet is all about nature songs. And next time the beautiful weather/trees/flowers come up in small talk, you can spice things up by rattling off some earthy song titles….Enjoy, and post your own song suggestions!

1. “Mr. Blue Sky” – Electric Light Orchestra
2. “One Sweet World” – Dave Matthews Band
3. “Take Me To The River” – Talking Heads
4. “Coast to Coast” – Elliott Smith
5. “The Garden” – Cut Chemist
6. “Leaves That Are Green” – Simon & Garfunkel
7. “King of Carrot Flowers Part I” – Neutral Milk Hotel
8. “River” – Joni Mitchell
9. “Between Earth and Sky” – Panacea
10. “Grass” – Animal Collective
11. “Walking on the Moon” – The Police
12. “7/4 (Shoreline)” – Broken Social Scene
13. “Black Water” – Doobie Brothers
14. “Seaside” – The Kooks
15. “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye
16. “Many Moons” – Janelle Monae
17. “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games” – Of Montreal
18. “I Control the Wind” – Snakes Say Hisss!
19. “Waterfalls” – TLC
20. “Hearts of Oak” – Ted Leo/Pharmacists


Brown Student Goes Undercover at Liberty University

Kevin Roose, a student at Brown University, transferred to Liberty University for a semester in order to write a book about his experience there. Liberty University was founded by the Jerry Falwell; it teaches creationism and the literal interpretation of the Bible. While at Liberty, Roose managed to stay undercover although he disagreed with many of the views held by the students and the university. He even went on a mission trip to Daytona Beach during Spring Break. Roose has published his book entitled "The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University."

To read more about Roose and his experience at Liberty University, click here.


Meet a Pre-Frosh: Connor Martin

What’s your name?
Connor Martin

Where are you from?
Southport, Connecticut

What is the one most important thing you do outside of school?

Other than Princeton, what schools are you considering?
“I’m committed to Princeton”

What makes you want to attend Princeton?
“I don’t know, what doesn’t? There’s no reason not to.”

What makes you want to attend one of those other schools?
(He’s too smart for this question)

What are you looking forward to learning this weekend?
“Well, I learned a lot about the eating clubs.”

How do you feel about the color orange?
“It’s not the worst color in the world.”


Beyond the 'Wa: Dining Hall Dining

It’s been about six months of dining hall food and I hear people becoming bored with the same old tricolor tortellini and pizza. To ward off such a jaded attitude toward food, I explored some alternatives—namely, cooking for yourself in the dining hall. This is nothing fancy, but using a creative combination of ingredients enhances the epicurean palate.

Here’s a day at Forbes:

Early in the morning, I’m thrilled to find the strawberry bowls brimming with strawberries. Today’s breakfast is thus a yogurt parfait—experiment with different cereals, fruits, and top it off with a drizzle of honey- a light, filling start to the day.

Today for lunch there’s southwest salad: black beans, corn, red peppers, and tomatoes. It’s calling to be stuffed in a pita with some cottage cheese. The cool cottage cheese balances the zesty mixture with a bit of chili powder and jalapeno pepper and the whole mixture is rounded out by the whole wheat pita. Interesting varieties include stuffing in with salad bar delights—salsa, green peppers, chicken, or tuna complement this well.

At dinner, I create an open-faced sandwich, but this can always be topped off with another piece of bread. I spread the creamy, garlicky hummus on whole grain toast and top it with black beans, green peppers, and craisins. This is delicious. The hearty hummus, black beans, and whole grain bread make this surprisingly filling. The green peppers give it a nice crunch and the craisins add a tangy touch. Again, experiment with those salad bar toppings. Carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, eggs, chicken, and tuna all make good toppings. With so many choices, who’s complaining?


Douchey e-mails sent to class listserv

It all started off when Student A sent a request to her psych class:

Hi All, So I know most people have a JP due the Monday before our second paper is due for this class. Anyone up for asking for a class wide extension in class tonight?

That elicited a response from Student B to the class:
I disagree with this request. If you can't write a decent 8 page paper in 3 days, then you should have started writing your JP earlier, so that you would have more time for this. Both papers were known well in advance in February. I think that this paper is also given a fairly solid structure, it's not like you have to create it from thin air and then there is always taking extra time. Everyone was given three days to use, and if this was a legitimate concern of yours, I think you should have saved your time, as I did. (Admittedly, out of habit rather than planning) I'm not trying to be mean, but I don't think that turning in this paper 3 days later is that difficult, given how much assistance we are being given and that we have extra time, and I think that asking Prof XXXX for additional time is inappropriate because of these facts. Sometimes life is hard, I wrote my first Psychology JP draft last night...

Student B pissed off Student C, who responded:

This is the douchiest thing that has ever been sent out to a class list.I In the future, please restrict your use of this listserv to - inappropriate requests, such as paper extensions, class mutiny and chocolate milk in the water fountains - humorous links to videos of state-school kids hurting themselves.

And a short response from Student D:

Yeah, not cool.

But we’re not done yet, after getting some insightful comments from Student E:


So then Student A sees there’s no progress to be made with this lot and ends the discussion:

Thanks for your replies. Obviously I misinterpreted some things that were said in class, but I'm glad we were able to be so civil in this email discussion. See you in class tonight.

Then came a bombshell from the preceptor during class— it turns out the listserv wasn’t just going to students…but basically to everyone in the department. This follow-up e-mail brings that point home for us:

Hi everyone, For those absent last night or those for whom the instructions were unclear, please submit your paper by including identifying information (name and honor code statement) only on the last page of your document (a separate page after your reference section.) This will allow me to evaluate papers anonymously. Also, in case of any lingering confusion about listserv recipients, use of the class id-underscore-term format in the e-mail address copies everyone on the Blackboard list associated with that class, including instructors, TAs, and a range of administrators. You can select either specific individual recipients or groups of recipients (e.g., all students, students and instructors, etc.) via the Blackboard e-mail function.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A live Nassau Hall

A link to a "Princeton Preview" video posted 14 months ago is making its way around various student listservs.

Take a look:

It'd be hard to miss the LIVE Tiger both on the Nassau Hall steps at :02 and then again inside the Faculty Room at :17. A picture here for your enjoyment.

Steve Marcus '10 did a little research on this video that looks straight out of the '80s and found out some interesting information. Turns out the U. brought in this live tiger with trained handlers some time back. And as a bonus, the folks at Communications told Steve the tiger jumping at the camera at :17 was an accident.



"The Bigots’ Last Hurrah"

Strong words for the James Madison Program from New York Times columnist Frank Rich in the Saturday paper:

“Gathering Storm” was produced and broadcast — for
a claimed $1.5 million — by an outfit called the National Organization for Marriage. This “national organization,” formed in 2007, is a fund-raising and propaganda-spewing Web site fronted by the right-wing Princeton University professor Robert George and the columnist Maggie Gallagher, who was famously caught receiving taxpayers’ money to promote Bush administration “marriage initiatives.” Until last month, half of the six board members (including George) had some past or present affiliation with Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. (One of them, the son of one of the 12 apostles in the Mormon
church hierarchy, recently stepped down.)



Meet a Pre-Frosh: Elizabeth Sajewski

What’s your name?
Elizabeth Sajewski

Where are you from?
Long Island, New York

What is the one most important thing you do outside of school?

Other than Princeton, what schools are you considering?

What makes you want to attend Princeton?
“The engineering program.”

What makes you want to attend one of those other schools?
“My parents went there.”

What are you looking forward to learning this weekend?
“I guess just more about Princeton, how everything works here.”

How do you feel about the color orange?
“I didn’t like it at first, but it’s growing on me … it just brings joy.”


I Want to be a Paperback Writer...

Hipster culture dictates using outdated technology in defiance of the latest and greatest gadgets. Geeks have iphones and Kindles, hipsters have Princess telephones from the 70’s and smelly books from the public library.

And lately, at least at Princeton, I’ve noticed that the coolest accessory to jot your notes in is not a laptop (despite the outrage that that practice has incited), but a leather bound notebook with intricate detailing and tea-stained paper.

Though it’s not easy to actually find a real, live notebook (it’s not what comes up when I Google “Notebook”), here are some journals that might actually make you want to take another look at your notes…

1) Victoria Trading Co.: Yes, I know it’s expensive…but think how absolutely marvelous you will look pulling that out in lecture?

2) The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company: Do your part for Earth week while supporting a company with a ridiculously hilarious name

3) Kate's Paperie: It's possible that I’m just a huge sucker for suede, but I basically find anything with baby soft Italian leather in it irresistible. Plus it’s on sale, so as my Grandma would say in her NY Jewish accent, how can you go wrong?

Of course, if you want to be like me, just do the most absurdly uncool thing, and use one of these for every class….


The Prox Wordled

Click here to read more about Wordle.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Meet a Pre-Frosh: Sam Wohns

What’s your name?
Sam Wohns

Where are you from?
Grand Rapids, Michigan

What is the one most important thing you do outside of school?
“Let’s see … I’m the Youth Governor of Michigan Youth in Government.”

Other than Princeton, what schools are you considering?
“Harvard and Stanford. Columbia, less so.”

What makes you want to attend Princeton?
“The focus on undergrad really differentiates it from other highly selective institutions … Oh, and the “bridge year” program. If I didn’t get in, I’d be taking a gap year anyway.”

What makes you want to attend one of those other schools?
About Harvard: “The biggest factor for me is the city.”

What are you looking forward to learning this weekend?
“I was really unsure about the whole eating club scene. I was attracted to it, but I wasn’t really sure how it fit into daily life.”

How do you feel about the color orange?
“I’m not really excited to get my t-shirts that say Princeton, because orange just doesn’t work for me.”


Playboy's Top Ten Party Schools

Playboy’s Top Ten Party Schools

1) University of Miami
2) University of Texas (Austin)
3) San Diego State University
4) University of Florida
5) University of Arizona
6) University of Wisconsin (Madison)
7) University of Georgia
8) Louisiana State University
9) University of Iowa
10) West Virginia University

Each school is rated, according to Playboy, by these five categories: bikini (a combination of weather, guy-to-girl ratio and cheerleader ranking), sex, campus life, sports and brains.

**Needless to say, Princeton was not in the top 25 either.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ivy Watch

Ivy Watch - News from around the Ivy League

Ethics Violation in UFB Election
Neil Parikh, a junior at Brown University, has withdrawn his candidacy for the Undergraduate Finance Board vice-chair. He was reportedly caught tearing down his opponents flyers. Parikh has declined to reveal the reasons for his withdrawal so as “to keep it fair to all sides involved.” His opponent, Juan Vasconez, is now uncontested in the race.

Fire Breaks Out in Hartley Hall

A fire broke out Friday night around 11:30pm at Hartley Hall. The fire started in the laundry room and did not affect any other areas of the dormitory. The fire department dispatched three trucks and had the fire fully contained shortly after midnight.

40th Anniversary of Straight Takeover
In 1969, over 100 African-American students took over Willard Straight Hall and remained there for 33 hours to protest what they saw as “institutional racism.” Cornell is currently last in the Ivy League in terms of the percentage of undergraduates who are minorities. The percentage of undergraduate minorities has, however, steadily been increasing over the past few years.

Budget Criticized in Professor’s Letter
A professor in the anthropology department, Hoyt Alverson, has openly criticized the university’s budget in a letter made public to the entire university community. Alverson wrote that despite the recession spending in certain “non-academic” areas such as facilities, administration services, and institutional services has increased. He stated that the purpose of the letter was not to criticize the financial workings of the university as much as it was to create dialogue surrounding budgetary issues.

Students Protest Layoffs
Over 100 people assembled in front of the Holyoke Center on April 16th at Harvard to protest staff layoffs. One student, Alyssa T. Yamamoto, held a sign that read, “Harvard is rich, no layoffs.” A university spokesman stated that since “compensation costs account for nearly half” of Harvard’s budget, “[it] is increasingly likely that Harvard…will have to make changes to the size of its workforce.”

University of Pennsylvania:
Tucker Carlson Talks Obama and the Economy
The political analyst and senior fellow at the Cato Institute spoke with the St. Anthony Hall fraternity. Carlson told his audience that he was still unable to tell what type of leader Obama will be. And he also stated that unlike Bush, Obama has the ability to convey and sell his message.

Mormons Take Two Years Off For Missionary Work
Four undergraduate Mormon students at Yale University will be spending the next two years abroad doing missionary work. For capable Mormon men, it is expected that between the ages of 19 and 25 that they will take two years to spread their church’s message. Most missionaries go through a training period of about three months where they study scripture and some also study a foreign language.


Meet a Pre-Frosh: Julia Fisher

What’s your name?
Julia Fisher

Where are you from?
Washington, D.C.

What is the one most important thing you do outside of school?
“That’s a really tough one … I guess I’d say music. I play piano and trumpet.”

Other than Princeton, what schools are you considering?

What makes you want to attend Princeton?
“I feel like everyone I’ve encountered is really enthusiastic … there’s just so much going on.”

What makes you want to attend one of those other schools?
“It’s similar. That’s the problem.”

What are you looking forward to learning this weekend?
“I’m trying to figure out what the people here are like, and get a sense of the general culture of the campus.”

How do you feel about the color orange?
“I like it. It’s a great-looking color.”


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Meet a Pre-Frosh: James Campbell

What’s your name?
James Campbell

Where are you from?
Palos Verdes, California

What is the one most important thing you do outside of school?
“I play the viola”

Other than Princeton, what schools are you considering?
Harvard, Yale

What makes you want to attend Princeton?
“It’s just a cool place … and they have a really good performing arts program.”

What makes you want to attend one of those other schools?
“I haven’t visited them yet.”

What are you looking forward to learning this weekend?
“Meeting people.”

How do you feel about the color orange?
“It’s definitely a plus. I love it.”


Friday, April 17, 2009

Meet a Pre-Frosh: Eudes Lopes

What’s your name?
Eudes Lopes

Where are you from?
San Jose, California

What is the one most important thing you do outside of school?

Other than Princeton, what schools are you considering?
Columbia and University of California, Berkeley

What makes you want to attend Princeton?
“The undergrad focus, and the campus is gorgeous.”

What makes you want to attend one of those other schools?
“Berkeley is closer to home. And Columbia, well, I don’t really want to go there.”

What are you looking forward to learning this weekend?
Just learning more about Princeton

How do you feel about the color orange?
“Yeah, that’s an issue.”


Clash of Lacrosse Titans

On Saturday, the men's lacrosse team, the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, will clash No. 5 Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., in a contest that will determine who is boss in the Ivy League.

The key for Princeton in this matchup will be to reclaim some of its swagger that it displayed in earlier impressive victories this season, like its 12-8 win over then-ranked No. 2 Syracuse on April 7. In their last two games, the Tigers narrowly defeated Ivy rivals Penn and Harvard, both by 10-9 margins.

Freshman goalkeeper Tyler Fiorito, who has been playing solidly thus far this season, will have his hands full against the Big Red. Cornell boasts the best offense in Division I lacrosse this year.

But Princeton should be confident in its own goal-scoring abilities heading into the key matchup, as it has seen production from a variety of players all season long. Six different Tigers have scored 10-plus goals on the year. The offense is led by sophomore attack Jack McBride, who has a team-leading 27 goals on the season.

The clash of lacrosse giants in Ithaca, N.Y., on Saturday afternoon will be an exciting matchup between two high-caliber squads. The game could go down as one for the ages.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

1879's Golden Lions

In austere silence, two golden lions confront a stream of students heading west. Several students walk up the steps between the statues, but no one stops to look. We're busy, lions be damned.

Two golden lions – gatekeepers of Wilson College. On most days, they don’t seem so out of place because Princeton is an insane kaleidoscope of gothic arches and tall windows caged in masses of shiny steel (obviously, I know nothing about architecture). What’s a couple lions?

When I first came to Princeton, the brick walls seemed to rudely jut out from the past as agents of immutability. In high school, I looked to Princeton as the future, as my personal gateway to a life of celestial, college-educated happiness. But many buildings were so old; overwhelmed by the sheer unfamiliarity of the college experience, I projected my fears on them. I thought that the ancient history of the place would crush me with antediluvian traditions that demanded respect, if not outright love.

But the lions know what’s really happening – they’ve experienced the campus’s fluidity for decades. According to a note written by Caroline Moseley for the Princeton Alumni Weekly, they were donated to the campus by the Class of 1879 upon its graduation. At the time, Princeton’s mascot was the lion. For 32 years, the lions – designed by Auguste Bartholdi, the guy who made the Statue of Liberty - sat in front of Nassau Hall. In 1911, they were replaced by the A.P. Proctor bronze tigers, which were also donated by the Class of 1879. Then, for about 60 years, the lions sat in front of 1879 Hall. Eventually, the lions were sent into storage because of vandalism and wear. Bud Wynne ’39 remembered the lions he used to see during his times on campus, and eventually had them moved to their current location in July of 1998.

Our mascot used to be the lion! But what’s even more striking to me, sitting by these lions, is that the campus physically changes like some insect in a state of constant metamorphosis. As I type, the lions look toward the Butler College construction site 15 yards ahead. Not far west is the comparatively neonatal Whitman College. The lions don’t seem so stern now – perhaps, they are afraid.

I can see now that the gold paint is chipping away, leaving cracks. I wonder where the lions will be when I come back, years from now. Maybe they won’t even be in the same place by the time I graduate. After a year on campus, I know it is clichéd to say that things move too quickly at Princeton. But these lions bring that thought to life, albeit in frozen, sculptured form. We often think that places don’t change and that, even as we grow older, we can always come back to our alma mater and reminisce about the places we used to haunt and the things we used to do there. But I realize now that everyday here will be a recurrence of our first day on campus because Princeton is change. It’s new for all the students who are constantly making discoveries in a place that seems like an endless chain of them. I imagine the faculty and staff notice the same thing; the place absolutely refuses to stay still. When I return here, decades later, the campus may seem utterly foreign.

I’m not saying that everything changes; I don’t think buildings like Firestone are going away anytime soon. But Princeton is an entity unto itself. It’s becoming a character in my life story, evolving, constantly moving ... as vibrant as many people I know.


UFO Film for the week of April 13: "Slumdog Millionaire"

“Who wants to be … a MILLENAIRE!” Yes, this week UFO’s getting imaginative with its movie — as if three bloody months at the Garden Theatre wasn’t enough, “Slumdog Millionaire” is back, so that students who still haven’t seen the Oscar-winning phenomenon can get their fill. (Where were you?! On a semester abroad on MARS??). Word to those select few: Despite its day-glo soundtrack and euphoric trailer, “Slumdog Millionaire” is neither a comedy nor a kid’s movie, and no, it’s not a musical either. It’s actually pretty harrowing stuff, with a lot of death and poverty and sadness. A friend of mine went to see it high, thinking it would make the movie even funnier. He was wrong.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Best of...Fall 2009 Courses

It's that time of year again. It begins with an email from Robert Bromfield, but by now we have reached the point where departments and academic advisers are demanding to see Course Enrollment Sheets. In case you need a little help choosing courses, some of the bloggers have selected their favorite fall term classes which are being offered again this year.

African American Studies

  • African American Cultural Practices (AAS 201) M W 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Maria Salciccioli ’09, Tasnim Shamma ’11
  • Princeton University Reads (ENG 133) M W 10:00 am - 10:50 am-

Every time I walk by Professor Michael Wood's office, I hesitate a little. I mean, I do that thing, where I pretend to have forgotten something stupid, like a pen, so that I can work up the courage to go to his office and talk to him about life. I haven't done it yet, and now that he's no longer teaching Princeton Reads, I feel like I've kind of missed my chance to talk to him.

Okay, so, here's the point of this little blurb. I really liked Princeton Reads. No, I loved it. I took it my freshman year (two years ago), and when people ask what classes they should take, I say "PRINCETON READS" without hesitating. I mean, sure, my friends have said that really, listening to lecture is like listening to a professor ramble for a while. But the rambling was really deep. And I mean, sure it was really cool that Toni Morrison came (and talked about Oprah!), but I read a bunch of books that I wouldn't have read otherwise. Okay, the 700+ page Blonde is a bit intimidating, but after reading it, I was kind of obsessed with Marilyn Monroe.

It's rare that I ever get so happy/excited about something, so I guess it means that I must really really like this class. While the course catalog says another professor is teaching the class, the reading list is still awesome (lots of big deals, if that's what you're into).

And if that isn't enough to make you take the class, well...For both of the papers that I had to write for this class, the preceptor was the one who asked ME if I wanted an extension!
-Stephanie Lee ’11
Amara Nwannunu ’11

  • The United States Since 1920 (HIS 383) M W 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm-
If I had the choice, I would not let anyone graduate from Princeton without taking HIS 383 with Professor Kruse. This US History course deals with perhaps the most interesting century of our country thus far, and covers crucial events such as the New Deal, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Watergate Scandal in detail. The lectures are the best part of this course—you won’t see students Facebook stalking or online shopping during Kruse’s perfectly planned but still utterly fascinating lectures. Each class begins and ends with a relevant song from the time period being studied, and Kruse's lectures frequently includes primary source video clips. The weekly readings are long, but carefully selected so that nothing feels useless or tedious to read. The course has 2 exams during the semester and one final exam, and the tests consist mainly of long essays with topics given ahead of time so that you can prepare. For History fanatics and HA requirement-seekers alike, this course is a must.
-Sara Wallace ’12
Maria Salciccioli ’09

Humanistic Studies
  • Literature and the Arts I (HUM 216) T W Th 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Hyung Lee ‘12, Tasnim Shamma ’11
  • History, Philosophy, and Religion (HUM 217) TBA- Hyung Lee ’12, Tasnim Shamma ’11

  • International Relations (POL 240) T Th 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm-
Politics concentrators often say that a handful of courses can provide practically all of the knowledge that one needs to excel in the department as a whole. POL240: International Relations is one of such courses. Taking this class my first semester freshman year provided a very solid foundation for my future study in a variety of social sciences courses. In fact, the material offered a myriad of other useful benefits. As I watched the 2008 presidential election unfold, I was particularly pleased to find that I was much more abreast of foreign policy developments than Governor Sarah Palin. If you have any interest in understanding the mechanics of the international political system, you should absolutely take this course. It’s interesting, it’s practical, and you will definitely walk away with the ability to explain the Bush Doctrine to Charlie Gibson (should you ever be chosen as a vice presidential candidate).
- Amara Nwannunu ’11
Stephanie Lee ’11
  • Causes of War (POL 388) M W 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm- Maria Salciccioli ’09

  • Introduction to Psychology (PSY 101) M W 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Stephanie Lee ’11
  • Abnormal Psychology (PSY 207) T Th 12:30 pm - 1:20 pm- Maria Salciccioli ’09
  • The Brain: A User's Guide (PSY 208) T Th 10:00 am - 10:50 am- Amara Nwannunu ’11
  • Social Psychology (PSY 252) M W 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Maria Salciccioli ’09
  • The Western Ways of War (SOC 250) T Th 11:00 am - 11:50 am- Amara Nwannunu ’11
  • Spanish Language and Culture Through Cinema (SPA 209) M W 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm- Sara Wallace ’12


Beyond the 'Wa: Farmers' Market

Three determined farmers set out stands in the rain at the first Farmers' Market of 2009. There were two cheese stalls, a booth from Whole Earth Center, and a stand from Dining services. I was told that six more vendors were expected to come yesterday, but backed out because of the rain.

Due to said rain, the steaming samples offered by Dining Services caught my attention first. Dining Services always contributes a freshly prepared dish made of local organic materials to the Farmers' Markets and today’s specialty was BLT soup. The pureed tomato soup was thick and textured—not the watery stuff found in a Campbell’s soup can—but didn’t taste like much besides tomatoes. The soup was topped with frisée (the curly leafy green in salads), which was awkward to manage with a spoon and didn’t lend itself well to being covered with thick tomato puree. The hearty crackers, which seemed to be thin toasted slices of a whole grain baguette, gave the soup some much-needed salty flavor, but the single cracker didn’t go far. Overall, I decided I prefer my BLT’s whole.

Another stop was the stand set up by Whole Earth Center. I sampled a spicy peanut spread and a more mellow eggplant spread. But what really has had me marveling all day are the ‘Vegan Chocolate and Coconut Orbs.’ Bought in a pack of 4 balls, these yummy sweets are made of (all organic) dates, dark chocolate chips, almond butter, soy milk, coconut, and sesame seeds. The dates give these treats a natural sweetness. The dark chocolate chips are a pleasant surprise packed in the date and sesame-seed shell. They are topped off with coconut, which is a nice addition in texture, but overwhelming in flavor. These date ‘orbs’ are one of the best natural sweet treats I have come across.

- Sarah Gerth '12


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

20 Sweet: Animal Songs

It's not even three months into the new presidency, but one of President Obama’s most important victory speech promises has already been fulfilled: the White House has a new first puppy.

While I do feel a tinge of jealousy towards Sasha and Malia given that my only pets growing up were fish, I also think that “Bo,” the Obamas’ new pooch, should be honored somehow. That's why this week's 20 Sweet celebrates the animals in our lives.

Feel free to add song suggestions as always! This one's for you, Bo.

1. “Crabbuckit” – k-os
2. “Flying Horses” – Dispatch
3. “I’m a Cuckoo” – Belle & Sebastian
4. “I Was Born (A Unicorn)" – The Unicorns
5. “Atomic Dog” – George Clinton
6. “Window Bird” – Stars
7. “Ants Marching” – Dave Matthews Band
8. “Sheep Go To Heaven” – Cake
9. “The Rabbit, The Bat, and The Reindeer” – Dr. Dog
10. “The Lovecats” – The Cure
11. “Hummingbird” – Wilco
12. “La Gallina” – Ozomatli
13. “Sea Lion Woman” – Feist
14. “The Suite for Beaver Part 1” – People Under the Stairs
15. “Barracuda” – Heart
16. “Bird Flu” – M.I.A.
17. “Animal Bar” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
18. “Portions for Foxes” – Rilo Kiley
19. “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
20. “The Wolf” – Miniature Tigers


Distractions: Keyboardless Laptop

The weekend is over, and it's time to get back to work. So log off from your Facebook/Twitter accounts and hit the books. School is a big deal, and it's time to get down to business.

But if you feel like you need inspiration/need to take a break from all of your important readings, your paper, your JP/Thesis, etc, then click the link. Watch and be amazed by "Apple's" new invention, and reminisce about the times when TV was the only obstacle between you and your work.

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop with No Keyboard

-Stephanie Lee '11


Monday, April 13, 2009

Vive le Luxe!

It is not the expected Paul Poiret or Charles Fredrick Worth gown that opens the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s latest costume collection, “Shopping in Paris: 1850-1925”, but a 1995 Jean-Paul Gaultier lace trumpet dress with an Eiffel Tower print.

An odd choice, certainly, and I spent a large part of my visit on Friday wondering how fashion’s bad-boy, who once sent live turkeys in the mail to critical editors, ends up front-lining a collection of delicate silk gowns trimmed with antique lace and pearls.

This could just be another case of stupid Americans completely misunderstanding the many complex facets of la mode. I mean have you ever seen an American successfully and properly tie a scarf? C’est ridicule!

But instead, I think that the Gaultier stands for something other than simply modernity; it is a symbol of the endurance and the resilience of American overindulgence. And the exhibit manages to save itself from falling into the pathetic American trap of French emulation, by sticking to a subject that every American, from every race, creed, social class, or time period is more than familiar with: shopping.

Ah yes, the true American way; if we can’t actually have the class, glamour, slenderness or that irresistible je ne sais quoi that everything French automatically possesses, then we’ll just have to buy it.

Obviously, that’s a philosophy that’s working out well for us.

If, however, you are interested in a trip down a memory-lane filled with beautiful excesses and fantastically impractical and expensive fashions that will tickle your Seven Jeans-clad bottom, then this exhibit is probably the next best thing to Gossip Girl.

And Gaultier is only the beginning. Silk, lace, tulle, sequins, crystals, fur and pearls pepper what has to be every 5-year old girls dream come true. My favorites, out of the exquisite collection, had to be a House of Worth 1912 green velvet Opera Coat, and a silver 1926 Yteb lamé flapper dress with orange underlay that was as slinky and as dangerously sexy as a shark in mating season.

There are also some interesting tidbits about the designers themselves; Worth, for example, had almost a warehouse set up for producing his supposedly one-of-a-kind creations, which actually were rather poorly made despite their steep price ($300-500 for one, in unconverted 1900 currency).

The worst I can say about the collection is that it’s a bit small. Unlike those exhibitions at the Costume Institute at the Met, or the Museum at FIT, the Philadelphia museum only has a small space. There are no Chanel pieces either, a noticeable absence in a room filled with the biggest names in France during the turn of the century. We can see that fashion changed from 1850 to 1925, but the catalyst herself for that change is missing.

Still maybe that’s part of the point; our vision of French fashion is just as limited as that of those who actually wore the clothes. This isn’t France we’re seeing; it’s Americans’ vision of France. It may seem glamorous, but, ultimately, it’s just a sad imitation of the real thing.

Evening Dress, Designed by Charles Frederick Worth (English, active Paris, 1825 – 1895). Made in Paris, France, c. 1886-87. Silk satin, faille, and brocade with lace and rhinestones. Bodice Waist: 20 inches, Bodice Center Back Length: 13 1/2 inches, Skirt Center Front Length: 38 3/8 inches, Skirt Bottom Circumference: 157 1/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Owen Biddle, 1978

Afternoon Dress and Hat, Designed by Paul Poiret (French, 1879 – 1944). Made in France, 1923. (Dress) Silk crepe de chine and velvet with silk and metallic thread embroidery; (hat) silk with leather appliqué and metallic thread embroidery. Center Back Length: 48 3/4 inches. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Vera White, 1951