IN PRINT: Sotomayor’s Princeton Awakening

nationaljournalBet you can’t get enough of Sotomayor coverage. I mean, did you know that she went to Princeton?!?! How cool is that?!?! Here’s a piece in the National Journal‘s The Ninth Justice blog on her time at Old Nassau, just in case you’re interested.

An excerpt:

The sense of otherness had a profound impact on Sotomayor. “I felt isolated from all I had ever known, and very unsure about how I would survive here,” she said in the 1996 speech. Sotomayor channeled her alienation into advocacy, making her mark on a turbulent college campus. “She was,” former Princeton President William Bowen said, “a student of her generation.” Or, perhaps her critics may think, a victim of it.

Emergency alert: “Possible report” of student with weapon on campus

Update: All clear issued at 8:48 am.

A few minutes after 8 am, Public Safety sent an email to students about a possible threat on campus (Again?! To all the high school students running around terrified on campus right now: We’re really, really not as bad as Yale.) :

“There is a possible report of a student with a weapon on Princeton campus. This is a real emergency. Public Safety will issue more instructions as information becomes available. Stay inside and be sure to check e-mail and the University home page,”

“Possible report?” Someone maybe, possibly reported it? We’re really not sure, but it’s a possibility that someone told us they saw something suspicious? Anyway, sounds like they’re trying to cover their bases –you know, in case the weapon is a toy.

Week in Review: July 20 – 26

Slow week here at the Ink desk, but we’ve scrounged around some bits for you. This week’s theme is “disappointment.” Princeton gets beat out in two things it holds most dearly: being compared to Hogwarts and making money. There’s a band called Princeton, but not at all related to the university. Also, we reconsider the Derek Zoolander Center for Ants.

You can tell this is Cornell because Harry is about to jump out that window

You can tell this is Cornell because Harry is about to jump out that window

  • IvyGate brings us our first disappointment of the week, a list of the “5 Campuses if you want the Harry Potter Experience.” Katherine Cohen, one of those newfangled college application counselors, compiled the list, and seems to have used no method or reason to make the choices she did. Yale made the list (alright), and so did Cornell (what?). Cohen’s reasoning: “Like competitors in the TriwizardChallenge, Cornellians wear their red scarves when they compete against their Ivy League rivals.” Uh, cool, I guess. This might outrage Whitman kids, what with their Harry Potter nights and all, but come on guys, this is a blessing in disguise. We hope high school students don’t seriously consider “the Harry Potter experience” when applying to colleges. Oh, wait, what’s that Ms. Cohen?

Although none of my students have listed being a “muggle” on their resumes, many students have wanted to attend a campus that is reminiscent of what they have read or seen in Rowling’s books.

    Alright, Cornell, you can have those.

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Week in Review: July 13 – 19

If a tree falls in Princeton during the summer, and no students are there to hear it, yes, still, nothing ever happens in Princeton. In this week’s edition: Sotomayor yada yada yada, Jeff Peek won’t be attending reunions anytime soon, moving walkways are a moving farce, the Wall Street Journal backs us up on the Kindle thing(!), a lax coach cries, and Stan Katz would love to have you for dinner tonight.



  • Meanwhile, updates us on another alum who’s not doing as hot as ol’ Sonia. Jeff Peek ’69 is CEO of CIT, a company providing small and midsized commercial loans. CIT’s not doing too hot these days, and on Thursday, federal regulators denied CIT a bail out. The company’s stock crashed nearly 75%. The article suggests some fingers are pointing at Peek. And a little digging found that Peek’s wife penned an anonymous article in Portfolio recently, in which she complained about how because of the recession she couldn’t throw moneybags around, or something. Princeton alums: Win some, lose some.
  • This week in “studies that contribute little to our understanding of the world”: The Telegraph reports that “Researchers have found that using [moving walkways] at airports, especially at busy times, can actually slow you down because people reduce their walking pace on the human conveyor belts and cause blockages.” Travelers everywhere slowly are realizing they have been living a lie. Princeton locomotion researcher Manoj Srinivasan contributed mathematical models to the study to show “that people slow down on walkways to reduce energy consumption.” Well, yeah, I’m sure tons of lazy people would ride around in motorized scooters to “reduce energy consumption.”
  • This week in “I told you so”: The Wall Street Journal writes on the latest  trend of using “e-books” instead of hard copy texts in higher education. They report that in a “Student PIRG study, 75% of college students said they would prefer print to digital texts.” The organization running the study “slammed existing e-textbook efforts such as CourseSmart for “being on the wrong track.” The article states also that students in pilot courses testing the Kindle have been bailing out of using the thing, preferring hard copies to e-books. They don’t see the use, it seems. Wait, that sounds familiar… Oh, yes, right, we said that.

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21 Questions with… Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux ’11


Name: Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA
Eating club/residential college/affiliation: Terrace

[Editors note: interview was conducted in April 2009]

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Galway Kinnell—he’s one of my favorite poets.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
Eating at the Farmer’s Market during the spring. I love picnics!

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
Run all over campus and send too many emails, all in a slightly frantic haze.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Soy lattes—they’re so delicious, but so expensive!

What’s the last student performance you saw?
Angels in America (part 1)

Do you know all the words to Old Nassau?
God, no. That song is so tuneless.

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Sotomayor is a SOCIALIST!

Sotomayor's Nassau Herald Portrait

Sotomayor's Nassau Herald Portrait

Just kidding. No, but seriously, check out her yearbook page from the Nassau Herald. She quotes six-time socialist presidential candidate Norman Thomas, Princeton class of 1905! Did you hear what I said? SOCIALIST.

Sotomayor’s yearbook page and Pyne Prize photo after the jump:

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IN PRINT: The Education of Sonia Sotomayor

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“My days at Princeton … were the single most transforming experience I have had.”

— Sonia Sotomayor in a 1996 speech at the Third World Center (now known as the Carl Fields Center).

Read more about Princeton’s impact on Sotomayor’s life and career in this week’s issue of Newsweek.

Week in Review: July 5 – 12

Since summer’s in full swing and you’ve got better things to do than catch up on Princeton news, we round it up here for you on The Ink. In this week’s edition: Some people talk about Sonia Sotomayor ’76, and some Princeton climate researchers serve up some obvious. Our financial troubles aren’t as bad as we tho — oh wait they might be. But at least they’re not as bad as Harvard’s. Campus gets some Dubya flavor, and holy crap a Princeton professor is actually dubbed “the infomercial king.”

First of all OMG SONIA SOTOMAYOR HEARINGS THIS WEEK. Now that that’s out of the way,

  • In the Post, Peter Winn, who taught Sotomayor five courses and advised her senior thesis and calls himself her mentor, wished he could “have taken detailed notes on [their] conversations and filed them away in anticipation.” In anticipation of what? Probably turning it into a screenplay, by the way the rest of the op-ed reads.
Dont cha wish your student was wise like me?

Don't cha wish your student was wise like me?

  • More Post-Princeton antics: University Provost Christopher Eisgruber says that Sonia Sotomayor is boring because she “will be the ninth federal appellate judge on the nine-member Supreme Court” making the body pretty homogeneous in terms of prior experience. Or maybe he’s just jealous.
  • A recent study by some Princeton-led researchers finds that wealthy individuals pollute more. Apparently this was gathered by looking at “lifestyles including frequent airplane flights, automobile use, and heating and cooling of large homes.” File this one under “things we could’ve guessed.” Also under “things I’d look stupid for saying in precept but which professionals get paid to say.”
  • Hey guys, good news! We only lost 25%, not the full 30% we expected! The endowment situation isn’t as disastrous as we thought it was! But… oh, great, Annual Giving’s in the crapper, $11.4 million below expectations. Really doin’ your share, alums.

The rest of the rundown after the jump…

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New Dean Paxson Out in First Round of Woody Woo Spelling Bee

Kavya Shivashankar, she ain’t.

Christina Paxson, the somewhat recently crowned Queen of the Tools, is off to a rough start, spelling wise.

Granted, as Dean of Woody Woo, you’re probably called upon to spell and pronounce some tricky words: obscure central Asian nations, the names of Russian diplomats, etc. So normally we’d be willing to give her a pass – Word, to our knowledge, is not currently packing a foreign affairs spell check suite.

But she spelled her own name wrong. Her first day on the job. In a letter to the WWS alumni, probably not the world’s most laid-back listserv.

To quote:

Christian Paxson
Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs”

Important? Not really.

Embarrasing Embarrassing? Yup.

Are we being petty? Probably. But c’mon! What else are we going to do? It’s summer!