Class Day, out of context!

“Really? Rainbows shooting out of unicorns? Really? And you have the nerve to blame Dean Malkiel for your grades.” — Shirley Tilghman, president of Princeton University

“MLIG.” — Shirley Tilghman

“I’m not sure how people enjoyed life before Lady Gaga, but I’m glad I don’t have to live in that world anymore.” — Zach Zimmerman ’10, occasional Lady Gaga impersonator

“Le-Coq, Mom.” — Becca Foresman ’10, occasional washing machine impersonator

“For the record, 18 middle-Dod, two years in Campbell, and 6a Patton Tower.” — Charlie Gibson ’65, on not being mentioned in this New York Times article on dorm rooms of famous alumni.

CDY and Jonathan Schwartz ’10 are on the Amazing Race

Guess someone took our advice!  CBS’s globe-trotting reality show The Amazing Race kicked off the filming of its 17th season on May 26.  Among the 11 pairs of two vying for the show’s million-dollar prize is Team NassoonFormer Student Body President – and Pyne Prize winner – Connor Diemand-Yauman ’10 and Fantasticks star Jonathan Schwartz ’10 (check out our linked interviews with the two Racers).

Filming began in the Boston area on the morning of the 26th.  First came an introductory segment filmed in Gloucester Harbor (Connor and Jonathan are the “Green Team” — you can catch a glimpse of them at around 4:15 in this video).  Then the teams made their way to Logan Airport, where they were photographed by bystanders not affiliated with the show.  Here’s Connor and Jonathan at the airport en route to the first leg in England (more details after the jump):


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The Things They Carried

[caption id="attachment_6636" align="alignright" width="250" caption="libations"]libations[/caption]

As the Class of 2010 barreled into Poe Field to conclude today’s epic P-rade, I noticed that few graduating seniors were running empty-handed. Here are some of the things they carried:

  • beer.
  • one another.
  • beer.
  • a dog, hoisted overhead.
  • a baby, similarly held.

I was genuinely concerned about the last two. (They were moving really, really fast.) O, Princeton Reunions: where smart people get to make questionable decisions three days a year.

[caption id="attachment_6639" align="aligncenter" width="515" caption="P-Rade aftermath"]P-Rade aftermath[/caption]

IN PRINT: Dorm Rooms of the Stars

[caption id="attachment_6630" align="aligncenter" width="464" caption="Donald Rumsfeld's former digs"]Donald Rumsfeld's former digs[/caption]

Just in time for Reunions, a heaping dose of Princetoniana in the New York Times.  Ever wonder where Elena Kagan lived while she was a Tiger?  Sonia Sotomayor?  Bill Bradley?

The University doesn’t publicize any of that information, but it’s available in the school’s archives.  Not all famous rooms have lasted into the 21st century, however:

Eager to bed down where James Stewart, the Hollywood legend, snoozed when he was part of Princeton’s class of 1932? Dream on. His freshman-year address at 8 North Reunion was razed, even though John Fitzgerald Kennedy, a future president, also briefly bunked at Reunion…

And don’t bother searching for former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld’s former home at 423 Brown. It is now a women’s restroom.

Whoa.  That’s the bathroom my high school friend threw up in after eating some bad fish!  At Princeton, history is truly all around us.

photo: Joe Shlabotnik, Flickr

IN PRINT: Speaking out for the Dinky

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="432" caption="Image via"]Image via[/caption]

This weekend, while you hop from tent to tent in the bizarre time machine that is Princeton Reunions, think about this: Probably everyone, at some point, rode the Dinky, or at least knows about it. Pretty crazy to think.

Which is why some of the reactions to the train’s possible replacement have been so vocal. You may know about the “Save the Princeton Dinky” Facebook group, or discussed the Dinky over dinner.

The Huffington Post ran a story yesterday on the debate and the discussion it’s sparked. Read it here.

This month’s GQ lays bare Princeton’s reunions secrets

Patterson: the inebriated protagonist of his Reunions tell-all

Patterson: the inebriated protagonist of his Reunions tell-all

We have a good thing going here at Princeton — even years after you graduate, you can come back and be an underclassman again for a weekend in May, reveling in all the debauchery that entails, at Princeton Reunions.

But it’s relatively hush-hush, you know? Sure it’s a huge party, but we manage to keep the degree of insanity under wraps and come out looking like… well, like we went to Princeton. Our little secret, yeah?

Until this month’s issue of GQ came out, which features an exposé of last year’s Reunions — you may have already seen a Google Docs scan of it making rounds on a couple listservs (which we’re technically not allowed to link to here, what with copyright and all). The piece, by Troy Patterson ’96 and titled “The Smart Man’s ‘Jersey Shore'” (cringe), makes Woodrow Wilson roll in his grave:

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Movin’ on Out: A sign-off from UPC

[caption id="attachment_6610" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Campus in a nutshell: Copious refuse, numerous vehicles, and tents"]Campus in a nutshell: Refuse, and tents[/caption]

If you’re wondering where that vague scent of trash is coming from, or why there are so many large people carrying heavy things around campus, you might want to snap out of your post-exam stupor and pack your stuff up: it’s move-out day. Everyone’s leaving!

(Unless you have Reunions housing, in which case Angela Hodgeman bestows you another 24 hours in your room before you have to move across the hall.)

And those big empty white tents and rows of wooden fences mean it’s officially Dead Week now, that calm before the Reunions storm. Everybody take a deep breath, catch up on your sleep, and maybe detox a little.

That’s our cue to peace for the summer. It’s been a pleasure writing for y’all, and be sure to check in again in the fall for news, musings, and everything you could possibly want and not want to know about our beloved Princestitution.

(But check back after Dead Week — we’ll be covering Reunions and commencement intermittently, as often as time and alumni partying will allow. And we’ll be covering the summer with our Weekly Updates and, of course, let you know if anything breaking happens.)



How’d You Like Your History Thesis to Undergo a Supreme Court Grilling?

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As discussions keep going strong about last week’s Elena Kagan ’81 nomination, the White House has announced that it will publish Kagan’s undergraduate thesis from Princeton’s Department of History.  This announcement was made after the right-wing site RedState had illegally posted her “socialist thesis” last week; apparently, Kagan (and not ‘ole Nassau) holds the copyright for her undergraduate work.  Her graduate thesis from Oxford will also be released.  A White House official explained:

In addition to requesting an expedited release of the documents from the Clinton White House detailed in [White House counsel Bob] Bauer’s letter, the White House will make available copies of Kagan’s theses from Princeton and Oxford. These documents were not specifically requested by the Judiciary Committee in the questionnaire, but demonstrating our commitment to transparency, they will be made available to the committee and the public regardless.

The thesis can now be accessed online: read away, if you have a few days to spare (as we all clearly do during exam week. Duh.). Or check out the Prince’s Cliff Notes version from earlier in the month if you’re a tad short on time. Read Politico’s full story on the theses releases here. For a more sympathetic take on how college kids are supposed to write theses that are naive and inflammatory (and not meant to be read out of context), head over to Slate, where Christopher Beam wrote a great piece yesterday about how “college is all about screwing up.” Sweet music to our ears, Chris…

SCORE: Round 2

wrong kind of SCORE.

wrong kind of SCORE

For those of you who set 7am alarms this morning to get an edge on SCORE’s reopening, here’s a look at some of the most sought-after classes for the fall of 2010. (Note: For our purposes, we’re omitting the six introductory/prerequisite courses with the highest enrollment, including CHM303, PSY207, ECO100, SOC101, PSY101 and PHI203. These courses receive record enrollment numbers every year, primarily due to their status as required department prerequisites).

REL261: Christian Ethics and Modern Society
Professor: Eric S. Gregory
Enrollment 178 (as of 9:30 am)

With enrollment at 158 last fall, this course promises to engage students with some of the major debates and conflicts of “Christian ideals of conduct, character, and community.” The course tackles major questions such as “Are Christian virtues and principles fundamentally at odds with the ethos of liberal democracy oriented toward rights, equality, and freedom?” We can see why over 178 students are eager to join Professor Gregory in pursuit of the examined life.

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The Aftermath


This is the aftermath of exam period. This is the carnage. Somewhere under this mound of everything is my room. A wad of papers and toiletries sit on my desk. My bed is just a sheet and a dirty pillow on it for sleeping during those 4 hour transitions between work and more work. The clutter on the floor is near impossible to get through. I woke up this morning and tripped only to catch myself by banging my hip into the desk. It’s full of books, dirty laundry, papers, shoes, and I think that’s my wallet — I’ve been looking for that for ages!

I’d say it’s time for some rest. If I wake up from this post-exam hibernation, I hope it leaves me with enough days to clean this thing before I depart.

IN PRINT: The Dinky Gets the NY Times Treatment


PRINCETON, N.J. — The run of the train known as the Princeton Dinky is both impressively long and unusually short. For 145 years, this rail link in a college town has ferried students and commuters over the briefest of distances.

But Year 146 has not been kind to the nation’s shortest regularly scheduled commuter route, which travels a four-minute, 2.7-mile stretch of track between a small station at Princeton University and a larger one at Princeton Junction.

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We just don’t do commencement like we used to

We know that there’s still a week of finals, but since the year is almost over, we thought we’d share a silent video of Princeton commencement ca. 1928. Some of it you’ll recognize — like the hand motions to Old Nassau or the P-rade. But apparently there are some traditions we’ve lost in the past 80 years — like riding around on people dressed as horses? That part starts around 3:50 but there are plenty of other quirky traditions throughout the clip.

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