21 Questions With … Alex Rosen ’11

(source: princeton.edu)

(source: princeton.edu)

PYNE PRIZE WINNER ALEX ROSEN ‘11 LOVES WA MEATBALL SUBS, GIN AND TONICS, AND TOWER BAR COOKIES–BUT YALE AND HARVARD, NOT SO MUCH.

(We interviewed Rosen’s co-winner, Religion major Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux ’11, back in 2009 with a slightly different set of questions; to read her answers, click here).

Name: Alex Rosen ’11
Age: 22 
Major: Economics, with certificate in Global Health and Health Policy
Hometown: Allentown, PA
Eating club/residential college/affiliation: Tower and Whitman

What was your initial reaction when you found out you won the Pyne Prize?
My first reaction after hearing the news was total shock, and then once I got over that I couldn’t wait to share the news with my family.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
I would be ungrateful if I didn’t say Moses Taylor Pyne at this point.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
Bar pies at Tower lunch.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
I read emails and send emails … all day.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Wa meatball subs.

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Hargadon Hall, 4th floor: A Tragedy of the Commons

Together, the fourth floor of Hargadon Hall, Whitman College stands united. Once home to arguably the most foul one-person bathroom in all of Whitman, the residents of 4th floor Hargadon, have successfully ended what should only be known as one long “semester-of-smell.”

Sometime around Tuesday of the past week, the following civic-minded declaration was posted on the door of Hargadon’s oft-clogged, regularly-defamed bathroom.

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A call to arms. An inward-turning civil war. “Our greatest enemy is only ourselves.” Many have signed the declaration and many more have upheld its premises.

Since Tuesday, neither remnant nor totality has been found disgracing wall, floor or roof. As we look to a fresh new semester, it’s time to declare this case closed, at least for now.

But there’s a bigger moral lesson to be learned here. Changes can be made on this campus silently and unanimously; all it takes is a mess that needs cleaning (literally) and the gumption to bang out a few bullet points of instructions.

Oscars for Dummies (or Bored People)

[caption id="attachment_9623" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="If this poster isn't enough to get your heart pounding, read on. (image source: upandcomers.net)"]If this poster isn't enough to get your heart pounding, read on. (image source: upandcomers.net)[/caption]

For those of you who were dragged to Oscar-watching parties tonight, who are sitting in Frist, or your res college, or a friend’s room reading this on your phone and seriously contemplating either a.) the best way to make an inconspicuous escape or b.) how to prevent yourself from pulling out all of your hair, there may yet be a way to salvage the night.

While your friends are trying to second-guess what’s inside those award-announcing envelopes, show them how involved you can get by spicing up the Oscars with some of the following themed activities brought to you by Film.com.

Swan Search

At the beginning of the night, choose someone to “go Black Swan,” and have other viewers guess who the swan is as the night unfolds.

Test Your True Grit

Slap on an eye-patch and try such classics as “pin the tail on the outlaw” or “water pistol quick draw” (but beware of assassins among your ranks…).

Stuttering Ovation

Chug a few Red Bulls and compete to give King George VI’s war speech (see The King’s Speech for helpful hints). This one comes with the added benefit of making your post-Oscars night a lot more productive.

Trash-Talk Champ

Challenge a friend to a trash-talk-off, à la The Fighter.

So kick back, relax, and enjoy the show. And hey, you might even find yourself getting into it. Either way, make sure you stick it out to the end to find out which of these 10 statements the Academy wants to make.

Yo, Pre-frosh! Don’t Know What to Buy? Look Here!

Ah, spring.  Shakespeare once penned that spring is here “when daisies pied, and violets blue, And lady-smocks all silver-white, Do paint the meadows with delight.” Lovely, isn’t it? But, see, here at Princeton the signs of spring revolve not around daisies and violets and all things allergy-inducing but rather around the following: weird bugs, skaters, and … the pre-frosh. With college admissions decisions coming out in about a month, confused looking high schoolers are starting to wander around our lovely campus in droves.  And they bring with them — in addition to print-out maps of the campus and Hunter boots — the desire to stock up on Princeton apparel.

Cool?  Cool.

Cool? Cool.

To proudly wear to school the day after admissions decisions come out or to be tossed into the bottom of a litter box or the family cage of gerbils — no matter the future fate of these articles of clothing, to the Princeton clothing stores, they say!

According to Donna Diederich, sales clerk at Landau’s, it’s easy to identify the pre-frosh. “They usually purchase more than one of an item — two sweatshirts or two t-shirts and something for the parent.”

“You can really tell by the level of enthusiasm,” she continued. “They are usually very, very enthusiatic and they usually have parents with them, who are beaming brighter than the sun.”

So, in honor of our favorite people for whom obnoxious orange clothing is a novelty, let’s tally the permutations of Princetonness that can be clad on a human body.

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Spying on the Spies

The name's Bond ... James Bond.

The name's Bond ... James Bond.

Okay, admit it – at some point in your life, however briefly, you looked in the mirror and said, “The name’s Bond … James Bond.” Because really, who wouldn’t want to have a secret agent alter ego? (Or maybe that was just me … but do me a favor and play along, okay?)

What you probably didn’t know is that the Nonprofit Career Fair on Friday just might have been your ticket to living out that dream. Right between the Arts Council of Princeton and the China Education Initiative booths were a couple of CIA recruiters, because it’s perfectly logical that the people who want to join Teach For America and the Peace Corps also have a passion for covert ops.

So for the noble purpose of giving you all the inside scoop on scoring a job at Spook Central, I sacrificed all prospects of a career in government and went undercover with the master spies themselves.

There are actually lots of internships you can get with the CIA – pretty much the only thing you can’t do is get field trained. Make it through your internship without causing a diplomatic crisis, and then you can start thinking about a trip to The Farm, where you’ll earn your super-agent stripes.

I assumed interns wouldn’t get to work on anything highly classified, since interns rarely get to do the really cool stuff even when national security isn’t at stake. Plus, who knows what you’ll spill after having a few too many on a Saturday night? And what if you talk in your sleep and your seemingly harmless roommate is actually a Russian spy?

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Proof that job-hunting can be fun

Looking for a trip to San Francisco? Have experience in information technology and database management and still looking for a summer internship? Most importantly, does your personality scream, “I’M WONDERFUL, TERRIFIC, AND AWESOME?!”

Yesterday, while combing through the reams of recently added internships on Tiger Tracks, I came upon the most brag-worthy position title of all. Nestled between jobs like “Software and Hardware Development Internship,” “Application Development and Management Adviser,” and “Real Estate Capital Advisory Summer Analyst” was the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it listing from Rapleaf, a private start up company:

“Amazing Engineer.”

Makes you wonder what qualifies one as ‘amazing,’ right? Well, according to the sparse job description:

“We need people who can deal with any challenge thrown their way. We only employ engineers who are incredibly hard working, extremely intelligent, and passionate about solving problems. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, we would love to hear from you.”

I’m still not quite sure what they’re looking for, but then again, I’m not an engineer so that’s pretty irrelevant. So for the non-engineers out there, keep your heads up high and repeat to yourself: “I’m amazing, and amazing I’ll be!”

[caption id="attachment_9506" align="aligncenter" width="539" caption="Well, my mom tells me I'm pretty amazing..."]Well, my mom tells me I'm pretty amazing...[/caption]

Talking With Ted, The Lilly Pulitzer Man

IMG_2046There’s something about this bleak weather that makes the idea of shopping for Lawnparties outfits extremely appealing. That’s  how I ended up at the brand-new Lilly Pulitzer store in Palmer Square, which opened its doors last week. I chatted with Ted, the manager, and got down to the nitty-gritty of paisley, parties, and Pulitzer.

What’s your story?

“I went to Lehigh quite some time ago, became an engineer, worked in water sports for fifteen years, and then joined the garment industry. This job lets me do what I love best—choosing the best pieces, running a store, and getting to know every local Lilly lover.”

What’s the story behind the Princeton location?

Palm Place here in Princeton is something that I have dreamed of for over five years.  For me, it was a matter of waiting for the perfect store space to become available in Palmer Square. We’re still unpacking and painting, but we’re open for business.”

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Weekend Arts Roundup: Intime, Improv, Music and More

184937_10150091845959007_566649006_6197873_3063970_nIt’s a huge week for arts events: with three plays, big choral concerts, great bands at Terrace, and more, there’s something for everyone.  Celebrate the countdown to spring break (only two weeks to go! we’re in the home stretch!) with one of these gems:
  • It’s a banner weekend for student-run theater on campus, with two shows opening tonight: Amy Gobel’s Much Ado About Nothing with the Princeton Shakespeare Company and Francesca Furchgott’s Carousel with the Princeton University Players.  Both play this Thursday-Saturday at 8pm (with a 2pm matinee on Saturday for Much Ado), and both will continue performances next weekend; tickets are $8, student events eligible. Much Ado is in the Whitman Theatre, while Carousel is in Frist (the theater’s up on the third floor). Also up this weekend: Sarah Hedgecock’s Recent Tragic Events has its final four performances in Theatre Intime, tickets $8.
  • Terrace has a really great lineup this weekend, with performances by Shigeto and Junk Culture on Thursday and Javelin, a Pitchfork favorite, on Saturday.  Get in early to snag a good spot! Performances usually start at about midnight.
  • For an awesome, and unusual, vocal event, check out Chapel Choir’s performance with jazz quartet and strings of Ike Sturm’s Jazz Mass this Friday at 8pm in the Chapel. Admission is free.
  • Fuzzy Dice’s annual improv show is an ideal way to blow off steam this Friday after a long week: 11pm in Theatre Intime, tickets at the door.
  • It’s senior recital season over in the Music department, and if you missed Meghan Todt’s excellent violin recital last Saturday of if you just can’t get enough of solo violin pieces), check out Megan McPhee at 8pm in Taplin Auditorium this Saturday. She’ll be performing pieces by Beethoven, Brahms and Sarasate. Free.
  • There’s choral music galore this weekend: if you can’t hit up Chapel Choir on Friday night, definitely try the Glee Club concert at 2pm on Sunday in Richardson Auditorium. They have a really innovative lineup of pieces, all written by Estonian composers (there’s something you don’t see every day, event on Princeton’s campus!).  Student tickets $5.

[Ed. note: An earlier version of this post stated Terrace shows begin around 10PM; since that pretty much almost never happens, it’s been corrected to midnight.]

Princeton Reinstates Early Admission Program

Princeton will reinstate its early admissions program, the school announced this morning.

High school students next year will be able to apply “single-choice early action.” The application is non-binding — if accepted, the student has until the end of the regular admissions process to decide — but students who apply early to Princeton cannot apply early anywhere else.

“In eliminating our early program four years ago, we hoped other colleges and universities would do the same and they haven’t,” said President Shirley Tilghman in an article posted on the Princeton homepage. “By reinstating an early program, we hope we can achieve two goals: provide opportunities for early application for students who know that Princeton is their first choice, while at the same time sustaining and even enhancing the progress we have made in recent years in diversifying our applicant pool and admitting the strongest possible class.”

Harvard, the other school to eliminate its early admissions program in 2006, also announced today that it would reinstate its early admission program for next year.

Details to follow…

Culbreath ’11 Needs Your Votes

[caption id="attachment_9511" align="alignright" width="140" caption="Vote!"]Jordan[/caption]

If you don’t know who Jordan Culbreath is, you probably don’t follow The Trentonian, The Washington Post, ESPN, The Daily Princetonian, or, erm … this blog. In fact, some would tell you to get out to the football field more, and while you’re at it, get some school spirit.

But let’s shift back to a more positive tone, shall we?

Last month, Culbreath ’11 was announced as a finalist for the 2011 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion, a national award given to a leader in college football who has positively influenced the rare disease community.

Co-captain of the football team, Culbreath has won numerous All-Ivy League honors and holds the 8th all-time rushing record at Princeton with 1,935 rushing yards. He’s also been diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a potentially fatal disease in which bone marrow fails to produce enough new blood cells.

Voting for the Rare Disease Champion ends this Sunday. The winner will be announced on Feb 28, International Rare Disease Day, from the National Institute of Health in Bethesda.

IN PRINT: Unsung Heroes of the Pothole War

Here at Princeton, we all love to play something I call the Sleep Deprivation Game. You know what I’m talking about. The one where you nonchalantly throw statistics about just how tired you are and just how little you slept last night into conversation. The one where you one-up your friends by saying that you pulled more all-nighters than them last week. The one that leads to exchanges like:

A: Hey what’s up?
B: I’m so tired dude. I slept 3.5 hours last night.
A: Ohhh my God that’s crazy … I totally know how it feels though because I’ve gone like three days on 2 hours of sleep each.
B: Oh yeah that’s intense. But last week I pulled two all-nighters in a row, AND I had 9 a.m. lab the next morning.
A: Aw I’m so sorry, but you know during discussions I just didn’t sleep at all, for like four days straight!
(At this point, B stops talking. A is gloating and thinking, “YES I WIN I’m so exhausted and hardcore haaaa.”)

It is twisted and masochistic. But you know you play this game all the time. With that in mind, consider this statement:

“So I get up at 3 a.m. to work. Usually I keep going until around 7 in the morning … then I take a quick nap and get back to business at 9. As for sleep, I get a few hours here and there. It’s enough to keep me going.”

Would you rather be staring at a few hundred of these or at your thesis?

Would you rather be staring at a few hundred of these or at your thesis?

Sound familiar? Surprisingly, this quote doesn’t come from a Dean’s Date victim. It comes from a little-noticed minority group, whose constituents are even more sleep-deprived than you: the local public works crews.

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The Great Gatsby: Now in 3D!

Following its appearance as an 8-bit video game, Princeton alum F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby is once again being adapted for the big screen — this time starring Leonardo Di Caprio as Gatsby. To make things better(?), director Baz Luhrmann (of flamboyant Moulin Rouge! and Australia fame) has decided that Fitzgerald’s Great American Novel could only be done justice in 3D, naturally.

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The film plans to shoot in Sydney, Australia (decidedly not New York) and the cast will include Spiderman star Tobey Maguire and actress Carey Mulligan, whom you might remember as the 2009 BAFTA Best Actress winner for her role in An Education.

That gives us… (Moulin Rouge director + Spiderman + Jack Dawson) * Avatar special effects + Great American Script = The Great American Movie.

I expect a spectacular signature Luhrmann Bollywood-inspired song-and-dance number. Please, don’t let me down.