LIVEBLOG: Dean’s Date, Spring 2011

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5:00pm– It’s done!

Paper turned in with 9 minutes to spare.



4:20pm–More sloths

If we’re on the topic of cute sloths, then here is a video of one that fell out of a tree next to my friend while in the rainforest in Panama this semester. Turn on the volume to hear him talk to the sloth and make sure to keep watching till the sloth starts climbing the ladder. (Hopefully you will have more persistence as you finish up your papers than this sloth did climbing a ladder — good luck! You’re almost there!!)

Yes, this is what EEB students do when studying abroad while we take classes at Princeton.

– MG

3:48pm–Cute animal time

Ah!  So.  Thus far we’ve brought you kitties, more kitties and Howard Dean.

Now onto other phylogenic species, courtesy of Youtube:



3:18 pm — Nap time

Humans are the only animals that willingly deprive themselves of sleep, says Eve Van Cauter, a sleep researcher at the University of Chicago. “You cannot put a rat in front of the television, give him the remote and tell him, ‘you have to stay awake,’” she says.

“Dying to Sleep,” by Tina Hesman Saey, Science News


3:15 pm – Green library at its most crowded and stuffy

Ok, so the witching hour is approaching – almost there! – and you, like me, may be starting to feel that combination of desperation and delirium that makes bad ideas sound really really solid. In case you’re in the market for some inspiringly bad ideas:

Also, this. It may not give you paper ideas, but it’s worth it.


2:15 pm – Also in bed (ahem.. different one)

What I’d rather be doing:

Just like to point out, at around 4:25: slender Homer man looks back, and…keeps going.


1:55pm – Still in bed.

If I had the time/smarts to actually run some data analyses on the past few semesters of Dean’s Date Liveblogs, this would be more accurate. But from just browsing years past this is the sense I get:


1:00pm – Mah bed

Kitty massage: I can haz wun?


12:24 PM — The Internets

Screen shot 2011-05-10 at 3.03.47 AMI dare you to play this game.


11:58 AM – Second floor Frist

While waiting for a draft by the Frist 200 level printers, I was staring off into space because, well, it’s been a long night, when something straight out of Jaws interrupted my print queue reverie. Yes, that would be the giant shark hanging just beyond the glass. You’ve probably seen it before – let’s be honest, it’s kind of hard to miss – but if you’re like me, you never really stopped to ponder precisely why a twelve-foot, 300-pound, fiberglass shark is dangling from aircraft cables, waiting to terrify unsuspecting passers-by.

So naturally, because it’s not like I have a paper to write or anything, I made a couple phone calls. Jaws Jr. is actually a tiger shark (it all makes sense now, right?), brought to Frist by Assistant Vice President of University Services Paul Breitman. When Frist first opened in 2002, Breitman was the director, and he and fellow Princetonian JP Miller were in charge of the new campus center’s décor.

“We had a sabertooth tiger, tiger lilies, and we wanted to see how far we could take the ‘tiger’ theme,” Breitman said. Obviously, tiger shark was next on the list.

Where does one get a 300-pound shark? Miller was vacationing in Florida when he found a shop that sold replica fish. $2,500 later, the shark was on its way to Princeton.

“We hung it so you might see it glancing up from the first floor, and just around the corner on the second so it would jump out at you as you walk by,” Breitman said. “It’s the whole idea of serendipity at Frist – you always know you’ll find people there, and there’s always something happening.”

So much meaning in a fiberglass fish. But on a more serious note, he (she?) needs a name … leave suggestions in the comments.


11:50 AM – At my desk

In honor of all the Dean’s Date screaming that happened last midnight, I present to you another Dean’s scream:

Holder may Howl and Whitman may Whail, but nothing quite beat’s Howard Dean’s “Byahhhhh!!!” Also the remix in this video: gold.


11:03 AM – Panic

I woke up half an hour ago to my roommate’s voice, “Do you need time to finish? Hello? Didn’t you have another paper?”

Thank God for her, but right now I’m freaking out a little bit, and by that I mean A LOT. So what am I doing on the liveblog, you ask? I don’t know. Deriving some kind of twisted pleasure from chopping away even more at the little time I have before the deadline. Feeling bad that our technical difficulties prevented us from posting more last night. Wishing that I could just print out my paper and indulge in the simple joy of ripping it into a million pieces…


Godspeed to everyone, and if you managed to snag some of those 5 a.m. surprise pancakes, I’m jealous. I should have stayed up. FML.


10:43 AM – Third floor of Frist

Dear piano player down on the first floor of Frist pounding out some angsty concerto: EVERYONE IN THIS BUILDING HATES YOU. Sound travels, kid. Play out all that Dean’s Date aggression in a practice room somewhere.


10:18 AM – Mathey Dining Hall

Wondering what you’ve been doing for the past 10 hours? Let me introduce you to a new term, ‘baxtrapolate.’

Verb: Derive requirements from a predetermined solution; make shit up.

More ways to spruce up your essays here


5:10 AM – Getting closer to delirium

Dear Emily Myerson ’12:

You were working in Frist a few hours ago. I was sitting near you. You claimed you saw not one, but TWO mice scamper along the walls/chairs. Everyone around you said you were crazy and going insane from Dean’s Date work and that you should go to bed.

I want to tell you. I just saw a mouse. It was small and brown and darted out from under my seat.


Or maybe… I’m going crazy too. AHHHH…


4:55 AM – Back at the dorm

Oh, we’re halfway there…

With 12 hours to go, it’s been awhile since we’ve added anything to your playlist. Added bonus: the video is definitely appropriately bizarre for this early morning hour.


4:05 AM– And we’re back!

For those of you who are still awake, you may have noticed we were having some technical difficulties. It’s going to be okay. We have returned from the Twilight Zone.

I’m claiming credit for resurrecting this blog. #selfimportance.


2:02 AM — Amidst the Disappointed Crowds of Frist A-Level

When I arrived at the Frist free food table ten minutes ago, expectant and hungry, I thought I’d be ahead of most other people. What did I see?

a.) A table laid with a bunch of heartbreakingly empty plates. I’m talking squeaky clean. Not a crumb to be seen.

b.) This:

Apparently the 2 a.m. hunger swarm hit early tonight. One bystander said that the Frist people had put out hot dogs and chips around 1:40 – “Everything was gone in, like, four minutes.”

Other kids were talking about heading to Studio ’34 in Butler. Some crowd members were already streaming towards the C-store.


1:59 AM Three Hours Later…

SG introduced us to the sleepy kitten at 10:53 pm. Let’s just keep up the kitten theme, tonight–let me introduce you to the sleeping kitten.

Just like the guy sitting next to you at McGraw. Completely asleep, surrounded by books …kind of cute? Sorry, that’s the Dean’s Date Goggles talking. Back to work with you!


1:51 AM: Ode to the Vault

Earlier tonight, AW clued you in to the more conventional caffeinated campus options. But now that we’re rapidly approaching the witching hour, it’s time to share the greatest carbonated secret Princeton holds:



Vault Energy Drink!

Roommate Steve, who dedicated Ink readers may recall from blog posts past, once crunched the numbers on this stuff and figured out it was something like four times more caffeine per dollar versus Red Bull. In my younger, more impressionable underclassmen days this bright green elixir in a textured, ergonomic bottle got me through many a late night (and more than one Dean’s Date). And there’s something fun about the randomness of the beverage, like you unlocked some sort of secret caffeine cheat code. As far as I know, this citrus soda-cum-energy drink is only available in the vending machines in Holder. And so, repetitive as it may seem, I suggest you retrace your steps howl-wards — trust me, you won’t regret it.


1:42 AM: Hey Princeton!!! 1 am U-Store Edition

Hey girl clutching three bottles of Fuze, cheese, and crackers! Who are those drinks for?
They’re to get me through the night. I’ve been drinking caffeine all day, so I wanted to get something healthier.

How much work do you have left?

I have one paper to write, two to edit.

That’s not too bad! When are you going to sleep?
I’m…not going to sleep.

Hey guy at the microwave! What are you getting tonight?
Caffeine and this weird rice stuff that I got over there.

How much caffeine have you had already?
About 2 equivalent standard cups.

So is this your Dean’s Date Dinner?
It’s breakfast, because I skipped breakfast today.

OK. You’re replacing your breakfast with dinner. So it’s just like, your third meal of the day.
Yeah. I guess it’s a dinner?

Like a late–
Late dinner?

Late, late dinner.
It’s a portion of food for the arbitrary need of humans to eat in cycles.

Hey girl holding lots of pens! Are those for your frantic paper writing?
I don’t have any Dean’s Date papers. But I’m studying for finals.

Oh. Do you feel left out?
I think I’ve got enough finals to make up for it.

Hey girl buying candy! What’s that in your hand?
A [coffee-flavored] Monster. I actually wanted the Illy, but they ran out of it. So I’m getting this.

It looks like poison.
Yeah. I need to stay up.


1:35 AM: Almost asleep …

You know that you really, really don’t want to start studying for Molecular Biology when the back of the Tide bottle seems interesting.

Is "sudsing" a real word?

Is "sudsing" a real word?

But, really, why do you need high efficiency detergent?

Since HE washers work differently, they require a specially designed detergent like Tide HE

-using traditional detergent in an HE washer can cause excess suds. Excess suds could lead to washer problems. And just using a smaller dose won’t solve the problem. Tide HE is a special low-sudsing formula. Only the use of an HE detergent ensures the proper performance of your washer.

-since HE washers use less water to clean, the washer is dirtier. Tide HE has special dirt-capturing ingredients to suspend dirt and dyes in the water, which helps keep them from redepositing on your clean laundry.

Hm. Good to know. At this point, I’m starting to believe that all humans are basically robots —and thus basically washers and driers— and so I must ask: where’s my high efficiency caffeinated detergent to put into my high efficiency brain with a minimum of suds? Maybe it’s in this fruit.

– (a very sleepy) LRW

1:19 AM — LGBT Center

The famed Dean’s Date Fairies are in the LGBT Center’s Rainbow Lounge. There is a joke in here somewhere.

Candy from strangers is only a good idea on Dean's Date.

Candy from strangers is only a good idea on Dean's Date.


12:58 AM — Frist

Several people close to me have received troubling text messages from someone who will be known only as P ’14. This freshman appears to be descending into madness as we speak, and his messages serve as a window into his fragile psyche. I have transcribed them below. Be warned, what you are about to read may disturb you:

It is the german working spirit which is however nothing but bad air, but a smelly furt, in my nostrils right now. – 12:08 AM

Sanity is for the masses. My ego is unfolding into the limitless, my will strays into the infinite. I am a fatality. I am exaggerated lonliness. Ben, where are you? Luther has betrayed us! – 12:17 AM

Life is an artistic show. You know it! “when socrates and plato started talking abou truth and justice they were not greeks any longer, but jews” – 12:22 AM

Don’t be scared my friend. The romans submitted to the authority of greek thought but we won’t. We wont. Our eyes are undistorted by tradition. They are washed clear by tears. We no longer have to listen to the poetry of the dead. We no longer need to wear the costumes of the dead. 46 hypes on lookbook! Hello modernity! – 12:27 AM

Yes i am dying an agonizing death upon the cross of thought – 12:57 AM

These bizarre ravings were entirely unprompted. They were responses to basic requests, such as “come to frist bro” or “just come [name redacted] you need help”. We at The Ink pray for his well-being, and can only hope that P’14 manages to regain his sanity by 5 PM.

— GN

12:37 AM– Whitman Whailed

Holder, meet your match (wailing starts at around 0:19).


12:28 AM– Holder Howled



12:01 AM – Cellular Devices

The creator of ‘Dean’s Date (It’s kinda like Friday)’? None other than Kellen Heniford ’14, a self-described ‘dork’ and ‘nerd.’

I called her shortly before she was heading to bed to talk artistic inspiration and advice for staying awake. Excerpts from our conversation appear below:

SG: Tell me about this project.

KH: I was at dinner with a friend in Wilcox and I said the words, ‘Everybody’s looking forward to the summer.’ It made me think immediately of the Rebecca Black song, and I thought, ‘Dean’s Date, Dean’s Date.’ I began working on lyrics and finally the video.

SG: So this was last week?

KH: Yup. I was procrastinating during Reading Period working on this.

SG: What does your Dean’s Date workload look like and how much progress have you made?

KH: I’m pretty on top of things. Right now I have to finish a 2 page response, then I’m going to bed.

SG: Lucky you. Any words of advice to your not-so-fortunate peers?

KH: One of the best ways to stay awake is to listen to obnoxious music over and over…

SG: Um…does your song count?

[long pause]

KH: Rebecca Black might be a good way to go.

11:52 – En route to Frist

Spotted on Alexander Green:

Princeton sophomore bounding along the sidewalk on a late-night run, sans shoes.

Fellow tigers, I fear for our collective sanity. It’s not yet midnight and we’re already starting to see the crazy coming out. If you find your own mind slipping, here’s some advice from Allen Ginsberg:

“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”

Or maybe just stick to laying off the caffeine pills/getting some sleep.


11:31 pm — Still Youtube!!!

You knew it was coming. I’ve been hearing “Dean’s Date, Dean’s Date” jokes all day.

We found this Rebecca Black parody on Youtube–and we’ll have more from its creators soon.

Three a.m., still awake in the morning
Chillin’ in Frist, Gonna take another shot
Five hours of energy: still not enough
Just dozed off, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’
Look at who’s asleep in McGraw
Gotta get this done, I see my friends


11:22 pm — Youtube!!!

See the band do a fist-pumping New Jersey tribal ritual get ready to rush into Firestone earlier tonight, at Blair Arch.


10:53 PM — Mendel Music Library, Woolworth

Screen shot 2011-05-09 at 11.05.57 PM

Everyone in this library looks remarkably like this kitten…I can’t find a single person who isn’t struggling not to fall asleep sitting up. Incidentally, the song in the video is by lovely Princeton local (and Princeton’s Lewis Center staff member!) Sarah Donner. (True or false: I might have gone to a computer cluster expressly to watch said video because my WORTHLESS LAPTOP has YouTube blocked via SelfControl until 3am. The things we do for the love of procrastination!) ~JMB

10:52 PM — Edwards

More music suggestions for your Dean’s Date Eve: art director Brian Gossett, who made the beloved Take Ivy mixes (Ivy League-themed playlists! Something to listen to while wandering around Princeton landmarks!) has a lot more playlists at his blog, Since78.

The best part? You can download them all. Check out the Los Angeles-themed playlist, the hipster kid mix (literally), and the ULTIMATE workout/dance mix (That’s for you, Ladytown!)

10:42 PM — Still Fristing Away

Musical distraction = paper-writing action.

Musical distraction = paper-writing action.

Also Re: Anonymous commenter’s request

I’m hitting that spot where I just can’t keep focus on my paper. I call this writer’s A.D.D. I’m hyperaware of everything around me. Someone makes a comment on late meal ending or the basketball game outside or how the room is kind of hot, and I’m distracted for twenty minutes. I keep retyping the same words over and over. Like I start a sentence, and then I erase it and start again, and then I press backspace and start again, and then I start again, and again, and then —

Yeah. Anyway. For anyone suffering from similar symptoms, I’ve found the ultimate solution. Check out this goldmine of mashups! Hit play on the streampad bar at the bottom of the screen and relegate all your A.D.D. tendencies to the magic of jumping from Adele to Jay-Z to Lady Gaga to Britney every 15 seconds or so. I swear it works. Let your ears do all the distraction action. Settle in. Groove. And watch your word count grow.


1o:39 PM — Frist

Anonymous commenter asks for music suggestions. Right now it seems like I’m tending far more carefully to my iTunes queue than to my papers, so I might as well help out. I prefer instrumental stuff when I’m slaving away at papers — no words to distract you from the words you’re supposed to be putting on the page — so I’m currently getting a lot of mileage of Clams Casino. He’s the mastermind behind some of Lil B’s finest beats. Got this huge, watery sound that puts me in the zone; you can (legally) snag the whole mixtape here.

See also: “I’m God”, “Numb”

(EDIT: A previous version of this post stupidly attributed Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” to Clams Casino, which is obviously false, because that was all Bangladesh. Dean’s Date must be addling my brain — what I meant to say is Soulja Boy’s “2Milli.” Slightly less impressive, yes. But dude is still arguably the architect of the entire “based” sound, so I’m not complaining.)

— GN

10:14 PM – Firestone

Spotted: the Band brings a rowdy rendition of 99 Luftballoons to Firestone Lobby. (Thanks to AW for the heads-up!) ~JMB


10:07 PM – 1937 Hall

Aaaaand the children of Wilson/Frist get their ears played off by the Band. Lovely. How is it possible that the Marching Band manages to penetrate EVERY SINGLE study space it’s possible to use for dean’s date? No matter how much I try to burrow into a panic-stricken paper-writing cocoon, they will ALWAYS find me. And will then proceed to make my brain pound more than it already does on a lovely combo of caffeine pills and Dayquil. ~JMB

10:00 pm – En route to Firestone

The Princeton University band began playing at Frist at 9:45 pm, interrupting a crowd of 60 some students watching the Celtics vs Heat game in the TV lounge (surely there are some things that can tear us away from our work!). They passed Marquand, and are on route to Firestone.

Quick poll: PU Band – A rowdy distraction, or welcome study break?


9:34 PM – 1915 Hall

Is it going to be okay?

YES! Says this dude.

He believes in you.

Why is it that thumb-ups (or thumbs-ups? Thumbs-up?) are so comforting?


9:35 PM – Blair

Because it's never too early for Cute Overload

Because it's never too early for Cute Overload

It’s always a dilemma, sleep on Dean’s Date. All-nighter? Get a blasphemous eight hours in the hopes that even if you write less, it will actually make sense?

According to one tipster, the real Dean’s Date rockstars know the only way to go is pulling an all-nighter on Sunday and shifting your sleep schedule so being nocturnal tonight feels normal. We applaud the dedication and serious strategizing, but we sorta wish she would have filled us in earlier…maybe next year?


9:20PM – on Facebook

File this post under “More Ways To Procrastinate”: If Famous People Had Facebook.

If you’re one of those people with self-control who deleted their Facebooks (and are reading the liveblog!?), don’t worry, we’re bringing the (fake) Facebook to you:

EDIT: An even better preview.

EDIT: An even better preview.

POL and WWS majors may enjoy President Obama‘s facebook feed.

ENG and PHI folks might like existential philosophers flaming and trolling each other.

And the rest of us Princetonians can get a kick out of Harry Potter and other Hogwarts profiles.


— VC

8:50 PM – Hot Spots Everywhere

Overheard in Frist: “My advice for pulling an all-nighter? Know your poisons. Get coffee, candy, whatever you need to stay awake. That, and willpower.”

In honor of such ingestible advice, The Ink has compiled a helpful list of on-campus convenience stores – be sure to stock up on brain food before they close!

  • Witherspoon Café in Frist – 12:00 AM
  • Café Viv – 12:00 AM
  • Studio 34 – 3:30 AM
  • U-Store – 4:00 AM
  • C-Store – 2:00 AM
  • Wawa – Open 24/7


8:37 PM — Small World Coffee

Caffeine is the theme of the hour–probably because a cup of coffee now will keep you thinking (and hopefully typing) till about 2 am.

Some fun caffeine facts:

  • Your liver is the primary caffeine-processing organ.
  • Caffeine has a pretty short half-life–it takes about 5 to 7 hours for your body to eliminate half of it.
  • The British drink 196,000,000 cups of tea a day.
  • Caffeine works by tricking your body into thinking it’s not tired. When your body is tired, you release adenosine–caffeine works to block adenosine receptors, so you never get the message.
  • Top sources of caffeine in the U.S., in order: coffee, soda, tea, chocolate.

If you’re looking for a quiet place to simultaneously write and caffeinate, head down to Small World, where according to the baristas, one poor soul ordered a four-shot iced joe this evening. The place is practically empty.


(Sources: All over the Internet)


8:09 PM — The Depths of Frist

Going off of LZ’s friendly tip for caffeine access optimization, don’t forget the announcement we got in our inboxes this morning:

I thank the gods of Red Bull for this Dean's Date gift.

I thank the gods of Red Bull for this Dean's Date gift.

Yesss, the U-store knows what we want need.


7:51 PM — USG Office

If you’re going to be writing into the wee hours of the morning, it’s time to start planning your optimal caffeine strategy. Luckily, the USG is one step ahead and stocked up on free coffee to keep you going all night long – if you don’t see your favorite flavor, check the drawer on the upper left.

You can thank me later.


7:41 PM — The Post-Dinner Procrastination Hour

What? You’re already looking for something to do that’s not your Politics paper? OK. Along with intense investigative reporting from Dean’s Date hotspots, we’ll be giving you tools for procrastination throughout the night.

Start with this website. I don’t know what this is, but I think you’ll love it. Directions: click squares and make music. (Though there is a method to the madness!) Start it now–you’ll need these trippy tunes in that 30 minutes before the birds start chirping, so you might as well start making music now.

Screen shot 2011-05-09 at 7.43.44 PM


7:33 PM — having Chametz

A late shoutout to the Passover crowd and The Lonely Island fans (TURTLENECK & CHAIN, Lonely Island’s new album, comes out TOMORROW! Get ready for more Andy Samberg.)

Also– Michael Bolton really likes Jack Sparrow.


5:31 PM — The foot of my bed

First order of Dean’s Date business:

As if I'm going to be sleeping in it tonight...

As if I'm going to be sleeping in it tonight...

Folding the heaps of laundry on my bed. (It’s good to know that I’ve found more productive ways to procrastinate than CollegeProblems.)

— VC

5:oo PM — My room

You’re looking tired. So are we — this little blog post is nothing if not a gesture of solidarity. As per tradition, we here at The Ink are about to chronicle the madness that’s going to ensue over the 24 hours, serving up our usual mix of objective observations, bleary-eyed musings, (attempts at) humor, and the occasional dose of random amusing Internet fare. Oh, and we’ll be writing our papers, too, but journalistic duty comes first.

Though you probably didn’t need a new form of procrastination, our liveblog should have special appeal. Aside from Facebook (which, for your sake, should be SelfControlled into oblivion by now) or Princeton FML (which descends into all kinds of inanity on this day), we’re the only people on the Internet experiencing the same misery that you are — and in real time, no less. This is frontline reporting, or the closest thing to it in the Orange Bubble.

So check in with us periodically, but for now, go scurry off to that soul-crushingly blank Microsoft Word document. I know I’m about to. I wish you way more than luck.

— GN

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