What happened to Quin Morton ’36?

Oh, the joys of writing seminar.

Without a doubt one of the most dreaded parts of the classic first-year Princeton experience is muddling through the endless peer reviews of writing seminar. Oh, and how can I forget about the lovely AP Style Guide? For those freshmen who did buy it, you can find all of it online for the great price of $0.

Every year, the Writing Center awards the Quin Morton ’36 Writing Seminar Essay Prize to a few of the best research papers (R3’s in Writing Sem. lingo) written in writing sems the year before. Until now!

This year, the Writing Center decided to cancel the award and “experiment with two other ways of recognizing excellent student work,” said Amanda Irwin Wilkins, the director of the Writing Program, in an e-mail this week.

What are these Writing Center new initiatives?

The first is the Quin Morton ’36 Freshman Research Conference which will allow a few students to present the findings of the research papers in a small conference that is scheduled to take place in April.

The second is the Writing Center Journal which is meant to be an academic journal that will allow students to showcase excerpts of class papers that demonstrate “excellent writerly moves.” The deadline to submit articles is February 21 (TOMORROW!) so send your submissions to wcjournal@princeton.edu.

TBT: Epic Princeton Snowball Fights

…..It’s Throwback Thursday!

Today with a high of 45 degrees, summer has begun in Princeton, NJ. But for those of you missing our biweekly snowstorms of days past…

Did you know Princeton used to hold an annual freshman-sophomore snowball fight?

The Annual Freshman-Sophomore Snowball Fight of 1891/1892. Check out dem hats. And dearth of snow on the ground?

[caption id="attachment_15098" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archive[/caption]


I would just like know why Princeton chose to continue celebrating cane spree, instead of this more glorious tradition?

Maybe this picture explains it…..

The 1892-1893 freshman-sophomore snowball fight apparently led to some pretty serious damages for Darwin R. James, John P. Poe , and Arthur L. Wheeler. It seems that perhaps it was more of a rock fight? #Workhardplayhard 

[caption id="attachment_15099" align="aligncenter" width="515"] Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archive[/caption]


Also, there was a time when Princeton snowball fights made the New York Times? 1892 must have been a good year for journalism.

Citation: Snowball fights; undated; Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series, Box SP15; Princeton University Archives, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.


IN PRINT: Professor Emeritus and Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman Lectures on Intuition

A bat and a ball cost $1.10. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

It turns out that 50% of Princeton students get this question wrong.

Last Monday, Daniel Kahneman, professor emeritus of psychology and public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School, gave the Stafford Little Lecture, where he discussed how the how human intuiton often leads to wrong conclusions (like thinking that the answer to that question is ten cents and not five cents.) Kahneman spoke at length about his many years of research challenging the economic theory that humans are rational thinker that led him to become the only psychologist to ever win the Nobel Prize in Economics. 

You can read the article here

A Foolproof Flowchart for Friendless Freshmen

I know what you’re thinking: your first semester at Princeton is already over, and you still don’t fit in. As various activities have taken over your schedule, you and your fellow freshmen have lost the friendly attitude of your first weeks here. These days, your social circle is limited to the few friends you see often. What’s more, your friends may not know each other, and you totally lack the time and motivation to gather them and form some sort of dream team.

Besides, you’re unsatisfied with one-on-one interaction; as you’ve learned, the social life here is all about the eating clubs. And since eating clubs are composed of friend groups, which often come together through exclusive clubs, you’d better find your way into one of those – quick!

Luckily, here at Princeton, you can abandon all that pessimism about your social life, because if you look hard enough, you’ll find four distinct paths to the prized friend group! Actually, you won’t have to look hard; just see the handy flowchart below. Study it well, and choose your path wisely, while you still can.

[caption id="attachment_15069" align="aligncenter" width="612"] [1] ShopRite wine.
[2] Tower passes.
[3] Just kidding! These guys probably were on varsity. Wrestling.
[4] Yes, that’s right. Just go. And submit fake Verbatims.
[5] Except when it is. Every damn time![/caption]So, there you have it: four easy ways to friend group felicity. If all else, fails, just talk to freshman Bradley Schneider – he can teach you a thing or two! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get University funding for my exotic frog collection.

The Holder Scowl: Rocky’s 4 A.M. wake up

Last night, students living in Rocky’s Holder Hall woke up to an unpleasant surprise at approximately 4 A.M.

Apparently, someone (rumor has it that there were numerous prankster Harvard students sleeping over after the Princeton-Harvard piano battle) thought it would be hilarious to pull the fire alarm right when people were just starting to fall asleep after a night out on the Street or — a more likely location for studious Rockyites — the library.

Here are a few pictures of people enjoying the spontaneous festivity while decked out in their PJs and wrapped up in blankets:



A New Frontier? Pluses and Minuses of Flying Out of Trenton

In November 2012, Frontier Airlines opened up service out of the Trenton-Mercer airport, a mere half hour drive from the Princeton campus. A Midwesterner searching for low airfares, I happened on Frontier’s low fares last month. I knew little about the airport, but I could not resist a $39 flight, so when I needed to fly to the University of Michigan, I chose Frontier.

Here’s a guide to Frontier:

The fares can be incredibly cheap, but the dates and times are limited. My flight was the only one of the day to Detroit, and it left at 7 a.m. Buy your Frontier tickets from their website. If you get the tickets from another service, they may charge you a carry-on fee at the gate. Already there is a $25 fee for your first checked bag on their cheapest fares, which they refer to as Economy class. All information and fares are on flyfrontier.com.

Once your tickets are purchased, the first complication you run into when flying out of Trenton is figuring out how to get there. Newark airport is an eyesore, but the train goes directly to the terminal. A trip to the Trenton airport on public transportation would involve a mile and a half walk down a road with no sidewalk and no shoulder. I recommend taking a cab or calling on the services of a friend. If you have a car, it costs $8/day to leave your car there overnight.

Once you arrive, the airport consists of one counter to print boarding passes to check bags, two TSA scanners, two gates, and baggage claim. You must arrive 45 minutes before your flight leaves, or they won’t let you on (which is ridiculous because it takes about 10 to get through security). This is what baggage claim looks like:

When they call you up to board, you walk out onto the runway and up a staircase to the gate – way more exciting than a jetway. And once you take off it’s like any other airline, except for the pictures of animals on the wings. Yes, it’s safe – the FAA and the TSA aren’t known for their relaxed approach to regulation.

Upshot – Frontier has absurdly cheap flights (i.e. $40 or $50 to Detroit, Chicago, North Carolina), but Trenton is hard to get to. You’re generally saving enough money to make the cab expense (or favor owed a friend) worth it. And it’s a unique airport experience. For me it was genuinely enjoyable.

Visit Frontier’s website and the shockingly comprehensive Wikipedia page for Trenton Airport for more information.


IN PRINT: Princeton’s Monuments Men

The Monuments Men, a new movie directed by and starring George Clooney along with a host of other Hollywood celebrities, has a surprising connection to Princeton University. The movie tells the tale of a ragtag group of art historians and scholars who enlisted in the U.S. Army  in order to recover famous art stolen by the nazis during World War II. In fact, many of the actual soldiers in the unit the movie is based on studied and taught at Princeton over the course of several decades, including two former directors of the Princeton University Art Museum.

Read more about the remarkable story of Princeton’s Monuments Men here



Bananas, Anyone?

Bananas, anyone?

Some Princeton students have taken their love of those long and bendable treats to a new level. A new Facebook page called “Princeton Bananas” has popped up that truly shows devotion to the golden fruit. As it says on its Facebook page, it is:

“An earth-shattering collection of Princeton’s best and brightest in their most intimate moments of banana consumption. This insurgency was built to instigate drastic change in our gustatory habits. We will not stop until every Princeton student decides to eat their bananas with fork and knife lest they be captured on camera.”

And Princeton is showing its love: the page already has over 350 likes.

Some samples:

[caption id="attachment_15004" align="aligncenter" width="269"] A Princeton girl enjoys a banana. (taken from Princeton Bananas)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_15005" align="aligncenter" width="793"] An A’peel’ing screenshot from the Facebook page[/caption]