Article Tags

“21 Questions”

CLAYTON RAITHEL ’12 RETURNS TO PRINCETON WITH AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL COMEDY ABOUT BREAKUP, DEPRESSION, AND HEALING. SMILE, DIRECTED BY JEFF ’12 and RICK KUPERMAN, WILL BE PERFORMED AT RICHARDSON AUDITORIUM AT 9 PM TONIGHT.

Name: Clayton Raithel
Age: 24
Major: Religion
Hometown: Natick, MA
Eating club/residential college/affiliation: Tower/Whitman
Activities on campus: Ugh, too many. Quipfire!, Triangle, the Writing Center, PUP, Princeton Disability Awareness, Whitman RCA… I was in a jazz ensemble one year, too? Weird.

When did you first come up with the idea to take a painful, personal experience and turn it into a comedy show?
Taking painful experiences and making them into comedy is not new – my favorite comedian, Mike Birbiglia, made a career out of doing just that. I think the show was largely an attempt to stop giving this painful experience so much power. The stuff I was dealing with is heavy – depression, a breakup, adulthood – and whenever it got too weighty for normal conversation, I learned to find the humor. It was healing for me and allowed an entry point for other people to discuss mental health with me.

What was the writing process like?
Labor intensive. I’ve never worked so hard on anything. At the beginning, I would just share stories with my directors, Jeff and Rick Kuperman. Then, I would tell stories to my friends. Then, themes started to emerge. A structure started to develop. I finally had a draft around January, 2014. But it was complete and utter crap. So, I took the script to a number of “comedy doctors” to help execute the funny latent in the script. I took some material to open mics and performed it there. I worked a lot out in the rehearsal room. And then we started to workshop it. And then I wrote new stuff and scrapped old stuff. Writing is revision; that’s what the Writing Center would want me to say.

How did you come about partnering with your directors, Jeff Kuperman ’12 and Rick Kuperman?
I didn’t know Jeff all too well during my time at Princeton. But I had seen some of his work on campus, and respected his work. So around the time I thought of making the show, I emailed him and pitched him the idea for it. We met at a Just Salad in the Washington Square Park area for lunch, and I just spilled out everything that had been going on in my life recently. And he jumped on board, and suggested we bring his brother Rick along, too. The Kuperman Brothers and I are now extremely close.

How does it feel to relive your post-graduation moments again and again through each performance?
On the one hand, the show has been immensely helpful for me, incredibly therapeutic and healing. Reliving these moments in this way helps me process them, it helps me think about them objectively, and it helps me see how crazy my brain was acting. In fact, there are now moments of the show that I treat almost entirely as an actor, which I think is a sign of progress. At the same time, though, there is a twisted irony of doing the show again and again – I wrote the show to get over this painful time in my life and give it less power over me… and yet here I am, doing a show about this painful time in my life, giving it power again and again! On the whole, though, it’s been a very positive experience.

What’s different about acting as yourself rather than a character?
The main difference is that I have a lot more control over how Clayton as character is perceived. I think a lot about that – because Clayton in the show is both the protagonist and the antagonist, and it’s a delicate balance to strike. At the same time, Clayton in real life is always there with Clayton the character. That’s sort of the point.

What was something surprising you learned during the process of putting on “SMILE”?
That the writing of the show itself would change how I thought about my life, which would in turn change how I wrote the show. Round and round we go!

What has the reception to the show been like?
Very positive! I’m very grateful. It’s always different. Some people just think it’s very funny, others are deeply moved, others are both, and a select few who shall remain nameless are neither. The reviews have been great, but I think the most meaningful thing for me is how a lot of people who saw the show started opening up to me and sharing their stories of heartbreak, depression, etc. It reminded me that these issues are a lot bigger than me.

Has your ex-girlfriend seen the show?
DUN DUN DUN. What a good question! No, she hasn’t. We haven’t spoken for a long time. I know she knows about the show, though, and some mutual friends have come to see it. But, I think the better question here is… does it matter? The show’s not really about her; it’s about me. And I think anyone who sees the show understands that, and probably gets that I have nothing but respect for her and all I’ve learned from her.

Why did you decide to bring the show to Princeton during Arts Weekend?
I didn’t. I had mentioned the show to Dean Dunne when it had a run in NYC, and he suggested bringing it down. It just so happened that he had a spot in Richardson during Arts Weekend, and that’s how we got here!

What about Princeton have you missed the most? The least?
I miss academia a lot, but that’s too nerdy of an answer I guess. Umm… I miss that feeling of being invincible? In hindsight, that’s really what you get there, and then you get to the real world and they are like, “Nah, bro” and you are like, “What?” The thing I miss least is the Street, but that’s just because I am not fun and don’t like to drink/party/loud things/people I don’t know.

If you could tell your senior year self one thing, what would it be?
It gets worse. ZING! Okay, just kidding.

If you could switch lives with any Princeton alum for a day, who would you choose?
Jonathan Weed ’09. He’s one of my best friends and is really good at math. I think it would be cool to be that good at math for one day.

In 10 years, you will be…
Hanging out with my pug, because I am getting one, and s/he will be awesome. It will consume most of my time.

What’s your drink?
I don’t really drink! Can I say a Shirley Temple? I like teas a lot. Umm… water is great as well.

How do you get rid of stage fright?
I don’t really get it, in general. That’s not the norm for most actor types I know. I get it for this show, because it’s so personal and it feels like if the audience doesn’t like it… they don’t like you. But stage fright goes away when you realize that almost any performance you have doesn’t really matter. Like, yeah, take it seriously, but also… if you aren’t having fun doing this, why are you doing this?

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
I sit through my nursing school classes and think of medical related puns I can write as tweets.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?
I have a map of my hometown and surrounding towns, and other map that connects that map all the way to Boston. My wall is maps.

Where do you do your best thinking?
In my bed, right before I fall asleep. I often have to text myself from my bed so I remember my ideas in the morning.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
I actively watch anime on a regular basis and not in an ironic way.

Who is your mortal enemy?
That would be my brain. He’s a crafty little devil. Always giving me irrational thoughts and making me hate myself. I will win, brain. I will win.

What makes someone a Princetonian?
If you have to ask, you’ll never know. Sounds like a cop out answer, and that’s because it is! It’s 2:30am and I have to go to bed so I can perform SMILE tomorrow! Goodnight!

Interview condensed by Ellis Liang ’15.

SLAM POET PATRICK ROCHE ’14 LOVES BEYONCE, FIGHTS EVIL WITH COCONUT WATER-BASED JUSTICE, AND HAS TWO WEEKS LEFT TO CROSS ROCK CLIMBING OFF HIS SENIOR BUCKET LIST

Name: Patrick Roche

Age: 22

Hometown: Nutley, NJ

Major: Classics

Eating Club/Res College/Affiliation: Whitman!

 

How did you first get involved with slam poetry?
I wrote on my own for a few years but never shared it with anyone. Then one of my friends saw a poem I had lying around my room, grabbed it, and ran out. She came back a little while later saying I should really share it, so I did a few open mic nights and Whitman Coffeehouses. As people started encouraging me to look into Ellipses, I reached out and went to my first meeting last spring, and I fell in love with it.

Where do you get inspiration for your poems?
I tend to write about my own experiences, so my inspiration for the subject matter usually comes from my own life—family, romance, etc. As for performance and style, I don’t know if I have any specific poets that I can point to as inspirations, but just in general, watching other poets perform is a huge inspiration.

What is your writing process like?
I usually end up realizing I have something I want to write about or express, and when I sit down to write, it usually comes out in one sitting…but it’s usually a complete piece of crap. So then I will bring it to other people in Ellipses and talk about it as we revise it.

What does it feel like to perform slam on stage?
It’s kind of terrifying sometimes because it’s so vulnerable and you’re putting a lot of personal stuff out there. I’m also always nervous, even if I’ve gotten more comfortable over the past year or so. More than anything, it feels relieving and cathartic, though.

How do you feel about your videos going viral?
Of course I’m thrilled, especially since so much feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. But it’s also really weird. I don’t really know how to process it, and it’s still strange knowing that my life story is so public now.

The rumor mill says Harpers Publishing offered you a book contract! Is this true?
Okay, y’all need to calm down. I will say that I have been presented with some opportunities as a result of these videos, and that may include discussing the possibility of publishing with certain publishers, but even if that were the case, nothing is guaranteed or has even been offered. But the fact that I have any opportunities at all as a result of all of this is incredible.

Who are your favorite poets?
As far as spoken word poets, I’d say Sarah Kay, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Sam Sax, Danez Smith, Mahogan
For more “page”-y poets, I’d say Oscar Wilde, John Keats, Frank O’Hara, Gwendolym Brooks, and so many more

Where’s your favorite place to write on campus?
It’s a little boring, but honestly just in my room, with a blanket and hot chocolate.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real of fictional?
Carlton Banks! I’m not even ashamed of my Fresh Prince of Bel-Air obsession.

What’s your favorite part of Princeton?
The friends I’ve made here, and the campus itself—I could walk around for hours and be happy.
Also the free food. All of the free food.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
I fight the forces of evil and crime with my unique blend of chocolate and coconut water-based justice.

What’s hanging above your desk?
A huge X-Men poster.

What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh: Other people falling
Cry: Me falling

What’s your greatest guilty pleasure?
Not anymore, but I used to watch Degrassi religiously and had gone back and seen all of the episodes of the current version of it. All ten or so seasons up to that point.

What’s on your playlist?
Beyoncé essentially is my playlist. But also Sara Bareilles, Taylor Swift, Grace Potter, Fleetwood Mac, Rufus Wainwright, and all sorts of pop.

When’s bedtime?
This year it’s been somewhere around 2 or 3 AM most nights. I told myself that was okay since I didn’t have class before 12:30.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at Princeton?
How to avoid doing laundry for as long as possible while still seeming presentable.

What’s one thing you would like to do before you graduate?
Go rock climbing—for four years I kept telling myself to take advantage of the wall and never did.

What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve done this past year?
When four other members of Ellipses and I were in Colorado for CUPSI, the national college poetry slam, we drove to the top of one of the mountains (they called them hills, but they were obviously mountains. They had snow at the peak and everything). And we climbed out to the edge and took in the view, which was amazing. But also if I slipped, I would have fallen straight down.

In 25 years, you will be…
47. And hopefully married, with a wonderful family, financially secure, and doing something I love, whether that’s still poetry or working at an educational institution, or something totally different. Who knows!

What’s one question you wish we had asked and answer it.
What would the title of your memoir be?
Probably “#MLIPatrickRoche” or “It Gets Bitter: The Patrick Roche Story,” or “Riding Tandem Bikes Alone,” but that will probably work better as a book of poetry.

 

Watch Patrick’s performance of “21″: 

UPON GRADUATION, VIVIENNE CHEN ’14 AND NATASHA JAPANWALA ’14  WILL EMBARK ON JET-SETTING PROJECTS  AS THIS YEAR’S MARTIN DALE FELLOWS, BUT WE’RE PRETTY SURE THE ONLY PLACE THEY’LL GET FORBES PIZZA AND WHITMAN BREAKFAST IS HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Vivienne Chen / Natasha Japanwala
Age
: 21 / 22  (as of today!)
Major: English / English
Hometown: Pleasanton, CA / Karachi, Pakistan
Eating Club/Residential College/Affiliation: Whitman College exile (aka Spelman Independent) / Edwards Collective, Mathey College

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional? 

VC: I have a huge crush on Jimmy Stewart ’32 circa A Philadelphia Story.

NJ: Now is as good a time as any to give Martin Dale ’53 a shout-out!

What’s the beat meal you’ve eaten in Princeton? 

VC: Tie between Whitman breakfast and Rocky/Mathey’s grilled cheese.

NJ: Last Friday, I had dinner at Forbes and the pizza there just blew me away. I had three slices and then I took one to go.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?

VC: Werk! (That’s an imperative sentence.)

NJ: I think and I think and I think about writing; maybe write one sentence that I am actually proud of; reread that sentence and say out loud to myself, oh no that was a false alarm.

Continue reading…

Princeton Horse and President Tilghman at Graduation 2013

ONE OF PRINCETON’S MOST RIDICULOUS TWITTER ACCOUNTS, @PRINCETONHORSE, HATES THE MATHEY MOOSE, KNOWS THE WORDS TO EVERY SONG, AND IS BACK FOR ANOTHER YEAR.

Disclaimer: this interview was translated from what would sound like incoherent neighing to an untrained ear. Any mistakes are the sole responsibility of the translator.

Age: 21 (horse years)
Hometown: Princeton
Major: English

What are the origins of Princeton Horse? 
With one parent from the steppes of east asia and one parent from the local fields, the Princeton horse actually grew up and studied in Princeton township right up until he was accepted to Phillips Exeter Academy and eventually the university. His great uncle was actually one of the first horses to attend not only Princeton, but also college anywhere in the US, and was one of the first presidents of Terrace (his pictures are featured prominently in the study upstairs). The horse actually had been attending classes as a normal student for years before he started a twitter account last year and is actually rather confused by the sudden spike attention every time he goes out.

With all the shout outs from Shirley and the diploma, it looked like Princeton Horse graduated last year. Is he back for graduate school? Remedial classes?
The horse and everyone else thought that he had graduated last year, obtaining a degree in English despite his continuing poor control of the language. Only when classes started up again this year was it found that the horse had actually failed his freshman writing seminar, mainly because all his papers were neighing without any meaningful analysis. He has to return to at least make up that credit. Our theory is that President Eisgruber realized that Princeton needed the horse and this whole grade thing is just a cover to make sure the horsing continues under the new administration.

Who is your mortal enemy? 
The Mathey Moose. Just look at the smug expression on that antlered freak.

Are the photos posted on Twitter candid shots or do you do photo shoots? Ever considered professional modeling?
Some of them are candid although the horse and his caretaker are hoping that our friend and follower Jane Randall ’13 who was on America’s next top model can get us the hookup with Tyra. The Princeton horse knows how to be fierce.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Every full moon, the horse strips naked and neighs in the pale moonlight as he prances about Poe field. Just a horse thing, you wouldn’t understand.

Where is the best grass on campus?
The best grass on campus is definitely at Terrace… um the horse means outside on the back lawn, that grass is premium.

Will you ever reveal your true identity? 
neigh-ver. Like Batman or Spiderman, the horse must keep his real identity unknown to protect those he serves

Do you know all the words to Old Nassau?
neigh neigh, ne neigh nei neigh neigh neigh,
neigh nei, neigh neigh ne neigh…
pretty much the words to every song right?

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned at Princeton?
Sometimes you have to leave the herd and make your own path. Even if your parents are pressuring you to be a top race horseand your friends are all going out to stud, you have to buck the trend make your own choices. Don’t be afraid to make an ass of yourself, and never put the cart before the horse. Remember not to always rein it in by focusing on work; horsing around can be important too.

Are you a horse down there?
No comment. You’ll have to ask the Princeton Unicorn.

2013 CLASS DAY SPEAKER, PULITZER PRIZE WINNER, AND NEW YORKER EDITOR DAVID REMNICK ’81 LOVES UMLAUTS, PJ’S WAFFLES, AND THINKS TINA BROWN COULD BEAT ZOMBIE LENIN IN A FIGHT. ALSO A HOMEBOY.

Name:
 David Remnick
Major: Comparative Literature
Hometown: Hillsdale, NJ
Residential college/eating club affiliation: Wilson College

 

For those seniors who may have never heard of you, how would you describe yourself?
As a guy who got a D in Russian at Princeton–and then made his stripes…where else?… in Russia. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Albert Einstein (he counts, right?) and Robert Cohn, the impotent boxer in “The Sun Also Rises.” And some classmates: Elena Kagan, for sure.

Steve Carell, last year’s Class Day speaker, is a hard act to follow. What’s your game plan?
Hire Steve Carell to write my speech.

What’s your greatest guilty pleasure?
If I counted up the hours lost to watching uniformed people tossing, whacking or carrying various-shaped balls on television, I would probably drink hemlock.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
Read, edit, cajole, beg, hope. And that’s not even a sentence, strictly speaking.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
Waffles at PJ’s. In an altered state.

What are your thoughts on the future of journalism?
That there is one. Because without real journalism– innovative, aggressive, tough-minded, fair journalism– you’ve got North Korea.

What’s your drink?
I am not very particular.

What’s your personal anthem?
The Miles Davis classic: “So What?”

What makes you laugh?
Almost everything.

What makes you cry?
Death and onions.

Who’s your mortal enemy?
Anyone who thrives on cruelty.

Who would win in a fight, former New Yorker editor Tina Brown or a reanimated Vladimir Lenin zombie?
Tina.

What magazine/newspapers do you read besides The New Yorker?
Too many to name, but, for starters, The Times, The Washington Post, Haaretz, Al Jazeera online, some Russian papers, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Rolling Stone, loads of websites…anyway, a cascade of things.

Favorite New Yorker cover of all time?
Damn near anything by the great Saul Steinberg.

Umlauts. How do you feel about them?
I feel goöd about them.

When’s bedtime?
Midnight to five, five-thirty.

Favorite spot on Princeton’s campus?
The basement of East Pyne, where I (tried to) learn Russian and in various other classrooms scattered around the building, where I got to study with Bob Hollander, John McPhee, Sandy Bermann, Bob Fagles, and Suzanne Nash. I’m pretty fond, too, of wherever P. Adams Sitney was showing movies. And since the drinking age then was eighteen, what you know as a place to get coffee was once called “The Pub.” Trust me, “the Pub” was better. Or so I recall.

Favorite class you took at Princeton?
A dead heat: Robert Hollander’s Dante course and John McPhee’s writing seminar.

What grammar mistake do you find most annoying?
Are you sure that question is grammatical?

What makes someone a Princetonian?
God willing, not an obnoxious question like the previous. What it has meant lately is that you had the chance to be there under a truly great university president. Shirley ruled; she rules; and will always rule. She really set an example on every level.

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THESE AGGRESSIVE, STRESS-INDUCING DEAN’S DATE POSTERS AROUND CAMPUS. THE INK’S INSIDER INFORMATION TEAM HAS CORNERED THE CREATOR(S) OF THIS PROPAGANDA AND ASKED THEM THE REAL HARD-HITTING QUESTIONS.

 

Name: The Committee to Motivate Students to Do Dean’s Date Work (CMSDDDW)
Hometown: Grover’s Corners
Major: General
Club and Residential College Affiliation: Club Foot

Are you an animal, mineral, or vegetable?
We are argon-based lifeforms, straddling the boundaries between what is alive and what is merely sentient. So kinda like all three.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Goku from Dragon Ball Z. He’s a Princeton alum in many Dragon Ball fanfictions, which we hold as canonical.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
One of us once distracted Nancy Malkiel and gulped down several spoonfuls of some clam chowder she was eating.

Why are you posting such intensely fonted posters?
It is inexplicably acceptable at Princeton to procrastinate on papers, then wail and moan on Facebook as you pull an all-nighter and produce some half-assed essays on Dean’s Date Eve. We somehow find a perverse sense of camaraderie in this self-destructive tradition, punctuating it with fanfare and pageantry and silent discos. Our posters are meant to encourage skepticism about a culture in which we all act as if we’re all academic martyrs crucified on the amount of work we have to do, when we nailed ourselves there in the first place. We all have work. We all have time to do it right. It’s hard, but complaining makes it worse. It’s a privilege to have the education we do, one that hundreds of thousands of applicants wanted and were denied. Acting as if Princeton is pulling us through school by our hair disrespects that privilege and lowers the quality of the work that we do. If we saw Dean’s Date work and exams as challenges to be met rather than curses to be endured, we would write better papers, score higher on exams, and live happier, less stressful lives. If inculcating that kind of living takes some aggressive words in Impact font, so be it.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
Acquire currency and the hatred of the entire Princeton student body.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Snarky answers to journalists’ questions.

Who is “sponsoring” your posters?
Microsoft and Mr. Pibb.

What is your relationship like with the font IMPACT?
Monogamous.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?
The last reporter who divulged our identity.

What is your biggest fear?
An unwritten paper. Also, spiders.

What would you do if you were on the Presidential Search Committee?
Install the dictator android ENLIGHTENED DES-BOT and enjoy a thousand years of peace.

Continue reading…

DANIEL GASTFRIEND 13, PRINCETON’S ONLY TRUMAN SCHOLARSHIP WINNER THIS YEAR, ASPIRES TO PUT AN END TO POVERTY, BUT HE’D SETTLE FOR LOTS OF MASSAGES. HE ALMOST GOT EATEN BY A LARGE MAMMAL LAST SUMMER, AND LEARNED EVERYTHING HE NEEDS TO KNOW IN KIDDIE LIT.Daniel Blog

Name: Daniel Gastfriend

Age: 22

Major: Woodrow Wilson School

Hometown: Newton, MA

Eating Club/Res College/Affiliation: Tower (Forbes)

What was your immediate response upon finding out you had won the Truman Scholarship?

I was pretty surprised—definitely not expecting it. The first thing I did was call my mom.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real of fictional?

Charlotte Weisberg ’13!

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

I would end poverty. Or I would make everyone be my personal masseuse.

What’s the best meal you ever had at Princeton?

Pizza. No, I’m serious. It’s pizza.

In one sentence, what is it you actually do all day?

Answer press club questionnaires.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?

I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.

How are you planning to use your Truman Scholarship?

I’m planning on going into social entrepreneurship with a focus on income generation for the extreme poor in Sub-Saharan Africa. I might also be interested in pursuing international development policy work later in my career. So I’m thinking about getting a dual MBA/MPP, but I have some time to decide.

Continue reading…

EVEN THOUGH HE’S TAKING A FEW GAP YEARS TRYING TO BE THE FIRST OPENLY GAY PERSON TO CLIMB THE SEVEN SUMMITS, THE MOST DANGEROUS THING CASON CRANE ’17 HAS DONE IS GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL

Name: Cason Crane
Age: Too old… (It’s a sensitive subject. I was born in 1992…)
Intended Major: Woody Woo
Hometown: Lawrenceville, NJ
Residential College you’re hoping to be placed into: Anything except Forbes!

aconcaguasummitcasonWhat inspired you to climb the Seven Summits?
When I was young, I used to dream of climbing to the top of world. As I grew older, this fascination and passion developed into a love of the outdoors and of hiking. When I was 15, I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro—the highest mountain in Africa at 19,340ft—with my mother. When I crested the Stella Ridge on Summit Day, I knew that climbing mountains was something I wanted to do with my life. So when I began my gap year after graduating from Choate last June, I decided I would try another mountain. During my training with my coach Lydia Bradey (the first woman to summit Everest without oxygen) in New Zealand a couple months ago, I decided I would commit to doing the rest of the Seven Summits, and to do it for a good cause.

What summit are you most excited to climb and why?
The one I’m most excited about is Carstensz Pyramid, because it’s the truest “adventure” expedition of the seven. Carstensz is in the middle of the jungles of Irian Jaya. And the jungles are inhabited by cannibalistic tribes who only became exposed to Europeans three decades ago. There’s a lot of risk involved, and risk excites me.

Continue reading…

TRUMAN SCHOLAR HALEY WHITE ’12 FIGHTS GLOBAL FOOD INSECURITY AND ROCKS OUT TO COLBERT’S COVER OF ‘FRIDAY’

Name: Haley White
Age: 21
Major: Woody Woo
Hometown: Chatham, NJ
Eating club/residential college affiliation: Charter/Wilson

What was your immediate response upon finding out you had won the Truman Scholarship?
I started to cry. Then, I called my mom, then my dad, then my stepmom, then my boyfriend, then some friends, then my brother. I think that my ex-stepfather was mixed in there too somewhere. I have a pretty complicated family tree. It’s like what the Brady Brunch’s would be if it took performance-enhancing drugs.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Sally Frank ’80. She sued the eating clubs so that they would admit women. I admire her because she had the courage to stand up for her values at the risk of being ostracized and she did not give up after she graduated. She kept on fighting for more than ten years. I hope that in my best moments I am at least half as ballsy as her.

Continue reading…

photokkidiaZIMBABWEAN RHODES SCHOLAR KHAM KIDIA ’11 REFLECTS ON DISEASE, AFRICAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS, AND THE INHERENT DANGERS OF PRINCETON REUNIONS.

Name: Khameer Kishore Kidia
Age: 22
Major: French and Italian
Hometown: Harare, Zimabwe
Eating Club/Residential College/Affiliation: Tower/Forbes

What was your initial reaction when you found out about the scholarship? I felt a little dazed but deeply privileged and honored. The Zimbabwean Committee is a little more humane than the American one. They send you home and wait five to six hours, during which your family sits in silence with you in a room (as though there has been a death), and then they call.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional? Jack Donaghy

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton? Two words: Tomo. Sushi.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day? I think probably more than anything, I listen to people repeat the things I say to them; either in what they assume is a correct imitation of my voice or in a purposefully melodramatic affectation that sounds something akin to a cross between a dying old lady and a mule.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure? Whatever I happen to walk out of the Wa with after 3am.

What are your plans for the Rhodes? To read for an M.Phil in Medical Anthropology for two years at Oxford, likely focusing on the institution of systems of health care and medical education in Zimbabwe.

Do you know all the words to Old Nassau? No, but I vow to learn them before I graduate.

What is your biggest fear? Catheterization. Don’t ask.

Continue reading…

bellingerSTUDENTS FOR EDUCATION REFORM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CATHARINE BELLINGER ’12 IS A NEWLY-MINTED CLASSICS MAJOR WHO DRIVES TO THE WA AND WANTS TO FIX THE AMERICAN EDUCATION SYSTEM.

Name: Catharine Bellinger
Age: 20
Major: Woodrow Wilson School as of now, but I’m switching to Classics with Woody Woo Certificate
Hometown: Washington, DC
Eating Club/Residential College/Affiliation: Tower

In 10 words or less, what is SFER? A non-profit mobilizing the next generation of education reform leaders.

In 10 words or less, what’s up with the American education system? Unequal access to great teachers; but everywhere, pockets of success.

What is the best thing you’ve ever done at Princeton? Cheered on the senior class in the P-rade.

What makes a great teacher? A great teacher sets very specific goals for what students will actually be able to do (by the end of the lesson, the unit, the year…), then constantly checks for understanding and adjusts instruction. In practice, that means if students fail a math test, the teacher doesn’t say, “well, my students didn’t try very hard.” She says, “how can I teach these concepts better?”

What is the most promising area of education reform? Innovations in teacher preparation. Check out “Building a Better Teacher” in the New York Times. The related videos will blow your mind.

What was your favorite academic subject in third grade? Reading. My teacher used to find me under her desk with a book, hiding. I think I was probably avoiding math.

Do you believe in Santa? Of course.

Continue reading…

DSCN0798_2

BUSINESS TODAY PRESIDENT AMIRA POLACK ’12 LIKES GREEN EGGS, HATES WAITING IN LINE AT WUCOX–AND CALLS IT “BOBA,” NOT “BUBBLE” TEA.

Name: Amira Polack
Age: 20
Major: WWS, Cert. SPA
Hometown: Glendale, CA
Eating club/residential college/affiliation: Ivy/Wilson/NA

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Hit snooze.

Do you see yourself ever deleting your Facebook? I have yet to delete my Myspace account, which has sat around unused for a couple years now. I’d have to say that at this rate, deleting my Facebook is unlikely.

What’s the coolest new start-up? Princeton’s Social Entrepreneurship Initiative – a start-up that will start up start-ups – or Prepidemic, even though I don’t wear men’s clothing.

Small World or Starbucks? Small World – their chai is like dynamite.

What magazines do you read? Uh. Business Today. Please.

What is your favorite cookie? Murray Dodge – the ever-changing cookie.

Continue reading…