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“Michelle Obama”

Best First Lady ever? Michelle Obama ’85 visited Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, DC, today where students performed a dance choreographed by Beyonce. The First Lady joined in–watch the video above.

“Beyoncé is one of my favorite performers on the planet.  And when she agreed to remake her video and do this “Let’s Move” flash workout, I was so excited, because this is what we’ve been talking about — that exercise and moving can be fun,” Mrs. Obama said, “It’s about dancing, it’s about moving.”

(via ABC News)

Michelle Obama '85 in her graduation photo. (via barack-obama-photos.com--this site exists?)

From the AP:

Michelle Obama told a group of curious kids visiting the White House Thursday about her daughter Malia’s most frequent question about Dad’s job: What’s he doing to help tigers?

Asked about her family’s favorite animal, the first lady said they talk about tigers at least once a week, because Malia, 11, is concerned about what President Barack Obama is doing to save the endangered animals.

“He tells her he’s working on it and there are a lot of people who are thinking about it,” she said. “But I think, the Obama household, we’re trying to save the tigers.”

OK, I’m not saying…I’m just saying. Malia. When it comes time, trust us, you’ll get in. Despite having a father who told the world you got a 73 on your science test.

(h/t Gawker, which is not the first site to tell us to how great the Obama girls are.)

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[from left to right: Kagan '81, Sotomayor '76, Alito '72, and Obama '85]

Do you plan on becoming a Supreme Court justice? Do you plan on becoming famous?

If so, do yourself a favor: Write your thesis on the most mundane, non-controversial topic possible.

Specifically, don’t write about:

  • Scary foreign lands (i.e. Puerto Rico)
    • Last year, Justice Sonia Sotomayor ’76 got a lot of flack for some of the views she espoused in her thesis, La Historia Ciclica de Puerto Rico. The Impact of the Life of Luis Munoz Marin on the Political and Economic History of Puerto Rico, 1930-1975, which came in at a whopping 178 pages.
    • And if you think you’re out of the woods after getting your final thesis grade, think twice. The National Journal had another professor regrade Sotomayor’s thesis 33 years later! The professor’s conclusion?: “the thesis would probably receive an A/A minus or an A minus.”
  • Scary topics Americans are scared of (i.e. socialism)
    • As we mentioned last week, Solicitor General (and leading Supreme Court nominee contender) Elena Kagan ’81 is also getting criticized for her senior thesis, To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933. The Weekly Standard stated last summer, “Her political sympathies (at the time) seem quite clear — and radical.” Uh oh!
    • No word yet whether anyone will regrade Kagan’s thesis, but then again, she hasn’t been nominated yet.
  • Minority groups (i.e. Princeton-educated blacks)
    • And don’t you remember the media storm over the thesis First Lady Michelle Obama ’85 wrote? (Full text here.) Her thesis, Princeton Educated Blacks and the Black Community, compared black Princetonians’ identification with the black community while at Princeton and afterwards as alumni.
    • While Obama’s thesis wasn’t regraded, some pundits criticized her writing anyway. Slate.com’s Christopher Hitchens wrote, “To describe it as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be ‘read’ at all, in the strict sense of the verb. This is because it wasn’t written in any known language.” Ouch.

Seriously, after all the flack Obama ’85, Sotomayor ’76, and now Kagan ’81 have received for their theses, it just doesn’t seem worth the trouble! So I implore you future-famous Princetonians: Write about really boring stuff.

Just look at the nomination (and confirmation) of Justice Samuel Alito ’72. His thesis, An Introduction to the Italian Constitutional Court, was apparently sufficiently boring enough to preclude any media circus in 2005. Of course, there was that whole CAP (Concerned Alumni of Princeton) thing. So if you want to become a Supreme Court justice, try not to join any racist/sexist organizations, too.

Click here for Part 2.

(image source: princeton.edu; nytimes.com; dailyprincetonian.com)

O(bama), ye of little faith.

As he filled out his b(a)racket for the Women’s NCAA Tournament this year, he had our Tigers going down in the first round. If you’re really “surrounded by these Princeton Tigers” like you say you are, I suggest that they pounce. We think our women’s basketball team — making their first ever appearance at the Big Dance — will prove him wrong on Saturday.

3442058458_e80387d525_bWelcome back to campus, Inkblots!  It’s been lonely without you.

If you’re at all like me (and don’t worry, you’re probably not), you spent at least one sad hour of your break realizing how you’ve already missed the application deadlines for, like, twenty awesome summer internships.  And now you’ve resolved to really buckle down and begin the hunt for that perfect (unpaid) placement.

If you need some inspiration, consider Ross Ohlendorf ’05.  He’s probably a lot busier than you — he pitches for the Pittsburgh Pirates and helps run his family’s longhorn cattle ranch in Texas.  And yet he still found the time to snag himself a coveted Washington internship with the US Department of Agriculture.  The AP reports:

Ohlendorf, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 240 pounds, shares a small office with another USDA employee. His work is mainly focused on animal identification — the nationwide tracking system intended to pinpoint an animal’s location after a disease is discovered.

Sweet deal, right?  Well, this internship can be yours once Ohlendorf reports to Spring Training.  Send in your application today!  Do keep in mind, however, that unlike Ohlendorf you’re probably not gonna also get to travel around with Michelle Obama talking up heathy eating during your time in DC.  Unless you can prove to the White House that you, too, can hurl a baseball 95 screaming miles per hour.

Unrequited love...

Unrequited love...

Oh, Michelle. How long will you scorn our love?

We name drop “Michelle LaVaughn Robinson ’85″ in every conversation and press release possible. We’ve enshrined your image in the sacred Yankee Doodle Tap Room. We’ve appointed you to the sociology department’s advisory board. We’ve hired Cornel West and started the Center for African American Studies… just for you! WHY WON’T YOU LOVE US?

What must we do for your acknowledgment–your blessing? Even a slight recognition would do. A mention of your alma mater in a national interview. A casual orange and black outfit whilst dropping off Sasha and Malia at Sidwell. Revelations about your love for tigers. A trip to Nassau, Bahamas, even. ANYTHING! We love you, but you’ve visited only once since 1985, and it was to ask us for money.

Continue reading…

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April 27, 2009 Issue

Michelle Obama ’85 didn’t like her time at Princeton. In her senior thesis, she wrote how she always felt she was “black first and a student second” because of

a white cultural and social structure that will only allow me to remain on the periphery of society … never becoming a full participant.

Almost 25 years later, do Obama’s observations still reflect what it’s like being an African American student at Princeton? Newsweek interviewed two multigenerational black families that attended Princeton, and their experiences show what “postracialism” actually means in today’s world.

Click here for the full Newsweek story and for video of Princeton students discussing race relations on campus today.