Ever wondered what your room would have looked like in the 19th century?!

‘Tis the season for room draw!

Instead of engaging in some roommate drama with your dearest and nearest friends, check out what Spoon looked like in 1891.

Photo Courtesy of Princeton University Archive

That wallpaper though….Fire Safety was clearly way chiller in 1888.

This dorm is in East College(twin of West college, current home of East Pyne and mustached men in skinny jeans), home to two Butler brothers, two Pyne brothers, Charles Scribner, and many more.

Photo Courtesy of Princeton University Archive

Checking room draw times in 1950. Some things never change. 

Photo Courtesy of Princeton University Archives

Dormitory Rooms – Student; undated; Historical Photograph Collection, Campus Life Series, Princeton University Archives, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.










Name: Vivienne Chen / Natasha Japanwala
: 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…

Twelve Princeton students went to Washington DC this past weekend to join a roughly 1000-strong protest of the Keystone XL pipeline. Seven of those students zip tied themselves to the White House gates, along with roughly 400 other protesters, and were arrested. Nine Princeton students were arrested in total according to Mason Herson-Hord, a leader of the New Jersey contingent of the protest.

Courtesy of Dayton Martindale

During the course of a march from the Georgetown University campus to the White House students also acted out oil spills, according to Dayton Martindale ’15. They laid a black tarp on the ground and students wearing hazmat suits, including two Princeton students, laid down on the tarp. Two Princeton students were arrested for taking part in a mock oil spill in front of the White House. The group also staged a mock oil spill in front of Secretary of State John Kerry’s house.

Courtesy of Dayton Martindale

According to Martindale the students were zip-tied to the fence for roughly an hour before the police warned them and began arresting them, a process that took about four hours. Martindale was then handcuffed and taken to the police station, where he was put in a jail cell and almost immediately given the chance to pay fifty dollars and be released. If Martindale had not had the fifty dollars he would have had to get a court date and gone through tedious conventional legal processes, which he thinks demonstrates discrimination in the justice system.

Courtesy of Dayton Martindale

The protest aimed to send a message to President Obama, reminding him of promises he had made to fight for the environment and reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Courtesy of Dayton Martindale

“If they’re going to do something absurd like pursue an all of the above energy policy I’m going to do something absurd like chain myself to a fence,” Martindale said.


CORRECTION: This post has been amended to reflect the fact that nine Princeton students were arrested in total, not seven. Seven were arrested for zip tying themselves to the fence, and two more were arrested for participating in a mock oil spill.


Did you know you can print to cluster printers from your (smart)phone or tablet?

It’s true!

Who knows why it took so long for something like this to get up and running, but who cares? We have it now! For someone who had to reconfigure cluster printing every single time she started her computer (what’s up with that?), this is huge.

All you have to do is send your document(s) as attachments to mobileprint@princeton.edu, go to a cluster printer, and release the print job. It’s pretty much instant, and there’s no need to play the guessing game of whether it’s actually going to go through–you get an email confirmation, and it’s taken less than a minute to get the confirmation email each of the seven times I’ve used MobilePrint so far. Any text you include in the body of the message gets printed as a separate set of pages.

The only frustration that I’ve run into is that there’s no way to specify print preferences like number of sheets per page or page orientation, etc. But other than that it’s a pretty great.

This is what the confirmation email looks like.

Here’s OIT’s help page for MobilePrint if you need help figuring it out on your phone or tablet or have questions about what types of documents are supported (answer: pretty much anything you’d want to print).

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.

…..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?

Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archive


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 

Photo courtesy of Princeton University Archive


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.


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

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.

[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!

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.

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:



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.


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?

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:

A Princeton girl enjoys a banana. (taken from Princeton Bananas)

An A’peel’ing screenshot from the Facebook page