21 Questions with…William Grear ’20

William “Will” Grear is a freshman from Wakefield, RI who wowed the Jazz Department at Princeton University with his renowned trumpet and piano skills. Will chose to attend Princeton for its academic programs and music department.

Will performed with the Princeton University Creative Large Ensemble on Dec. 6, 2016, where he played solo pieces in front of a large crowd in Richardson Auditorium at Alexander Hall.

University Press Club sat down with Will to learn more about his music, his interests and his guilty pleasures.

  • When did you start playing music?

I started playing when I was 5. I saw my mom playing classical piano and I thought it was pretty cool so I asked her if I could take lessons. I’ve been playing since then. Music has taken me to Nashville and other places to do some pretty cool stuff.

  • How good are you actually?

I’m pretty good..I’m like not bad. There’s no sense in pretending you’re worse than you actually are or in flaunting your skills, but when people ask you, it’s worth telling them. So yeah..I’m pretty good. On a scale of 1 to 22, I’d say I’m a 15. Herbie Hancock is a 23.

  • Best band name of all time?

The World Is A Beautiful Place and I’m No Longer Afraid To Die. Real band, I promise.

  • Who are your musical inspirations?

Herbie Hancock, because he’s my favorite piano player and Ezra Koenig, because he has a lot of respect for artistry and has figured out a way to work within the music industry and also preserves the agency of his band. He’s also maintained his voice while being really successful in reaching a big audience. He’s someone who’s balanced a love for learning and academics with being intellectually and socially conscious while pursuing an artistic career.

  • Who’s the most musically talented person you personally know?

I don’t know if I can answer that really…they’re just random people who are friends of mine. I’ve just met so many young people my age throughout the years who blow my mind.

  • When/where do you usually practice?

I usually practice piano in my room during downtime and I don’t practice trumpet on my own because I rehearse 4 hours a week with the jazz ensemble. Because I play the trumpet in a big band setting, I don’t need to have my chops at a high level so it’s been easier to limit my practice time for that. Piano is something I’ve always been able to practice on my own.

  • Who are your favorite Princetonians?

Cornel West…I was in his seminar and it was sick. Also Norman Thomas,  Sonia Sotomayor and Michelle Obama. I don’t really know any other Princetonians.

  • What music-related item do you find most annoying?

The viola! It sounds horrible.

  • Advice for up and coming musicians?

Place an emphasis on musical theory. You can always learn the technical skills of an instrument but you should learn musical theory while you’re in an academic context. Comprehensive theory is the best way to approach songwriting or rock or jazz. It’s the best way to get out of pop chord progressions and get into creative music.

  • Why did you spend 9 months in Brazil before your freshman year?

For shits and giggles.

  • Favorite pre-concert snack?

Air. No sugar or salt with that.

  • If you could play music with one musician, dead or alive, who would it be?

I’d have to say Miles Davis. He set the standard multiple times for the style of improvisation that’s been prominent in jazz for the past 50 years. It would be pretty cool to play with a guy who invented that. Also, he played jazz like me and is cool.

  • What are the chances I can become a renowned jazz musician?

Quite low. Slim to none. Stick to finding a desk job at McKinsey.

  • In one sentence, what do you usually do all day?

I care about a couple of things and a few people but I lol at most things.

  • What songs make you laugh? Cry?

Cry: Time to Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli

Laugh: Any song by The Lonely Island, The Flight of the Conchords, Coldplay’s entire discography and Sorry by Justin Bieber.

  • Guilty music pleasure?

You Found Me – The Fray

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I can only see 4 years into the future thanks to my 2020 vision.

  • When’s bedtime? When do you get up?

Now. I get up at 10:33 AM usually. Sometimes PM.

  • Princeton bucketlist?

Graduate and make Chris Eisgruber say something thought provoking.

  • Favorite musical note? Why?

A flat. Because it’s God’s key.

  • How did you like this interview?

It was fine. Quite loly. I’m going to go play the piano now.


Check out Will’s high school band, S. Walcott: 



21 Questions with Princeton Tonight Host, Jordan Salama

Jordan Salama is a freshman from Pelham, NY and the co-founder and host of Princeton Tonight, Princeton’s first student-run broadcast television series.

Princeton Tonight’s first episode features a studio performance and interview with Mike DelGuidice, Billy Joel band member. You can watch it on February 27th at 8pm on cable TV (Channel 7 in Princeton) or on YouTube. Salama promises there will be an original theme song.

University Press Club sat down with Salama, the next Stephen Colbert, to learn more about his show, his bedtime, and his mortal enemy.


pc: Princeton Tonight Facebook page

What do you like about TV?

I love to tell stories. When a story can be seen and not just heard, it takes on a real-life aspect.

How did you get started?

In high school, I had a talk show called the Pelican Brief. I started this show hoping that one day I could interview James Taylor. Then I worked for Inside Amy Schumer during my senior year of high school.

Princeton Bucket List?

Travel on Princeton’s dime. Sled down Whitman hill. Interview James Taylor. That hasn’t happened yet.

TV Inspirations?

SNL. I love John Stewart and Stephen Colbert.  Jimmy Fallon. Seth Meyers. All the talk shows.

What do you actually do all day?

Watch soccer, play soccer, and think about Princeton Tonight.

Tell me more about Princeton Tonight.

It’s an interview-based variety show. It has a main interview component, but, for example, the first episode is going to have a sketch comedy component to it as well. We interview guests from off and on-campus. Each show is 20-25 minutes long. We also have the guests do a university-wide event to give back to the University, like the Mike DelGuidice event. It’s run by 25 students, mostly freshmen and no seniors, through Princeton Broadcast Center.

What was that event like?

I’m a big Billy Joel fan, and I used to see Mike perform all the time in Long Island in the summer. When [Mike] was picked up by the Billy Joel band, it was a big publicity thing. I knew he really liked giving back to schools, and I sent him a Facebook message asking him to perform at Princeton and do a show for us.

Mike was amazing. He held a concert and master class. He can play any song you ask him to play. He could sound just like Paul Simon. He did a duet with a student on the piano, and he sounded exactly like Elton John. He did the Piano man as his last song and asked the crowd to sing along.

What’s coming up next on Princeton Tonight?

Khalil Muhammad from Amy Schumer’s show (Inside Amy Schumer) is going to do his one-man show, “Pryor Truth,” a tribute to Richard Pryor. That’s February 26th. John Caglione Jr., the make-up artist who created the Joker’s look and the SNL Coneheads, reached out to us. He’s going to be on the show in April. We’re also doing one with Emmanuel Udotong, a Princeton freshman who started a multinational company dedicated to providing support for struggling entrepreneurs in Africa.

How is Princeton Tonight different than All-Nighter?

All-Nighter is very Princeton-oriented in terms of guests and we are trying to produce our show for a more general audience. And then we are broadcast on cable television and all our content is pre-recorded, while All-Nighter is more centered around the live event show.

Where will be you be in 25 years?

Having fun with whatever I’m doing.

Who is your mortal enemy?

The German National Soccer Team. Every player on it.

What is the best meal you’ve eaten at Princeton?

The Brooklyn slice at Princeton Pie. In New York they call it a grandma slice. I don’t know what they do to it, but it’s so good.

How did you celebrate your last birthday?

I went to Louie and Ernie’s Pizza in the Bronx with my parents.

What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?

Driven 45 miles through a snowstorm in a Prius.

Are you a dictator or laissez-faire leader?

Neither. I’m a fair leader but I want to get things done. I co-founded the group with Ryan Ozminkowski ’19. I am the creative and production side, and he does business and logistics. We make a good team.

What hangs over your bed?

A dead guy. Pause. The vent above my bed has been dripping all year with some kind of red liquid. We joke it’s a dead body.

What word do you overuse the most?


What makes you laugh?

Everything. I laugh too much.

What makes you cry?

 When Argentina loses in soccer. I’m Argentinian.

Guilty pleasure?

Cry Baby Tears Sour Candy. It’s not like sour patch kids. I’ve only found them at Five Below.

When’s bedtime?

9:30. I try.


The first episode of Princeton Tonight will air on February 27th at 8 pm. There will be a viewing party in East Pyne, you can watch on Cable TV, or on YouTube.





21 Questions with… Anna Aronson ’16





Name: Anna Aronson

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Major: Sociology

Eating Club/Res College Affiliation: Tower/ Rocky


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

I rehearse for plays and eat desserts.

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

My dad. And also my friend Charlotte’s really cute grandpa.

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

Tower makes these incredible chocolate desserts called crazy squares and I like to make a meal out of them when given the opportunity.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?

I have so many…it’s hard for me think of a pleasure that I’m not embarrassed by. Two of my worst are Everyday With Rachael Ray and the Kardashians’ Snapchat stories.

What distinguishes All-Nighter With Anna Aronson from All-Nighter with Elliot Linton and All-Nighter with David Drew?

All of the fundamental segments of the show have remained consistent, but my host persona is a little different from those of my predecessors. And Lauren Frost is a mind-blowingly funny new co-host. She’s written incredible stuff for the show since the David days, but now All-Nighter’s audience gets to see her perform.

Another important distinguishing factor about our season is that Lauren and I both play ukulele. We haven’t tapped into our duet potential yet, but once we do, we’re really gonna take the show to the next level.

Who is the funniest person you know?

My grandma, but her humor is inadvertent.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?

A really generic poster of the Brooklyn Bridge. Like the stock photo that comes up when you do a Google search of Brooklyn. I’ve distressed it to convince people that it’s authentic.

In 25 years, you will be…

Cuddling with my children, eating Nutella, watching Planet Earth.

What is one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?

I’m obsessed with outer space! I studied it pretty thoroughly as a kid, and although I retained basically nothing that I learned, it still feels like Christmas when I get to visit a planetarium.

Where is your favorite/least favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot is the bench right in front of Murray Dodge. My least favorite spot right now is the same place because it’s undergoing some really loud construction.

What is your biggest fear?


What is the most dangerous thing you’ve done in the past year?

I’m pretty embarrassingly risk averse. The most dangerous thing I’ve done this year was probably ignoring an expiration date.

What makes you laugh? Cry?

I’m not proud of it, but people falling down makes me laugh harder than anything else. And I cry when people achieve their dreams.

When’s bedtime?

Between 1 and 2am.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at Princeton?

I learned from my freshman seminar that the evolutionarily ideal mating system for human beings is monogamy with adultery because it allows women to procreate with the most virile males while living with the ones who can nurture their children. “The best of both worlds,” according to my professor. It’s a really handy excuse for girls who are bored in their relationships.

What do you love most about Princeton?

I love how the students use their time. They don’t waste it, as I’m inclined to. You’ll hear a friend talk about binge-watching Homeland for 10 hours and then find out that it was actually part of an extra credit assignment for Western Way of War or something.

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

I’d change the misconception that Princeton isn’t an artistic place. It abounds with arts resources and opportunities to be creative in both curricular and extracurricular capacities. I wish we could find a way to debunk the myth that Princeton is only a springboard for a career in consulting.

If you could tell your freshman self one thing, what would it be?

The friendships you make at Cloister on your first night of Frosh week will be the most meaningful ones.

What is your favorite/least favorite part about being the host of All-Nighter?

My favorite thing is getting to pick the guests that we invite on the show (with the help of the rest of the team, which includes Colleen Baker, Maddy Cohen, Vivien Bazarko, and Lauren Frost). The purpose of All-Nighter, as stated by its founders, is to introduce the members of its audience to brilliant and talented Princetonians whom they might not otherwise meet. I feel really privileged to get to influence those introductions. My least favorite thing is watching the video footage because my face contorts itself in horrible ways when I speak.

What makes someone a Princetonian?  

An acceptance letter and a high tolerance for Halloween colors.

What’s one question you wish we had asked and answer it.

Have you ever streaked on Princeton’s campus?

Yes, three times.

21 Questions with… Clayton Raithel ’12


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.

21 Questions With…Patrick Roche ’14


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”: 

21 Questions With…Liz Lian ’15


Name: Liz Lian

Age: 21

Hometown: Chester, NJ

Major: Anthropology

Eating Club/Res College/Affiliation: Ivy/Mathey

What is WICK, and why did you found it?
WICK is the answer to the everyday problems the modern lady faces when she’s getting dressed to go out. Say she wants to wear a dress with a low back but doesn’t have or doesn’t want to wear a sticky bra. Or the skirt she’s wearing reveals VPL (visible panty line), or the party she’s about to attend is sure to be packed with red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere, and she knows a regular shirt will get spilled on our sweat through. That’s where WICK comes in.

We (I started the company with my friend from high school and current UPenn student, Sanibel Chai) started WICK to make clothes with the goal of making these dilemmas a thing of the past. Our dresses, skirts, and tops are made from performance activewear fabric that you would wear to work out or do yoga, so they dry off quickly when you sweat and won’t cling uncomfortably. Plus, we’ve designed them with function in mind. Our skirts and some dresses include pockets to hold your phone, cards, cash, keys, etc. We’ve built in bras and shorts in pieces that need them so our wearers can stay safely covered. Everything is professionally and originally designed and totally machine washable, so you’ll still look great but won’t have to worry about dry-cleaning.

Where did the name, “WICK,” come from?
I read somewhere that the lady who started Spanx read that the hard “k” sound was supposed to sound catchy and funny, so we took a page out of her book and went with something that also had a hard “k” sound. So thanks, Spanx lady.

Are you planning on making menswear as well?
Based on the conversations I’ve had with a lot of guys about WICK, WICK for men is in high demand! I would love to try it out in the future, because men definitely need an alternative to the sweat-unfriendly cotton button-down shirt, but until then, our focus is on womenswear.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real of fictional?
Jack Donaghy. I wish he could mentor me.

What’s the best meal you ever had at Princeton?
Some friends and I have treated ourselves at Mistral a couple times, and the food and company are always excellent.

In one sentence, what is it you actually do all day?
Convince myself that I can have it all.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Dropping lavish sums on bath products at Marshalls.

What is your biggest fear?
Getting trampled, and monkeys. I never thought about it until now, but getting trampled by monkeys would be pretty awful too.

What is the most dangerous thing you’ve done in the past year?
As I was answering the 7th question in this questionnaire, I saw a spider on my desk, captured it with a plastic cup, then slipped and fell down as I was taking the spider cup outside. Luckily, the spider remained in the cup and I managed to safely return it to the great outdoors, but who knows what could have happened if it had gotten out. Seven questions later, I am still feeling the adrenaline rush.

What makes you laugh? Cry?
Laugh: My own jokes. Cry: Videos of soldiers coming home to their families and dogs. Also, tears of pride thinking about my friends going after their dreams and doing their own thing and watching them succeed.

What’s your favorite piece of unconventional clothing?
All my WICK clothes, of course!

When’s bedtime?
I usually aspire to 12:30ish, but end up actually going to bed much later. I’m trying to become a morning person, though. It’s rough.

Where do you do your best thinking?
In my bed or driving in my car.

When do you do your best thinking?
In the wee hours when I’m trying to fall asleep.

What is hanging over your bed/desk?
Over my bed: paper cutout letters strung together to spell out, “WICK: THE NO STRESS BLACK DRESS.” Over my desk: a Miley Cyrus bandana that I bought at her 2009 Wonder World tour.

What do you like most about Princeton?
Free laundry and printing, the accessibility of the facilities, how close it is to home, Frist, the supportive and ambitious people I’ve encountered.

What do you like least about Princeton?
When people (myself not excluded) complain about the problems in our social and organizational structures but don’t take the initiative to change them, when people are inconsiderate of shared spaces, raising your hand to participate in a class discussion, the overuse of the non-word “interesting.”

What are your plans for this summer?
I’m still figuring out the details, but I’ll definitely be working on WICK.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at Princeton?
I learned recently that there’s never really going to be a “right” time to start doing something, whether it’s starting a business, starting a new routine, pursuing a music career, or putting on a play. No one is going to tell you, “Okay, the universe is ready for you, it’s your time!” You kind of just have prepare yourself as best you can, even if you don’t feel prepared at all, and go for it.

Where is your favorite spot on campus?
Tie between Frist and the back porch of Ivy on a warm, sunny day.

In 25 years you will be…
Reading this on a hologram in my hybrid house, chuckling about how little I knew back then.

21 Questions With…the 2014 Dale Fellows










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…

Q&A with The Princeton Horse

Princeton Horse and President Tilghman at Graduation 2013


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.

21 Questions with David Remnick ’81


 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?

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.

21 Questions With … Luc Cohen ’14


Name: Luc Cohen
Age: 20
Major: Wilson School
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Eating Club/Residential College: Terrace / Whitman

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
Delete the massive amounts of spam comments the ‘Prince’ website gets. Distinguishing between a bootleg Gucci salesperson and an average ‘Prince’ troll is harder than it may seem.

What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
Skins. UK version.

What are your plans for the ‘Prince’?
To enhance our online strategy and make sure we’re prepared for the launch of our redesigned website (!!) later this year. Also, to improve long-term, enterprise reporting in all sections of the paper.

What were you doing right before you started filling this out?
Twiddling my thumbs waiting for my 21 questions to arrive, as I have been since I was elected in December.

Favorite thing about yourself?
I can hacky sack pretty well.

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla, for ice cream. Chocolate for candy or anything else.

What is your biggest fear?
Missing a good story, or learning of it too late.

Top three things on your Princeton bucket list?
Go to the Grad College tower, eat a late-meal quesadilla at least one more time, and publish important stories that people wouldn’t have heard otherwise.

If your life were a movie, what would be the theme song?
“No Surrender.”

What’s the most dangerous thing you’ve done in the past year?
Probably getting on a motorcycle taxi through a neighborhood in Rio with steep, windy roads. Isaac Lederman ’15 was on the one in front of me, and his crashed into a car. He was fine though, and he got his 2 reais back.

Are you a morning person?
What’s a morning?

When was the last time you cried?
When Andy Roddick lost to Del Potro in the U.S. Open last year, his last match ever.

Role model?
See above.

Favorite movie?
Pirates of the Caribbean.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten at Princeton?
Terrace Mexican night, every Friday.

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed?
The front pages of the ‘Prince’ Homecoming issue, the Election issue, the Tilghman issue, and the issue with the Michelle Obama article.

If you could receive any gift, what would it be?
A lifetime supply of hummus, and anything (carrots, Wheat Thins, etc.) I can dip in it.

What are your pet peeves?
People who respond to the question, ‘Where are you from?’ with ‘Near New York City.’

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at Princeton?
That the CIA considered contracting the mafia to carry out the Bay of Pigs operation. Buried in a memoir I was reading for my JP last semester.

In 25 years, you will be…
Elated, because the Mets will have won a World Series in my lifetime.

What makes someone a Princetonian?
The ability to direct a lost tourist from the depths of the junior slums to the art museum.


21 Questions With… The Anonymous Dean’s Date Poster Maker



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?

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…

21Questions with…Alec Egan ’13


Name: Alec C. Egan
Hometown: Abilene, Texas
Major: History
Club and Residential College Affiliation: The Illustrious Cap and Gown Club and The Woodrow Wilson College of Destiny

What did you do this past summer? Bench, Squat, Clean.

Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional? Dr. Jon Osterman

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton? Lamb BLT and an Oatmeal Cookie Stout from Triumph

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day? Run head first into things, sometimes school work, sometimes food, sometimes doors, but mostly people.

Favorite spot in Cap? Kegerator

What club did you think you’d be in as a freshman and why? Cottage

What is your greatest guilty pleasure? Restaurant Impossible

If you could change one thing about Princeton, what would it be? Proximity to fast food

What’s hanging above your desk and/or bed? Texas Flag

What is your biggest fear? Global shortage of steak

Favorite class you’ve taken? Toss up between SOC 250: Western Way of War and HIS 400: Winston Churchill, Anglo-America and the Special Relationship

What’s your drink? Whiskey-Dr. Pepper

What’s your personal anthem? Fat-Bottomed Girls

Who is your mortal enemy? Walter Snook

When’s bedtime? I’ll sleep when I’m dead

Best memory in your club? Kitchen Parties

Worst memory in your club? Well if I remembered it, it wouldn’t be the worst

Which club do you frequent the most besides your own? Cottage, Cloister and Cannon.

In 25 years, you will be… either in the white house or a white castle

What makes someone a Cap member? Food obsession, conversation proliferation, and love of relaxation

What makes someone a Princetonian? “We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us” – Winston Churchill