Thoughts from the Mod, Vol. III: Choosing a Successor

You could be the Chosen One.

You could be the Chosen One. Mod II.

There comes a point where every king must step down from the throne. Even our Glorious Mod.

Yes, all good things come to an end. However, as the late 90’s heartily affirmed, that means there’s also a new beginning! And this one could involve you! A tantalizing excerpt from a Mod interview:

You might think moderating during exams is therapeutic, but really, all it does is trick me into thinking I’ve accomplished something. Filing my taxes, updating my resume, and even folding my laundry all have similar effects. Assuming I make it to senior year, I’ll probably hold a “moderator bicker” during the fall semester so that PrincetonFML won’t be to blame for me being hopelessly behind on my thesis.

Um. In case you missed it:

“moderator bicker”

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In which we issue a correction.

UPDATE: After some discussion, we decided that our judgments were rather more unsophisticated and flippantly worded than we think desirable.  For example: We should probably make it clear that IvyGate doesn’t hate Princeton.  And we don’t hate IvyGate.  And BLOG WARS!!! are, like, totally lame.

I used to really like IvyGate.

Now, I won’t go so far as a lot of people who say “it sucks now.” I mean, I still read it, but it’s just not what it used to be. You might remember their coverage of Aleksey Vayner (still one of the more hilarious things to happen at an Ivy in recent history), or their coverage of pre-frosh Facebook groups. Just, lately, it seems it’s lost that spark, or that particular cheeky wit that used to really pull me in.

Or it could just be that the whole thing reads like a Yale playbook.

Alex Klein, a Yale sophomore who’s one of the site’s current editors, reports on even the most minute of Yalie news. It’s understandable we’re going to get in-depth coverage from a school an editor attends, but the fact remains that not everyone’s down to read the Yale elections’ nitty-gritty. (Also: Something about gnomes, half of which I don’t understand.)

So I kind of miss the good ol’ days of the Gate, because the Princeton coverage has been, let’s face it, a little disappointing lately. Like, after the Lawnparties acts’ announcement, IvyGate threw up this short post:

The Undergraduate Student Whatever over at Princeton just announced that none other than Jimmy Fallon’s backing band will be performing, next Sunday, at an event called… “Lawnparties.” At a club called… “Quadrangle.”

I’m not sure what this “means” but something “tells” me it’s being “sarcastic” without any indication “why.” Does IvyGate hate Princeton? I think IvyGate hates Princeton.

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PrincetonFML asks “How do you wipe?” and 500 of us respond

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As our own David Walter declared last week, if it’s April, it’s, um, Excretory Month here on The Ink. But, really, we’re just reflecting what seems to be a campus-wide airing of excretory-related issues–it’s not just us!

Case in point:

  • the Prince ran an editorial cartoon on the 14th about the cartoonist’s traumatic experience with a rogue 5 AM urinator
  • and PrincetonFML‘s poll last week asked the community “How do you wipe?”

I wanted to discuss the PrincetonFML “How do you wipe?” poll in particular because I was stunned (and horrified) by the apparent diversity of wiping methods out there. The poll is no longer up, sadly, but in case you missed it over 500(!) people responded to it. As of April 20th:

  • a plurality (41%) answered “Crumpled, front to back”
  • in close second (38%) was “Folded, front to back”
  • 13% replied “Folded, back to front”
  • and just 8% said “Crumpled, back to front”

For the past 22 years of my life, I believed in one supreme being (I think) and one butt-wiping method, but this poll caused me to question some of my core beliefs–who knew so many people wiped in so many different ways? The poll also seemed to spur wiping experimentation on campus, which, according to this PrincetonFML post, went terribly awry.

I’ll admit that I’m biased and prejudiced on this matter as I have my own preference, but was anyone else slightly horrified at the idea of butt-wiping “Crumpled, back to front”? Or rather, just “back to front” wiping in general? Wouldn’t such deeds–for both males and females–conceivably cause unspeakable havoc?

The authoritative-seeming (yes, it really exists) says the proper way is “from front to back.” So how do the 21% of Princeton folks who do the opposite explain themselves? (Seriously, I’d like to know.) Perhaps we can think of this post (and the comments section) as our own “Sustained Dialogue” on the sensitive, taboo subject of butt-wiping.

I know that I’ve recently had my own beliefs challenged on this issue. One friend informed me that he subscribes to the “back to front” school of wiping. When I questioned his ways, he retorted, “How is it horrifying if you are male?”

This gave me pause. Is it okay for men and women to wipe in different ways? Do the concerns of “back to front” butt-wiping not apply to men? Please. Let’s discuss this.

(N.B. This will be the last time I ever write about Excretory Month, rest assured!)

Breaking News: Princeton Deemed “Preppy” (!) by the Huffington Post

Our deepest aspirations... (source:

Our deepest aspirations... (source:

In HuffPo’s revelatory list of the nine preppiest colleges in the country posted on Wednesday, Princeton was rated—wait for it, wait for it—number two. If the only part of this tidbit that shocks you is the fact that Princeton was number two, you’re probably not alone.

So here’s the question I know you’re all asking: how did we miss the gold? Did the judges miscount Princeton’s population of seersucker shorts, pastel sundresses, and Docksiders? Perhaps not. In fact, HuffPo quotes James Axtell’s book The Making of Princeton University: From Woodrow Wilson to the Present, in which he called the “boat shoe” a “numinous symbol of Princeton.” And apparently, also according to Axtell, Princeton students even speak their own language: “Princeton patois.”

Hargadon Hall: the epitome of preppy? (image source:

Hargadon Hall: The epitome of preppy? Well, according to HuffPo, it is... (image source:

The gold went to Virginia’s Hampden-Sydney College, which The Preppy Handbook apparently calls “The finishing school for Southern gentlemen.” The list also included Duke, noted for its “prep band” amongst other preppy organizations; Trinity College, which HuffPo noted has been called the “epicenter of preppy partying in the Northeast” (should we take offense to that one, Princeton?); SMU, a choice HuffPo supports by citing the school’s line of Tag Heuer watches and soon-to-be George W. Bush Presidential Center; and Connecticut College, nicknamed, um, Abercrombie U.

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The Broadcast Center Wants You to Watch Live TV. Work Later.

[caption id="attachment_5694" align="alignleft" width="322" caption="Somewhere in this building is the Broadcast Center"]Snapshot 2010-04-18 13-56-17[/caption]

Not one to be bullied into actually attending Princeton events? Totally bummed that you can’t watch your fave TV shows live?

The Princeton University Broadcast Center has got your back. Tucked away somewhere in Lewis Library is a “high-definition audio and video recording studio” that gives you access to all the major television networks AND two “Princeton University Channels” that stream  those public lectures that you never made it out to McCosh for.  The channels stream live anywhere–all you gotta do is click here.

[caption id="attachment_5695" align="alignright" width="320" caption="These PLUS nine language channels!"]Snapshot 2010-04-18 14-02-10[/caption]

For some reason, Eddie Glaude, professor of religion & African American Studies totally <3s the Broadcast Center. Check out this intense/sort of scary video in which Glaude explains that the Broadcast Center lets us “do our work as public intellectuals” like never before.

images from

How Facebook Can Save the Dinky

Since learning in March that the Dinky may be replaced by a bus, University students and Borough residents have expressed both support and opposition. The latest from the nay-sayers is a “Save the Princeton Dinky” Facebook page. In only 9 days, 825 people have already joined, including students, community members, and even pre-frosh (“Class of 2014 for the Dinky!!!”).

So what are the protesters complaining about?

For some, it’s practical. They say that switching from rail to bus would be expensive or inefficient and that a bus would get stuck in traffic. They worry that a bus would be too small to accommodate rush hour hoards or to fit students with suitcases during breaks. They point out that trains are more environmentally friendly and that wooded areas would need to be cut down to make room for two buses to pass each other on the Dinky route.

But for others, it’s about nostalgia and the mystique of Princeton:

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Write, Sleep, Blog

clockOn March 28, an anonymous senior — fittingly anonymous, I should add, because in a way, he is every senior — set out to write a thesis.  His page count was zero, but his hopes were high: “This is gonna be an adventure!” he exclaimed.  His deadline?  Wednesday, April 7.

Thesis Pieces is his story.  And I promise you — it’s the second best blog you’ll read all day.

We follow the writer from mundanity (“Can’t write because my pen died.  Page count: 0/100”) to insanity (“I figured out a way to solve all my  thesis woes!  All I need to do is figure out a way to send a cyborg killing machine back in time!”).  We laugh when he laughs, we cry when he cries.

We don’t, however, sleep when he sleeps: “I slept two hours last… sleeping time,” he confesses.  “On a bench in Firestone.”

But from our comparatively well-rested perch we urge our hero onwards, willing him the strength to vanquish that greatest enemy of all: the ever-ticking clock.