A helpful guide on getting back into the grind:
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A helpful guide on getting back into the grind:
My MacBook and I have a very exclusive relationship and see a lot of each other. As a 21-year-old college student at an Ivy League university, I am hardly ever without my laptop. When not writing notes by hand in class, reading a physical book, out with friends, eating, or sleeping, my MacBook is within arm’s reach, usually open. My life revolves around a glowing metal box. But my metal box looks unique. I like to dress it up and show it off.
Nothing makes a new year first feel real quite like a trip from Labyrinth, feeling the weight of the semester’s responsibilities literally settle on my shoulders. By the end of my freshman year, the initial thrill and motivation of receiving my first coursebooks had dried up — I didn’t totally feel I was learning for myself anymore. At Princeton, we all need ways of reminding ourselves why we do what we do, and, even more so, why we love it. As an English/humanities student, it’s easy to make a chore out of something that’s given me joy my whole life — reading.
Hello sweeties! Auntie J back from her long-awaited summer break, eager to hear all about what you got up to on your breaks.
“The Incorruptible Body,” a senior thesis exhibition by Angélica María Vielma ’18, is currently on view in Hurley Gallery at the new Lewis Center for the Arts through Saturday, April 14. An art and archeology major, Vielma has taken courses in photography, sculpture, product design, and environmentally minded art.
Presenting: a real-life, entirely crowdsourced University to-do list, in all its strangeness, sadness, and glory.
I remember that white tent. I remember those orange folders, those packets of potential classes, workshops, tours, performances. I remember clutching my complimentary drawstring bag like a shield, draping my lanyard around my neck as if to scream to the world, “I’m new here, and I have no idea which direction I’m walking in.”
As someone with an unhealthy relationship with my own body, I go out of my way to avoid body positivity conversations. Just the thought of being recognized as someone who isn’t skinny is very stressful to me. And over the years, I’ve grown to hate and be very harsh on myself. So yeah, body positivity talks don’t inspire or empower me or cause me to suddenly love myself. And I didn’t feel inspired by this one either. However, this talk had a deep impact on me. Hearing Jessamyn Stanley — who, by the way, is a boss — talk about her experience as a fat woman practicing yoga was a huge wake-up call to me.
Though winter and spring seem to be playing a sick game of hide-and-seek, “thesis season” is no doubt upon us (and unaltered by Mother Nature’s on-again, off-again sense of control). For seniors in the visual arts department, however, “thesis season” refers to the entire spring semester, with some thesis shows happening as early as the last week in February and continuing through the first week in May. To accommodate solo exhibitions for each senior in the program, some students show during the same week, utilizing exhibition spaces at 185 Nassau Street, now the main headquarters for the Department of Visual Arts, as well as Hurley Gallery, an added venue for exhibiting seniors since the opening of the new Lewis Center for the Arts this year.
I settled into my balcony seat at McCarter Theater Saturday night on the promise of “a joyous musical celebration,” and “Crowns” delivered in unexpected ways. The musical, which features an entirely black cast, opens with the main character, Yolanda, rapping about her neighborhood of Englewood, Chicago — a home she had been ripped away from following the death of her brother, Teddy. Yolanda’s hip-hop expression starkly differentiates her from the gospel music of her old-fashioned, Southern, church-going, hat-bearing grandmother named Mother Shaw, with whom she reluctantly moves in. As the two painstakingly overcome the gulf between them, their modes of musical expression gradually converge in a way that can only be described as “joyous.” Bringing hip-hop into this reimagined version of an early-2000’s McCarter Theatre hit keeps the story rich, contemporary, and sharp.
Journalism is no stranger to April Fools’ Day and its traditions. Indeed, April 1 invokes a long tradition of journalists’ publishing hoax stories to trick readers and listeners. By the early 20th century, the phenomenon had already firmly entrenched itself into the American reporting tradition.
For me, this spring break somehow manifested itself as an unexpected exploration of the concept of the “strong female character” through the centuries. This all began Saturday night with a family trip to see Swan Lake, one of the most popular ballets (written in the late 19th century) which I used to watch constantly on TV as a young girl (although I preferred the animated movie version, The Swan Princess, which came out in 1994 and attempts something more of a feminist spin). In this version, when the prince is initially asked why he wants to marry Odette, he says “because she’s beautiful” and then “what else is there” after the priest deems his response unsuitable, to Odette’s horror. She leaves him, only for them to reunite when he saves her from her fate as a swan. Perhaps this turn of events dampens the strength of Odette’s earlier choice. Still, the original ballet portrays Odette as having no choices as opposed to one; she falls in love with the prince, is held captive by the evil Von Rothbart, the prince must save her, and that is that. Her beauty and grace are her only attributes, although as a ballet those attributes take priority. Yet we can’t help but feel bad for her, almost as if she has failed to live up to her potential; we don’t get to know Odette as her own person because her actions serve merely to either entice the prince or show displeasure at her captivity. She is trapped in her role both within the story and as a female character in a classic fairy tale, which selects her as an object to win and as peripheral to the prince.
In a somewhat unusual fashion, Dick Bush ’18 took a break from the computer and headed to the basketball court for his Operations Research and Financial Engineering senior thesis, setting out to quantify what National Baseball Association announcers refer to as a player’s “clutch performance.” Clutch is the ability of players to perform well in the final — and often game-deciding — minutes of the game. This is ever-important in the NBA, as 35 percent of games are within five points in the last three minutes. Announcers seem to be incessantly talking about the clutch performance of legendary players, but Bush noted that this is completely based on their individual memory of amazing buzzer beaters rather than an objective measure. He parsed the play-by-play reports from 15 years’ worth of games to create a database which, combined with an algorithm that he made, measures what he calls “clutch factor.” Look out for this amazing new measure on the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network stat pages!