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Dr. Corina Tarnita is a professor and mathematical biologist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I was fortunate enough to have her last fall as my professor for the freshman seminar FRS 191: The Equations of Life. I recently met with her to ask some questions about her background and career.
Behind every work of theater on this campus, there’s somebody calling the shots. Someone who reigns over every creative detail from the moment the curtains open to the final bow. The puppetmaster, the head honcho, the “let’s run that scene one more time” guy — the director.
I recently began to journal, a decision that was motivated in part by the horror that accompanied the end of my first semester (where did four months even go?) and the borderline, mostly-for-dramatic-effect existential crisis that occurred soon after, but also in an effort to become a better writer. When my editors informed me that the theme of this week’s Street issue was ‘entry,’ my one-track mind and a strange rendition of the Baader-Meinhof effect immediately associated the word with journaling.
As sophomore art history majors in the Department of Art & Archaeology, Sarah Cho ’18 and Sarah Rapoport ’18 saw a need for more opportunities for undergraduate students to publish work in the field. As current seniors in the department, the two have successfully assembled a team of undergraduate students across multiple academic departments, as well as graduate students Annemarie Iker, Suzie Hermán, and Mostafa Heddaya to advise the journal. Titled “Kunstkammer,” a German word for “cabinet of curiosities,” the journal is meant to showcase work in the realm of art criticism and historical writing, as well as fine art submissions from a variety of academic institutions.
As a senior in the visual arts department, one of my three courses this spring is VIS 326: Pathological Color, taught by Professor Welling. The course allows students to experiment with color technologies in digital photography, and in our first seminar meeting we examined works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Ben Shahn, and Corita Kent that used psychedelic color in photographic and silk screen processes.
When I first saw you, you were nothing more than a stranger in the crowd . . . kind of like what you are to me now. You told me that when you first saw me, I stood out. I wonder if you’d even acknowledge me today. You told me what you wanted with me, something real, and that differed from what you had wanted in the past. I wanted to think that with me, it was different. I wasn’t like your other hook ups. I thought that I had changed you from your old ways, and for a while, I think I actually did.
[Cover photo: group cooking for the whole 11-person group]
The whirlwind of emotions and unfamiliar experiences felt by every college freshman makes it difficult to pause and reflect. Over Intersession, however, I took some time to look back on the past few months and realize just how much I’ve done and how much I love being a part of this energetic and talented community of people at Princeton. Here are the highlights of my freshman fall:
To those who know me, it’s no secret that I’m a champion of the personal day — sleeping in, watching movies, and only leaving the comfort of my room to retrieve coffee (or the occasional cheese pizza). Days like this are meant to prioritize lifestyle and personal well-being amid unrealistic expectations and wintertime blues, though it’s a choice that typically translates to: It’s more difficult for me to finish my homework because I’ve been busy watching a documentary about Irish pubs or reading "Rosemary’s Baby" with a box of Cheerios by my side. Though it took over two years of passing up social events and Netflix episodes for another few hours of idle studying, I eventually realized that my failure to make time for leisure and mental health was far worse than the prospect of getting a B grade.
Pre-Super Bowl Thoughts: Friday, January 26
On Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, the Undergraduate Student Government Social Committee hosted the first ever Jingle Ball Concert Giveaway in the Frist Gallery during late meal hours! The giveaway was for four floor seats at the Jingle Ball Philadelphia the very next day, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.
In my first article for The Street, “Lost,” I wrote about getting and feeling lost on an early autumn campus shrouded in mystery, its trees still holding onto their leaves, everything full of promise. Now, as winter approaches, everything becomes familiar, shrouded in memory instead. “In the beginning, I got lost all the time,” Lucy Zhang ’21 in Mathey said to me recently over lunch. “Now, I can’t get lost even if I try to.”
One Friday afternoon in late October, Jeff Whetstone, a professor in the visual arts department, was stationed in the Digital Learning Lab on the first floor of Lewis Library, sitting in a swivel chair with his black leather boots kicked off for comfort.
No one pays attention to the group of dancers gathered in the rafters at first, until four members of diSiac Dance Company vault through the aisles of the Berlind Theater pumping their arms to Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow.”
While we all share an excitement for the start of a much-deserved winter break this Friday, the traditions we will enjoy over the holidays are vastly different. This sense of diversity is the cornerstone of the Princeton experience. I, for example, have learned so much about the Judaism thanks to my roommate, Malka Himelhoch ’21, who is a member of the vibrant Jewish community on campus. She shared with me the details surrounding Hanukkah and specifically how her family celebrates this joyful holiday.
When I was little, my dad used to tell me several stories about my grandpa's time in the Army, but one stuck with me the most. Sometime in the 1940s, he was helping two tribes negotiate peace in the mountain ranges of Oaxaca. After a few weeks of negotiations, the two factions reached an agreement and planned a celebratory banquet. My grandfather, as negotiator, was the guest of honor and received the first plate of food. Much to his surprise, the main course he was offered turned out to be cooked monkey brains and other assorted organs. Not wanting to take the risk of insulting the hosts and destroying the work he and the heads of the tribes had achieved, he dug into his food. He was bedridden for the next week …
When I first walked into the Class of 1970 Theater in Whitman, I was 15 minutes too early, and I thought I had stumbled onto a cult. The theater was tiny, less than 50 seats, and everyone was speaking Chinese. As I commented to a friend of mine, “I feel like I’ve been transported back to China.”
I didn’t even notice you for a few months.
“I remember what it feels like to dance. To move so freely that my body releases and creative intuition takes over, leading me beyond the worry of executing technique to a realm where nothing exists but the movement, the music, the emotions. I miss those memories of freedom, but they are embedded in my mind and my body. I can replay them whenever I wish.”