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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.
The two scenes are almost identical: both take place in the aftertaste of slam poetry, surrounded by smoky blacklight and boxed-in-bodies trembling to the rhythm of words, sounds, memories, and feelings.
“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.”
I felt like I’d been displaced, closed off from the real world. All that existed was the dark intimate space of this small theater. The night began with a trailer for the show, shown from a small screen in the corner. Scenes of death flashed by in fragments. A countdown announced both the elapsed time and the number of survivors left in the guest house. After 225 seconds, I was aware of a few things: The characters had gotten off a boat, they’d found their way into an empty mansion, they were being murdered one by one, and the murderer was someone among them. As someone who had never read “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, I was paralyzed in my seat.
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.
Escaping the confines of the Orange Bubble is always exciting, and even more so when your destination happens to be your favorite city. This past Sunday, I decided to take advantage of Princeton’s suspiciously cheap Broadway tickets and went to see “Wicked” in New York City.
And this is where I scared you off. Not consciously, because you still smile a genuine smile at me when you see me, but that little thing where I thought you noticed me too was extinguished. I expected too much from you, too fast. Instead of finding a way to deal with my mental health issues, I pinned my happiness on you.
Thanksgiving is a flurry of orange and red cornucopia cardboard cutouts stuck onto supermarket windows and kindergarteners waving turkey-themed arts and crafts at their parents. Thanksgiving, for us, began with Dranksgiving and ended with Cyber Monday, an almost weeklong period of absolute excess. It’s not just Princeton. Overeating and overspending are ubiquitous at this time of year.
The ballet is a staple of the winter season, telling the story of a young girl whose mysterious Christmas gift, the titular Nutcracker, whisks her on an adventure through a magical land of evil rats and dancing sugarplums. From Nov. 24 through 26, the American Repertory Ballet gave this show a home here in Princeton, New Jersey, on the McCarter Theatre’s stage.
As an international student I knew what Thanksgiving was before coming to the United States. I didn’t understand, however, the importance of the holiday (as far as family gatherings go) and was baffled by my American peers' insistence on going home for the holiday. This past Thanksgiving was my eighth since I first came to the United States as a student, and I have certainly had some diverse Thanksgivings that I think other international students might encounter.
You wish you’d spent more time savoring the collaboration of PPE, collaboration you, a soloist, hadn’t encountered before college. (There were no pianos in orchestra. Jazz was unheard of.) You wish you didn’t have to campaign alone and stand on the street handing out pamphlets trying to beckon people to come to your senior recital to offset the costs of renting the hall, like you do now. Then, everyone worked together. Posters in a flurry, profile pictures popping up all over the net.
Nick Marsh ’90 graduated from the University with a degree in history and no job. Today, the longtime entrepreneur is CEO of Chop’t Creative Salad Company, a quickly expanding casual restaurant chain that recently opened up its 51st shop in Princeton, N.J.
Fall break. For most, those two words evoke images of relaxation, catching up on TV, sleeping, visiting family, leaving midterm essays until the last possible second, and sleeping some more. It is essentially a week-long nap mixed with a frantic bingeing of “Stranger Things” season two.
I always thought I was good at improv. In class, I could win a debate on a topic I knew nothing about or improvise my way through a confrontation with a disgruntled voter when needed.
But when it comes to what’s important, sometimes you want a script. A script endlessly revised, reworked, tried out in different vocal registers, and said with different patterns of emphasis, all to get it just right. So it was on that truly, truly inopportune night when I decided it would be just right to confess to my best friend of several years that my feelings had stretched far beyond platonic.
Break kicked off in the most classically fall way possible: the green scenery was long gone, replaced by a spectrum of warm-colored leaves, and the long-awaited crispness in the air had finally arrived. It was the perfect weather to finally bundle up in your favorite sweater, cherish the end of midterms, and look forward to enjoying the objectively greatest season (this cannot be disputed). However, unless you haven’t been in New Jersey for long enough to know better by now, you probably suspected that the coming week was not about to be smooth-sailing autumn bliss.
Fall break generally brings feelings of joy and excitement at the prospect of flying home to reunite with family on the other side of the country. For me, fall break meant driving a town and a half over. My hometown, East Windsor, is only twenty minutes away from campus.
This week the Sexpert interviewed Margaret Nachtigall ’84, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist based in New York City. She majored in biology at Princeton and went to medical school at NYU. She did her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at NYU and then had a fellowship at Yale in reproductive endocrinology, and she was kind enough to answer some questions relevant to college students.