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For me, a fair part of the past year has been spent wondering what would signal a return to normalcy from the COVID-19 pandemic. Would it be the last patient taken off a ventilator and walking out of the ICU? Would it be a certain number of people vaccinated? Would it be the day all public health restrictions are lifted, and we can once again fill stadiums and theaters and bars without worry?
If Zach Wahls GS ’18 hadn’t gotten out of babysitting duty and Chloe Angyal ’09 hadn’t been assigned to blogging duty a few days later, they wouldn’t have been meeting with a wedding planner moments before their interview with The Daily Princetonian ten years later.
I only learned the meaning of the word “hospice” once I was in the Hospice of Cincinnati’s lobby, sitting in a chair too big for my 12-year-old body as I read a Wikipedia article only one hallway away from my dying, cancer-ridden dad.
Back when I was procrastinating on my midterm exams, as a Princeton student should, I came across not one but multiple TikToks that featured Le Creuset cookware. I wasn’t particularly upset with this discovery, since I’ve considered Le Creuset items, especially the Dutch ovens, to be very nicely designed — even pretty, in a very homey way. Even better, the TikToks paired the different color options Le Creuset offers with images of matching interior designs. Overall, they were very enjoyable to watch — a nice change of pace from the comedy, dance, and relationship content that seems to be the most prevalent on the app.
On the last Saturday of September, as I was driving out from Costco on my way to Kroger, I saw a man holding a sign — only one lane of traffic away — asking for help. I was driving fast enough that I couldn’t fully read the man’s sign, and before I could do much else, I was already on the intersection’s other side.
David Remnick ’81, who concentrated in comparative literature, has been editor of The New Yorker since 1998. He joined the magazine as a staff writer in 1992.
P.G. Sittenfeld ’07 (D) has been a member of the Cincinnati City Council since 2011, when he became the youngest person ever elected to the body. In July, he announced his campaign for Mayor of Cincinnati; the election will occur in Nov. 2021.
Michelle Obama, who concentrated in Sociology, spent eight years as the United States’ first African American first lady, beginning with the 2008 election of her husband, President Barack Obama. Since leaving the White House, Obama’s profile and influence have only grown, and 2020 has been no exception.
As August slipped away and the first day of classes approached, I spent a good deal of time searching for that start-of-the-semester energy that typically imbues everything, even the most mundane activities, with excitement, if also a small apprehension at the academic tasks ahead. A week beforehand, it was quite underwhelming to think that the only thing different about Aug. 31 would be waking up just slightly earlier to log on to Canvas and click on a Zoom link instead of aimlessly switching between my phone’s apps.
On a particularly warm July morning, I interviewed Alexander P.G. Sittenfeld ’07 — who is currently running to be Cincinnati’s next mayor — for my summer internship. With Sittenfeld being a Princeton alumnus, our conversation at one point turned to the University’s July announcement of a partially virtual semester. Like many other community members I’ve talked to these past months — especially other alumni — he offered his condolences for the lost time on campus while, of course, acknowledging all of the other, much more terrible losses people have endured this year. I don’t recall my entire response, but I do remember suggesting this year was full of losses on many different levels, all deserving at least some of our attention and care.
I first encountered TikTok last summer on YouTube from a video compilation of posts that all used the same sound. For those not yet familiar with TikTok, one of the features of this social media platform is the ability to take the sound from other users’ posts and reuse it in your own. The compilation I found featured posts all using the song “My Brother’s Gay and That’s Okay!” from Comedy Central’s “The Other Two.” The compilation most likely appeared in my YouTube feed due to the fact that I had just recently streamed the first season of this new TV series, and the algorithms behind social media got to work.
I had forgotten the joy I received from checking out books from the library. When I was in kindergarten, we were only allowed to take one book from the school library each time my class went, and we were only able to take the book from the library to the classroom. When my teacher announced sometime in January of that year that we would now be allowed to take our library books home, I was thrilled. I was at that school until eighth grade, and as the years went by, the library rules relaxed around things such as the number of books we could check out at once. And I took advantage of that library as much as I possibly could. Yet something changed when I arrived at my high school. The first time I tried to check out a book from my high school’s library, I wasn’t able to do so because I wasn’t yet in the system. As coursework and extracurriculars took center stage in my life, I never really returned to the library — at least not to check out a book. It also didn’t help that everything at my high school was either online or had to be purchased.
By Wednesday morning my microeconomics midterm exam had been postponed just before it was scheduled to start, and all I wanted to do was go somewhere to let out all my frustration with this week. I wanted to go to the middle of Poe Field and yell until my vocal cords could produce only silence. I wanted to teleport to my dog at home and just nap while holding onto her. I wanted to take my microeconomics midterm exam as scheduled and just absolutely crush it more than I had ever wanted to take any other exam in my life. I wanted my biggest worries this week to be intertemporal budget constraints and whether the salvation of bears is a normal good just like they had been about a week ago.
“I am exhausted,” I said to every person who asked how I was doing during the first week and a half of the semester. Naturally, the question-askers wanted to know why I was exhausted, and my answer was simple: the Princeton Triangle Club’s 2020 tour of “Once Uponzi Time.”
Prospect staff writer José Pablo Fernández García ’23 sat down with Zach Zimmerman ’10 after his second performance of Clean Comedy at McCarter Theater Center. A stand-up comedian who has recently performed at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is about to embark on his 2020 Gay But Not Too Fabulous national tour, Zimmerman discussed his journey as a performing artist and the Princeton experience.
One of the biggest questions on my mind these days has revolved around the idea of “home,” especially as I’ve been making the transition to college. Many people might not hesitate to say where their true home is; they spend their entire lives in or near their place of birth. But for me, it’s never really been easy. I was born in Mexico City and lived there until I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of four. I have lots of family and other long-standing relationships connecting me to Mexico, but I don’t have any memories of it being my home. On the other hand, my entire childhood is based in Ohio, but I don’t really have much more connecting me to Cincinnati than my immediate family and some school friends.
If you ever wanted to hear a song with lyrics comprising solely of anonymous people’s opinions on eating ass, then all you needed to do was to be in 1903 basement at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, before following the group to Edwards Hall upon being kicked out by another group that had reserved the basement just before 9 p.m. If you were there, you would have gotten to see Allison Spann ’20 bring to life a series of Tiger Confessions while she wore — among other items — purple boots, a floor-length black tulle skirt, and a shirt that could only be described as a multi-color Hawaiian shirt meets the Solo “Jazz” cup.