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A hallmark of the past month at home is that, every few days, I sink into an uncontrollable panic, specifically about our fall semester. I’ve developed a ritual where I Google “colleges reopening fall 2020” or “when will social distancing end.” For the first few weeks, this would not help my nerves. It would only make it worse. And little wonder, because the news is really letting me down these days — not because so many bad things are happening, but because many media outlets seem intent on making things even worse than they appear to be.
For most sophomores, Street Week in February determined their eating future for their remaining years at Princeton. 93% of those who participated were placed into their first or second choices, and all students who applied were granted a spot in an eating club. Plus, students received a $200 incentive to join from the University.
It’s about three p.m. on a Wednesday when I look up from the model I’ve been working on and ask aloud, “Hey, I’m going to Late Meal in a minute. Anyone wanna join? Anyone want anything?”
Despite my deep-seated introversion, I have found myself wanting to reach out to my friends while in quarantine. At Princeton, I’ve always liked to spend a lot of time alone — not because I don’t like people, but because being with them is tiring. Yet now that I am alone most of the time, I want to talk to them, interact with them, and spend time with them as much as I can.
Jordan Thomas ’18 was just beginning a statistics course during his first spring semester at the University when he made a startling realization. Many of the other students in his class had already taken college-level statistics in high school.
Over the last few weeks many of us have seen significant parts of our lives upended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking forward, some of our peers have lost internships, but regardless of summer plans, the cancellation of a normal semester has hit us all quite hard. We can all attest to the fact that this transition can be quite difficult to manage. This disruption disturbs our life plans and expectations and can have detrimental effects on our well-being. The pain resulting from this disruption means that we need to exercise our capacities for empathy and understanding.
Landis Stankievech ’08, a mechanical and aerospace engineering concentrator, was all set to apply for the Canadian Rhodes Scholarship by his senior year. He had excelled in his classes, received some academic awards, taught youngsters how to skate, and played on Princeton’s varsity hockey team.
While discussing his award-winning show “Chernobyl” with Princeton students and staff in a Zoom meeting last Thursday, Craig Mazin ’92 drew a marked difference between Communism and “communalism.” The former: a government system that historically failed in its implementation. The latter: a culture devoted to shared interests and well-being and committed to the idea that another person’s life is as important as one’s own.
Today marks the 15th anniversary of my mother’s death. I was six years old, but the faces of the first responders rushing up the stairs to my parents’ bedroom have never grown fuzzy in my mind. I never got the chance to thank those men, but now, more than ever, I wish I had.
Though Princeton has just admitted its class of 2024, we are only a few short months away from the beginning of the next admission cycle. In addition to forcing school closures across the country, COVID-19 has caused the postponement of college entrance exams (SAT/ACT) until deep into the summer, if not later.
In her junior year, a friend of Yale senior Joshua Monrad suffered from a mental health crisis, which caused her grades to slip. Later, she looked into the possibility of receiving an institutional endorsement for prestigious fellowships in the United Kingdom. The friend — whom Monrad counts among “the smartest people [he] knows” — was told to forget about it, because her grades weren’t good enough despite still meeting the competitions’ requirements.
Dear President Eisgruber ’83,
Dear fellow Tigers,
For weeks, the pass/D/fail (P/D/F) policy for this semester has been sparking debate. After the University switched from giving professors significant discretion over whether students could P/D/F their class to extending the P/D/F option to all classes, students like opinion columnist JJ López Haddad are still pushing for a universal P/D/F policy. This would require all grades on transcripts this semester to be P/D/F, something that other universities like Harvard and Columbia have already done.
As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc across America one reality has become clear: the virus is not the so-called “great equalizer.” Data from a small fraction of states reporting so far — including New Jersey — show that people of color are disproportionately likely to contract and die from COVID-19.
Opening Exercises kicks off awards season at the University. An administrator takes the stage to call up a half dozen students to receive prizes for reaching the top of their classes. Other awards are presented in the following weeks that include Shapiro prizes, Rhodes scholarships, and so on, until the senior class’s valedictorian is named. The competition for academic awards is supposed to be one of the most meritocratic processes in higher education, hence why their winners are revered. You’re either the best, or you’re not.
I performed a wedding on March 13 for two close friends in the living room of the bride’s childhood home. This was the Friday before Princeton University’s spring break and the last day the Center for Jewish Life building was open to the community.
I did not expect or want Bernie Sanders to drop out. I had anticipated voting for him in the general election. Until only a few short weeks ago, it seemed that Sanders would indeed be going head-to-head with our sitting President.
I must admit that despite my concerted efforts to ignore current events so as not to further upset me, I have found myself engrossed in the news about the coronavirus pandemic. As a budding mathematician watching the spread of disease unfold on television, my eye always arrives at the numbers ticking away at the corner of the screen. I examine the number of total cases in the United States, the number of new cases, and the number of deaths — all terribly unsettling.