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The sounds of my younger cousins screaming and jumping on top of me, begging me to play with them. The smell of the apple pies baking in the oven as my dad, sister, and I prepare the sweet potato ones. The joy I feel after crushing my brother at FIFA. These are the typical sights and sounds throughout my house during Thanksgiving since as long as I can remember. But this year, things will be different.
We have now entered the pass/D/fail selection period. If students take a class based on PDF grading and receive a C-minus or above, they receive a P for “pass.” If they fail, they receive an F. If they receive a D, they pass but do not receive a P. In an Undergraduate Announcement article, the University explained the purpose of the PDF grading option: “The intent of the pass/D/fail option is to encourage exploration and experimentation in curricular areas in which the student may have had little or no previous experience. The pass/D/fail option also may be used by the student in completing distribution courses.”
As I walked down Nassau Street eight days ago, I noticed something new.
On Friday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unveiled her new plan offering guidelines to schools on how to adjudicate cases of sexual misconduct — in an attempt to increase justice, fairness, and equity in the system.
In her Nov. 16 article “Gravissima Latina est,” contributing columnist Emma Treadway argues that “Latin or Greek should be a mandatory element of the high school or college education.” I am a senior in the Classics department who has studied Latin and Greek for many years, and I respectfully disagree.
I have been a college student for two months now. The transition to college has reshaped my everyday routine in a lot of good ways, promoting time management and productivity. But living where I go to school also has negative effects.
“What’s your name? What year are you? What’s your major?” Every Princeton student is now prepared to robotically answer these three standard questions. The first two answers are, thankfully, easy enough, but the third gives me grief. As a prospective classics major, I face a lot of confused looks and raised eyebrows. Either after I’ve stated my intended concentration or explained what it is, I am frequently met with the more dreaded question: “What could you possibly do with a concentration in that?” I have lied in the past about my intended major — saying I want to study law or something of the sort — to avoid these questions. It’s possible I may turn towards these career areas with my background in classics, but still, that answer is not entirely truthful. However, if I have the time or if the inquirer is genuinely interested, I will give my spiel for the weight of classics. In fact, I believe that Latin or Greek should be a mandatory element of the high school or college education, regardless of career plans. The education system would benefit from a mandatory requirement of — or at least a greater emphasis on — the classical study.
When I came across Makailyn Jones’s opinion piece, entitled “CAF: Center Absurdly Faraway,” two things immediately came to mind. The first was a friend’s use of the same phrase in reference to a pastry shop on the Upper West Side, which — from her apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant — is absurdly far away. The second was the following entry in Ambrose Bierce’s tongue-in-cheek (and admittedly obscure) work, “The Devil’s Dictionary”:
It’s no small thing to throw the symbolic weight of Princeton University behind a cause. As such, it’s been deeply encouraging to see President Eisgruber’s recent advocacy on behalf of the trans community and his leadership in the university’s challenge against President Donald Trump’s DACA decision. President Eisgruber’s actions have shown that in some cases, he is willing to put resources and reputation on the line for justice, and that he is an effective advocate when he chooses to do so.
Over fall break, I traveled to Europe with my mom to visit my brother, who is currently studying abroad at King’s College in London for a semester. We also went to Ireland to see Maynooth, the town where my mom studied abroad. After a week of hearing my brother talk about his current life and my mom reminisce about her past, I realized that studying abroad has the ability to challenge one’s American assumptions. Any University student who, like me, has never lived outside of the United States should more strongly consider spending a semester abroad.
Over fall break, I travelled to Israel and the West Bank with fellow classmates and professor as part of a seminar on the history of the region. While on the trip, I was able to do something that, for some reason, had been oddly missing for much of my life and education: I interacted with Palestinians. I was able to challenge my own politics and narratives and was forced to see them in a broader context. I began to question why that up to this point my Jewish education and upbringing allowed almost no way for me to engage with Palestinian voices, despite my plethora of opportunities to engage with Israel in an “apolitical” way.
The Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding would be my favorite place to study on campus if it were on campus. As a Mathey Moose situated in a corner of campus, I am quite used to the long treks to classes past Washington Road; however, sometimes far is just too far.
What makes it acceptable for Twitter to deplatform widely unpopular members, but wrong for the Department of Justice to jail those with dissident views? As it turns out, nothing makes it acceptable. As Princeton students grapple with questions of free speech, they should consider the effects of social media companies on that speech. Anyone who is committed to a substantive right to free speech against government intervention should support a similar principle in the context of corporations policing speech.
For me, walking into the weight room of Stephen’s Fitness Center is like being an English major in an advanced particle physics class. No matter how many times I walk down those steps, pick up my 10-pound weights, and awkwardly squeeze myself as unobtrusively as possible into a corner, my lack of a Y chromosome makes me feel out of place. It isn’t going to stop me from going down there, but it does make me feel far more self-conscious than I have ever felt anywhere else on campus.
Earlier this year, the Common Application announced to its member institutions that, starting in the 2019–20 admissions cycle, it will no longer ask applicants about their criminal history. The decision marks a major victory for the national civil rights campaign known as “Ban the Box,” which is focused on eliminating discrimination against people with conviction histories.
We all know the feeling. It’s one o’clock in the morning. You’ve been staring at your computer screen for hours writing an essay, sending emails, programming, or doing anything else in our lives as students for which we use our laptops. At some point you notice you’re growing tired. The screen’s brightness starts to hurt your eyes. The inconstancy of its images becomes tiresome. Its endless notifications are overwhelming.