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I can’t wait to see my partner again in person! We’ve kept it going virtually, but it’s been so long since we’ve been able to be together that it’s the first thing I want to do when we return to campus. Is there a safe way to have sex during the pandemic? Will we be violating the social contract if we do? And where will we be able to find condoms on campus?
As 2020 came to a close, many Princeton students were enjoying a well-deserved break while others, like the all-male a cappella group the Tigertones, were making their way out of the virtual Princeton bubble and into the public eye. Performing on the popular morning talk show Good Morning America (GMA), the Tones were broadcast into the homes of millions of Americans on Christmas morning around 7:30 a.m. EST.
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.
In February, we relaunched The Prospect, dedicating the section to arts, culture, and self-reflection. Here are 13 pieces from an unprecedented year.
Between my writing seminar classes, research papers, a pandemic, and watching the Artsakh War unfold before my eyes — all within the confines of my bedroom — I can definitively say it has been a draining semester. I remember sitting in my car after finals, a paralyzed and hollow husk, simply wanting to escape the entropy of my surroundings and listen to the coaxing verses of “Lost in Hollywood” by System of A Down (SoaD).
With the semester over and a longer-than-average winter break underway, students and families alike are in search of some winter cheer. Whether you’re surrounded by snow or sand this break, here are some winter cocktail suggestions (and family-friendly options) to celebrate the season!
The room, or rather the bedroom, has become the spawning point for students everywhere. We get up in various time zones to take classes from our desks, our kitchens, and — most comfortably — our beds, and we greet our peers through Zoom. Our rooms are sometimes shared with others; other times they are decorated in our individuality. They could be covered in posters and art or permeated by plants and books. Regardless of its interior design, the room is where the never-ending cycle of class, sleep, Netflix, eat, and repeat takes place.
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.
Every year, Princeton University Players (PUP) — the University’s only completely student-run musical theater group — hosts its annual all-frosh musical, and this year is no exception in spite of the pandemic. On Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. EST, “Sex on Broadway 2020: Things We Missed” debuted via YouTube live stream as PUP’s first-ever virtual musical.
Today, living a short walk from the Princeton University Art Museum, which houses works by the likes of Rembrandt, Picasso, and Monet, seems like an inaccessible, pre-pandemic dream. In spite of the campus-wide separation from in-person enjoyment of all types of culture, the museum has worked hard to continue providing programs so that those interested in its happenings can continue to learn and be enriched.
Theatre Intime and the Princeton Shakespeare Company’s decision to remotely produce “As You Like It,” Shakespeare’s lighthearted pastoral comedy, strikes a pleasantly discordant note in a year defined by a global pandemic, accelerating political polarization, and many sacrifices, big and small.
As I sat down to watch Theatre Intime’s first production of the year, “As You Like It: A Radio Play,” I confronted the conditions of being an audience member in the age of Zoom theater. Gone, for the moment, was the frigid air of Hamilton Murray Theater, which has housed Theatre Intime since the company acquired the space in 1922. I did not stumble down the theater’s darkened aisles. Nor did I scan rows of dimly lit faces, curious to see if anyone I knew would be joining me for this year’s Princeton Shakespeare Company (PSC) production.
In the documentary “HyperNormalisation,” Adam Curtis explains that cyberspace, as it was initially conceived, promised an alternate world free from the politics and corruption of the “real world.” This digital realm, its idealist advocates believed, presented an opportunity to build a democratic utopia accessible anywhere by anyone — it would be a sacred and protected space separate from reality.
Trading in large gatherings for Zoom dinners, people worldwide will be experiencing a holiday season completely unlike that of past years. Combine that with Princeton’s calendar shift toward a much longer winter break, giving students more time to pursue non-academic activities and leisure, and some people may be stumped about what to get for the holidays to be equipped for free time. Enter this guide, composed of affordable gifts that Princeton students will truly appreciate for the extended winter break and next semester’s mostly online classes. Everything on this guide is best purchased at small businesses to keep them afloat, but if necessary, they are also available at the large retailers mentioned below.
During a period in which a pandemic has restricted communication, both verbal and musical in nature, brother-sister cellist and pianist duo Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason performed a program of chamber works rich in interaction, comprised of works by Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, and Rachmaninoff, that spanned the widest possible breadth of the Romantic period.
The sun sets later day by day in the southern hemisphere. By an unfortunate combination of Princeton’s academic calendar and the onset of COVID-19, I have lived through three consecutive autumn/winter cycles, so it’s a refreshing change of scenery to finally roll into summer.
Creating a sequel to a cult classic is a hard task. This task is even harder when the original movie is itself an adaptation of a much-acclaimed sci-fi novel, Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” It probably doesn’t come as a surprise, then, that “Blade Runner 2049” does not match the quality of its predecessors, even though it’s a decent action movie. Despite having the potential to level up to and even surpass the original, the film fails to fully develop the themes that made the original “Blade Runner” so captivating.
Since the 2008 box office hit “Iron Man,” Marvel Studios has brought countless fan-favorite superheroes to the big screen as part of its shared universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Full of lovable characters, lively humor, and action-packed fight sequences, the MCU is now a household name among both comic book fans and moviegoers. While the MCU has experienced major success in the past few years, various critics have chided the multi-billion dollar franchise for its formulaic nature and refusal to take artistic risks.
I don’t consider myself to be especially religious. I pray before eating, touch my grandparents’ feet to seek blessings every New Year, and listen to my parents describe the origin of traditions during our annual visit to the temple. Nonetheless, growing up, Diwali, or the Hindu festival of lights traditionally celebrated in India, has been (and continues to be) a holiday I wholeheartedly embrace. I love Diwali for all of the light it forges in my house, for the seven lit candles which sit perfectly aligned on my fireplace for 10 days, for the sweets that cover every square inch of my kitchen counter, for all of the shoes I trip over as guests pile into my home.