As first semester drew to a close and final grades came out, I was reminded of a common sentiment that I had heard from many of my engineering friends — that being an engineering major is “hard.” In and of itself, such a subjective statement isn’t really anything I can argue against.
Two weeks ago, famed Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman —known for his roles in major films like Capote, The Ides of March and The Hunger Games— was found dead in his apartment of apparent heroin overdose. The 46-year-old actor, lauded by The New York Times as “perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation,” had a history of drug abuse during college.
Each fall, hundreds of students venture over to the career fairs in Dillon Gymnasium, and this year, for the first time, I was among them.
By Andrew Hahm In 2012, the Pew Research Center published a report on Asian-American demographic trends, proclaiming that “Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States.” The report, entitled “The Rise of Asian Americans,” points to an incredible growth in the visibility of the Asian-American community in recent years.
Newspapers fulfill a unique niche in whatever community they serve, whether that is the campus, city, nation or the world at large, as they are one of the few sources providing concise and clear factual information in the time honored objective of traditional journalists.
In imagining what can only be the dramatic origins of a certain Princeton mantra, I like to think that one day a Princetonian on the cusp of graduation looked up at Blair Arch, its stones basked in a special sort of afternoon sun, and in a fit of nostalgia placed his hand on the shoulder of a passing freshman and warned, “You only get eight semesters here.” The freshman then thought of the very short eight semesters ahead of him and was struck with unease.
My brother recently sent me a photo of a bathroom stall at his school, the University of California at Berkeley, and over the toilet seat dispenser, someone had attached a sign that read “Stanford diplomas, take one.” Naturally, I was tempted to replicate the idea at Princeton, replacing the school name of Stanford with the name Harvard, of course. Yet at the same time, I questioned the ultimate role that rivalries play in academia.
One of the legacies 2013 will leave behind, as Andrea Peterson wrote recently in The Washington Post, is that it was “the year that proved your paranoid friend right.” Since January of last year, we’ve learned that the National Security Agency is collecting massive amounts of phone call metadata, emails, location information of cell phones and is even listening to Xbox Live. Shocking as this obviously was to me, as a citizen of the country of “We the People,” one founded on civil liberties, what was perhaps more shocking was how mild the reaction of many Americans was.