Weeks in Review 2/19-3/5/17

The events from the beginning of the school year seem as if they were a very long time ago. But I had just applied to Princeton at this time last year and that doesn’t seem to be too far in the past. Time perception is weird.

As midterm examinations approach, everything is getting busy. I hope that it slows down a little after spring break.

On a different note, the trip to France and Spain is only two weeks away!

Monday— I attended a town hall that President Eisgruber hosted for University faculty and students. He was a marvelous public speaker who defended his initiatives like a lawyer. He began by talking about recent political events and explained the University’s purpose as a place of, “rigorous and vigorous debate.” I think that he said this line ten times throughout his speech. Then, he transitioned into tackling the issues of financial aid and diversity before taking questions from the audience at the end.

Tuesday— Tiger Tuesday occurs once every year for accepted early action students. It is their opportunity to tour the campus before officially committing to the University. I signed up to host a lunch conversation with some students in the Whitman dining hall. I like to think that I did the best job of all the hosts because my students stayed (voluntarily) a whole 45 minutes after the scheduled ending time. The Great Class of 2021 will be another excellent group of Princetonians.

Later, I attended a Whig-Clio debate about sanctuary cities. During the presidential campaign season, there was a man who sat in front of Fitz-Randolph Gate with a Trump sign nearly every day as the more liberal college students passed by and heckled him. He came to the debate and gave a speech from the floor. I think that the entire Whig side hissed at him and the Clios pounded the armrests. The Whigs won in a 19-12 vote. The gap narrowed for the Clios. Voting record

Wednesday— This night marked the beginning of my training to become an Outdoor Action leader. I learned basic CPR and will gain other first aid skills in the future.

Thursday— Earlier in the day, I had received an e-mail saying that the tryouts for the Princeton Debate Panel had been highly competitive and that few people were accepted. It told me to wait in my room during the evening to hear a response. I interpreted this to be a rejection. But at 10:00 PM, a bunch of people pounded on my door chanting, “Pi-Delta-Phi” and informed me that I had been accepted before whisking me away to a party. “Pi-Delta-Phi” is there humorous way of making themselves sound like a Greek fraternity (Pi-Delta-Phi=PDP=Princeton Debate Panel). They are one of the many clubs that do “pick-ups” at Princeton.

Friday— After classes, I went to my weekly Bahamas group meeting with the student and professor for whom I’m working this summer. These science papers are becoming slightly easier to read but are still appear to be written in a different language.

Since I had some free time, I decided to play with the Princeton Band at the Brown hockey game. Sometimes, the Brown Band played part of a song until a timeout ended and then the Princeton Band would continue it at the next song, trading back and forth. At the end, both bands joined together to play a few tunes.

Saturday— In order to fill the void between Opening Exercises and Alumni Reunions/Commencement, the University created an event called “Alumni Day” to recognize outstanding alumni and encourage others to donate. This year’s two big prize winners were President Pablo Kaczynski of Peru and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. I decided to wake up at 7:30 AM to watch them speak at Richardson Auditorium. When I got there, I tried to go in by trailing behind a large group; however, the security guard saw me and told me to leave because I hadn’t purchased a ticket. In short, I woke up at 7:30 AM on a Saturday for nothing.

Sunday— The Graduate School has been serving increasingly exquisite dishes each time that I go. For brunch, they offered eggs benedict.

This week was very busy. I had two quizzes, a paper due on Friday, and all of the usual homework crammed into six days.

Monday— I took a driving test to become van-certified for the University. This will allow me to rent cars, operate vans, and take campus jobs that require driving.

Even though I have already committed to the PEI internship, I decided to take the interview for Princeton in Argentina anyways. I wanted to practice Spanish before going to Spain. The professor asked me questions about my interests and what I wanted to do in Argentina.

At night, I went to my first meeting for the debate team. The club’s president showed us, the new members, the rules and format of debate competitions. We meet every Monday and Thursday night.

My fifth article was printed in The Daily Princetonian. I wrote a follow-up column about judging Calhoun’s legacy and those of all people with names on buildings at college campuses.

Tuesday— I received an e-mail from an alumnus who praised my “Prince” article. He has ties with Sewanee: The University of the South and sent me links regarding their debates about evaluating the school’s legacy. Essentially, it was founded for the sole purpose of repelling “northern aggression” but did not actually admit students until after the Civil War.

Later, I went to a Whig-Clio watch party for President Trump’s special address to Congress. It was heavily attended by conservative members. I just wanted the Chick-fil-a that they were serving.

Thursday— I went to my second debate meeting. There, I watched a full round of debate about the motion, “This House supports the use of violence by the anti-Fascism movement.”

Friday— My zee group watched the Oscar Award-winning movie “Moonlight.” One person in my zee group has a parent that works for a productions company and is able to get movies like this long before they are released to the public.

Saturday— After working on homework all day, I watched the play “Speech and Debate” at Theatre Intime. It was casted and directed by students.

I walked around Prospect Avenue to observe the usual weekend activity.

Sunday— I organized a group service project with the Princeton Conservation Society. Two other students went with me to join other volunteers with the D&R Greenway to help build a trail near Hopewell, New Jersey.

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