a PAW web exclusive column
by Kate Swearengen '04 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
11 , 2000:
- Week two
Exploring the world around me
You'll never guess what
happened - my parents refused to buy me the TV. Instead, I'm stuck
with a crummy New York Times subscription. Some degenerate
from the Campus Newspaper Delivery Agency chucks it at my door at
7:00 in the morning. I'd like to lay in wait and break his legs,
but I don't want to get out of bed that early.
You asked about my roommate.
Well, remember how I told you that the Princeton housing form asked
everyone to list adjectives to describe her ideal roommate, and
I wrote "easily compressible"? Yeah, that's right - I
ended up with a single.
I'm living in Butler,
a freshman and sophomore residential college characterized by its
waffle ceilings and its proximity to the early morning dump truck
run. Princeton has tried to make up for these shortcomings by supplying
all Butlerites with Polar-Tech vests. I suggested that we call ourselves
the "Blue Vests" and mount a Garibaldi-type march on the
administration building, but no one was interested. Now that they've
gotten into the #1 school in the country, they're doing everything
they can to make sure they stay here. Wusses.
My classes are cool.
I'm taking beginning Arabic, geology, upper-level French, and a
freshman seminar about fascism's portrayal in films. The film class
is hilarious; we met for the first time on Wednesday, and the professor
asked everyone to name her favorite movie.
Some kid named Patrick
raised his hand and announced, in what was probably intended as
a deliberative, intellectual tone, that his favorite was The
Godfather. When prodded as to why this was his favorite movie,
Patrick asserted that the movie promoted good family values. The
professor asked if Mafia-type morals should really be deemed "good
family values." Patrick, with all the earnestness of a young
Promise Keeper, hastened to explain that wasn't what he meant. But
it was too late - evidently worried about the prospect of his eternal
damnation, or at least about the prospect of being mocked by his
fellow classmates, Patrick slunk into his chair. I played it safe
and said that I liked The Purple Rose of Cairo because
part of it was shot in black-and-white.
But Princeton isn't all
classes and homework - last Saturday I took the New Jersey transit,
an allegedly clean and efficient means of transportation, to New
York. I would have taken Amtrak, but I heard they get really cranky
if you put your feet up on the seat in front of you. Who needs that
kind of hassle? I'm in college now.
Anyway, I met up with
some buddies from NYU and UPenn, then tried to purchase a fake ID
from a particularly seedy tattoo parlor on Bleecker Street. The
Pakistani who wanted to sell it to me said it would cost $50 plus
tax. Naturally, I refused. Come on - the guy had his whole stash
of fake ID's in a secret panel in the ceiling. That kind of merchandise
isn't even legitimate, much less taxable.
It was just as well that
I didn't buy the ID, because I sure didn't need it when I visited
Prospect Street later that night. Let's just put it this way - if
those guys standing guard in front of Colonial were on the admissions
committee, Princeton's acceptance rate would hover around 80%.
I didn't get around to
telling you about crew, or about Sarah's new boyfriend, a 21-year-old
sophomore legacy who got kicked out of two boarding schools. Both
of those stories can wait, though - I'm already behind in my reading.
By Kate Swearengen '04