a PAW web exclusive column
by Kate Swearengen '04 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
humiliation, and regret
day at Princeton
Scraped crusted granola
off my floor with a ballpoint pen. Fractured the ballpoint pen.
Scraped blue ink off my hands with soap and an abrasive washcloth.
Read New York Times.
Noticed the phrase "$3 beyond the greater New York metropolitan
area" on the front page. Observed that the price printed on
the newspaper is $2.50, and that Princeton must therefore be considered
part of the greater New York metropolitan area.
Uneasily concluded that
Princeton would be annexed by New York City, and that Nassau Street
would soon be awash in Fendi bags and irritable, rushed pedestrians.
Realized that Nassau Street was already full of Fendi bags and hostile
passersby. Cheered up at the thought that acquisition by New York
would undoubtedly bring 24-hour public transportation, and that
it would no longer be necessary to rush back from rock concerts
in order to catch the 12:47 A.M. Dinky.
Arabic class. Read phrases
in the textbook such as "Widad's father works at the United
Nations, where he specializes in translating Arabic to French"
and "Widad's mother works in the admissions office of New York
University, where she is very busy."
Was briefly jealous of
Widad's father's linguistic prowess, but then concluded that he
was a character concocted by the Arabic textbook for the express
purpose of intimidating American students. Resolved to not be flustered
by "Widad's maternal aunt, the president of a large bank in
Invitation to Ivy Club
for lunch. Brazenly bicycled through the club's imposing front gates,
disturbing a crowd of students lounging on the front walk. Locked
bicycle to a tree, amid muttered complaints about bringing my bicycle
onto the lawn. Proceeded to front door, only to see a sign reading
Tried to get maximum coverage from gray stocking cap. Wished I had
also worn a scarf. Found solace in the fact that by the time Bicker
rolls around in two years, no one will remember this. Unlocked bicycle,
and wheeled it through smirking crowd on front walk.
Entered Ivy Club. Met
Anna in front lobby.
Anna: "Good to see
you. Leave your backpack in here." Me: "Sure, no problem."
Anna: "The hat, too."
Proceeded into dining
room. Eyed chicken and cheese enchiladas on buffet line. Decided
to be polite and take two. Thought about meal quality at Wu Dining
Hall, and took three instead. Noted with some satisfaction that,
although Ivy possessed many of the amenities that Wu lacked, it
did not have a hot chocolate machine. Remembered that the hot chocolate
machine at Wu was broken. Sank again into fit of jealousy and depression.
Listened as Anna discussed
idea for her senior thesis, an analysis of the changing structure
of American families as portrayed in movies. Met Anna's friend Holly.
Overcome by paranoid suspicion that Holly was scrutinizing the way
I was holding my knife. Tried to look less like a Visigoth by shifting
my grip further up the hilt. Thought of my mother's gloomy prophecies
that I would never be accepted into an eating club on account of
my crummy table manners.
Listened to Anna's friends
talk about a pack of squirrels that broke into Ivy during breakfast
and absconded with the croissants. Observed as they engaged in debate
of whether or not to take advantage of low ticket prices and fly
to London. Eventual conclusion was negative: They all had to start
their senior theses.
Shamelessly lobbied Anna
for a dinner invitation to Ivy. Having secured one, left happily.
Abandoned midterm studying
for late-night snack run to the Wa. Encountered Julia, Cathy, Denise,
and Tom, friends from geology and French class.
Cathy: "Where have
Me: "In my room,
reviewing the polymerization of silicate minerals."
Cathy: "Oh. Rocks
Julia: "Too bad.
You missed out. While you were reading about rocks, we were watching
a stripper over at Patton."
Me: "A stripper?
And this was sponsored by the University?"
Cathy: "No, it was
a male stripper who was invited for someone's birthday party. The
probably only sponsor female strippers this is Princeton
we're talking about."
Denise: "It was
the best thing that's ever happened to me in my life."
Proceeded to the Wa,
then stood in obscenely long line to purchase yogurt and chewing
gum. Passed up invitation to watch Grease with friends. Returned
to room to sleep.