Web Exclusives: Raising Kate
a PAW web exclusive column by Kate Swearengen '04 (kswearen@princeton.edu)

January 24 , 2001:
A Day to Remember, or not

by Kate Swearengen '04


Thursday, December 14

7:23 A.M. Awakened by the unpleasant sound of claws on metal. Horrified to see the white underbelly of a squirrel pressed against my window screen. Displaced large, ugly rodent with a sharp kick to the screen. Wondered at the inefficacy of Barnabas, the life-sized fake owl I had wired to the branch outside my window in order to ward off squirrels. Decided that, while his yellow eyes and feathered tufts were indeed lifelike, Barnabas's realism was hampered by the fact that he never moved. Regretted that the acquisition of a real owl would violate housing regulations. Resolved to look into the purchase of a pellet gun.

7:43 A.M. Breakfast - pried tricky aluminum foil seal off yogurt container. Finished box of vanilla wafers. Thumbed through the Prince. Read that free Princeton basketball T-shirts would be offered to students who had attended the Princeton/Xavier game two nights before. Moment of self-castigation upon the realization that this marked my third missed opportunity to garner a free Princeton T-shirt. Consoled by the thought that the first and second opportunities would have required attendance at the Frist student center dedication and a protracted conversation with a sketchy-looking junior at Quad, respectively.

8:30 A.M. Geology exam- responded to tricky essay question on the Channeled Scablands. Answered that they were a series of canyons carved out by catastrophic flooding and not, as I had been tempted to write, a venereal disease symptom.

12:52 P.M. Checked e-mail: Read letter from the dean of Butler College saying that she would be "interested in knowing" if we were taking any classes this semester in which the professors had already given the final exam or had collected term papers. Decided that this request, far from being the innocuous query that it seemed, was really a thinly veiled attempt to find those professors who didn't want to spend their break grading tests and make them change their policies. Bitterly resented that my winter break would be spent studying for exams and writing term papers. Refused the invitation to nark on my professors.

5:02 P.M. Last crew practice until reading period: Listened to coach's admonitions to maintain good nutritional habits during the holidays. Thought of foil-covered chocolate coins I had consumed prior to practice. Struggled through four 1500-meter erg workouts. Resolved to develop exceptional rowing abilities so as to impress the godlike rowers on the U.S. men's national team who practice in the Princeton boathouse. Determination waned by the second 1500-meter piece.

7:38 P.M. Princeton/Rutgers basketball game. Impatiently waited for Perri, who had attended the Princeton/Xavier game, to find her voucher for the free Princeton basketball T-shirt. Consequently missed tip-off. Arrived at Jadwin to find that the number of basketball T-shirts printed exceeded the number of students who had attended the Princeton/Xavier basketball game, and that the basketball T-shirts were being given away to anyone with a student ID. Became the proud owner of an extra-extra large orange T-shirt with a cryptic "P-100" printed on the front and "Wegman's" printed on the back.

7-42 P.M. Found seats next to the band. Marveled at the respiratory capacity of a skinny clarinet player, who made a seamless transition from a vitriolic "One, two, three, kill the referee!' to the Princeton favorite, "Eye of the Tiger." Cheered at successful three-point attempt. Watched as the crowd, buoyed up Princeton's lead, chanted "Sit down - you suck!" at the Rutgers contingent. Watched as the crowd, undismayed by Princeton's loss in the final two minutes, planned their evening activities on the Street.

9:27 P.M. Scampered back to sordid dorm room. Assembled killer outfit for night on the Street. Fished plaid skirt out of the dirty clothes. Pulled blue-jean jacket, still reeking of cigarette smoke from a punk rock concert two months ago, out of the closet. Went from Chia Pet drab to Muppet glam with hair product.

11:04 P.M. Walked to Cloister with Laura, where rumor of a "monster crew party" was confirmed by the doorman. Entered the club to find that the crowd consisted of two guys straggling with a CD player and a girl in a sequined tube top dancing spasmodically.

Reunited with Sara and Perri on the way out the door. Searched the Street fruitlessly for other rowers. Returned to dorm to study for French quiz. Made New Year's resolution to devote second semester to parties and rock concerts.