Web Exclusives: Tooke's Take
a PAW web exclusive column by Wes Tooke '98 (email: cwtooke@princeton.edu)

April 10, 2002:

Graduate Lives
University to celebrate its "other"students
This article reprinted courtesy of the Daily Princetonian.

Those strange creatures who teach our classes and aren‚t professors are actually students at the university, according to a press release released yesterday by the Princeton Office of Press Releases.

"We call them graduate students,"comments the press release. "They are a combination of students and slave labor that we use in lieu of either hiring more assistant professors or forcing you little miscreants to actually learn something on your own."

This discovery of "graduate students"at Princeton ironically coincides with national Graduate Student Appreciation Week (GSAW), which is held annually during the first week of April, which is the fourth month of the year. "Months are a way of dividing a year into smaller parts,"explains professor Lewis Brown of the Astrology Department.

To help these "graduate students" celebrate their strange pagan festival, the University has planned several activities, including a cooler of free Tang, a voucher for half-off one movie rental from Blockbuster Video, and a safari to the Tiger Inn taproom at 3:00 a.m. this coming Saturday night.

"That seems like a lot of stuff,"articulates Chase Woorly ’04. " I mean, who's ever heard of a graduate student? Is there any proof they even exist?"

In an effort to discover if they do exist, the Prince intended to send a reporter to the Graduate College, which is a mythical place somewhat like Eden or Atlantis (the city under water, not the casino, which is really cool.) But then the Prince learned that the Graduate College is supposed to be past the golf course, which seemed like a lot of trouble. So the Prince called instead.

"Of course we frigging exist,"ù cries Christopher Pundergrass GS. "I'd say that's the stupidest question I've heard all week, except that I'm a TA in the History Department. Student-Athletes my ass."


"I talked to a graduate student once," pronounces Missy Brown ’05, the reporter from the Prince who made the call. "He was rude and mean and sounded like he was a dork in college."

According to his yearbook photo, Christopher Pundergrass GS was a dork in college.

According to a separate press release released from the University Office of Press Releases, the Graduate Student Government is planning the biggest party ever to hit the Graduate College. "It's going to be the biggest party in Princeton graduate student history,"yelps Terry Lawrence GS, under-secretary of the GSG. "We're getting a bottle of absinthe and a brand-new Scrabble board."

"We will not be sidetracked," screeched Stacey Steelman GS, who grabbed the phone from Mr. Lawrence. "We have concerns. We demand respect. We demand decent wages. We demand a new ping-pong table for our dank little bar. Wait, you're not even writing this down, are you?"
At least that's what the Prince thinks she said. We weren't writing it down.


Although The GSG also planned to print T-shirts for the occasion, negotiations broke down over the slogan. The National Association of Graduate-Professional Students suggests "Have You Hugged Your TA Today" but a group of black-sweater-wearing TAs from the Art History Department wanted "Have You Slept With Your TA. I'm Talking To You, Girl From Ivy.
"It's all so sad," murmurs John Adams GS, a voice of reason who doesn't actually exist. "All we want is a little bit of love. I mean, graduate students are people too, right?"

The Prince could neither confirm nor deny that graduate students are people too.

You can reach Wes at cwtooke@princeton.edu