The first time I met Leah, she was reading an evolutionary biology textbook in a tree in the Mathey courtyard. As the weather grew warmer in the spring, I began to see her there almost constantly. One day, I decided to overcome my aversion to aerated New Jersey soil and sharp acorns, and joined her reading session.
Two nights before my nineteenth birthday, I was studying for my last final exam, which was supposed to take place the following evening, spooning peanut butter into my mouth. Suddenly my tongue started to tingle and swell, my chest and neck began to itch, and my throat started to close. I soon found myself at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (PMC) with an epi-pen in my arm.
Memories may fade as distance grows wider between ourselves and our young selves, but one thing remains constant: if we dig down deep into the recesses of our experiences, hold light up to the seeds of our current moment, brush off the dust, we might find something worth writing about.
In Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1998 novel _American Pastoral_, his protagonist, a Jew named Seymour Levov who goes by the nickname “the Swede,” sees his life turned upside down when his daughter turns terrorist and blows up a post office. … Read More
I recently ran a half marathon, which is 13.1 miles. This is the longest distance that I have ever run. I ran cross country and track all throughout high school, and workouts would foray into the ten mile range once in a while, but, as would soon be reinforced, that extra 3.1 is far from negligible. More to the point, the most I had run at once as a collegiate was only a tad over six, and this was nine days before the half marathon. What I am getting at is the following: this half marathon was a significant undertaking for which I was resoundingly underprepared.
One night in Kyoto, a friend and I ended up in a room the size of a small Princeton double, drinking beer with two blond-coiffed Japanese men who, despite their doting, seemed anxious for us to leave. The place, called “Athena”, was a host club — a lounge where female clients pay for an all-you-can-drink bar menu and an hour or two of conversation with a well-dressed male attendant.