After her father escaped the October Revolution, and after her parents fled deeper into Poland from the Russian Invasion of 1920, Magdalena Abakanowicz was born. At the age of nine she saw the Third Reich sink its talons into her … Read More
On the last day of classes at Forest Hills High, Ernest Acherbaum is finally ready. A group of students from his senior class plans to travel to Rockaway Beach as soon as the last bell rings, where they will play volleyball and coo over their yearbooks and smoke into the night.
‘Reading,’ as describing a certain activity of eye-sliding-over-page, with eye recognizing ink blobs corresponding (by means of whatever neural calculus) either (1) to something like second-order phonemes, and therefore to certain aural centers and therefore to speech-parts of the brain, which ‘articulate’ meaning to other parts, or (2) to something like second-order morphemes, and therefore to certain visual centers, and therefore to picture-parts of the brains, which ‘project’ meanings to other parts, or (3) to some combination of (1) and (2)—well, ignore that or bracket it, because I have 1,000 words and a little over, say, ten minutes to argue for long and arduous works of literature, their import and glory—and, specifically, for the particularly long and particularly arduous recent novels of Roberto Bolaño and David Foster Wallace.
Four years ago this June, Shirley Tilghman told Princeton’s graduating class:
During your time at Princeton, many of you have been moved to speak out on issues of social and political importance, from the moral significance of a pre-emptive war, to the pros and cons of senatorial filibusters, to the needs of low-wage workers on our campus…As you prepare to leave Princeton, I trust that the social and political consciousness you have cultivated here will give you the conviction and the courage to take a stand against tyranny and injustice wherever it arises.
This sounds like a pretty standard sentiment for a university president to express at a commencement ceremony but does it accurately reflect the manner in which Princeton affords its students to build a social and political consciousness?
“We definitely weren’t the favorites going into this,” senior and captain Casey Riley said. “But we pulled it out.” Riley wasn’t exaggerating. The women’s squash team, by many counts, was not the favorite to win this year’s Howe Cup.