Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Day 96/99: Final things

I've done quite a few things here for the last time now - last fencing session, last Princetonian column, last Junior Seminar, last Greek History seminar, last Butler Gallery meeting, and tomorrow's my last Latin class. I've probably seen quite a few people for the last time, too. I'm quite good with goodbyes, but even so, it's a bit odd.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Day 92/99: End of the road (almost)

I've just finished my paper on the decline of Greek democracy after Alexander the Great, 3,577 words long - it's a month before the deadline, so after Christmas I'll reread the four main texts and look at it again, but it's basically finished and - I think - pretty good. My Junior Paper also doesn't need much more than a bit of reorganisation - section headings and the like - so basically, the Princeton work that counts towards my Oxford degree is done. I still need to pass my final Latin exam and produce some kind of ten-page paper on Roman Portraiture, but the former shouldn't be too taxing and the latter doesn't really count - it might look nice on my CV if I do well in it, but I'm not going to stress myself out doing work for it.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Day 89/99: New hair!

I got a new haircut today - I'm not going to bother with a self-portrait, but I'm sure you'll see it in photos before long (and you'll probably all see me within a month anyway). I had it done at the Princeton Barber's Shop, just outside the campus gates - didn't have to wait, it only cost $18, and the guy just cut my hair rather than trying to talk to me (which is always annoying, as they either speak into my deaf ear or are holding a buzzing razor right up against my good ear). He also didn't ask me what exactly I wanted done - it's great to find people who accept "make me look nice for my grandparents at Christmas" as a valid instruction rather than expecting me to think about layers or side partings or ears.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Day 85/99: More snow!

After dinner, I traipsed around the Princeton campus taking as many photos of snow as possible on various camera settings (ordinary, "snow mode", flash, no flash, high ISO...). My hand hasn't been that cold since Christ Church Regatta, but it was worth it - I ended up with 85 photos and put the best ones on Flickr with the others.

The U-Store has a Christmas tree up, which was cool:


Also, since I had my camera with me, I thought I'd take a photo of my dinner, just for fun.

Day 85/99: Snow! (also, Quad Club)

Despite the blue skies earlier in the week, it's now snowing at Princeton! I've taken about 45 photos of it, of very varying quality - the best 7 are on my Flickr.

More photos will follow when it settles. It settled - I went out at twilight and took more, so the above Flickr link now has eighteen photos.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Day 84/99: Flickr

I decided, in the end, that I ought to get Flickr. I've signed up for a free account just to get used to it, but I'll probably buy a Flickr Pro subscription soon so that I can upload full-quality photos and view them all (rather than just the most recent 200).

Anyway, in celebration of the fact that it's sunny and blue-skied here rather than miserable in England, I took a few photos this morning and grouped them into a set.

If you hover over the cart in this one, I've added a 'note' just to try the feature out.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Day 83/99: Charter Club

So, I went to Charter Club as Janice's guest for dinner last night - my first and probably only experience of an eating club, which are the social hubs for a lot of Princeton students. As always, I took my camera (scaring a lot of people with the flash in the process, but hey).

Campus Club from the outside (in the dark)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Day 82/99: Tea and eclipses

First, a few criticisms of American tea, particularly in the Princeton dining halls. The photos below are of the basic tea-making essentials:

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Day 79/99: A few photos

Nothing interesting recently - just writing up my junior paper. Should finish today - only a thousand words to go. I also found a couple of news articles about Mary, who ran the Thanksgiving kitchen I blogged about. Apparently she's both a nun and an insurance lobbyist.

If anyone doubted my claim that Princeton was practically deserted for Thanksgiving, here's a photo of brunch on Friday:

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Day 76/99: Happy Thanksgiving! (photos added)

Nothing that interesting from the past couple of days - been hammering away at my junior paper (now 4,000 words in) and I went to a dinner linked to my DC trip on Sunday, but that's all.

Today, though, was much more interesting - it was Thanksgiving Day, which meant that (unable to go home like 95% of Princetonians did) I decided to sign up to volunteer at a street kitchen in Harlem instead, armed only with several bags of dessert that we'd all baked last night, my trusty pink Sony CyberShot, and a desire to write a really good photoblog post.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Day 72/99 (barely): NYC

Only a couple things of interest in the last couple of days - I had another column published, for one. I'm becoming deliciously controversial! Comments on my article include "From his writing, I really like this Rob Day kid", "Please refrain from contributing to our newspaper again in the future" and "Stop giving the real Rob Day a bad name" (the 'real' Rob Day edits the Princeton Tory*, the most recent issue of which was entirely devoted to criticism of the new gender-neutral housing policy which Princeton instituted to help make the LGBT population, particularly the transexuals, feel more comfortable - but it would be entirely uncharitable of me to suggest that he's doing quite well enough at giving himself a bad name).

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Day 67/99: The Megapost

Sorry for going over a week without updating! I've been really busy and literally haven't been able to spare the time, but after biting the bullet and skipping my two-hour fencing practice tonight, I have just enough time to blog. I can't believe two-thirds of my time here has gone! It's scary.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Day 58/99 (barely): Photos

It's just gone midnight and my camera battery finished charging, so I took a couple of snaps of a water bottle on my table to try it out:

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Day 57/99: Back from DC!

I got back from Washington DC yesterday evening, with a ton of Deaf-related badges, shotglasses, t-shirts, bags, bookmarks and stress balls. As everyone who followed my Twitter will know, I really enjoyed it - the other eleven students were awesome, I got much better at ASL over the week, and Deaf culture and public policy issues are both really interesting. At some point, I'll dig out the trip schedule and talk about exactly what I did, because Twitter forced me to summarise a lot and I couldn't really get my mobile out when meeting with US Government officials.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Day 51/99: Off to DC...

Well, midterms are over - I got 99.6% on Latin, and while my Greek History one hasn't been marked yet, I think it went pretty well. My Junior Paper work is also trotting along steadily - I have a draft title ("How did etymology affect origin myths in the early medieval period?") and some thoughts on how to fill up those 7,000 words. So, all's good.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Day 43/99: Demon squirrels

Sorry for the massive radio silence - I had a lot I wanted to say, and couldn't find the time, so put it off, so had even more to blog about, and it was all a vicious circle. Anyway, here goes.

First, photos of things I saw a while back but never had my camera around to photograph - black squirrels are really common at Princeton (they scared me when I first saw them):

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Day 37/99: Phones and deafness

So, I finally bit the bullet, braved the hour-long round trip to RadioShack and bought a US cellphone (I've adapted and instinctively say "cellphone" rather than "mobile phone", but I can still absentmindedly refer to it as a "mobile", and can't bring myself to say "cell"). It's quite nice - a fliptop phone, cost me $20, plus another $30 for 120 minutes of airtime (plus sales tax, naturally), so less than £34 in real money. It also lets me play sudoku on it. It'll be useful when Steve's here, and moreso in Washington DC.

On which note, I've now been to two of the pre-trip activities for my Deaf Education in Washington DC trip. I know the American Sign Language fingerspelling alphabet (radically different from British Sign Language), we all watched a documentary on deaf culture and cochlear implants (a lot of deaf people, especially the older generation, are violently opposed to them, because they don't view deafness as a disability - one grandmother described her deaf grandchild as having been "blessed by God" - and feel that 'treating' it destroys their culture and their language. The other side of the argument is people who claim that for a parent not to try and cure a child's deafness is abusive, and that they're being selfish rather than wanting the best for the child - it leads to social difficulties, some Deaf schools are appaling, and even the deaf-culture enthusiasts admit that it limits their job opportunities.), and a teacher at a local deaf school taught us some basic ASL words, so I can now make small talk with deaf people.

Interestingly, one of the other trip members (there are 13 of us, but no more than 7 ever seem to show up at once) is from Burma, and since that's a former British colony (I didn't know that - it's great when other people tell you "you used to rule us", and remind you where their country is) everyone's really into football and he was wearing an England shirt and jacket. It's a nice touch of home.

I'm also a Daily Princetonian columnist now! I wrote a guest op-ed opposing the proposed new Center for Abstinence and Chastity here, and it was so well-received that they've invited me to join their columnist team, even though applications closed a fortnight ago. If I write another good column next week (they have a team of columnists, so it's a fortnightly thing) they'll confirm me and I can put it on my CV. I'm quite tempted to offer to write for the OxStu or the Cherwell when I'm back...

Steve's just got here, and is reading my article and criticising my American spelling and tendency to say "elevator". Oh well...

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Day 33/99: Book geekery

I went to the information session for the Elmer Adler Essay Prize (on book collecting) today. It was interesting - and only six students were there and there are three prizes ($2,000, $1,500 and $1,000) so I have a good chance - but the crowning moment of awesome was seeing an original Gutenberg Bible. I saw some pretty cool stuff when Merton got their archives out for the historians, including a medieval copy of Bede, but the Gutenberg is just symbolic.

I also quizzed the Scheide Librarian about how common it was for librarians to do research and write stuff - he does, but he became a librarian before Library Science MAs were common and has a History PhD, so huh. He gave me a mini-book he'd written (The Invention and Early Spread of European Printing, as represented in the Scheide Library) for free, though, so yay.

Those of you with basic maths skills will notice that I'm a third of the way into my trip - everything's going surprisingly quickly. Why have I not done more work?

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Day 32/99: Aida very nice day

So, one of the things that made me decide to write a blog today was a not-so-fun fact I saw in The Daily Princetonian this morning. You all know that the American university admissions system puts a lot more emphasis on "well-roundedness" than pure academic ability. Apparently, when when the modern admissions test (SATs) started in 1901, they were the only deciding factor - if you had a high score (and could afford tuition) you got in. The reason they changed, it seems, was because Jews were too good at the tests - by 1922 20% of Harvard students were Jewish. As the article puts it, "the notion of a well-rounded college (sic) applicant was invented to keep Jews out of the Ivy League".

In other news, I decided to become cultured and bought a ticket to the Opera Aida next Wednesday (apologies for the appalling pun in the post title). It's a really good deal - the ticket's face value is $67.50, but I got it and transport to NYC for $25. Score.

Fencing and academics are still going well - I got 100% on my second Latin test running, so yay. I had a bout of OCD last night and not only tidied my room, but rearranged my pile of loose change:

I have $4.19 in coins. I counted.

Also, I got more information about my Washington DC trip - I'm getting a four-hour crash course in American Sign Language on Sunday and Thursday of next week (two hours/day). Should be fun!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Day 29/99: Americans? Inappropriate? Never!

In Butler's Class of 1942 Lounge, there stands this plaque:

(Within this college from 1964 until 2007 stood Class of 1941 Hall

Given in memory of the members of the class who gave their lives in the service of their country

Glory uneroded and shining
lights them down the ages)

Reflect for a moment: what would be an appropriate tribute to the Princeton students who died in the Second World War? I guess a picture of a tiger, sitting on top of Earth, modified to look like Hitler, would be pretty inappropriate, right?

Oh, you wacky Americans. I guess it makes sense when you consider that they demolished 1941, 1942 and 1943 Halls two years ago.

Lest anyone accuse them of being ambivalent towards Hitler, there's a badge:

And, for those formal occasions where they want to be classy, a Tiger-Hitler-Globe tie:

There's also a polo shirt and a cummerbund with the logo on, but my camera's on the blink.

In other news, my new favourite hobby is telling Americans about arcane Oxford customs ("I have people who dust my room", "we take exams in gowns" and "we eat dinner in gowns and have our food served to us" being the favourites). One guy got confused between scouts and public-school fags and thought that younger students were made to empty my bins; when I introduced the "formal hall" thing by saying we had four meals a day, he also interjected with "afternoon tea?". Which got me thinking...

Sainsbury's sell six-packs of scones, and do a 2-packs-for-£1 deal (gotta love Cucumbers only cost 70p, bread, clotted cream and jam are all relatively cheap, so £5 could buy me six days' worth of cucumber sandwiches, tea and two scones. I think this may need to be an institution in 59 Holywell come my return to Oxford...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Day 25/99: "All good things come by three"... my Junior Seminar tutor said, having emailed us two scanned books to read and the course syllabus. Still, today was a really good day.

First things first - I got a reply from Oxford's Grocyn Lecturer, telling me it's fine if I do LAT101 at Princeton then join Elementary Latin at Oxford halfway through - the two courses even use the same textbook - so this paves the way for me to take a Latin paper for Finals, which is really good for my thesis options and for postgrad stuff.

Then I heard back from the PACE Center at Princeton - I'm accepted onto the Deaf Education in Washington DC trip. It should be a really good experience - travel, getting involved with Deaf culture, learning a bit of American Sign Language - and only $150, which still leaves me with almost $100/week for the rest of my time at Princeton.

I also went fencing tonight, learnt a new technique ('disengaging') and won a bout 5-4 which I was pretty happy with. I've paid my dues - $50 for the semester - which is pretty good value if you consider that I'm fencing six to eight hours a week for twelve weeks.

Some other stuff happened - I had half of my Junior Seminar outside because it was sunny, and I'm starting to prepare a topic for it (medieval etymology, in case you were interested) - but if I count those as real events I'll have more than three. I've just got back from the Butler Study Break, which meant free pizza and $1 off a purchase at the late-night store; I took the chance to buy some American chocolate:

I'd just like to note that in the US, Milky Ways have caramel in. A moment of silence for our collective violated childhood, please. I'm quite intrigued by the Hershey's - I haven't eaten it yet, but Verity took the drastic step of sending a bar of Dairy Milk across the Atlantic (<3) because American chocolate apparently has loads of wax in. I'm going to try it, however, in the name of anthropology; I'll let you know whether it tastes like a candle.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Day 22/99: Bang bang bang

So, I went rifle-shooting (50ft, .22 cal bolt-action) today. It was fun. Sadly, I neglected to actually take my camera to the rifle range, but we were shooting at paper scorecard targets, and got to take them away:

You'll notice that I hit the targets quite often sometimes, and in two cases practically got a bullseye. Those of you who know me well will suspect this is more due to a fluke than any hand-eye co-ordination on my part. You would not be wrong.

I also pocketed a handful of spent cartridges as souvenirs:

That's probably legal, right?

Friday, 2 October 2009

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Day 20/99: Pieces of Oxford

Sorry about the week of radio silence - I kind of settled into the routine, so nothing very new was happening and I was fairly busy, a non-ideal combination for writing blogs. Everything's going well - I settled my course choices (doing the medieval seminar, the Greek democracy seminar, Latin and a grad course on Roman portraiture), and haven't missed a single fencing session - I even won a bout 5-2 yesterday, although my opponent was also new and hitting people with a sword scared her. Some of the trips that looked interesting - Philadelphia and Phantom of the Opera on Broadway - sold out before I got to them, but that does free my schedule up to go shooting on Saturday and work more with the art gallery (we're planning the first exhibit, a set of photos from Turkey taken by one of the committee members), so it's all good.

The Butler dedication (formally naming the halls, etc.) happened a while ago - there was nothing terribly interesting about it, except just how much free branded stuff there is. In addition to my Butler College fleece, there are Butler napkins, Butler seat cushions, Butler plastic water bottles, and Butler-iced biscuits:

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tempted to make Merton-crested biscuits.

Also, one of the staircases in the Firestone Library (like the Bod, but confusing) has bits of Oxford architecture dotted around. Witness:

(text: "Architrave from University College
Brackets from Worcester College

(text: "From
Pembroke College Oxford
founded 1624
The College of Doctor Johnson")

I'm not sure whether to be pleased or aggrieved that they haven't stolen anything from Merton.

That's all for now - expect an exciting weekend post about rifles.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Day 13/99: The Two Ways of Life

I promised a comparative post on Oxford and Princeton education, so here it is.

Firstly, there are definitely merits in Princeton's approach to some things. The requirement to take a language to advanced level (i.e. about a quarter of your degree being a language, for two years) is something we don't see so much in England, and it's definitely a useful preparationfor scholarship - if I want to become an ancient historian, I really should learn to read Latin and German, and probably some competency in French, Italian and ancient Greek too.

Nor can I find fault with the independent research work - though I haven't done any at Oxford, and have only just started at Princeton, so I'm really just comparing on the basis of word counts. Once you decide to major in History here (halfway through your degree), you write one 7,000-word paper per semester in your third year, and a 12,000-word or so senior thesis in third year; if you take a "certificate" (what most other US universities call a 'minor'), then you may also have to do another piece of independent work (the length varies), but often a thesis spanning related fields can qualify for both - so a thesis on Jewish history would get one both a major in History and a certificate in Judaic Studies. At any rate, this basically compares with the History Special Subject's extended essay and the thesis at Oxford.

Before proceeding, a bit of statistics to show how the courses compare - to get a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) here, you need to take 31 courses over the four years, so about eight courses per year. In History at Oxford, you take four papers for Prelims and seven over two years for Finals, so about four per year - roughly speaking, then, the average Princeton course should be about half as intellectually rigorous as an Oxford course. To be frank, it isn't.

To some extent, that must be inherent in the system; at Oxford, the academics setting and teaching the History papers can be confident that everyone sitting them has aced an A-level in History, and has been selected by the tutors on the basis of their skill as a historian. That's not the case at Princeton - almost anyone can walk into almost any history course despite only having a high-school (equiv. GCSE) education in it, and perhaps not even having done that well. Even a History major might only have done two survey courses, such as "A History of the World since 1300" and "Science in the Modern World".

There's also something of a cultural difference regarding vacation work. At Oxford, when I took an Optional Subject on Augustan Rome in Trinity, I thought nothing of an email from my tutor at the start of the vacation before telling me that I should read all the set texts (selections, some quite hefty, from fifteen translated ancient works) and maybe some other stuff - and likewise, someone taking a course on Shakespeare would think nothing of being asked to read his plays over the vac, so that tutorials could focus on specific issues and the secondary literature regarding it. As far as I can tell, this doesn't happen at Princeton - certainly nobody's mentioned having been set summer reading. There are courses - one of which I decided against taking for exactly this reason - which seem to be wholly reading courses, ploughing through the texts at a ridiculous rate (three books of Herodotus between Monday and Wednesday, Dante's Inferno in a week) but with no articles, academic analyses nor commentary to read - no discussion beyond the one-hour, eight-student weekly precept. Certainly in a general, liberal arts education, there is some merit to reading and understanding the texts, but in a university context I think that understanding the relevent scholarship is even more important, and I don't think that that's emphasised enough in Princeton except in higher-level seminars and when doing independent research work.

The mode of assessment is also different. As Oxford students will know, for an ordinary Finals paper you'd write six to eight 2,000-word essays (one a week), have a Collection (i.e. mock exam) the beginning of the term after you finish work on it, and take the real exam - three essays in three hours, like Collections - anywhere from three months to a year and a half after finishing the paper, the exam being the only thing that matters. By contrast, in my History/Classics seminar, thirty percent of my grade is based on my participation during the seminar, ten percent on short quizzes which might happen at the start of class, thirty percent on the midterm exam (lasting one hour twenty minutes, consisting of some multiple-choice questions, some names or concepts for identification such as "Pericles" on which we write a short paragraph each, and finally a short essay), and the final thirty percent on the "term paper", the only real piece of written work needed, of about the length and quality of a weekly Oxford tutorial essay. I am not entirely convinced that this is "about half as rigorous" as an Oxford course.

One final point is about books. At Oxford, between JSTOR, the college libraries, and non-lending libraries like the Bod and the Codrington, you'll never have to buy a book, and most people don't. That really isn't the culture at Princeton - even looking at ancient history courses where all the texts are available as Penguin Classics, the reading lists approach $100 or $150 per course ($1000/year on course books wouldn't be surprising), and it must be even worse for scientists or mathematicians who need hefty textbooks. There is, for all intents and purposes, only one library, and it only stocks a few copies (if any) of each text, making it pretty impractical to use for larger courses. Furthermore, because you often only get the syllabus at the first lecture, there's a lot of pressure to go and buy the textbooks at Labyrinth Books rather than buying them cheaply online - and of course, I don't have a US debit card, so I pay an extra currency exchange and commission fee if I buy off Amazon. Long live the Bodleian, then.

I'm still glad I came to Princeton - it's a good experience, and I'm having fun here - but it has made me appreciate, amongst other things, just how good an Oxford education really is in comparison.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Day 11/99: Fleeces and fencing

Only a couple of pictures in this post - I went to the sophomore dinner, and free Butler College fleeces were handed out:

Stash, wonderful stash.

I've had almost all my classes now - bar a Roman Portraiture seminar, but as that's a graduate course and a lot of the interesting stuff is in German or Italian (surprise: I don't read either) I can't see myself sticking with it. I have Latin four mornings a week, two 90-minute seminars on Classical Greek democracy, a three-hour seminar on Wednesdays on early medieval maps and histories, and a Greek philosophy course (for which I'm about to bunk down and read Plato's Apology after I finish this post). Amusingly, for my two seminars (the only ones that count towards my Oxford degree) I'm taught by a Spaniard and an Austrian - so not really the "American perspective on history" or anything, but good. I might blog later on the educational differences (example: people *have* to go to lectures here!). Also - got a free book from the Junior Seminar:

I had my first fencing lesson tonight, which was really good - the other novice fencers seem cool, I was actually pretty competent with a foil, they have people who know epee and sabre if I want to try that out, and the guy who was teaching us realised I was British and offered to entertain me with his tea collection (YES) and is going to see if I can get a discount on fees due to only being here for one semester.

I also got an email about this really good scheme for the midterm break - a student-run week in Washington DC learning about issues in deaf education, staying at Gallaudet University, the world's only university designed for the deaf. There's also a chance to pick up some American Sign Language. I've always been mildly interested in Deaf culture, for obvious reasons, and if I can get onto it then it ought to be really fun.

Stay tuned - I should hear about rifle-shooting soon...

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Day 9/99: The 'laundromat'

A brief and boring blog today - my weekend's been uneventful save for doing seminar reading - to announce that I've reached a significant milestone; I did my first load of laundry at Princeton. I don't have any photos (because that would just be weird), but I'd like to note that Princeton's 'laundromats' are better than the laundries at Merton on two counts - firstly, they're free, and secondly, they have fancy displays that tell you exactly how long it will be until the washing's done. I've also broken with the habits of a lifetime year, and hung my t-shirts up in my cupboard to "let the creases fall out of them" etc. We'll see how long that lasts, though...

In case anyone's worried I'm going native, I did see someone today trying to make tea by briefly dipping a teabag in hot water then adding sugar, and all my natural instincts rose against it.

9.1% of the way through Princeton already! It's going fast.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Day 7/99: Chalk, grub and guns

Firstly, something I noticed a day or two ago but didn't think was worth a post of its own: they use blackboards here. For a comprehensive-schooled kid who thinks of a whiteboard as low-tech, having your Latin professor scrawl, with chalk, on a blackboard for an hour, ending up with ghost-white hands, is a very surreal experience.

I finally remembered to take my camera to lunch today: the self-service canteen was too crowded to get good photos in there, but I took photos of my overloaded plate, the dessert bar, and the immensely cool conveyor belt that whisks our dirty plates away for washing-up.

The main event today was the Student Activities Fair, where all the Princeton societies turn out en masse with biscuits and convince you to join - I've put my name on the mailing list for the rifle club (exciting or what?), fencing, Oxfam, the Shakespeare Company and three publications. I turned down breakdancing, poker and pro-life campaigning, though.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Day 4/99: The campus

I had a free morning today - nothing until a meeting with my Dean at 11.30 - so I had a bit of a lie-in (only got up at quarter past eight; what a rebel), then did something I've been meaning to do for a while: wander round campus and take photos for this blog.

First things first: a few views of Wilf, my hall of residence.

Some of the other Butler buildings (Wilf's on the right):

Inside - the Butler Gallery (still in progress) and Butler Lounge (replete with grand piano):
The courtyard, and its dedication:
Wu Hall, the main Butler building where meals, meetings etc. are:
Moving away from Butler, this is Whitman College, across the road from me. I can't remember who called it "faux-Gothic" and "like Disneyland", but they were right:
I decided to check out the gym at this point - I'll spare you the dull photos of timetables and weights machines, but suffice it to say that it looks awesome. There's a cardio room upstairs full of crosstrainers and exercise bikes, the Stevens Fitness Center with more cardio stuff (inc. treadmills), fixed weights and freeweights, and a swimming pool downstairs - and everything's free! I could get used to this.

Moving on, the university chapel (it's big and dark, so my flash worked imperfectly and I had to digitally enhance these):

I think the architecture speaks for itself.

Finally, the Firestone Library, which confusingly also looks like a church.

And a few other odds and sods from around campus:

This chap is John Witherspoon, a big figure in the independence movement (boo) and an early president at Princeton.
I don't know whether this comes from Black Books or the Geman, though I like the first option better.
Princeton invariably take the view that it's best to be calm and measured about minor, generally non-fatal health threats.
That's all from me for now - expect another post later, hopefully with a final decision about course choices.