Princeton 25th Reunion

I don’t want to gush, but it was one of the best weekends of my life. I was inspired, relieved, challenged, welcomed, and always felt good. It wasn’t that I wasn’t; I was ready for something. So many of us looked and were lost, and found in our confusion a community of weirdos and titans and kindness.

I got to campus at 2:15am Friday morning, found Jud, and we stayed up til 5:30 talking. Latest we’d ever done that sober.

The next morning I rolled early to checkin, and the first person I encountered was Ted Fischer, from my high school. Ted and I barely knew each other in high school, and not much better all through college — and we just started a conversation on the landing. At the coffee machine I  saw Brett Borowski who I hadn’t seen in 27 years. He and I were friendly, but also didnt much know each other, and before I knew it we were talking about our political engagements in our home towns like people with a rolling discourse.

I found others, couldnt stop shaking hands leaving the courtyard, the scene we all are so afraid to hope might happen. And it was. People I knew well, people I didn’t know at all, people I kinda knew and wasn’t sure we liked each other years ago…everyone was just so happy to re-connect and be kind to each other. The emotions were almost too much for so little sleep. I grabbed a drink and walked around campus, uphill slowly and before I new it the slope pushed me back down to Wilson College.

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and one for Lawren and Jud.

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Walker Hall

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window from my freshman year room

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i wandered, smiled, and saw jumps and booters in everything.

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Poe Field has been built up. Can you dream a better field to play Ultimate?

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Whitman College was our reunion home. Its new, and when I thought how awkward the new old look looked, I remembered how new the old look on campus looked compared to old Europe.

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Art Museum

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Seminar with some alums and classmates on fake news: Fox,Yahoo and Politifact. These were classmates, and every single one was interesting. Even me.

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Jud and I reconnected at the tent, and went on a walkabout.

Chapel

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Chapel

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Woody Woo Fountain

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Class dinner Friday night

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i had been to the grad college, once maybe ever. Jud and I shared a shitty dorm, which gave us the chance to walk 15 min to the campus twice a day. I walked 4,5 hours a day every day. Princeton’s campus is world-renowned for its beauty, and I never appreciated it enough. So much natural beauty is part of my heart now, it made the manicured campus even more magnificent.

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Saturday morning I walked out to West Windsor for the Ultimate reunion game. The campus drops a few hundred feet steadily down from Nassau Street to Lake Carnegie and back out. Only my last year did I learn about the canal, and the toe path, and the bridges into and out of town over this bottom.

Didn’t run this enough times.

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I played four points and hid, caught and threw a pass successfully. I was so happy to play again with Alex and Skurn, and teammates 25+ years gone.

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Back onto campus for the class pic and P-rade

The ladies of the Fishbowl: Antonia, Sarah, Pam and Andrea

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this pic makes me so happy.
Top: Niraj, Antonia, Marc, Dunrie, Jud, Pam, Andrea, Heather

Bottom: Alex, Sarah,Jason, Lawren

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P-rade

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I met Ted Cruz in 1988 as seniors in high school, we both were winners of the Washington Crossing Scholarship. I didnt much care for him then, and while we were friendly my impression didn’t change during college.

There was a lot of hostility towards him at college reunions this weekend. Surprising how visceral and powerful, coming from a seasoned and mature group of peers. It was fueled by a combination of his positions, his personality while in school, and a sense from many people that he’s better than his platform.

I was certainly immature and made mistakes in college, and I refused to deny Ted the charity and forgiveness I extended to all my other classmates and hoped they reciprocated towards me. I also didnt think it was appropriate to be rude over disagreement about positions. My recent experiences engaging in our No DDC campaign have made it abundantly clear that you get further being polite, even with your opponents. And that being rude to your opponents says a lot more about you than them. The ability to be polite, for me, is control and reason overcoming emotion. I can run aggressive, critical pieces knowing that my tone is correct and about actions and issues instead of personality.

I first congratulated Ted on his success. I then thanked him for how his actions have led more and more people to get engaged in politics lately. He understood I dont agree with him about some things, but was gracious in accepting my compliments in the spirit I offered them. I then asked how he balances being an extremely intelligent person — likely among the smartest of his peers in the Senate — with the reality of political compromises and some of his positions putting him at odds intellectually with the many smart classmates surrounding him (ex: climate denial). He was very nice but went into spin mode. He’s a pro, does this for a living and does it well. It was a good conversation, but spin is not something that will work with his classmates and imo only alienate many of them further

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We made our way to Terrace Club, which still has the best food in the college. Then Jud and I to Colonial til sundown, to catch up with so many other great friends.

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Back across the tiny universe in 30 min

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I connected with so many friends while others rocked to Duran Duran and Naughty By Nature

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and after we got kicked out of Colonial at 3am and Terrace at 4.

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more time to explore Sunday morning. I wandered in circles, made my way back to Colonial for champagne breakfast and so many more good conversations. I have so much to say, but for the first time ever I just cant even capture them on this blog. They were like fire, every one, every classmate so brilliant and restless.

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So many of my pictures were of the campus and its manicured splendor. Back then I did not appreciate it – i remembered it was pretty, but my aesthetic was pathetic. Do undergrads have Instagram challenges: “30 Days of Great Campus Photos”? Now I look every day, everywhere, for the beauty in the mountains and sunsets, the plants and architecture, a cactus wren in a saguaro, the bloom of the weeds when they burst briefly with color each spring, sidewalk art. You notice so much through miles at bike-speed, you move so differently. Unbound from two legs, the terrain becomes part of your vision. If I could do it all again with a bike I’d wander the campus for years, crawl it all, discover every ledge and ramp and staircase, and still find more spots to explore each next day in this polished playground. I’d probably break a clavicle free-styling home from the Street drunk, helmetless, with a heavy backpack. I’d probably be suspended by the Proctors or locked up by the PD for suburban hooliganism. So many fun possibilities.

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72 hrs with 8 hrs of sleep and so many punches to the brain led to a meltdown in the airport, crying and sniping until I stumbled home.

I posted this from the airport. It was my conversation-starter.

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The next day back to posting about kids and bikes. No one knows what just happened.

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