Popping the Orange Bubble
I've written in the past about leaving the "Orange Bubble," which, for those of you who haven't heard the term before, refers to the insular, world-unto-itself atmosphere that tends to muffle anything outside of Princeton's campus. Often this bubble is cast in a positive light: Its delineation of the Princeton universe fosters a strong student community and a robust, fundamentally academic environment. Other times, however, we criticize the bubble for producing some sort of alienation; to quote one of my previous posts, I overheard students one day talking about how they had realized that the government shut down only when they couldn't access data from government websites. More recently, the bubble's permeability has increased, as students have responded to events like the shooting of Michael Brown with solidarity marches.
This post is about popping the bubble.
On Sunday, I drove a U-Haul stuffed with Courtney La Forest's earthly possessions down from Boston. Courtney is my girlfriend, and she graduated in December with a BFA in illustration. In the wake of "snowpocalypse," we took advantage of the first snowless period in days to make the five hour drive down to Princeton, where Courtney's new apartment awaited. Other than a constant fear of shaving off the top of the truck by encountering a bridge with less than 10 ft. clearance, the ride went smoothly. By 3 p.m., we had unloaded the truck and dropped it off in Princeton.
Yesterday, I had dinner at Courtney's, a delicious chicken and bean soup topped with sour cream and home-made tortilla chips. The 25-minute walk alone exposes me to more of Princeton than I would otherwise see in several weeks. I feel that the "outside world" is more accessible and present now, which provides a nice perspective in my life. It's great to finally live in the same town as Courtney, and I'm excited to join in a small way the "other" Princeton community.