“It’s nice to get messy,” Grace Randall ’23, a student in ‘Go Bananas for Banana Bread,’ told PAW.
Ethan Sterenfeld ’20

In the last week of January, between the end of fall-term final exams and the beginning of spring-semester classes, Princeton’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) hosted the 2020 Wintersession program. In classrooms and studios around campus, students chose from 42 noncredit courses, taught by students, staff, and faculty who covered topics from machine learning to magic.

In “Go Bananas for Banana Bread,” taught by Skyler Liu ’21 and Ailee Mendoza ’21, students were handed recipes, bananas, and bowls and began baking. The scent of bananas spread around the kitchen as students prepared and mixed the batter for the oven.

“It’s nice to get messy,” said Grace Randall ’23, a student in the class. “It’s a fun way to bake.”

Afterward, pots and pans stacked up in the sink and students started cleaning.

“Wintersession is good for community-building,” Liu said. “You get to know a lot of people that you normally wouldn’t get to meet.”

Steve Lucash, lead mechanic at the campus garage, walks students through ‘Basic Car Maintenance – The What Goes Where Guide,’ a class led by Sean Ryder of Public Safety.
Ethan Sterenfeld ’20

On another side of campus, many students spent their break studying “A Light Introduction to Quantum Mechanics,” taught by Bryan Foo ’23. The course focused on the math and physics of Schrödinger’s Equation.

“I think when I teach, I often let my own passion for the subject come through, and that makes it a lot of fun,” Foo said.

Later in the week, students played with yarn and crochet hooks in “How to Crochet Almost Any Stuffed Buddy Without a Pattern,” taught by Nsomma Alilonu ’21. The class aimed to share the basics of a technique called the magic ring.

“I did crochet about 10 years ago,” said Dayan Mitchell ’22, who took the course. “This class was challenging, mainly because I haven’t done it in so long, but informative.”

This year’s Wintersession was the last one hosted by USG. Beginning next year, Wintersession will be a two-week program organized by University staff.