When many other companies are having their holiday parties, this office is juggling vacation schedules and extra issues — our annual wall calendar and Survival Guide issue come together in that hectic time of year. We used to try to have a big December party for our staff, but then we gave up and scheduled it for the relative calm of January.

Now it seems that every year the party gets scheduled for later and later in the season. Last year it was in early February. This season we pushed it back even later, to the last Sunday in February.

And we always try for a different theme. One year we all went bowling. On several memorable occasions we have been entertained by string quartets from West Windsor-Plainsboro school district. Last year we went to the Cloister Inn, the Princeton University eating club on Prospect Street. It was Super Bowl Sunday and of course we had a betting pool.

This year we decided to try something totally new: drinks and a buffet at the new Salt Creek Grille at Princeton Forrestal Village. Sunday, February 25, was Oscar day/night, so we could have taken Oscar bets. Instead, we asked the guests to share their own “star” moments, to tell something from their past that had nothing to do with their work at U.S. 1 or our sister publication, the West Windsor-Plainsboro News.

And of course the results were fascinating — everything from a former sumo wrestler to a child ice-skating star to a barmaid in Wales to an actor on Broadway (okay, it was a small part, but it makes for great conversation).

The answers were so interesting that we have begun to rethink our standard list of interview questions. We always ask “Where did you go to college” and “What do your parents do?” Maybe we also need to ask “What have you done in your life that has nothing to do with your work?”

For instance, in editing Michele Alperin’s story on page 10 we discovered that the subject, a teenage girl from Skillman, had a brother who had started two E-commerce ventures while he was a student at Harvard. That extra information prompted our editors to go to the website, myYearbook.com, and find out even more about the young entrepreneur than was originally reported.

All of which spurred us to switch the cover image from Zuula, a web browser firm at the Carnegie Center chronicled on page 44 of this issue, to the teenage entrepreneur.

Correction

The February 21 cover story on the Princeton University day camp and travel camp included an incorrect E-mail. Use reccamps@princeton.edu or visit www.princeton.edu/~campusre. Look under the pulldown Summer Camps for forms and information.

Directory Questions

We thank all of you who have already returned listing forms for our annual Business Directory. If you have a question about your form, please write it down on the form and fax it or mail it back. We will direct it to one of the editors working on that section.

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