Opening Remarks pt. 2

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Lecture hall’s a stage

Professors still trying to impress? Let us know at or comment on this post. Here are some of this week’s highlights.

Hlonipha Mokoena, Africa & the Anthropologist:

“If you plagiarize, I will descend on you like a ton of bricks.”

Sunil Gulati, Principles of Economics

“Can we borrow forever? Generally the answer is no, but we have been trying to disprove that.”

Jacob Alexander, Intermediate General Chemistry

”If thermodynamics is the Absolute Bagel, then derivations are the vermin droppings on the floor.”

Caterina Musatti, Principles of Economics 

“I know these graphs are trivial for some of you engineers, but there are Barnard girls who haven’t looked at a graph since they were 12.”

Daniel Rubenstein, Fundamentals of Computer Systems

“If I say something funny it should be on CULPA.”

Spotlight via Shutterstock

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  1. Robert  

    Mussati 1 - Gulati 0

  2. Anonamoose  

    Some CompSci class = Fundamentals of Computer Systems

  3. Mussati's awesome's funny..because it's true..

  4. wow

    sexism is so hilarious, isn't it guys?

    • Robert  

      The answer is yes

    • Anonymous  

      not every joke about barnard is sexist, dumb fuck. that's like saying that every joke about obama is racist, or that every joke about ellen degeneres is homophobic.

      • CC'14  

        This one is, though, because it plays into problematic stereotypes that women are not good at mathematics or science.

        • Captain Obvious  

          If he had said "I know these graphs are trivial for you male engineers..." then that would be the case, but the joke is instead playing on the quantitatively lower admission standards, and therefore the lesser rigor (in general) of Barnard girls' high school math and science studies.

          So, alienating to the school, not sexist.

          And still funny.

          • anon  

            But it's a bit appalling even if she was trying to joke about Barnard's math and science departments. It's going beyond the college and implying that all students who enter Barnard are uneducated in math/science and simply dilly-dallied throughout their high school careers. Which is obviously stupid because everyone takes similar workloads in math/science and painting a picture of female airheads. It's a pretty dumb, cheap joke.

          • Anonymous  

            Musatti's comment is absolutely unacceptable.

            Why did she choose to say Barnard instead of any of the other schools? She didn't say GS, she didn't say CC, she didn't say Engineering. She singled out the all-women's school. Everyone who says she was not being sexist are being very silly--- the assumption you are making is that Musatti has no idea that women are stereotyped as being bad at math. If she had no notion of this stereotype, then she would not go on to say it, because she would acknowledge that it would be in poor taste. But this stereotype is known by EVERYONE, and clearly, she played to the stereotype, which is insulting.

            Those of you who say that us women at Barnard should not be offended have no right to say so. The point is, MANY OF US **ARE** offended. How can you deny this fact when it's posted all over the comments? If you think that we should not be offended, then you should say to the following minorities that they shouldn't be offended if a professor makes the following jokes:

            econ class on banks: "How many of you guys are jews? I'm surprised more of you aren't in this class."

            gym class: You guys all seem to be fit. Fat people have no interest in health anyway.

            I'm sure that most of the people commenting saying that Barnard women should "take a chill pill," but if you have honestly nothing constructive to say, please don't say anything. If you would like to make a logical statement, please do so accordingly. Make a case. Don't be a douche.

            And to the gay jew who says "get used to being stereotyped,"-- you expressing that you've "gotten used" to prejudice doesn't mean that we have to. Your word doesn't have authority in this case. If you don't mind being defeated, that's fine, but others won't stand for it.

          • Anonymous  

            @anon, 12:19:

            Everyone takes similar workloads in math/science? Are you kidding me? So you really think the fact that I took two AP physics courses (B and C), AP calc BC, and multiple other science electives that my high school offered had nothing to do with the fact that I got into Columbia College and you didn't?

          • lol  

            @ anon ( JANUARY 26, 2013 @ 12:19 AM ) and the rest of y'all who are getting all butt hurt about musatti's comment -- seriously? barnard is a liberal arts college with no engineering school, if she said the same thing about CC students i don't think it would garner the same reaction, and if your response to that is "well she didn't, she said barnard" then you need to look at and reevaluate the way YOU view your school (or if you're not a bc student, then how you view barnard).

          • lol  

            to be clear -- when i was making the comparison to CC the point i was trying to make was that seas kids take a harder math/science workload than most cc students, and it is the same case for seas and barnard students.

        • Anonymous  

          wrong. musatti was commenting on the rigor of barnard's classes. if she wanted to be sexist, she would've said that girls IN GENERAL haven’t looked at a graph since they were 12. she singled out barnard girls for a reason -- not because they're girls (there are girls at columbia), but because they go to barnard.

          but anyways, who gives a shit?? i'm so fucking tired of this faux outrage.

        • Not all Barnard jokes are sexist

          The joke is not sexist; saying that CC women might have trouble would be. Musatti is accusing Barnard students of being dumber than CC students. Certainly a joke in poor taste, but not sexist.

    • anon  

      someone's jimmies are rustled

  5. millie the dancing bear

    Musatti can suck my dick

  6. to be fair (re: musatti)

    barnard DOES enable its students (as does columbia, if i'm not mistaken) to graduate without ever having taken a math/numbers oriented class, by allowing classes such as intro to logic to fulfill the quantitative analysis requirement. while it makes sense for a liberal arts school to be more writing heavy, i do feel that to be truly well rounded, we (as barnard students) (i am one) should have to take at least one actual numbers class.

    that being said, i'm pretty offended, especially considering that was said by a woman. unsure whether i'd be more or less offended if she'd just said "women" instead of "barnard students"...

  7. Barnard  

    Sure, it's not necessarily sexist, but it's definitely mean-spirited, in poor taste and sets the asshole alarm off pretty easily. I'm not sure the maturity of anyone who likes this "joke" is above a 12-year-old's, coincidentally.

  8. Why

    do two different professors (if the Overheard Columbia professor is different from Musatti) think that Barnard students don't do math or science? Let's not forget that all Barnard students are required to take two semesters of a lab science and one semester of math. These are not required in CC. Sure, intro to logic and psychology fulfill the math and science requirements, respectively, but the majority of Barnard students are taking other classes to fulfill the requirement, and these courses are challenging in and of themselves. Also, at Swarthmore my mom took 'Physics for Poets' so almost every school has courses that are on the spectrum of math or science without being too serious, they're a good way for people who may not be as strong in math or science to increase their knowledge and understanding of a discipline they may never have the opportunity to study in more depth.

    If the nature of Musatti's comment was meant to describe the rigor of Barnard courses, then this is something more serious. All tenured Barnard professors must also be tenured at Columbia, and the hiring of non-tenured faculty and adjuncts is also decided jointly. If she thinks the quality of teaching is worse across the street then she should bring it up with the faculty committee in charge of granting tenure and hiring nontenured professors. It's extremely unprofessional to make sweeping statements about your colleagues to your class of undergrads on the first day.

  9. Anonymous

    mocking mockery does not absolve the mocker of accountability or make a mean joke un-mean, much less altruistic. See also: "hipster racism"

  10. Anonymous

    *response to Anonymous directly above

  11. hmm

    and yet everyone THINKS it's about Barnard, so if she was 'mocking columbia students who propagate gender stereotypes in the first place' then she was doing it waaaay too subtly.

  12. Oh gosh  

    Umurkans have become a boring, humorless lot.

  13. grey-eyed athena

    "engineers" and "Barnard girls," huh? Because Barnard girls are 'girls' before they're scientists, historians, economists...that's pretty appalling.

  14. south african

    you pronounce it "schlo-NI-pa"

  15. Sherry J. Wolf- Intro to Communism

    "Check your privilege."

  16. Anonymous  

    are you serious? you think this was geared to the "rigor of their program"? you must be in your own world

  17. Anonymous  

    why would you see a graph before the age of 12 but then stop seeing them

    so funny!

  18. Justin

    So getting into Barnard is just not as hard as getting into Columbia. Those are the facts, and as much as anyone would like to dispute them, you really can't argue with numbers. You can argue that Barnard might be smaller and more intimate, or whatever you say about Barnard being better, but at the end of the day, even though Columbia and Barnard are only separated by Broadway, Columbia is Ivy League and Barnard is not. Musatti is not wrong, she was stating a fact that can be derived by tallying admissions scores. Barnard supporters, play on the artistic side and say you're good at that, because you aren't going to get anyone to believe you're good at math.

  19. Anonymous  

    What a poor mind wasted...

  20. dang  

    This is stupid. Musatti's joke was in the context of explaining how there would be both mathematical and analytical concepts displayed in the class, and how many students would be confused by them since they're used to to other things. She wasn't referring to Barnard girls' intelligence with the joke, she was referring to the FACT that seemingly most Barnard girls are liberal arts majors who don't take many math courses. She next said that many SEAS kids would be totally confused by the course's analytical concepts.

  21. Anonymous  

    Since when do we fucking care about sports here? We suck at them!

  22. Alum

    Y'all don't know anything about comedy. Stop debating it like you can infer anything from a written comment out of context. If it's a joke about Barnard students (really 'girls' is not an appropriate term, unless used reflexively with due consideration), it isn't a very good one. Some Barnard students are good at math, some are not interested in math, some want to learn some goddamn economics. When you get into the real world, not a single person will give a single shit about anything that happened to you at college, so pull your heads out of your behinds and start standing up for the people around you like decent human beings.

  23. For what it's worth  

    Musatti apologized in class today for her remark.

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