Senior Wisdom: James Bennett II
Written by Bwog Staff
In the first Senior Wisdom of the day we bring you the wonderful James Bennett II, star of Columbia’s Harlem Shake, Sensual Sundays, the International Butler Anthem, WKCR jazz shows, your dreams, and so on and so forth…
Name, Hometown, School: James A. Bennett, II; Baltimore, MD (the original Bay Area- Chesapeake what up); Columbia College
Claim to fame? I just see myself as a cynically unabashed dude who’s been known to fall down, read some shit out loud, put the needle to the groove in order to give you some aural stimulation at WKCR, and rap from time to time. Who knows, maybe I made you laugh once or twice. Back home, I’m just that kid from a kind of alright- turned-hnnnggg neighborhood who in no way was supposed to make it Columbia, but who wound up doing so anyway, because determination.
Where are you going? Word on the street is that I’ll be splitting time between New York and D.C., but mostly New York, and most definitely around.
3 things you learned at Columbia: Three things, eh?
- One reckless night back in the summer of ’11, I received the greatest bit of wisdom from a CC Alum, class of ’54. He looked me in the eye and said, “if it seems like a good idea, do it. When I was an undergrad I would want to just lose it and go outside and shout and have five-cent beer at West End Bar. So I did. ” Now, of course operating within the confines of the law, I took that to heart. I learned that you remember those impromptu trips to Brooklyn and forget those lost nights at a library. That a poorly planned mini-road trip is a much better memory than a routine Sunday morning meeting. That things get better, and that Butler isn’t forever. So, don’t you dare drop your metaphorical thun-thun. Thanks, Alum guy.
- That a perfectly executed headshake/finger wag combo says infinitely more than a stream petulant vitriol when someone is being a real social idiot. Practice in a mirror and with your friends, and give it a shot next time someone decided to walk in the opposite direction as you on those godforsaken stairs in Ferris Booth. One day this could be you.
- To be clear about what you want. I think we love imaging our lives like movies, and that everyone knows what our thoughts and wishes are. But there are no intimate over the shoulder shots or artsy jump cuts or silly theme music to cue up some dramatic dialogue. It’s just you and your professor/crush/friend/bartender//Max Bartik. Just be frank. Not curt, just honest. Now, honesty can be a motherfucker. No way around that. You may not hear or get what you want, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to breathe without a load of “what if’s” weighing you down. And you need your head to keep your cool.
Back in my day… things were cool, and all we needed was bop-bop, bop-bop, bop-ba-domp.
Oh, and Ferris was a luxury; 40s were $3 flat; Crack Del; Wien was hands down the grimiest of dormitories; the sky was blue; Thursday nights at JJ’s were wild; there was no wifi in John Jay (for better or for worse); the grass was green; all the cool kids hung out behind SIPA; NoCo security was terrible in its infant semesters, and roof access was dumb easy; Jurassic Park was still cool; and I studied in Uris whenever I damn well pleased.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Chivalry isn’t dead yet. But chivalry dies when I do.
Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: I saw your face, and wow.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I was always taught to recognize the talents of your own and respect those of others. That said, I’ve never heard, given, or received praise for eating cheese. Open and shut case, Johnson.
One thing to do before graduating: Experience sunrise from the Staten Island Ferry. Go alone. Heading back to Manhattan with just your thoughts, the water, and the rising sun is an indescribable feeling. Comes with the side effect of explaining to all your buddies why you were even alone in Staten Island that late in the first place.
Any regrets? Didn’t devote enough time to mastering time. I don’t mean time management, I mean hopping in the DeLorean and exploring what would have happened if I had said this then or done that now or eaten this or drank that or slept these hours and not those hours. Until then, I gotta deal with the time machine that never was. Life is linear, and all your disappointing moments are behind you, but hopefully you’ve crafted enough good memories to carry you all the way. And I have. I love you all, madly.
JJ11 4 Lyfe
Tags: but...our life totally IS a movie!, cumb, embodiment of chivalry, james bennett II, jurassic park will always be cool, NOW DO THE HARLEM SHAKE, senior wisdom, senior wisdom 2013, seriously can james bennett ii narrate my life, wkcr