Today’s first of who-knows-how-many Senior Wisdom: Sophie Flack, former professional ballet dancer, novelist, and GS graduate who has an entirely justified appreciation for Erik Gray.
Name, Hometown, School: Sophie Flack, Watertown, MA (fun fact: my childhood home is less than two blocks from where bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat!), GS; English Literature.
Claim to fame? I left home right after my 15th birthday to pursue my dream of dancing with the New York City Ballet. After a nine-year career with the company, I wrote BUNHEADS, a novel inspired by my experiences dancing in the corps de ballet—while enrolled at Columbia.
Where are you going? Leave New York? Are you insane? In terms of figuring out what I want to be when I grow up, I’m hoping to do some more dance review (I have a piece in the next issue of Ballet Review magazine, and I post my recent reviews and essays here). I’ve also been working on a few television scripts, including an adaptation of my book (no, that ABC Family show has no relation to my novel, other than the extremely clever title…) that I’d like to put into the ether and see what happens.
3 things you learned at Columbia:
- Drop the attitude, because you don’t know everything. Enter class with humility, and be willing to ask for help when you’re lost. People seem a lot smarter when they admit that they don’t understand, than when they pretend they do.
- Some of the most fascinating courses I took were the ones I dreaded the most.
- Bubble tea at Café East will satisfy your oral fixation through your longest lectures. Important tip: make sure to ration your bubbles, so you can make it last through class.
- Typing notes on an iPad is the fastest method for note taking. It’s been proven (by me).
- Brownies Café (in the basement of Avery) has the BEST molasses cookies. The Avery library is the best place to do work on campus, but you have to smuggle in your cookie… and your bubble tea.
Back in my day…. Metrocards cost $1.50, and unsolicited windshield-squeegeeing was a thing.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: You can follow my existence on twitter: @SophieFlack.
Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: Dear Erik Gray, you are the dreamiest professor of them all.
I am also an enormous fan of Mindy Aloff at Barnard, and Frank Pulgliese (School of the Arts, film department). These professors really give a damn, they’re super encouraging, and just generally awesome people.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I went out in a blizzard to find us some cheese.
One thing to do before graduating: Yes, you need to prioritize your schoolwork, but you also want to develop into an interesting person (nod yes). You do not get street cred from hanging out on campus. For the love of God, get out of this 5 block radius, take the subway downtown, and explore. Go to the galleries in Chelsea, go see some live performance, go check out Brooklyn (gasp!), and meet some people who aren’t enrolled at Columbia (double gasp!). You might actually learn something.
Any regrets? I regret my answer to question #8.