Senior Wisdom: Yoshiaki Ko

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Yoshiaki Ko

Yoshiaki Ko

Our next in the endless Senior Wisdoms parade: your CC salutatorian, who makes some very logical calculations. 

Name, Hometown, School: Yoshiaki Ko, Millbrae, CA, CC (Neuroscience & Behavior)

Claim to fame: Salutatorian! Also, pianist in the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange; you may find me often in the Lerner piano lounge, trying to learn some Schumann, for example.

Where are you going? Master’s program at Juilliard while continuing research at my lab in the Psych department – time to live the life of a musician for a couple years, before (probably) heading back into academia. I love music, but I think neuroscience is where my future lies.

3 things you learned at Columbia:

  • (1) Your fellow students at Columbia are probably the most valuable resource at your disposal – even more so than your professors or textbooks. It’s amazing how much you can learn just by talking to other students, especially if they’re studying subjects that you’re not.
  • (2) Sleep. I know you think you have to stay up to finish your work, but honestly, you can probably do it in half the time and do it better if you weren’t so sleep-deprived.
  • (3) President Bollinger controls the weather around Days on Campus. I have seen no evidence to the contrary.

Back in my day…NoCo didn’t exist/was under construction and we had the Epic of Gilgamesh in Lit Hum (the best reading by far, though I feel like I’m the only one who liked it),

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: At the very least, I’d like to think of myself as a pleasant person, and so hopefully that tilts the cosmic scale slightly in favor of “it is better that Yoshi exists.”

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: To the practice rooms in Schapiro: thank you for your service. I know a lot of people hate to practice on your upright pianos, but I have developed a certain affinity for them, which I will actually miss.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Probably oral sex. There are other ways to sex, but there are no other ways to cheese.

One thing to do before graduating: Take chances. My most rewarding experiences at Columbia have been when I jumped into something that was a little out of my comfort zone; by doing so, you learn, you grow, and you’ll better get to know yourself! And honestly, when else are you going to do it? College may well be the last time before the “real world” takes over.

Any regrets? None at all.

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  1. Anonymous

    When I play mariokart, I always pick Yoshi

  2. genius

    "There are other ways to sex, but there are no other ways to cheese."

  3. Anonymous

    check out that loving couple in the background.

  4. Totally agree

    For all of you people who would forsake cheese, do you know about the dearth of cheese substitutes out there? It's a wasteland, full of soy and daiya and "nutritional yeast sauce" and other slap-in-the-face inedibles with horrible names that sound like hippie granola mash!

    All right. Sorry I got emotional there-- I'm not even vegan, but I had to speak out.

  5. Fangirl  

    That's my psych TA! *swoon

  6. Anonymous  


  7. Anonymous


  8. See the thing about the weather machine is...  

    If President Bollinger controls the weather on DoC, then why was my DoC last year rainy? :(

  9. Jesus  

    Kill it. Kill it with fire. Neuroscience genius, piano prodigy AND decent human being? I refuse to accept that people like you exist, and my only feasible conclusion is that you must be a nefarious figment of my imagination.

  10. Anonymous

    This guy just seems so nice, talented and really smart. This was short and sweet and I'm glad to have him as salutatorian!

  11. senior girl  

    There's a certain honesty and lack of trying-to-hard in this senior wisdom that makes me wish I'd met this guy. Also, best answer to the oral sex/cheese question I've come across so far

  12. Anonymous  

    no more epic of gilgamesh in lit hum?! and they call themselves "columbia students."

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