Senior Wisdom: Randolph Carr III
Written by Bwog Staff
Name, Hometown, School: My birth name is Randolph Carr III, a name long descended from my slave-owning, colonial forefathers. However, throughout my time at Columbia, at some point or another, I have been called Malik Newton, Xavier Lee, Brother CUSH, or some combination of these names, usually began with the honorific, Brother. South Central Los Angeles, California. Columbia College.
Claim to fame: At random hours, I could be seen walking around the Upper West Side, casually strolling about, usually alone. At the most unnecessary of moments, I would ride my bike from my dorm to class in Hamilton, just because. Whenever the weather permitted, I could be seen perched on the platform at the side of the Low Library steps, overlooking Low Plaza. In other words, my claim to fame is not really doing shit.
Where are you going? I will be in the city, here and there, wherever I happen to find myself. I will work enough to pay for a ridiculously cramped apartment with several roommates and enough food to survive. I will read, incessantly and indiscriminately. Occasionally, I will be on campus to, once again, sit atop my perch on Low Steps, not doing shit. I want to stay informed and active, preparing myself for what is next to come. What is next to come? If my vision were that good I would have less injuries, more money, and I would, surely, be much, much less interesting.
If you are around in the city and you are one of the rare individuals who doesn’t find me annoying, please give me a call. I always enjoy a good conversation. And, to those friends who will be returning to Columbia in the fall, whenever you have a swipe you would like to give away, hit a brother up.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
- You are not unintelligent. Just because your classmates may have gone to elite private schools since nursery school, translated the Iliad in high school, and often use words like milieu or some other frequently misplaced word like dialectic, does not mean they are smarter than you, or their thoughts more valuable. You should never be afraid to speak your mind, candidly and openly. You should never walk with your head down for you are intelligent despite feeling otherwise. Anyone who would have you believe differently is probably not as intelligent as they would hope or pretend. Speak, and speak proudly.
- Keep your commitments that you make to yourself and others. All of your words, big or small, should be honored. When you say you will do something, do so. If you can’t keep your commitments to your friends while in college , why might you suddenly do so in the “real world”? All you have are your words. If you say you will meet someone at John Jay do so even if it means missing that concert that you just secured tickets to and much rather attend.
- Don’t take up too much space. You should always be present, fully, in every living moment. While, yes, you should always proudly, and sometimes loudly, speak your mind–no one likes a motor mouth. Speak in short thoughts, when asked, when necessary. This does not mean be silent or be passive: you can also take up a lot of space when you say nothing. Be conscious and present with others in the room. Your words mean infinitely more when they are preceded by an open ear, a giving hand, and a kind heart.
Back in my day…
- Every room came furnished with these terribly clunky ROLM phones which I seriously doubt anyone ever used, or touched, beyond throwing it on top of the closet, or sliding it under the bed, never to be accounted for again until one had to fill out a Web Inventory Report.
- Ctrl +Alt + Backspace had meaning to the initiated: you never had to trifle over quotas, you could be as liberal and wasteful as possible with what you printed, and you felt damned good about it, despite having jumbled up the print queue.
- Ferris had a Burrito station.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: As a philosophy major, I have heard affirmed: I think, therefore I am. However, I’ve read a more deep reaching, vibrantly stirring affirmation: I feel, therefore I can be free.
Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: To her: you are beautiful. If only I had the courage. I would have told you the truth. I would have approached you with my head held high. If only I had the courage, dearest Alma Mater. You are beautiful, but beauty can mask some ugly things. Put down your staff. Do not seek to conquer the world for the sake of some global community. You are beautiful. Share that beauty with others in your community. Extend your open hand to those near to you. Smile more often; stress will only wear on you.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’ve had good cheese and I’ve had bad cheese. I’ve had cheese that I could have done without. I’ve had cheese that makes me feel on top of the world. I’ve had thoroughly matured cheese, ripened to perfection. I’ve been given many cheeses, of different flavors. I enjoy cheese. Moist cheese and even dry, crumbly cheese. I will rarely turn down cheese: Red Leicester, Tilsit, Caerphilly, or whatever the Cheese Shop has in store. But, when faced with an ultimatum of such dire consequences, before one could blink, I would give up cheese.
One thing to do before graduating: Rob this school blind. Check out as many books as you can read, and keep whatever you find inside. Apply for every grant whether you think you are qualified or not. Any professor who you are slightly interested in, take every spare moment they will offer you, to loot their wisdom. This school is abundant in resources, most of which it has, indeed, robbed from someone. Do not be ashamed, steal every opportunity you can get.
Any regrets? I only wish I was a better thief.