Actual Wisdom: Prabhjot Singh

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Next up in the series is Prabhjot Singh, professor of international and public affairs at SIPA, who’s been in the news a bit recently. You could probably find even more wisdom on his Twitter @prabhjotsinghNY.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Bwog, you are like the Sphinx! So I will answer duly:

“Make your body a home of equanimity
Acquire shining intellect and insight
Equip your mind with proper knowledge
Thus work for emancipation”

—loose translation of a Sikh shabad

Claim to fame: In my neighborhood, it’s my super friendly, chatty & incomprehensible 15 month old. Also, getting punched in the face.

What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience? Falling in love, breaking up. Both unexpected. Both valuable.

Back in my day… Drones hadn’t entered the book business.

What’s the craziest student excuse/extension story you’ve heard? “Professor, I had to do an assignment for another class and couldn’t finish yours.” #jilted #forreal? #denied

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? So our young scholar encounters another riddle on his Bwog journey. If this question were for a tenure decision, he would be denied all three.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Being “of the City of New York” means more than enjoying its fruits; we must join in its labors.
  2. It’s the perfect time to retool scholarship to address “street level” problems. It was always the perfect time.
  3. The students here are preternaturally savvy.

What’s your advice to students/academics/the human race in general? Give back what you can. You’ll have less to carry.

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  1. Anonymous  

    this guy seems chill

  2. Anonymous

    this was actually really funny/interesting

  3. anon  

    This guy is awesome. Professors that hashtag >>>>

  4. Anonymous  

    > "Also, getting punched in the face."
    > being this much of a badass

  5. this guy can't catch a break

    Google misidentifies him too! If you search his name, his photo gets attached to the Wikipedia entry for this guy:

    Though part of me is a bit disappointed that he didn't actually flip off a stadium of Argentine fans while playing in an international field hockey match. Step up your game, professor!


  6. lurker alum

    I'm charmed - someone let me back in so I can share a campus with this tremendously kind, wise soul

  7. CC16

    "Being “of the City of New York” means more than enjoying its fruits; we must join in its labors."

    The truth of this hit me like a load of bricks. Seems so simple, but I never quite thought about it that way before. Thanks for the insight.

  8. Alum

    Another tidbit: He has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and genetics (from Rockefeller) and an M.D. (from Cornell). He has a medical practice in Harlem in addition to his duties at Columbia.

  9. amazing

    I can't put my finger on it, but this was my favorite wisdom thus far. Very understated wisdom, and a man that knows the value of things in life.

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