Daily Archive: December 19, 2017

Dec

19

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Legend has it that Columbia’s lawns are always green because of the fees the school charges to any company that wants to film there. Truth or urban legend? You decide!

These lawns are green… perhaps too green…

Gossip Girl: Nate, Serena, and Blair all end up at Columbia, shown via exterior shots. Not sure why any of them thought Columbia was fabulous enough to hold them, but I would be a lot more likely to go to class if a Chace Crawford look-alike were there.

Spiderman: Shots of Columbia feature in all three Tobey Maguire–era Spiderman movies. Unlike the stunningly attractive Nate, Serena, and Blair, Peter Parker would blend in perfectly with the Columbia student body. He’d be that guy you stared at in lecture, wondering if he was actually cute or just a little weird-looking.

Mistress America: This film about a Barnard student and starring Greta Gerwig (BC ’06) features scenes in the Quad, the Diana, and Hewitt dining hall, among other Barnard locations. While it briefly touches on the Barnumbia relationship, it doesn’t seem to understand it any more than we do.

How I Met Your Mother: For three seasons, Ted is an architecture professor at Columbia. Like most films and shows on this list, the exterior shots are genuine Columbia, but the interior shots are not. The fictional students are actually fairly Columbia-esque, abandoning his class to protest.

Ghostbusters (1984): The famous trio of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Egon Spengler are originally Columbia professors before they get fired and pursue their true calling. While no Columbia buildings are mentioned by name, “Weaver Hall” is actually Havemeyer wearing a really lazy disguise. (They just changed a plaque.)

Ghostbusters (2016): In a nod to the original, Erin Gilbert is also a disgraced Columbia professor, and there are some exterior shots of Columbia. As soon as they show an interior shot of “Columbia,” the illusion is broken—her office is way too clean.

Kill Your Darlings: A story about one of Columbia’s most famous and least-acknowledged alumni, Allen Ginsberg, Kill Your Darlings has exterior shots of Columbia galore. The palatial interiors, which are intended to be Columbia circa the 1940s are a far cry from John Jay as it currently stands. And a scene in which Ginsberg and others replace rare books on display in the library with pornographic ones could never actually happen at Columbia today—students studying in Butler would shush them for being too boisterous.

Simon (1980): This little-known movie stars Alan Arkin (of Argo and Little Miss Sunshine) as Simon, a Columbia professor who is brainwashed by the Institute for Advanced Concepts into thinking he’s an alien being who has to improve the world. The movie’s best scene takes place in 309 Havemeyer. Simon is in the midst of an inspiring lecture on the necessity of creative thinking when one of the few students raises her hand and asks, “Is this going to be on the final?” Same girl, same.

Suspicious lawns via Archives.

Dec

19

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Can’t wait to melt into our beds when we get home

Starting this Friday (or perhaps starting already, if you’re lucky), you have an entire month to sleep, procrastinate, and sleep more, to recuperate from this crushing semester and prepare for the spring. In the interests of Columbia students taking advantage of the Netflix subscriptions that have been lying unused for the past few weeks, Bwog has compiled a list of our top recommendations for what you should watch, read, and listen to over this winter break.

Watch:

  • The Crown (Netflix): one Bwogger’s English colloquium professor mentioned this show in class, and because she takes that professor’s recommendation on pretty much everything, she started watching it after her exam yesterday. It’s pretty compelling, and the music is gorgeous.
  • Riverdale (season one is on Netflix, season two is on Netflix in certain countries, not including the US; both seasons are on the CW) : really good for wasting your brainpower and feeling really stupid, which is necessary after finals.
  • The Great British Baking Show: the best and most positive/wholesome cooking show on Netflix.
  • Bojack Horseman (Netflix): Lots of people have been referencing it, but it’s worth a watch on its own merit. It’s really sarcastic and funny while also being poignant and, to be completely honest, a total mindfuck.
  • Pride (movie): Tells the story of a group of gay guys and lesbians in 1980s Britain who start supporting a town of Welsh miners on strike. A really heartwarming movie, with some great funny parts.
  • Dear White People (Netflix): only 10 30-minute episodes so it’s really easy to binge. It’s well-acted, super cinematic, and engages some really pertinent issues head-on.
  • Galavant: only two seasons of a fun musical comedy that honestly deserved better.
  • The Magicians: Now that you’re in college, you’ve graduated from fantasies of magical boarding school to magical undergrad. This is Syfy’s only redeemable show, about the magical Ivy League (???), in case you needed to be validated by going to an Ivy when your relatives ask you what you’ve accomplished so far.
  • Lost: While it may seem like a knockoff Castaway, or that passé show from the 2000’s, Lost is a must-see. Amazingly interconnected story lines. You’ll get addicted to it, but it’s 6 seasons each containing at least 17 45 minute episodes, so good luck finishing over break.
  • Brooklyn Nine Nine: Rosa Diaz is bi. You don’t need any more reason to watch this show (although we could give you about a hundred more).

Suggestions for things to read and listen to after the jump

Dec

19

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Yesterday, Dr. William Harris, a Columbia professor of Greco-Roman history, retired, as was announced in an email to students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. This retirement was part of the settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed in October. An anonymous graduate student alleged that Dr. Harris repeatedly kissed and groped her, requested sexual intercourse, and disparaged her to other members of the department when she refused. She reported his behavior to colleagues and university officials, then sued the university when she was unsatisfied with the response she received. Several other students have since come forward with similar accusations against Dr. Harris.

The lawyer representing this anonymous student claimed that this retirement is a victory, as the New York Times reported. But it is in actuality more of a formality, as Dr. Harris stepped down from teaching and student advising on October 30, after news of the lawsuit became public.

In the email announcing Dr. Harris’ retirement, GSAS Deans David Madigan and Carlos Alonso wrote that they are “deeply committed to supporting all of [their] students, protecting them from harassment of any kind, and ensuring that [their] academic community is a safe and respectful place.” But these words ring hollow when one considers the fact that Dr. Harris “continued to spend time” in the history department offices in Fayerweather after he stepped down from teaching, yet did not face any consequences from Columbia, according to Kellen Heniford, a student of this department.

“I cannot overstate what a punch in the gut it has been – what kind of literal, visceral pain it has caused – to me and to other female students to have seen Richard Harris in the physical spaces of the [history] department over the past several months,” Heniford said.

Dr. Harris was teaching an undergraduate lecture course earlier this semester, and stepped down from it along with his other academic duties on October 30. He is listed in the Columbia directory as a professor in the history department, not a graduate-specific professor. However, undergrad students were not notified of Dr. Harris’ retirement, and were generally kept in the dark about the ongoing lawsuit.

UPDATE, 3:20 pm: We have received a statement from Olga Brudastova, a PhD student in Civil Engineering and GWC Bargaining Committee Member, on behalf of the GWC-UAW union. Brudastova wrote that the way in which Columbia has handled this case “further highlight the flaws in the existing system that so often fails to protect members of the Columbia community against sexual assault and harassment.” She also expressed that the graduate student union hopes to negotiate for “stronger protections and recourse against sexual harassment,” and will do so if Columbia recognizes their vote to unionize.

Read the email sent to GSAS students and the full statement from GWC-UAW after the jump

Dec

19

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Annie, ft. more snow than ever sticks around on campus

Our next December Senior Wisdom is from Annie Bryan, who has published a lot of writing during her time at Columbia (including a book, a play, and some pieces for Spec).

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Annie Bryan, Columbia College, Creative Writing, Vienna, VA

Claim to Fame: The boring stuff is that I published a book, published a play, and interned in newsrooms a lot. But more interestingly, I got the Spectator in a 3-year-long legal battle with Columbia Administration for a piece I wrote freshman year. The court dismissed it, twice.

Where are you going? I’m starting a job in January writing and editing for The Skimm, whose office is down in the Flatiron district. And I’m moving allllll the wayyyyy to a new apartment… a block away from campus. I chose to live near campus so that I can still live out some semblance of a senior spring while working in the city… so please keep inviting me to stuff?

More wisdom after the jump

Dec

19

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“…And at last I see the light & it’s like the fogs been lifted” – Tangled

Good Morning, Columbia! We’re so close to the light at the end of the tunnel (a.k.a the end of finals) with just three more days to go, Bwog believes in you…and your ability to procrastinate with today’s worldly updates. 

Bwogline: At least 3 individuals were killed yesterday after an Amtrak in Washington was derailed. All 12 carriages from the newly opened Amtrak route from Seattle to Portland were derailed, crumpling five cars and two trucks. President Trump tweeted about the incident, using it to defend submitted infrastructure plans. (NYT)

Study Tip: It’s the middle of December and if you’re still on campus the grey is probably getting you down. Invest in some highlighters or colors to jazz up your notes and make you a little less reluctant to look at them. Besides, stationary shopping is relaxing in itself.

Music: P!nk’s new album is perfect for accompanying the wide range of emotions you’re likely to be feeling from Butler. Also the music video for ‘Beautiful Trauma’ features Channing Tatum, just saying.

Procrastination: Try some productive procrastination, and by that I mean there’s a strong probability of a Crash Course type video relating to your finals is on YouTube. Watch it. Then give yourself ten minutes to get lost within the weirder depths of YouTube while feeling good about yourself for having done something slightly productive.

Overheard: The people living above me (not God) keep throwing parties and I’m so close to hurting them.

Image via WikiCommons

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