Daily Archive: October 5, 2018



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Havemeyer Hall. Unrelated to article.

At Columbia, we all know pre-meds (or maybe we ARE one). Pre-meds have a reputation for their busy schedules, insane work ethics, and a seemingly built-in sense of delayed gratification. In this post, new Bwog staff writer Ezra Lerner explores what it means to be pre-med at Columbia. 

His laugh after the question is telling. Leaning comfortably on the small table, Martin Kyalwazi (CC ‘19) draws on experience for this answer. “I grew up in a lot of white spaces,” he explains, referring to his experience being black in the very not-black city of Sacramento. “There are just some things you gotta work through.” Despite these challenges, he was the only student at his high school to attend an Ivy League School. He brushes off the feat. “It was what it was,” he explains. One cannot help but look, however, at his background when thinking about why he is where he is now.

Kyalwazi, the son of Ugandan immigrants, has an identity that is inextricably linked to his desire to be a doctor. He speaks of the looks on his parents’ faces when they learned of family members that had been lost to the HIV epidemic. Despite not knowing them, Kyalwazi felt a kinship through his “parents’ emotions and expressions.” His grandfather, an oncologist in Uganda, has also been a motivating factor. Sebastian Kyalwazi, referenced by a Ugandan newspaper as the “greatest surgeon” the country has ever had, worked for the World Health Organization, led the surgery department at Makere University, and was Pope Paul VI’s surgeon during his 1969 trip to Uganda. Martin has a simpler description: hero. He learned of the man through childhood stories. Through these motivating factors, Kyalwazi has developed “a desire to heal,” as well as a social-justice approach to medicine.

Perhaps that is why Kyalwazi is not fazed by Deborah Mowshowitz: Columbia’s infamous intro biology professor who is notorious for her blistering exams. “She has this lore,” he explains, “that is more intimidating than she probably actually is. I thought she was a good professor.” He states this despite the fact that he did not “get that shiny A-” at the end of the semester that others might have been looking for. When it came time for the MCAT, however, he felt prepared. Mowshowitz had given him a foundation to “build off of.” With a strong familial legacy and a mission in front of him, one course was not going to throw him off.

Pre-meds… are they okay?



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The perpetrator’s weapon

Close your eyes. Imagine it’s 2 A.M. on a Thursday night. You have a full 8 hours of sleep and the rest of your life ahead of you. Until you hear it–the beeps. Not small, tranquil beeps, but the deafening, monstrous beeps of the Carman fire alarm. For the past two weeks, many Columbia freshmen didn’t have to imagine this; they lived through this hell multiple times.

Standing outside of my dorm at 2 in the morning with hundreds of other Carman residents, I heard lots of speculation about why we were in this situation for the fourth time in a week. “The dorm is broken!” and “Who the hell is juuling with their window closed? You fucking idiot.” were some things I heard possibly ten times. But last Thursday, a Carman-wide email was sent out informing us that there was no accident; someone has been pulling the fire alarm each and every time. As expected, students were furious. One friend said about the serial alarm puller, “I want the guillotine.” Another claimed, “If I catch them, it’s hands.”

More theories on the serial fire alarm puller below



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The Tower of Babel. Not pictured: the folks trying to fix it

Senior Staff Writer and language junkie Levi Cohen made his way to the Heyman Center for “The Tower of Babel: Human Rights and the Paradox of Language,” a Global Language Mellon Sawyer Seminar presented by the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society as part of the Public Lectures Series in Global Language Justice. Noted international human rights scholar Moria Paz made the case for how courts are failing minority languages.

Having sprinted from Finnish class to make it on time, I arrived at “The Tower of Babel: Human Rights and the Paradox of Language” out of breath and a little out of sorts. I was soon put right the moment that Moria Paz— a Visiting Scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford and a Fellow at Georgetown’s Center on National Security and the Law— took the lectern to put forth a compelling critique of human rights courts and their failure to adequately protect minorities.

Paz started off by asking us to think to ourselves about the basic function of language. A French mother living in New York, she said, might want her kids to speak English as the language that best facilitates their success in a primarily English-speaking landscape. Equally, she might want to teach them French, the language of her culture, her family, and her heritage. But French, with over 76 million native speakers, is a thriving global language. Paz transformed her example simply by switching what language she was talking about.

Romansh and the legal struggles of minority languages below



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Yum yum in the tum

I’ve spent a lot of my time here on Bwog (perhaps too much time) writing about my favorite campus subject…the dining halls. This article will be no different. This time, we’re having a go at classifying each dining hall under the framework of Plato’s Five Regimes, which any CC student might be all-too-familiar with.

  1. The Kallipolis = JJ’s Place. This city-state-slash-dining-hall is ruled by true philosopher-kings, embodied by the incredibly wise and thoughtful JJ’s staff (see: the pure genius of the recent Bob’s Burgers event). Order, harmony, and happiness are abundant.
  2. The Timocracy = Diana. Victory, honor, and spirit are valued here (e.g. preserving the line for the smoothies). Well-divided into separate parts a.k.a very organized, food-wise. Not that bad.
  3. The Oligarchy = Hewitt. Driven by necessary appetites; you kind of just want to get in, eat, and get out. Nothing more and nothing less. Divisions of types of foods and types of people get blurrier and blurrier (Why are there athletes here? It’s not even Meatless Monday?).
  4. The Democracy = Ferris. Well-intentioned, but ultimately chaotic. You can find all sorts of values and people here, like Plato’s metaphor of a quilted coat. Freedom is king here – everyone just wants space and freedom to move and eat as he/she would like. No order or harmony at all.
  5. The Tyranny = John Jay. Promises a lot, but delivers little. Do you really need an explanation on this one?

Haven’t gone to Ferris since September lol via Bwog Archives



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yasss celia, show them how it’s done

Events Editor Isabel Sepúlveda trekked over to the Diana Events Oval to Latin Jazz in the City: A Musical Tribute to the Greatest Latin American Women Singers of All Time. Hosted by the Forum on Migration, Claudia Acuña, Jorge Glem, Ricky Rodriguez, Luisito Quintero, and Baden Goyo adapted the works of world-renown Latina artists like Celia Cruz, Violeta Parra, and Mercedes Sosa for a powerful reminder of the connective power of language.

My exposure to Latin music as a child was largely me complaining to my sisters about my dad’s obnoxious habit of blasting salsa music every weekend, so as I arrived at the Diana Event Oval on Thursday to pick up my ticket for Latin Jazz in the City, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. As more and more people filtered into the space, the sound of Spanish conversation colored the room, as people who grew up with Celia Cruz and Violeta Parra anxiously awaited the start of the show.

We would have to be waiting a while, as it turns out. As José Moya, director of the Forum on Migration, noted in his introduction, “If there’s one thing jazz musicians are not, it’s punctual.”  In that time, Moya argued that migration forms a powerful source of creativity, noting that of the last 7 Nobel Prizes for Literature that were awarded to Americans, 5 were awarded to those born outside the country and that though only 14% of the country is foreign-born, over 40% of artists in the Whitney are. Latin jazz itself is the result of Cuban immigrants and Black Americans in New York City, and the artists themselves came from Puerto Rico, Chile, and Venezuela.

The performance itself, after the jump.



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Sports Editor Abby Rubel has been informed that Venus is in retrograde, which means we should spend time reflecting on relationships, including with Columbia Athletics! To help, here’s what’s going on this weekend.

Women’s Soccer: Columbia (5-4-1, 2-0 Ivy) will look to stay on top of the Ivy League on Friday at 4:00 pm at Penn (7-1-1, 1-0-1 Ivy). The Light Blue’s past few games have been close: a double-overtime victory over Cornell and a last-minute one over Brown. Penn has only one Ivy victory, a 2-0 win over Cornell last weekend. The Lions have won their last two matches against Penn 1-0 in extra minutes and will have to shut down Emily Sands if they hope to win this one. Sands has the most game-winning goals in the league, with four on the season.

Men’s Tennis: Three Lions will play at the International Tennis Association Championships this weekend. Sophomore Rian Pandole advanced from the pre-qualifying round with four wins and will take on South Carolina’s Yancy Dennis in his first match. Senior William Matheson will take on Idaho State’s Peter Trhac. Austen Huang, a fellow senior, will take on Scott Jones from Tennessee.

Men’s Soccer: The Blue and White (4-3-1, 1-0 Ivy) will take on Penn (2-2-3, 0-1 Ivy) on Saturday at 7:00 pm in an away game. Columbia lost to Pittsburgh last weekend 1-0, and Penn dropped its last game against Cornell in double overtime. Senior Knyan Rocks has three goals on the season, leading the team and the Ivy League. Senior Dylan Castanheira has played every minute in the net for Columbia, with a .68 goals against average. He’s also two shutouts away from holding the Columbia career record.

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while an 8-year-old girl has discovered an ancient sword, my biggest accomplishment is reading the iliad

Happening in the World: This past summer in southern Sweden, 8-year-old Saga Vanecek discovered a sword that is more than 1,000 years old. The story was not published until now because officials feared that too many people would rush to Vidöstern lake, the location where the ancient sword was found (Time).

Happening in the US: As lawmakers reviewed an FBI report addressing the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh on Thursday, protestors gathered on Capitol Hill and held a rally outside of Supreme Court. Hundreds of protesters were arrested, including comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski (CNN).

Happening in NYC: If you’re one of the many people that hate dealing with the headache that is J.F.K. Airport, you’ll be happy to know that Governor Cuomo has proposed a $13 billion solution. Although the project can’t do much to fix flight delays, it does hope to make it easier for travelers to navigate between terminals, as well as provide a multitude of amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and charging stations (New York Times).

Happening on Campus: Are you interested in undergraduate research opportunities? If so, then join the Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal today from 6 to 8 pm in Havemeyer 309 to hear from a panel of professors talk about how to get involved! (there will be snacks!!!!!!)

This Week’s Health & Wellness Tip: No matter how bad your allergies are, don’t take more than the recommended dosage. I guarantee that your professors and fellow peers will think that you’re really, really high.

cool viking swords via Wikimedia Commons

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