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Daily Archive: October 18, 2018

Oct

18

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What is this thing? Is it of this Earth?

If you’ve walked by Ivy League Stationers in the past month or so, you’ve probably noticed the giant printer-thing outside it. What is the thing? Where did it come from? Why is it there? Sports Editor Abby Rubel has some theories.

I first noticed the printer-thing outside Ivy League Stationers about a month ago. (Maybe more, maybe less. Keeping track of time is difficult during midterms.) At first, I assumed that Ivy League Stationers once used it to print giant banners, that it had broken, and would be picked up by a designated service. But then I noticed it again. And I kept noticing it.

There is no reasonable explanation for this phenomenon. Why has no professional printer-thing-remover come and removed it yet? Obviously, because one has not been employed to do so. But Ivy League Stationers couldn’t possibly assume that a random passer-by would just take it, because it’s so freaking enormous. And it’s too far away from the curb to be eligible for trash pickup. So, if there’s no reasonable way the store could expect the printer-thing to be removed from outside the store, they must not want it to be removed, which means it’s probably not broken. Are they planning to use it outside? I haven’t observed anyone doing that, and the printer-thing doesn’t look usable anyway. Clearly the realm of the reasonable does not contain the answers to the printer-thing question.

My theories after the jump

Oct

18

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“For those of us who live at the shoreline…”
(Art by Anchuli Felicia King)

Last night, Bwogger and wannabe theatre critic Levi Cohen braved the chilly autumn night to get to the Lenfest Center for the Arts. His purpose? To watch the opening of the first thesis of the Directing MFA Class of 2019: LORDES, directed by Katherine Wilkinson, written by Wilkinson & Gethsemane Herron-Coward, and produced by Elana Boulos. The play runs through Saturday, October 20th, with two shows on its final day. Tickets can be found on the Lenfest Center’s website, and using the code AUDRE (+ a student ID) gets you one for free! Otherwise, they’re $15. All shows are currently sold out, but a wait list will begin each night at the Box Office 1 hour prior to curtain.

You enter. An usher gives the final warning that there will be no reentry if you exit the theatre. Over his shoulder you see a circle of women in red, seated around a writing-desk, staring outwards. Soon, a persistent drumbeat begins to thump. You examine your options- it’s a thrust stage, so you have three banks of seats from which to choose. Settling into your chair, you watch as the women each individually stand and peel off from that initial circle, situating themselves like pillars across the theatre space.

All that is the unforgettable first step into the world created by LORDES, MFA student Katherine Wilkinson’s Directing Thesis and the first thesis of the class of 2019. The work, by Wilkinson and Gethsemane Herron-Coward (Playwright MFA ‘19), began life as a devised piece last spring. Featuring a cast of over 40 women, it’s an impressionistic and impressive take on the final years and feelings of one of America’s major poets and activists.

Lauren Marissa Smith gives a stage-shaking performance as Audre Lorde. Remaining centerstage for the entirety of the play, Smith has nowhere to hide, but more than that no need to hide— every beat works to capture Lorde as both a character and the human being she was. When she coughs or falls, one seizes up in empathy; when she sits to write, one really does believe that she is penning, say, “A Litany For Survival” or The Cancer Journals. Simple actions, like the removal of a headscarf or the tearing of herbs, are charged with a depth of meaning that is genuinely breathtaking.

Read more about LORDES below

Oct

18

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Hong Fincher and Lu defy Big Brother.

 On Wednesday, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute invited author Leta Hong Fincher along with feminist activist and journalist Lü Pin to speak on China’s feminist movement. The story is of two worlds: a radical activism operating between the progressive #MeToo movement and an Orwellian Big Brother society. Andrew Wang, who has only ever known big brother as an older sibling, watched.

“Protect my rights, don’t keep me down; Why must I lose my freedom? Let’s break free from our heavy shackles, and reclaim our power as women!” sings Wei Ting Ting.

It is 2015, and Wei Ting Ting is detained underground, held by the Beijing police in a freezing room. She can barely see—the police had taken her glasses—and so she uses her voice, singing the anthem of China’s feminist movement. She and others had been handing out stickers on public transportation to raise awareness about sexual harassment in China. In response, the police conducted sweeping arrests across the country. They eventually focused their efforts on five women—later dubbed the Feminist Five—who were all brought to Beijing to be incarcerated. They were held for 37 days after immense international pressure.

Months later, above ground, China’s President, Xi Jin Ping—nicknamed Xi Da Da, or Xi Daddy—hosted a United Nations summit on gender equality.

Leta Hong Fincher told us this story as she read an excerpt from her book, Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China. From the get-go, we learned that China’s story of feminism is both like and unlike the western story. More from Leta Hong Fincher and Lu Pin

Oct

18

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Can’t wait to write in four of these today :))

Today is Columbia Registrar’s favorite holiday – Midterm Day! That’s right, folks, you know what that means: all of your midterms are today. Every. Single. One.

Some of you may be confused by this announcement, especially if you’re first years. That’s understandable. To help you navigate the most hectic day of the semester, here are some FAQs:

Q: My syllabus said my midterm isn’t for another two weeks. Are you sure it’s actually today?
A: Yes, I’m sure. It’s on the registrar calendar. They don’t make these things up.

Q: I thought I already took my midterm, why would I have another one?
A: Oh you sweet, sweet STEM students with your early midterms. That was a test run. STEM classes are basically one elaborate prank, so I’m not sure why you’re so surprised.

Q: I don’t have all my classes today. What do I do?
A: That’s no excuse not to take all your midterms today. This has been on the calendar for months. Drink a 5-hour Energy and sprint through campus until you find the location of your Wednesday seminar’s midterm.

Q: Are you sure this doesn’t just mean the day that marks the halfway point through the semester?
A: How do people even come up with excuses like this? Why would the registrar consider that important enough to put on their calendar? Sorry, you’re wrong and just haven’t been around here long enough.

Hope you’ve been studying! Time to get out those blue books.

the dreaded blue book via Columbia Bookstore

Oct

18

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Wear purple today!

Happening in the World: There have been dozens of attacks connected to an increasingly divisive presidential race in Brazil in the last month. Perpetrators have largely been supporters of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who has used violent rhetoric on the campaign trail. (New York Times)

Happening in the US: Connecticut Police officer Stephen Barone was fired following after a video showed him warning people he was “trigger-happy” when he stopped them for suspected trespassing. The firing came after an internal investigation done by the police department. (NBC News)

Happening in NYC: Effective January, people born in NYC will have the option to change the gender on their birth certificates to a gender-neutral option, “X.” The change will not require a doctor’s note and will ease the process for transgender individuals seeking documented recognition of their gender identity. (Reuters)

Happening on campus: Today is Wear Purple Day at Columbia for Relationship Violence Awareness Month. Join Columbia Health and Columbia SVR in showing support and raising awareness for an important cause.

Place to nap today: The spacious tables of the SIPA library group study rooms. Pick a table in a cubicle for semi-privacy.

RVAM via Columbia Events

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