Daily Archive: October 30, 2018



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From Latinx Heritage Month 2017.

Columbia often advertises itself as one of the most ethnically and economically diverse schools in the Ivy League. But what happens when students with these diverse backgrounds after they come to Columbia? What communities exist for them? With Latinx Heritage Month a few weeks behind us, Events Editor Isabel Sepúlveda takes a closer look at the Latinx community within the undergraduate community and what three student organizations are doing to support it.

As is often the case at Columbia, most of the issues of identity and connection within the campus Latinx community come down to space. Not physical space–though that does pose an issue for many groups–but spaces of identity and the question of who can occupy them loom more urgently over the conversation. “I don’t want to take up a space there that I maybe don’t belong in,” said Madeleine Lemos (CC ‘21) about the distance she feels from the Latinx community on campus. Though she’s attended several Chicanx Caucus meetings, her family’s experiences as 3rd and 4th generation Mexican-Americans differed from the issues faced by 1st and 2nd generation residents discussed at the meetings. Her bi-racial identity also made navigation of these campus spaces more difficult, as many of Columbia’s Latinx clubs, while open to everyone, focus on being “from a country” and celebration of that culture.

Her thoughts were echoed by Emma Gometz (CC ‘21), who described herself “half-white, half-Colombian, full Columbian.” Like Lemos, she acknowledged that as a person of mixed-race “what I go through is way different” from others who occupy these spaces. While she “[doesn’t] want to invalidate [her] own experience” as a mixed person, her consciousness of her privilege as an American and her nervousness having to prove that she’s “Latinx enough” have left her hesitant to engage in the formal campus community. “Whenever there’s a group based on identity,” she noted, “you’re always faced with that question: I am I this enough?”

Both highlighted that at a macro-level, Latinx groups rarely work together, leaving them, as Lemos put it, “disjointed and scattered.” Combined with at times poor outreach, they felt this left clubs largely unable to project a united front to the campus at large. Despite their individual hesitance, both made clear that, despite their flaws, these groups can provide a vital place for Latinx students to be themselves authentically in a university that struggles with making a home for people of color. The issues they raised were not out of bitterness or spite, but rather a genuine desire to see a strengthened community. They aren’t alone either; the three campus groups I spoke with recognized this insularity as a key hurdle in their effort to build community.

What are Latinx organizations doing to overcome these hurdles?



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If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you know that I’m not a woman in STEM™. I’ve never been very good at math or science, and have come to complete peace with that. I can’t even say numbers in French, my actual major, or read Roman numerals past 39, though Classics is my other actual major.

The one thing even vaguely STEM-related I’m interested in is astrology (before you attack me, I know this isn’t a “real science,” which is why I said “vaguely” and “related”), so when the time to stop procrastinating my science core requirement arrived, I chose to take an intro astronomy class. Stars are cool! The prerequisite was “basic high school algebra” and, I mean, I passed high school algebra!

A few weeks into the semester, I had a few questions about the class, such as why we were talking about chemical reactions and bacteria (on earth), since when did logs count as “basic high school algebra,” why we spent only 10 minutes of the semester on constellations (which is what I wanted to learn about, because you know, astrology), and why there was so much math and physics involved. I picked up an actual calculator for the first time in two years for this class.

What I was more surprised by was how I’m actually good at it! Maybe all those hours analyzing my birth chart on Co—Star and Cafe Astrology paid off and I’m just really connected with the stars. Maybe my professor is a magician genie who made me “good at math.” Regardless, I’m pulling a solid A in the class right now (which might change after this Thursday, when I have the midterm)! Look at that! I know what a semi-major axis is now, and how planet retrogrades work (scientifically, not astrologically)! I go to all the lectures, do all the homework, and feel fulfilled when I understand the class material! Should I just go ahead and change my major to astronomy?!?!

Even though I unironically love the Core, the science requirement was the one thing about it that I always dreaded. Not anymore! One of the main attributes of the Core that many people like is that it forces you to take classes outside your interest. Before this semester, I, being a Classics major, liked the Core for the exact opposite reason, but this astronomy class really made me change my perspective. Taking classes outside your main discipline of study is actually a good thing and I am learning so much. Who would have thought?

By the way, I’m still obsessed with astrology. Just because the professor said it’s a pseudoscience in the very first class doesn’t mean I don’t believe in it anymore. But, you know, astrophysics is also cool.

stars via Bwog Archives



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Sexy plate of pasta

Just as the green lawns in front of Butler will be soon be covered with tarps, Cooking With Bwog will soon start running recipes filled with pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and other brownish root vegetables. Darn the wheel of the world! Why must it continually turn over! Take this recipe as the last remnant of summer.

Pasta with Peas and Mint


Pasta— I used (homemade) fettuccine but any ol’ pasta will work
Generous bunch of mint
Container of homemade peas, recycled from when you needed to ice your ankle
Lemon— zest and juice!
Lots of parmesan cheese and butter

Cook pasta generously with salt. Heat peas and butter, in the microwave if you wish, and add lemon zest, juice, and cheese. Mash a little bit till you have a slightly creamy mixture. Mix with pasta, add chopped mint, lemon juice, more cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and lots of salt and pepper! Top with toasted almonds or pistachios (optional).

Photo via Bwogger Cara



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Tourists wading through the flood of Venice

Happening in the World: Venice is hit with the worst flooding in a decade, with more than 5 feet of water covering more than 70% of the city. Visitors and locals wade through the city’s most notable sights. The water rose higher than the elevated walkways that are usually installed during routine flooding.

Happening in the US: This Halloweekend, an Alabama woman’s zombie teeth got stuck on her actual teeth. The teeth cost $3, and it was attached using the temporary glue that came with the store-bought teeth. She went to an emergency dentist who eventually got them out.

Happening in NYC: One of world’s cheapest Michelin star restaurants, Tim Ho Wan, opens second location in NYC. The first NYC location launched in the East Village, and the second location is in Hell’s Kitchen. The restaurant serves high quality dim sum and is known for its BBQ pork buns, steamed shrimp dumplings, and pan-fried turnip cakes.

Happening on Campus: Hoot Magazine, the student-run fashion publication of Columbia, is launching the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Holler with a party. Stop by at 6 pm-8 pm at Diana 402 for snacks, music, and some vintage shopping.

Restaurant of the week: Shuka is located in SoHo and serves up contemporary Eastern Mediterranean food. For regular dining, they serve dishes like kebabs and hummus. For brunch, notable mentions include an unforgettable shakshuka and a trio of delicious desserts. Reservations are easy to get and it is an overall crowd-pleaser.

Photo via Huffington Post

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