Bwog In Bed: Getting The Hell Out Edition

Bwog is still bed, but won’t be for much longer. To those poor souls who won’t be out of finals until 10:00 tonight: we’ve stood by you as long as we can, but it’s time to pack up and go home. Maybe after just a few more moments under these warm covers… In the meantime, here’s your daily dose of finals news, study tips, and procrastination. 

Bwogline: If you fear you’ll never escape finals, take comfort in the story of American aid worker Alan Gross, whose release from Cuban prison represents the end of 53 years of diplomatic estrangement. Just hope you’re freedom won’t require intervention from President Obama and the pope. (New York Times)

Study Tip: Feeling down? Go for a run! Run and run and never look back! Collapse in a small town in the Midwest and take a job in the local quarry! Find confidence in your promotion to foreman and finally buy that engagement ring! Look at the family gathered around your hospital bed, generations brought together over Thanksgiving dinners and Fourth of July picnics (too many to possibly remember but too precious to forget, even now, as the years take their toll), and take pride in your life as you slip, content, into darkness! Or, if you don’t like street running, try the treadmills in Schapiro!

Procrastination: Enjoy comedian and alumni Jenny Slate, singing “Landslide” in the voice of her online persona, Marcel the Shell.

Overheard: In the Schapiro lounge

Guy to his friends: “I forgot how to spell exotic on my arthum exam today. I was like E-X-H-A-U-T-I-C.”
His friend: “Did you… choose a different word?”
Guy: “No I just went with it”

Meditations On Carman
Those fluorescent lights tho

Those fluorescent lights tho

Now officially on winter break, Daily Editor and Carmanite Rachel Deal reflects on her first semester spent in Carman.

On move-in day, it takes three tries to unlock the door to my “suite.” The room isn’t as bad as she thought it would be, my mom says, but she grimaces when she looks into the bathroom. We stretch a navy fitted sheet over my mattress while my dad hangs up an obligatory string of Christmas lights, and my siblings peer out the windows at Lerner’s brick side. I cover up as much of the greasy white walls as I can—I put up a Vampire Weekend poster, screencaps from Twin Peaks, a Columbia banner, photos from proms and birthdays and that time in Aaron’s backyard, my map of the world in Arabic. My mom still sometimes asks me about people we met that day, in the elevator and on the sidewalks of 114th, but I don’t remember their names or what they look like. A few days into NSOP, my lights and photos of family and friends slip from the sweating walls, and I leave them on the floor behind my bed.

When my friend visited from Harvard, he joked that Carman reminded him of a prison (which, in turn, reminds me of that Sylvia Plath quote: “Your room is not your prison. You are.”) It’s true, though—Carman is stark and institutional, institutional in a different way than muggy Hamilton classrooms and the names on Butler’s façade. It is not the Columbia you see on campus tours—it is not the striking grace of Alma Mater, and it is not red brick and blue roofs like Kent or Mathematics. Carman is fluorescent lights and white walls and vomit-stained carpeting and crumbling ceiling tiles and glowing neon red exit signs—blunt and unpretentious.

I have a few upperclassman friends who have refused to enter Carman since moving out at the end of their freshman years. Too many bad memories or something—memories of elevators reeking of urine, of sweaty parties and body odor and tiled floors sticky with Crazy Stallions and Lime-A-Ritas. The carpeted hallway, too, is always encrusted with something—the day after study break, it’s tortilla chips and Oreo crumbs, and after Saturday nights, it’s grains of rice and shreds of lettuce from (drunkenly) spilled halal. One night while we’re lying on our filthy hallway floor, our RA tells some friends and me that he loved Carman as a freshman. The first night of NSOP, he had us all write down a hope or dream for the semester on notecards. Afterward, he hung them all up on the bulletin board in front of the elevators, but some kid from another floor tore it down when he was drunk.

It’s a weekend night, and I have a big Comp Sci project or Lit Hum paper or something due the upcoming week, but lacking the motivation to go to Butler and search for a seat, I end up in the floor lounge with my laptop. Between the techno music coming from one suite and the smell of weed leaking from underneath the door of another, though, I get nothing done, but I like watching the people on my floor come and go. Sitting at the end of the hall, I don’t take my eyes off people as they walk its length, the glow of the fluorescents obscuring the outlines of their features. The elevator dings, and one guy stumbles back in a suit, zig-zagging down the hall to his suite, his tie loose. It dings again—another boy, this one wearing glasses and a backpack, slumps back to his room from the library. The glow of the lights is heady, and I can still feel their buzzing as I return to my dark suite, clicking the heavy door shut.

Holidays On The Cheap
What the fuck is jelly character

What the fuck is jelly character

We’re all friends broke around here. We know where your last $10 REALLY went. But your friends are weirdly into Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hannukkah/nondenominational winter holiday, so you’ve gotten roped into celebrating the festivities like a real family.

Here’s how to get by this holiday season, poor student style. For all your gift-giving needs, a by-no-means-definitive analysis of what you can get for $1 and under in this fine neighborhood of ours.

Duane Reade

  • 2.5 dark chocolate covered marshmallows
  • Half an 8.4oz Red Bull (on sale though!! Only 2 for $4!!)
  • 1 candy cane with “jelly character”
  • Nice! brand gelatin dessert
  • 1 Disney princess lipstick, with the princess of your choice

Rite Aid

  • 1 pack Hawaiian Punch flavored Hubba Bubba
  • 1 2-liter Simplify diet cola
  • A tin of cat food (recommendations: Friskies tasty treasure or Fancy Feast tender liver and chicken)


  • Wheat cake
  • Half a carton of banana tofu dessert

More thoughtful (?) gift ideas after the jump.

Senior Wisdom: Kathy Yuh
Kathy Yuh

Kathy Yuh

Sadly, we bring you our final Senior Wisdom for this semester with another early graduate, Kathy Yuh.

Name, Hometown, School, Major: Kathy Yuh, the 925 Bay Area, CA, CC, Economics

Claim to fame: Having a very pun-able last name. Sister of Alpha Chi Omega. And the one obviously non-Slavic person working at the Slavic Department in Hamilton 708 for the past 3.5 years. This also meant I walked up the stairs to the goddamn 7th floor of Hamilton at least once, every single day of the semester since fall 2011.

Where are you going? In about month, to Thailand to volunteer at an elephant rescue camp!

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2018?

  1. Be okay with being perceived differently than you’re used to.
    Isn’t it weird, how when you come to college, for the most part no one knows who you are? Sure, you can tell people you were a varsity letter athlete, a student activist, a musician, etc., but that is not how people will see you. And soon enough, that outdated version of ‘you’ will no longer be how you identify yourself, either. While it’s hard to question your identity that you’ve been attached to for the past 18 years of your life, these 4 years are really your only chance to go out there and create a different and (hopefully) better version of yourself that you want—whatever that means to you—a version that’s not dictated by your past or by anyone else’s expectations. Be okay with the fact that you’re not who you used to be, and be proactive about finding out what you can be. I can’t think of a better place than Columbia to do that.
  2. Be okay with feeling completely average.
    It’s okay if you’re not the student making front page of New York Times. It’s okay if you don’t make president of a club during your 4 years here. Have faith in yourself that you are more than a title or an award that will, let’s be real, be forgotten years, if not months, later. It’s difficult not to feel self-doubt when we’re surrounded by some of the smartest, most passionate, and most genuinely nice people we’ll ever meet in life. But I’ve come to realize I’d rather spend my time celebrating my peers’ good news, not fretting over whether I deserve to be here at Columbia just as much as they are. Take feeling average as a blessing for all the wonderful people you get to meet, and know that your time to shine will come in due time. And when it does, remember that it’s just news.
  3. Be vulnerable.
    I’m borrowing this piece of advice from a past senior wisdom that really touched me. “…I thought I would never visit CPS or call Nightline because I had it together. I’m glad to have learned otherwise.” I am too. It takes a lot of courage to seek help at Columbia. Please do it even if you think you can handle it by yourself.

Selfies with DSpar and Deantini advice after the jump.

Bwog In Bed: Bring The Noize Edition

Whether you’ve already fled Morningside Heights for the next month or you have a couple more exams left, Bwog is definitely still in bed.

Bwogline: The last episode of The Colbert Report airs tomorrow evening–check out this article that details how Colbert’s show began and speculates about how it may end. (New York Times)

Study Tip: Treat yourself. No, we don’t mean by going to JJ’s–we mean by making time for yourself. Wake up more than twenty minutes before your exam, make yourself some good coffee, and for a few minutes, do something you actually enjoy.

Procrastinate: This website encodes your IP address as a haiku–is this what computing in context means?

Vampire Weekend Isn’t The Last Columbia Band

An all-Columbia student band on campus called Ampersand just put out a new video that they’ve apparently been working on for almost a year now. We think their music is pretty cool so we wanted to share yet another music-related post with you tonight to give you something to spend five minutes away from studying to watch. The band consists of Corey Dansereau CC ’14, Sahil Ansari CC ’15—also made the video, Eli Aleinikoff CC ’15, Vlad Bernstein CC ’14, Emilie Schattman BC ’15, and Jon Perkins CC ’15. Take a look and check out their other music while you’re at it.

The Final(s) Push Playlist

We really get that it feels like we’ve been preparing for/taking finals for about a month now. While you may be feeling a bit angry towards Columbia/New York/finals in general, keep your head up and remember that you will be heading home no later than Friday hopefully. To restore some faith in this city/school and offer a bit of motivation for studying all at once, check out this playlist we put together to help you pull through. It even includes some tunes from Columbia’s own to remind you creativity can occur on this currently bleak campus. Keep your head down and Work.

At Two Swords’ Length: Am I Clean?
Illustration by Zane Bhansali, CC '17

Illustration by Zane Bhansali, CC ’17

For your enjoyment during the miserable bowels of finals, we hereby present another piece from our beloved mother magazine, The Blue and White. This month’s ATSL, written by senior editor Alexander Pines, CC ’16, and contributor Mabel Taylor, BC ’18, ponders a questions that I’m sure we’ve all wondered about in the past few days: am I clean? Like what you read? Pick up a copy of The Blue and White on campus now!

Affirmative by Alexander Pines

I am a diamond. Flawless. My aura is porcelain perfect. If I were a toilet you could eat your dinner straight out of my bowl. But then I would have your tongue on me and doubtless it is disgusting. You should really get the smell of your breath checked out. It could kill me.

Do you see my teeth? They’re like chiclets. Sometimes I catch myself smiling in the mirror and I want to pull them out and pop them into my mouth and chew and chew because that’s how cute and nice and square they are.

And I only use Fiji water to wash my face. It’s pure, unlike the swill everyone else seems content to douse themselves with (and I imagine they drink it too!). That’s why my pores are invisible. It’s like they’re not even there. Unlike yours, I’m sorry to say.

I had a special copy of the Oxford English Dictionary made so my picture could be printed next to “perfect.” Because I’m funny, too. Extra prints are selling on eBay for up to three thousand dollars. I’m a minor celebrity in Akron, Ohio, okay? This face? It’s basically a collector’s edition.

And they love me on Tinder.

Drugs? Of course not. Well, not dirty drugs. I make sure that the pharmacist filling my Abilify prescription wears gloves and a respiratory mask the entire time. I even make them double-seal the bottle. Because a little bit of dust and…who knows what symptoms a tainted antipsychotic might trigger? Besides, my piss is as clean as a newborn’s, I’ve never failed a test. Of any kind, actually. I joined Mensa when I was…five?

That baggie, the one that you’re looking at, over there? That’s clearly on my roommate’s desk. It’s obvious which side of the room is hers—that fan is from K-Mart, for Christ’s sake. K-Mart. You can even tell from looking at the carpet. I think hers might contain sentient life. That is, if you could see it through the small mountain of polyblend and, God, I think she even wears straight up plastic. Like plastic bags. For when she runs out of panties. I had to start carrying Febreze to escape the toxic cloud of JJ’s leftovers whenever I walk in. It’s her you should be talking to.

Look, I don’t know anything about arson. And even if I did, it would be for the better that all of those horrible tacky things got burned up, okay? The world doesn’t need any more neon pink jeggings, so whoever set those fires was doing society—no, humanity!—a favor. And like, yeah, it’s sad and all that sometimes the fires happened when people were still wearing the abominations but still—hey! Put those handcuffs back on that slimy rubber belt of yours, these are freezing! And filthy, you pig! Do you have any idea what this could do to my nails?

What do you mean fingerprints at the scene matching mine? Fire burns shit up, duh, how could there be fingerprints? Besides, I never leave the house without gloves. My father will have something to say about this, officer. Expect to hear from our lawyer. I’m clean!

Check out the neg after the jump.

Senior Wisdom: Cesar Rodriguez
Cesar Rodriguez

Cesar Rodriguez

We bring you our next Senior Wisdom from one of our seniors graduating this winter: Cesar Rodriguez.

Name, School, Major: Cesar Rodriguez, Columbia College 2015, Biology and History

Claim to fame: I think I pretty much succeeded in infecting most of my friends here at school with what they like to call, “Cesar lingo.” Many of them have permanently added such wonderful words such as “realtalktho” or “that’s a force” or the classic “sauced!” to their everyday vocabulary. Not only that, but I do see that sometimes they tweet with the hashtag #realtalk and I, of course, take full responsibility. I would have to say, then, that my claim to fame over the past four years would have to be the linguistic interplay between the slang of Framingham, MA and the halls and dormitories of Columbia. Also, maybe being named in a New York Times article about Model U.N….

Where are you going? “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.”

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2018?

  1. “No one gives it to you. You have to take it.”-Frank Costello in The Departed.
  2. Learn to motivate yourself and fend for yourself, because no one here will help you do anything unless you learn to be pro-active and search for answers.
  3. “All we have to decide is what to do, with the time that is given to us.”-Gandalf; No one is going to tell you how to budget your time or what to do with it, the onus is on you to plan everything out or pay the price for not doing so.

Lightsabors and cheese after the jump.

Student Falls From 8th Floor Of Wien Hall

Last night, a student fell from the 8th Floor of Wien Hall. Police responded shortly after and transported him quickly to St. Luke’s while he was in critical condition. Sources confirmed he was stable and breathing once he arrived at the hospital. An email from Cristen Kromm, Associate Dean of Residential Life, was sent to students late last night informing them of the accident. Kromm assured students that support is available for them through their RAs in their residence halls, or by going to CPS this morning. You can view her email as well as our tweet in regards to the incident last night below.

Read the email here.

Bwog In Bed: Good Morning Edition

Bwog is struggling to wake up without a 9 AM final as motivation, so here’s some good news and tips for the day to get you out of bed and help you truly have a good morning.

Bwogline: Elizabeth Warren is leading a coalition of senators demanding the Department of Health and Human Services to lift the ban on men who have had sex with other men from donating blood. About damn time. (Mother Jones)

Study Tip: Call mom/dad/any emotional support figure in your life. While your roommate may be sick of hearing how over you are studying for your next final, these people thrive on you relying on them for emotional support. Think about it: your mom is just sitting by the phone, waiting for you to call in desperation for her love and care while miles away at school. Plus, talking is a cathartic exercise, and it gives you another half hour to not study/watch another episode of Gilmore Girls. What a beautiful way to start your day.

Procrastinate: Where the fuck is the cow?!

How Much Coffee Have You Had, Really?

The Aftermath Of Primal Scream

We are well into the Monday of finals and at 12 am campus got shaken up – no, it wasn’t Beta or its pre-pubescent taste in music (though these days it was definitely our first thought), but rather all of our fellow classmates screaming across campus.

Our angst and our stress were so well articulated last night that today has been a gift of sunshine and minimally-cold weather. We lashed out, we released all of our stress, and we gave Morningside Heights a fright, and we have been blessed with a bright day and hopefully good (enough) grades.

In case you were sleeping or hiding under a rock in the tunnels, here’s what you missed your crazy classmates doing at midnight:

Fall 2014 ‘Twas A Sporty Semester
I guess that makes him the best

Maodo Lo really pleases the away crowds

As you’re starting to become grossly retrospective about the Fall 2014 semester that has come and gone, you’ll have images of friends, fuzzy drunken memories, that never ending page on Microsoft Word reel through your head…and of course – your favorite memories of the Columbia Lions this semester! Don’t have any? Ross Chapman has done all of the meticulous work for you – pick any one of the facts below so you can go home and gloat about your D1 school to all your friends. 

Taking finals may be stressful, but it’s nothing compared to training for sports and taking finals. Thankfully, none of our athletes have any games during fall semester finals, but they’ve been busy all year. Below is everything you need to know about Columbia’s fall campaigns, highlighted by exciting basketball wins, fencing sweeps, field hockey history, and so much more.

  • In a very successful campaign, Field Hockey went 12-5 with a program record 5-2 Ivy season. The team notched its first ever win against Ivy powerhouse Princeton and peaked at a #23 national ranking. Christina Freibott earned a unanimous Offensive Player of the Year award for her nation-leading 1.24 assists per game and Ivy-leading 2.41 points per game. Coach Marybeth Freeman won Coach of the Year, and Zoe Blake, Katie Ruesterholz, and Lauren Skudalski all earned first time All-Ivy.
  • On the Men’s Soccer side of the field, the team held a record of 7-8-1 (2-4-1 Ivy), never losing an Ivy match by more than a goal. The season started with Rhys Williams scoring two goals against Michigan in a 3-0 home win. Francisco Agrest led the balanced team with 9 points (3 goals, 3 assists). The team held opponents to a .343 Shots on goal percentage, but was unable to capitalize on most of their 90 SOG’s, scoring just 17 times.
  • Women’s Soccer (7-4-6, 2-3-2 Ivy) put together a seven game unbeaten streak, highlighted by 446 straight shutout minutes, in the middle of an excellent defensive season. They posted nine shutouts and ranked in the top-10 nationally in goals allowed at 0.65 per game. However, offensive struggles plagued the team, and with second team all-Ivy forward Coleen Rizzo leaving the squad, other Lions will be forced to step up.
  • Men’s Basketball (5-3) has pushed forward without injured and unenrolled Alex Rosenberg behind Maodo Lo and Cory Osetkowski. The team scored the first 11 points against #1 Kentucky and led for a majority of the nationally-televised game. The team ranks fourth nationally in scoring defense at 50.8 ppg and holds opponents to a 36.9% field goal percentage, but is underperforming Ivy expectations with a 65.8% free throw job and 31.7% 3-pointer accuracy.
  • Women’s Basketball (4-6) has already won half as many games this year as they did all last season. The team is led by Tori Oliver (17.5 ppg) and three time Ivy Rookie of the Week Camille Zimmerman (15.0 ppg). The Lions pleased the fans of Levien with back-to-back overtime wins over Rhode Island and Bradley, helped out by a buzzer-beating three by Alexa Giuliano. The team excels at offensive rebounding, with 150 on the young season led by Amara Mbionwu’s 40.

There are so many sports!

Carry That Weight Protests Fine
"Stop punishing survivors and activists.  Be the leader on our side!"

“Stop punishing survivors and activists. Be the leader on our side!”

This morning, student members of the Carry That Weight campaign delivered a mattress to PrezBo’s office in protest of the $471 fine they were charged after the Day of Action on October 29, when 28 mattresses were left on PrezBo’s doorstep.  The mattress was designed to look like a mock check made out to PrezBo and was delivered along with a statement read by a member of Columbia Carry That Weight.

Although Carry That Weight will pay the fine, their statement criticizes PrezBo for his lack of response to the Carry That Weight campaign and argues that their $471, rather than paying the maintenance workers who dealt with the 28 mattresses, will “go into the bank account of a University that has silenced [them].”  As a final message, the letter calls on PrezBo to “be courageous” and to work with activists to make the campus “safe for everyone.”

You can read the entire statement—and see additional pictures—after the jump.