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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

17

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With just two games left in the non-conference schedule, men’s basketball has been disappointing fans left and right. Staff writer Abby Rubel analyzes what they can do to improve over winter break. 

We miss you, Conor!

There are few things more frustrating for a Columbia men’s basketball fan than watching Quinton Adlesh steal the ball, make a fast break down the court, and flub the layup. When the Lions lose the game by a narrow margin, you find yourself wondering if that layup could have made the difference or if it was just bad luck.

The Lions have certainly been experiencing their share of bad luck this season. As they wind up their non-conference schedule, the Lions stand at 1-9. Two of this season’s losses, against Stony Brook and Quinnipiac, were victories by more than 10 points last year.

Their dismal record is partly a result of a tougher schedule. Matches against undefeated Villanova and 8-3 Penn State came early as part of a seven-game stretch on the road. Despite that, the Lions are performing at basically the same offensive level as last season. Last year, they produced an average of 71.9 points per game; so far this season they’ve scored an average of 73.7. Field goal completion varies by a tenth of a percentage point.

Specific areas for improvement after the jump.

Dec

15

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Earlier this afternoon, Barnard students received an email from President Sian Beilock describing the progress made by the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion and announcing the creation of a senior position devoted to diversity and inclusion, as well as an effort to make more diverse hires in general.

Other substantial steps taken include the creation of a permanent email address (diversitycouncil@barnard.com) and an anonymous form on the Diversity Inclusion website to facilitate communication between the task force and the student body. There will be more conversations in the spring.

In her email, Beilock stressed the council’s emphasis on communicating with the student body and ensuring that the task force could serve the community’s needs. To this end, she said, the council has been having conversations with faculty and students to ensure that the council can take the most appropriate steps towards creating “a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community.”

She also discussed the need for more inclusive pedagogy, including describing a recent faculty workshop, the results of which will be assessed soon.

Beilock closed the email by writing, “We are committed to ensuring that everyone at Barnard is able to work, think and develop to their fullest potential in a community that respects and supports difference.”

Read the email after the jump.

Dec

8

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Last night, staff writer Abby Rubel went to the Barnard Theatre Department’s production of Translations, directed by Barnard lecturer Sharon Fogarty. It runs through Saturday, December 9.

I walked into Translations unsure of what to expect. The Facebook event page only told me that it was “a modern historical parable of the brutality of rule,” and I was reluctant to Google further lest I be inadvertently spoiled. But a brief note in the program from Dramaturg Luke Cregan (CC ’19) hinted at what to expect–a play that explored a cultural identity crisis through the British control of Ireland. As someone almost completely unfamiliar with Irish history, this note helped me understand the history the play deals with rather than thrusting me into it unprepared.

The play opens with a movement piece, with most of the cast assembled on the stage and Arielle Firestone’s (JTS/GS ’19) lovely voice as the only accompaniment. Aside from the absolutely gorgeous singing, I didn’t think this piece added much to the play and only served to confuse me from the beginning because it didn’t provide any context for the play to come.

Luckily, the play’s plot was fairly straightforward. The British army was mapping Ireland and, in the process, Anglicizing all the Gaelic names and erasing the Irish identity. In the midst of this culture war, the community of Baile Beag (pronounced something like “Balleyuh Bay”) welcomed home Owen, the son of the schoolteacher and town drunk. Owen, played by Brandon Walsh (GS ’18), had abandoned his community to work with the army as a translator since almost no one in Ireland knows English. (At least, that is the impression the play gave.) A native Irishman, he was participating in the destruction of his culture. He particularly came into conflict with his brother, Manus, portrayed by Daniel Kvoras (GS ’19), who accused him of selling out. Owen brought with him two English soldiers: Lancey, played by Rupert Fennessy (CC ’21), and Yolland, played by Jesse Cao (CC ‘20). Yolland fell in love with Máire (pronounced Moire), played by Chloé Worthington (BC ’18), which is problematic both because they don’t speak the same language and because Manus already had his eye on her.

More thoughts after the jump

Dec

5

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All hail Patrick Tapé!

Wondering how the Lions did last night? Staff writer Abby Rubel went to the game so you could do your homework instead. 

The Lions (1-7) dropped another close game Monday, losing to Quinnipiac (3-6) 89-87 in the final four seconds. This is their sixth loss in a row and the fifth by 10 or fewer points.

The team quickly jumped out in front of Quinnipiac, leading by nine five minutes into the first (their largest lead of the game), and in fact were ahead for most of the half. But the Bobcats never got too far behind and snatched the lead with 6:18 left before halftime. Junior Quinton Adlesh quickly responded with a three-pointer, and with a little over four minutes to go, the Lions seemed like they were pulling ahead. Junior Lukas Meisner and sophomore Mike Smith both contributed layups to put the Lions up by five, but, thanks to two three-pointers from Quinnipiac first-year Jacob Rigoni, the Lions went into the locker room with a two-point lead.

The second half featured a fierce struggle over the lead, which changed 13 times. Columbia first-year Jaron Faulds was especially impactful, making 5-6 of his field goal attempts despite only playing for six minutes. With a little over three minutes to go in the game, senior Nate Hickman hit a jumper to put the Lions up three, 87-84. They maintained that lead until, with 1:27 left on the clock, Quinnipiac first-year Rich Kelly hit a three pointer of his own to tie it up at 87. As the game’s final seconds wound down, Kelly put the ball up again to give the Bobcats a two-point lead despite a last-second three-point attempt from Smith.

Find out what the Lions did well and where they need improvement.

Dec

5

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Waiting for your tutor at office hours is always fun

The most common advice given by parents and career counselors alike is “make sure to develop relationships with your professors!” And that is good advice. Professors have a lot of knowledge and experience to share, and you will absolutely need at least one to write you a recommendation letter at some point. The best time to bond with a professor is during their office hours. And you know this–that’s why you showed up with your heavily annotated copy of the class readings prepared with at least three smart questions guaranteed to get your professor chatting happily away with you.

This person, however, has no idea what to say to the professor. You see them frantically flipping through the reading outside the office, searching for something to ask about that might make the professor like them. It’s not that they haven’t been to class or kept up with the readings, it’s just that they have no idea how to get the ball rolling with the professor. Once they get inside, you can hear them stammer out their question about symbolism in To the Lighthouse and the professor responds with a brief answer.

Find out what happens after that brief answer here

Nov

30

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Riley Casey makes a move against Boston College.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams both played tight games this past Wednesday. Staff writer Abby Rubel explains the results of each matchup.

Men’s basketball loses by five points in overtime:

Men’s basketball (1-5) fell to University of Connecticut (5-2) 77-73 in a heartbreaking overtime loss. The Lions led with 2:36 left on the clock, thanks in part to a 25 point effort from junior Lukas Meisner and an 11 point lead going into halftime. The Huskies then came back in the second half, taking the lead for the first time since the opening seconds with 1:40 left in the game. Two free throws from sophomore Patrick Tapé gave the Lions the lead again, and a three-pointer from sophomore Quinton Adlesh seemed to put it away. But UConn guard Jalen Adams hit a jumper with 19 seconds left to tie the game up, and first-year Mike Smith missed a three-pointer in the final seconds, sending the game to overtime.

The Huskies took the lead quickly with a three-pointer, which was answered a minute later with a layup and a free throw from Smith to tie the score again. Smith scored another three a few seconds later to answer one from Adams. But a foul by Meisner gave UConn two free throws and the lead and, despite a layup from senior Nate Hickman, Columbia couldn’t come back. A jump shot and two free throws from UConn put away the game.

Women’s basketball ends three-game losing streak by eight points:

Women’s basketball (3-5) eked out a tight victory 68-60 over Boston College (3-4). After a contentious first half, the Lions outshot the Eagles in the third quarter 20-12. Boston attempted a comeback in the fourth, but Columbia maintained its lead thanks in part to first-year Riley Casey. Casey scored only 12 points the entire game, but 10 of those points came clutch in the fourth quarter as the Lions struggled to shut down the Eagles. Her 12 point effort was the second highest personal point total of the day for the Lions, behind only Camille Zimmerman’s 14 points.

Photo via gocolumbialions.com

Nov

21

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Your SO flying back to school

If you’re one of the many who stuck with your high school sweetheart after graduation, you’re probably feeling ready to dump them just about now. Maybe you’ve found yourself ignoring their calls so you can go to that EC party. Maybe you’re sick of having to catch them up on all the slang that once sounded foreign but now rolls off your tongue–words like Prezbo, DSpar, SIPA, CAVA, etc. Maybe you’re just bored of a relationship that seems to exist solely of text messages and Skype calls where you run out of things to say after 20 minutes. You’ve also probably been dreaming of stacks hookups with your not-quite-so platonic study buddy. And now that you’ll finally be in the same place as your SO for the first time since August, there’s no better time to end it once and for all.

First, it’s absolutely necessary to see them in person. It will likely solidify your conviction that you and your soon-to-be ex have grown too far apart to make it as a couple. Plus, don’t be that jerk who breaks up with someone over text.

After you’ve broached the topic of your relationship, you might find that they’ve been feeling the same way. If that’s the case, you can both happily go your separate ways. If they don’t want to break up, than unfortunately, you’re the bad guy in this case. We recommend not telling them that you want to break up because there are way cuter people in much closer proximity. Instead, say you want to focus on academics, or the new clubs you’ve joined, or that you don’t want to be tied to your hometown anymore.

No matter what you say, they’ll probably be upset. Let them get out all their anger and hurt. This is the hardest part, but if it’s going on way too long you can always use the excuse of family obligations to leave before they actually run out of steam.

Congratulations! You’ve executed a successful turkey drop. If that sounds like too much emotional effort, you can always not say anything and hope they dump you first.

 

Nov

14

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President Bollinger announced in an email today that Lisa Rosen-Metsch will be the new Dean of the School of General Studies. She is an alumna of the joint program between the School of General Studies and the Jewish Theological Seminary and currently the Chair of the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health.

Rosen-Metsch’s academic concentration is HIV prevention among populations with substance use disorders. Her research has influenced national policy and she has been published more than 180 times. (All peer-reviewed, of course.) At Mailman, she has advocated for looking at public health not just as a medical issue, but also as a social, cultural, economical, and political one.

Dean Awn left big shoes to fill, and only time will tell if Rosen-Metsch will be up for the challenge.

Read President Bollinger’s email after the jump

Oct

30

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Columbia executes a tackle against Dartmouth

Barring brief periods in the sixties and mid-nineties, the Columbia Lions were consistently the doormat of the Ivy League, a team only a mother could love. This season, however, the team has gone 6-1, and no one is more excited for the team than the men who saw the program through some of its darkest times. Staff writer Abby Rubel spoke to four football alumni about the current team’s success and what it means for Columbia.

“Everybody used to want Columbia as their homecoming game because they were assured of a win at homecoming,” said Doug Jackson, CC ’75 and former running back for the Lions. But “it’s not going to be that way any longer.”

In his time as a Lion, Jackson set records in season rushing yards, career rushing yards, and tied the record for season rushing touchdowns. Columbia won only four games, including a spectacular win against Penn in 1975, in which Jackson scored three of Columbia’s four touchdowns to lead the team to a 28-25 victory. He spent time in the NFL with the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, then turned to coaching.

John Witkowski, CC ’83 and former starting quarterback, remembered, “We were exciting to watch because we threw the ball all over the place.” The problem was that “we didn’t have a lot of depth” so “if anybody got hurt, it was hard to come up with something.”

Witkowski was one of Columbia’s greatest quarterbacks, despite winning only three games in his career. He still holds the top spots in season and career pass completions, passing yardage, and touchdown passes. Like Jackson, Witkowski went on to play professionally, becoming a Detroit Lion after graduation.

Reflections on the team’s success and why it matters after the jump

Oct

13

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Ronald Smith sits on the bleacher railings as he and the Columbia Football team sing a song in victory at Princeton.

Ronald Smith, king of King’s College for a day, after his game-winning TD against Princeton.

In the interest of getting people to fill the stands at Homecoming, Staff Writer Abby Rubel and Sports Editor Ross Chapman fill you in on how to pretend like you’ve been a Columbia Football fan all along.

So, you know that the Lions are 4-0 going into the Homecoming game against Penn this Saturday and you want to start rooting for them. But you’re a Columbia student, so you’ve probably never rooted for Columbia sports before, let alone the football team, so you probably don’t know how to do that. Don’t worry, though–there are a few basic things you can do to show those baby-blue boys your support this Saturday and beyond.

Actually go to games
It’s a long way to Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium at Baker Athletics Complex, almost as long as the name itself. But the games are free for students and Athletics runs fan buses up to the field, so you don’t have to pay subway fare either. The buses pick up at Broadway and 116th and start running about 90 minutes before the start of the game (although they’ll probably start earlier on Saturday because it’s Homecoming). Plus, if you’re a senior, they’ll give you beer before the event! The game will probably be about three hours long, so expect to spend most of your afternoon at the stadium. It’s a pretty big time commitment, but actually putting your body in the stand is the best way to show you care about the outcome of the game.

Know who’s who:

Learn about Anders, Oren, Lord, and more after the jump!

Oct

2

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Legend says if you leave your underwear on the EC elevator on a Friday or Saturday night you won’t black out or get your stomach pumped.

Underwear: it’s the first thing most of us put on when getting dressed. (And to those weirdos who put on socks first: what is the point of that?) If you feel good about the underwear you have on, anecdotal evidence and your mom both suggest that you feel more confident. So the loss of underwear is particularly tragic especially because, while you might be mildly annoyed to lose a sock to the gaping void that is the washing machine, that kind of loss is expected. Losing a pair of underwear, on the other hand, is rarer and therefore more painful.

This lonely, lovely pair of underwear has been separated from its owner and doomed to travel up and down in the EC elevator, garnering strange looks from residents, until someone from maintenance gingerly picks it up and throws it away. Meanwhile, other elevator riders will be wary of it. Everyone knows that if you get too close to elevator underwear, it’ll bond with you and follow you home.

To the owner of the underwear: what happened? Did this undergarment fall out of your laundry bag? Maybe you saw it when you next took the elevator, but there were other people there and you were too embarrassed to pick it up, because how weird is that. Or did you get lucky in the elevator and just forget to grab your panties as you left? If that’s the case, was the sex worth the loss of that brightly colored underwear?

But on the bright side, just think of all that this underwear will bear witness to! From sandy seniors on their way to senior night to drunken first-years still figuring out how much alcohol they can handle, anything that spends a significant amount of time in an EC elevator is sure to experience a fascinating cross-section of Columbia. Until, that is, someone inevitably spills beer on it.

Image via Submission to Bwog

 

Sep

29

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Nixon visiting the Berlin Wall

Last night at the Deutsches Haus (German House), Paul Hockenos gave a talk on his new book, Berlin Calling, which focuses on subcultures in East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Staff Writer Abby Rubel attended this interesting, if slightly underwhelming, discussion of punk, poetry, and politics.

The event, “Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, the Wall, and the Birth,” was held in Deutsches Haus, a beautiful building across the street from the law school. Those of us who found our way there filled the small room in which the event was held. We were there to hear a talk given by Paul Hockenos about the subject of his recent book, Berlin Calling: subcultures in East and West Berlin during the Cold War and how they shaped the Berlin we know today.

The discussion was moderated by a professor from Columbia’s German department, who introduced Hockenos and mentioned that this book is the first one to discuss both East and West Berlin subcultures. Most books, she said, discuss only one or the other, but Hockenos discusses the development of subcultures, such as “punk”, in both cities. While Hockenos alluded to other subcultures, his main focus was on the punk scene.

He began his talk with David Bowie. Bowie’s arrival in West Berlin coincided with the arrival of punk, so in many ways, one can draw a line between the pre-Bowie and post-Bowie period. He clarified later that Bowie himself did not have much to do with that arrival, merely that he witnessed a dramatic shift in the city and that the city Bowie left in many ways reflected what he represented.

What else was cooking in Berlin?

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