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Author Archive

Nov

15

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So much talent in one room

On Wednesday, November 14th, Barnard alumna and guitarist, lyricist, and vocalist of Speedy Ortiz, Sadie Dupuis ’11 returned to campus to discuss the release of her new book of poetry, Mouthguard. The event was co-sponsored by Women Poets at Barnard and Dupuis was joined on stage by her college mentor Saskia Hamilton, Professor of English at Barnard. Speedy Ortiz fangirls Zoe Sottile and Ramisa Murshed went to check it out.

Listening to Sadie Dupuis read poetry, the main impression she imparts is that you have no idea where she’s going to take you next. It’s not a bad feeling: more like following someone you really trust. As the poet and songwriter herself remarked during her discussion with her own on-campus mentor: “If I knew where a poem would end it would be terrible. I always want the next thing to happen to surprise me.”

The evening started with a selection of poems from Dupuis’s recently released book of poems, Mouthguard, which she says she would have never written if she hadn’t gone to Barnard. Speedy Ortiz’s independent rock songs are known for their dark, sharp lyricism, which was matched by Dupuis’s poetry. Her poems were at turns funny, disorienting, graphic, sad, and beautiful. One poem entitled “Me and Every Color” that contemplated origin stories and darkness ended with the line, “I only came to ruin beauty’s eggy face.”

She used inventive similes. One poem entitled “I Don’t Even Like Candy” included the line, “This feels like nursing a surrogate after my cub has perished.”

In another, called “Milk Is Huge,” she said, “I do secret things and reveal them blandly / Look close, I am horrible.”

She prefaced one piece by telling a story about a classmate in a creative writing workshop who referenced ghosts, and her own indignant suspicion that the classmate didn’t really believe in ghosts: “You want to defend ghosts from this person’s bad work.” The sincerity of this belief in things that are dark and unexplainable pervaded Dupuis’s readings. The poem referenced the camp terror of horror movies, “Like a victim alone in a house like someone is inside the house the call is coming from inside.”
More after the jump

Nov

15

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When you walk through these gates, you automatically gain 3 piercings. It’s science.

Many people feel they undergo a “transformation” their first semester freshman year. This Bwogger wrote a thank you letter to their best friend who helped them through this process. We love wholesome content.

Dear best friend,

When we first met, I was the epitome of conforming to heteronormativity. Throughout high school, I censored how I wanted to appear to the world in fear of people drawing conclusions about my sexuality. I came to Barnard with my long hair, unpierced ears and nose, ‘feminine’ wardrobe of skirts and dresses, and hidden excitement about finally being somewhere I have the freedom of being myself. This is not to say that having a certain outward appearance correlates to a certain sexuality. I had been cornered into appearing in a stereotypically feminine way for years even though I knew that this is not how I wanted to dress.

When I met you during NSOP, I had no idea that I had met the person who would lift me up and validate my experiences, giving me the confidence to finally, as you have said, “make the outside match the inside.”

You were there through it all: the double ear piercings, the nose piercings, and most recently, the purging of eight inches of my hair aka the Barnard chop™.

Here we are today, two months into the school year. As I sat across from you at our usual John Jay dinner (John Jay forever, fight me about it), you looked at me with your usual goofy grin. “You seem so much happier and lighter. I think it’s from the confidence of a new haircut.” You were right. But it also from so much more. It was from finally being able to feel comfortable in my skin. And you’re to thank for that, being there through it all.

Thank you.

Gates via Bwog Archives

Nov

14

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gatsby’s green light: the JJ’s sign

You probably have a shit load of papers due this week and won’t have time to eat dinner during “normal people” hours. Or maybe a drunken version of yourself with suddenly crave a quesadilla. Whoever you are, you’ll probably find yourself at JJ’s sometime this weekend, and trust me, I already know what you’re gonna go for.

Aries

Ditch the tiny plastic cups and fill a paper salad bowl with soft serve ice cream. You deserve it. Just don’t make eye contact with anyone while you do it if you can’t handle gazes of judgment.

Taurus

You will be overwhelmingly tempted to squirt ketchup directly from the bottle into your mouth. Do not give in. I repeat: do not give in.

Gemini

The sight of French fries and that chocolate frostline stuff will give you flashbacks to Wendy’s, and you will have yourself a blissful meal for one. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I feel sorry for you. Go to your nearest Wendy’s and show them this post. They’ll help you out. (JJ’s is not the place to lose your fries dipped in Frosty virginity. You have to start with the OG.)

Cancer

Trying to convince yourself that “JJ’s has pretty good healthy options, too!”, you will smile through the pain as you scrape the ice-caked lettuce out of the salad bar. No amount of dressing will be able to fix it. After a few bites, you will resign to a plate of fries.

Leo

You will eat at JJ’s for two out of every three meals you consume this weekend. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Revel in it.

Virgo

Sick of your usual lunch routine, you decide to attend JJ’s for your midday meal. Approaching the stairs, you will realize that eating JJ’s during daylight hours is basically admitting to the world that you’re throwing in the towel. If you accept these terms, proceed. If not, John Jay is right around the corner.

More horoscopes after the jump!

Nov

13

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A few first-years getting ready to register!

Procrastinating course planning until 10 mins before your registration appointment? Same. Bwog has you covered so you don’t have to make a new post in the first year Facebook group on Thursday morning.

Note: the following reviews were compiled from the Class of 2022 Facebook group and Bwog Staff members. Please actually read the course descriptions when you register for classes, as reviews are often subjective.

First Year Writing:

  • The Americas –professor is really nice, but expect to be confused by the end of class.
  • Legacy of the Mediterranean – actual review from a student about Professor Pedatella: “he will come pretty darn close to convincing you that Dante is the best thing since sliced bread.” Professor Breyer is quite academic and really, really likes John Milton.
  • Women and Culture – Hard work but super worth it if you like that kind of stuff. Class may be triggering for a lot of people though. Professor Condillac gives a lot of work and is a hard grader, but pushes you to do better. Elizabeth Auran takes you to queer off-broadway shows and invites you to her apartment for supper. Meredith Benjamin adds cool readings to the syllabus and teaches techniques for writing college-level papers.

First year seminar

  • Hot Stuff – watch Bill Nye the Science Guy and grades by completion. Need I say more?
  • Witches with Wendy Schor Haim – I love her and it’s about the concept of witches and how men tried to ruin them since the olden days.
  • Reacting to the Past – good if you like debating and making speeches; might not be the class for you if you don’t like to speak. Cardboard swords and dragons might be present in Professor Carnes’ class.
  • Language and Power – very student-led and applicable in real life. Closely linked to current events. Professor Lewis is super chill and a fair grader.
  • Taboo and Transgression – will change your life, but not for those with sensitive stomachs, though I reckon if you can Netflix the Haunting of Hill House in one seating you’ll be fine.
  • Texts of Protest – Professor Morris might not be the one for you if you aren’t self-motivated, but the topics, discussions, and community are all wonderful.
  • Tipping Points with Margaret Vanderburg – super woke and makes you feel like a nice lil intellectual.
  • Interpreting Dreams and Nightmares with Ellen Morris – lots of reading but reportedly the best teacher at this school.

Image via totally legitimate Barnard source

 

Nov

11

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This chair is WAITING for you to discover which classes you’re going to procrastinate next

Who else can’t believe registration begins tomorrow?? Instead of clicking through Wikipedia pages about different dog breeds, we decided to procrastinate our pile of homework by compiling last year’s seniors’ favorite classes as mentioned in their Senior Wisdoms. Scroll through for potential electives, major credits, or at the very least, a good core professor. Course titles are bolded; Bwog endorsements are underlined. Leave your personal recs in the comments. 

  • Honestly, Music Hum. Or Earth Resources and Sustainable Development. Or anything taught by Rashid Khalidi or Joseph Massad. — Rachel Deal
  • My answer to this question since my first semester has been Philosophy and Feminism with Christina Mercer. Professor Mercer is funny, fiery, and doesn’t take any crap from the class. It was a pain to read Judith Butler in my first semester, but Mercer made it worth it. My favorite class in my department was Topics in Music and Society with Aaron Fox. I encourage anyone who wants to take a class in Music to avoid anything that focuses only on the Western Music Canon. While those are fun for the music majors, you may more enjoy a class that gives you the vocabulary to talk about other genres. —Ross Chapman
  • A tie between Rethinking Middle Eastern Politics with Timothy Mitchell and Islam and Medieval Europe with Adam Kosta. Special mention: Vampires with Gil Anidjar —Megan Wylie
  • I did go to class, even if a previous section suggests otherwise. A class I REALLY went to was Emerging Cities with Gergely “Gergo” Baics. Gergo’s enthusiasm for history and for cities is truly unparalleled, and he led this “lecture” like a seminar (perk of Barnard class sizes!). I honestly strive to be as excited by anything consistently everyday. You’re an inspiration, Gergo! Content-wise, this course made me realize how much New York has shaped me and my time at Barnard. It also made me realize I didn’t totally experience the scope of liberal arts — I could’ve/should’ve been an urban studies major or urban history major, and I compensated for that oversight by writing all of my term papers in classes taken since Fall 2016 on how xyz relates to maps/urban development/public transit. Take a class in every department! — Lili Brown

Slightly shorter but equally passionate recs after the jump

Nov

10

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Columbia Housing may have issues, but that shouldn’t impact our impressions of the many facilities workers who clean and repair our dorms on a daily basis. As we approach Thanksgiving, here are some ways that you can show your appreciation to the hardworking people who keep our dorms from falling apart.

Do as Aretha would have.

  • Say hi to facilities when they’re on your floor. They are human beings!
  • Understand that they’re doing their best and that it’s not their fault your heating isn’t on.
  • Don’t put stickers for your startup on public tables.
  • Clean up!!!! Your own!!!! Puke!!!
  • Flush. Just because you don’t do it at home doesn’t mean you don’t have to at school.
  • Don’t leave your freaking hair in the drains!
  • Clean up after your shower.

More! After the jump.

Nov

9

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Last week, Columbia’s Blue Glaze Theatre Company – a student-run theatre group which aims to highlight Asian-American talent – put on 99 Women, a play composed of 99 monologues that document the trials and tribulations of modern womanhood. Guest Writer Yaniv Goren thought it was a wonderful piece of art.

I’ve never been one for experimental plays. I’m a lover of plot, chronology, and clean, clear messaging. I knew that 99 Women didn’t have a lot of that­, so as I stepped into Glicker-Milstein last Thursday evening, I anticipated disappointment.

And yet, that’s not what happened. 99 Women was an outstanding, heart-warming experience, a play that I sincerely hope will reach the widest audience possible.

The boldest thing about 99 Women is its scope. The stories it weaves together are not just real in a descriptive sense, but in a literal sense. They are culled from the testimonies of urban women across the world­: some disgruntled, others empowered, and many simply trying to beat the odds, to achieve their goals without pausing to parse their emotions or discuss their lives in any terms other than detached observations. They represent several continents, three languages, and almost every age-group, profession, and personality imaginable.

To me, the 99 stories in 99 Women ­– almost soundbites, each usually under thirty seconds – represent a couple of things. First, they’re a testament to the variability of womanhood: the fact that every woman’s story is unique, not generalizable, and nearly impossible to connect to another. Second, they emphasize the importance of storytelling in the first place. Several of the women in this play are dead. Yet they live on through the words they once spoke, which pass along the rhythms and cadences of their voices to an audience that will never get to speak to them in person.

What else was notable about this play?

Nov

9

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It’s finally fall. The weather is getting colder, daylight savings has begun, the leaves are changing colors, and the lights are starting to go up on the trees on college walk. But most importantly, the decorative gourds are coming out. “What does that mean?” you may ask. Well, at Bwog, decorative gourd season can only mean one thing: it’s time for some more of our world-famous “investigative journalism.” From the site that brought you comparisons of prominent Columbia and Barnard figures to cement mixers and even our very own fingers, we now bring to you campus figures as decorative gourds. (All of these photos were taken at the Farmers’ Market along 115th & Broadway! Support local businesses and get your own decorative/edible gourds and more on Thursdays and Sundays!)

PrezBo – Pumpkin

  • Big Man, Big Pumpkin
  • Only $10 – a steal, just like how PrezBo steals from student workers by busting unions
  • Pretty overrated
  • Unnecessarily stringy
  • Lots of things you can do with pumpkins, but everyone usually just carves them, kind of like how there are a lot of things PrezBo could be doing, but he usually doesn’t do any of them

More decorative gourds after the jump

Nov

8

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The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson, whose translation of Homer’s Odyssey replaced Lattimore’s edition on the Literature Humanities syllabus this year, visited Columbia on Wednesday night for a lecture. Editor in Chief Youngweon Lee and Newsletter Editor Zoe Sottile attended. 

It’s become something of a trope of profiles on women artists/ leaders/people to comment on what they wear. Awareness of this trope is why we are reluctant to mention that Emily Wilson, professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the first woman to translate Homer’s Odyssey into English, showed up to last night’s event in Dodge 501 wearing shiny gold sneakers and an owl-emblazoned t-shirt (the owl is the sigil of Athena). But she did. And she looked so cool.

Wilson, whose translation of the Odyssey was recently added to Columbia College’s Literature Humanities syllabus, gave a fast and far-encompassing talk on literary translation, modern classicists, and the Greek epics. The drawing studio in Dodge 501, repurposed for the night, filled up fast: towards the end of the night, people were turned away as the room reached capacity. The event started with a general talk from Wilson about her translation, moved onto a PowerPoint presentation with which she went over some specific example passages, and ended with a Q&A.

She began the night, poignantly, with a criticism of her most frequent moniker: first woman to have translated the Odyssey into English. She pointed out that this is a uniquely English problem, as the Odyssey has been translated into other languages, like French or German, by women. Moreover, she noted that in interviews she is frequently reduced to her gender, often answering the same question of “how did your female perspective influence your translation?” over and over again. (When the question period rolled around later in the night, no one asked this.)

Wilson’s translation choices, process, and more after the jump

Nov

8

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Make like this hamster and feed yourself.

We’ve all been there. You need to be productive. Really productive. Not “scrolling through Twitter while glancing at readings” productive, but “block Twitter for 12 hours” productive. That means going to Butler. But how are you supposed to bring a snack? ButCaf is expensive and doesn’t have a wide selection, but you’re “not supposed to bring in outside food.” (Yeah, because a chocolate croissant from Joe’s is going to be less messy than a chocolate croissant from ButCaf.) Luckily, Bwog has some helpful tips.

  • Wear Ring Pops on every finger.
  • Bring a horde of friends dressed as various food items. They won’t be able to tell the real food apart from your squad.
  • Cut a hole in your textbook and bring it in. When you appear to be hunched over it in defeat, you’re really enjoying your sweet stash of Sour Patch.
  • Usurp Prezbo. Institute martial law. Free-for-all.
  • Eat it and sneak it in in your stomach.
  • Stuff the food in your cheeks like a chipmunk and just take it out once you’re inside.
  • Do the classic 2 kids stacked in a trenchcoat trick except one of the kids is you and one of them is your food.
  • Run into the library so fast that you’re invisible to the naked eye.
  • Just bring it in openly but stare at them with such sad dead eyes that they pity you and allow you to pass.
  • Stick gummy bears to outside of the Butler windows and hope that they absorb through the glass.
  • Bribe the security guard with your extra food.
  • Become a pastafarian and bring in pasta. When they try to take it away, claim they’re violating your religious freedom.

Try any of these? Let us know at tips@bwog.com!

Photo via Bwog Archives

Nov

7

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pennsylvania is pretty. don’t fight me on this one

Ah yes, fall break. Halloween is officially over, Thanksgiving is done before it even begins, and the holiday season is upon us! We hope you caught up on sleep, got ahead in your classes, and enjoyed wholesome family dinners. Bwog, on the other hand, is here to share stories from their eventful weekend. 

Bwog Gets Political

  • Knocked on hundreds of doors, many in the rain, to encourage people to vote
  • Got told I looked “WAY too young to vote” by a poll worker…at least the bartenders here disagree
  • Watched the midterms while drinking svedka straight
  • Texted hundreds of Georgia voters on behalf of Stacey Abrams and only got called the c-word a couple times
  • Watched Doctor Who instead of election coverage
  • Got my vote suppressed (fuck you, Brian Kemp)
  • Voted for the first time!
  • Found out that the place I’m from is filled with old republicans. I’m talking so old, they all had walkers and were so slow
  • Got sad and ate my feelings because I am not allowed to vote in this country. I wish I could help change it for the better
  • VOTED!!
  • Watched my polisci major roommate almost give herself an ulcer over midterm elections

Bwog being Bwog

  • Got drunk in the student center at Smith
  • Played a lot of drunk Clue :)
  • Quit drinking. For real this time. Let’s see how it goes.
  • Destroyed my bank account at a Brooks Brothers in Florida. Woke up the next morning and found out that my bank malfunctioned and put about just as much as I spent into my account for no reason.
  • Met my last hookup’s wife (context: they were not engaged or married when we did anything)
  • Tried weed for the first time and proceeded to throw up
  • Ran into another one of my tinder matches at the law school
  • Won a round of Cards Against Humanity at e’s despite being (probably) the drunkest person there
  • Got drunk with my parents
  • Drank my sister’s vodka and showed my roommate Coco for the first time. Cried just as hard as I did the first time.
  • Got very drunk and peed in Harvard Yard
  • Got high while overlooking the Cambridge skyline across the Charles River at night
  • Hooked up with someone else for the first time since breaking up with my ex
  • Two friends (who are ex’s) got into drama because one hooked up with the other’s best friend at a party we went to
  • Tried to diffuse drama
  • Took a break from diffusing drama to meet sister’s friends
  • Ran into a girl from my high school at an MIT frat party. Also ran into a guy wearing a Columbia 2021 shirt at a different MIT frat party.

Bwog goes home after the jump!

Nov

7

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The Columbia University Bach Society!!

Just because it’s a short week doesn’t mean there aren’t still cool events happening on campus! Today, Bwog brings you a combined Where Art Thou, Bucket List, and Science Fair – or, all your options for procrastinating on midterms in one handy place.

Where Art Thou?

Bucket List and Science Fair are after the jump

Nov

2

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I guess this die would be helpful if you don’t know your birthdate?

Maybe you already checked your weekly horoscope and it’s not giving you the specific, fall break-related forecast you’re looking for. Or maybe you never check your horoscope (it’s okay, me neither tbh), and the title piqued your interest. Whether you’re this, that, or somewhere in between, Bwog Guest Writer Sophie Tobin has you covered for all of your fall break horoscope needs.

Aries

You will stay up until 3 AM binge watching weirdly niche craft videos on YouTube. Congrats on your new pair of shoes made using only a hot glue gun.

Taurus

You’ll show your friends from home the “columbia buy sell memes” Facebook page to make them laugh, but instead spend 20 minutes trying to explain to non-Columbia students why it’s so funny to joke that SEAS students are illiterate.

Gemini

You will only be safe in a pillow fort.

Cancer

You will run into your ex from high school, only to realize after the matter that one of your two front teeth was completely hidden by a piece of spinach.

Leo

You will purchase as many Blu-Ray copies of “The Princess Bride” as you can.

Virgo

For every snobby comment your relatives make about your liberal arts degree, you will memorize one (1) more Sophocles poem.

Libra

You will have a hard time explaining to your real parents why you call your best friends mom/dad.

Scorpio

You will scroll so far back through buy sell memes that you find your birthdate. It was a good year; a warm year. Someone posted a cat with the caption “I CAN HAZ JJ’S?” That’s enough Facebook for the day, you think to yourself as you slowly close your laptop.

Sagittarius

You will shoplift the last package of Halloween themed Oreos in the grocery store. Your old piano teacher and her husband will now believe you are pregnant with a rectangular baby.

Capricorn

You will decide to perfect your cursive for no particular reason. But then you get, like, really good at cursive. You will open an Etsy shop and quickly become the next online calligraphy tycoon.

Aquarius

You’re gonna watch the “Imitation Game” and cry over how dirty England did Alan Turing.

Pisces

Your pet’s welcome will immediately convince you to drop out of college and stay at home forever. Don’t worry, people will understand.

This is our last content before Wednesday! Enjoy fall break! :)

Photo via Bwog Archives

Nov

2

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Doing OK, even after 1223143 projects.

Books and plays and exhibits, oh my! ArtistHop is a new column spotlighting talented artists in the Columbia community who have recently done something notable. This week, we profile Brent Morden, composer for the upcoming musical Once Upon a Fortnight and the 125th Annual Varsity Show.

Name, school/year, and tools of your trade?

Brent A. Morden. Columbia College ’19. A creative vision, coffee, and Sibelius.

What work or project are you recently known for? Why should people care about it?

One notable project was conducting the Columbia University Wind Ensemble this past March in premiering my original piece Danzón. It was a dream come true. My current project is a new comedy musical called Once Upon a Fortnight, which I co-wrote and composed over the last several months. It premieres in the Lerner Black Box on November 9th through 11th. Why care about this show? Because it’s fantastically fun(ny), and we all owe ourselves more opportunities to laugh in life.

A story from the process?

In December 2017, on the heels of our first collaboration in Written in the Stars, my pal David Treatman and I decided to rendezvous at Tom’s Restaurant for a lunch that would soon send shockwaves ‘round the world. It was there that I popped the question… “Hey, want to write a new show?” And it was there that I heard the sweetest word ever uttered in history: “Yeah!”

Which groups or people on campus helped you develop the work (or generally as an artist)?

CU Wind Ensemble and Uptown Vocal (Columbia’s jazz a cappella group) have been the soil for my artistic development at Columbia. There I learned how to be a better musician, how to collaborate with other musicians, and what it means to create meaningful art for the community. As for specific people: shout outs to Peter Susser of the Music Department for being an awesome mentor and to Jaimie Krass of Hillel for her unending support.

What does it take to compose a MUSICAL?

Oct

29

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Halloweekend: possibly the best fucking holiday of all time. This year’s Halloween did not disappoint, and Bwog shares some of their crazy and/or embarrassing adventures to amuse you. 

Bwog and Rally

  • Got chased by a public safety officer in Butler at 3 am on Thursday when I was being drunk and obnoxious in a purple dragon onesie
  • Got yelled at for hooking up at an EC party because the girl said “this is NOT that kind of party”
  • Got really drunk and came home and made myself mashed potatoes after my roommate was puking and I had to carry her into her bed and undress her
  • Crashed a Halloween party of all Australian people on the lower east side
  • Got way too lit at the Beta/SigNu thing, went to 1020 after, and knocked down the entire barricade outside
  • Did coke in the Lerner bathroom during genderfuck
  • Had a friend who was on some hard drugs throw chips at public safety and then got chased by public safety
  • My friends visited who are seniors in high school and I introduced them to Columbia parties. they were actually impressed.
  • Saw a Columbia kid punch a bouncer. Vowed to never again be around aggro drunk boy energy (a vow that i’ll prob break next weekend tbh)
  • Went to a literal ketamine breeding ground narrated by drum & bass and eye glitter (circoloco)
  • Was trapped in Q Haus for a while because of the lesbians hooking up on my friend’s bag
  • Had my first jello shot
  • Went to a Halloween party in EC after pregaming, sat down in the bathroom in the party and had a heart to heart with all my friends.
  • Had to bounce from a party real quick because some girl hit my friend in the face then he spat back at her.
  • Helped my friend violently yuke in my toilet and haven’t cleaned it up yet.
  • Went to bed at 3 am; woke up at 6 to get Absolute then went back to bed.
  • Ended up getting very drunk with my entire bartending class, took multiple class shots
  • Went clubbing and fell off the table I was standing on
  • Was reduced to drinking beer at a frat party and almost threw up bc their basement smelled so bad

Read more about Halloweekend after the jump

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