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Author Archive

Nov

14

img November 14, 20181:27 pmimg 2 Comments

actual photo of water-damaged book

Bwogger Gabrielle Kloppers is an East Asian Languages and Cultures minor. Although she loves her classes, she doesn’t need to go to the East Asian Library in Kent all that often. Imagine her anxiety when she realized that the one time she does need it, it’s flooded. Or read all about it here.

So, let me start by saying I didn’t even know the East Asian Library (Starr) was flooded until very recently. And I have classes in Kent extremely often. It may have popped up in an email somewhere, but that was an email I presumptuously deleted.

Oh, my hubris. O, sing Muse of the failure of Me. Picture this: my abstract for a paper on an extremely old book of Chinese poems is due tomorrow. I need several sources to help my ideas, and although I have many ideas, I have not, until this moment, thought about how I was going to actualize them.

I looked up some searches related to this very old book of Chinese poems on Google Scholar. Much to my chagrin, there was not much to be had, or I was using the search terms wrong. What I did find was written in Chinese, and my Chinese is good, but not good enough to want to read linguistics research in Chinese and then compile it into an essay that is meant to be written in English.

So, I turned to my old friend, CLIO. CLIO was more helpful; she turned up a good six reference books that all are written by giants in the field (shoutout to Bernhard Karlgren). The problem? Everything was offsite (must be requested 2 days in advance), or far away at the Starr Library. I resigned myself to the trek; or rather, I told my friend to go and check if these resources were accessible. They are… sort of.

Here’s the catch: because the stacks in Starr are flooded, the books I need will need advance notice of 2 hours before I can use them. I understand this. The problem then is, that these books are non-circulating, meaning I can’t take them out to use them. I ended up getting enough information necessary to write the abstract, but this paper is going to be a lot more annoying than I initially thought. I will need to go to the Starr library repeatedly, ask for the books 2 hours in advance, and then use them, return them, and repeat the process over and over and over again. Please fix the library ASAP! My life depends on it.

So much effort for a 15-page paper, but honestly, worth it. The EALAC department is fantastic; just don’t procrastinate on getting the necessary materials!

Photo via Shutterstock

Nov

13

img November 13, 201812:51 pmimg 3 Comments

Imagine this is on YOUR desk.

Confused as to what law schools you should apply to? Ask Gabbie for more information.

Law Schools are quite similar in terms of curriculum, especially in the first year. Where you go, however, has quite direct impacts on what you have the chance to do after graduating.

The first thing to do is to look at your statistics (GPA, LSAT), and then look at where they fall in line with various schools’ entering class 25%-Median-75% spread. This will give you an idea of what is a possibility for you. Keep in mind that people are admitted below the 25% mark each year! So you can definitely apply widely. A good way to check your chances at a school is to look at https://mylsn.info/, My Law School Numbers or the handy UGPA/LSAT calculator on the LSAC website.

Schools generally fall into what are called national reach schools and regional schools. Because law is jurisdictional, generally, people are employed near where they completed law school and passed the bar. Some law schools are incredibly renowned, which means they have heightened reach, and degrees from these institutions open doors pretty much every where, not just in the region around where they’re located- these are called national reach schools. The national reach schools are generally higher up on the rankings, and the regional schools are below that.

More after the jump

Nov

8

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I’ve heard that in seminars…you read books.

Bwogger Gabrielle Kloppers recounts a regret from her time at Columbia. She is a Senior and this advice would have changed her academic life. Don’t be like Gabrielle, read this piece.

Up until recently, I had not taken many seminars. I started my English major halfway through my Sophomore year with the mandatory introductory class. I felt that I was behind on the major, despite performing well in the class, and thought I could use some time to hone up my English skills before going on to do seminars. I was intimidated. I was also scared I wouldn’t be granted permission by the professors and feared going into a new semester without having my class schedule figured out just so.

So, I took a lot of English lectures, which have more spaces available and do not require instructor permission, to enhance my skills before I faced the seminar. What I failed to consider is that lectures typically count for 3 credits, and seminars for 4. I told myself I would need to average at least 15 credits per semester, as a personal goal. Lectures require exams to test if you’re involved in the class, in addition to papers. This meant that due to my lecture-packed course-load, I was often taking 5 classes, with 2 exams and 2 long papers each. I prepared assiduously for each assignment but often spent more time preparing than actually engaging with the fascinating material my courses offered.
What saved her from this life of stress?

Nov

8

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Instead of being an undergrad who studies in Law, you could be a law student who studies in Law!

As the end of senior year is within glimpse, many Columbia students have no idea what they will do after their sojourn at the sanatorium on 116th. Many decide further education might be the best bet… including law school. Senior Staff Bwogger Gabrielle Kloppers explains some factors that may impact that decision. Disclaimer: Kloppers is not an admissions consultant or affiliated with any law school. She’s just going through this right now and has done a prodigious amount of research.

Should I go to law school, you ask me. Here’s the rundown on it.

Law school is a huge investment, in terms of time, money, and mental health. Lawyers are statistically more likely to suffer from depression and addiction than people in other careers. If that doesn’t turn you off completely, or if it sounds like your average Columbia student, so you’re accustomed to it, the next step is to gain some experience, perhaps over the summers, in the legal field.

Experience is incredibly important in making this decision. You’re potentially going to shell out $180,000, much of it financed in loans, and that isn’t a decision to take lightly. Not only will experience give you some indication of whether or not the law is a good choice for you, but it will also benefit you in the application process should you decide law school is the correct path. Having legal experience can heighten the authenticity of your applications to law school. Think of it this way: it may look a little strange to admissions officers when you’re going off on how amazing the law is, and why you want to dedicate your life to it, but you’ve never actually been involved in any work that is associated with the law.
How to gain experience after the jump

Nov

1

img November 01, 20186:34 pmimg 1 Comments

Happy Halloween

Bwog writer Gabbie lives the life of a grandma on 113th. She has never been to a Senior Night and doesn’t plan to go to one soon, after hearing what she does every Wednesday night from her apartment window.

There is a sudden shriek, interrupting my nightly pre-bed cup of herbal tea and episode of Fargo. I’m sitting on my couch in my living room, just chilling and preparing for bed, having just set my loaf of bread to rise overnight so I can have a nice breakfast after my early morning class tomorrow.

I look out my window to identify the shriek. Is someone getting murdered? That’s what it sounded like. It is Halloween after all. There is a faint siren blaring in the background. Maybe someone did get murdered. All I see, faintly in the dark on 113th street, is a group of frat brothers smoking outside their front door. Soon, they escort a small group of ladies out of the house, and begin walking towards Amsterdam. Perplexing. Everything sets off faint alarm bells in my head, as I imagine the worst. Maybe the shriek was from my episode of Fargo? I think not, but I shake my head and continue.

I return to the shriek later. Who was this ghoul? It’s Halloween and I am scared. It had been early when I heard the shriek… what was wrong with this person? WHO GETS THAT LIT AT 10 PM ON A WEDNESDAY. Before long, I’m set up near my window, Alfred Hitchcock-styles, investigating everything that’s happening outside. I hear murmured conversations… was that my name I heard? Why are they talking about me? Are they coming to get me? Is there a doomsday Halloween cult on Columbia’s campus?

The night grows older and I grow weary. I decide to put away my flashlight and unfold my pull-out couch to go to bed. I am still afraid; the lights from outside are casting weird shadows on my wall…

IT’S DEFINITELY A HALLOWEEN DOOMSDAY CULT. Just over the noise of the cars on Broadway, I hear laughing. Only it’s not really laughing, it’s cackling, and I am the joke. More shrieks, they are eliminating the obstacles in their way.

The cackling seems to follow me, floating up from my window. I am awake, staring at the ceiling. The ghouls… they are coming for me.

candy corn ghost via Bwog Archives

Oct

22

img October 22, 20176:42 pmimg 1 Comments

A Bwogger getting drunk af circa freshman year

At a university like Columbia, where everyone is constantly under heavy academic pressure, many students choose to imbibe copious quantities of alcohol in order to chill out a little bit. Bwog Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers investigates the volumes involved, using a thoroughly scientific method.

First of all, we need to separate Columbia Students into categories, or classes of drinkers. I will be separating into three primary groups: the goodie-goodies, the philosophers, and the drunkest-one-at-the-party.

The goodie-goodie doesn’t drink much; maybe they’ll have a glass of wine with dinner, or a nice mixed-drink (with actually expensive liquor…). They would never be seen at 1020 on a Tuesday night. Their estimated alcohol consumption would be at around 50 ml hard liquor (from their cheeky scotch on the rocks after their last midterm), and a standard glass of wine (150ml) per month. They don’t enjoy getting insane. So, over the course of the year, they would consume around 12 x 50 = 600 ml of hard liquor and 150 x 12 = 1800 ml of wine per year. That comes out to a little less than a 2L bottle of wine (which for some of us is indulgence for only one night), and less than a bottle of hard liquor. These are not the students that we see with entire walls of bottles.

How much do philosophers drink?

Oct

18

img October 18, 20175:51 pmimg 2 Comments

Secret spaces

At Columbia, we often fall quickly into niche identities. Econ kids rarely mix with the Film majors, and so often we have no idea where people from different departments hang out. Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers investigates the locations you’ll only know about if you’re in the major.

I often wonder where people from the more niche majors hang out, far from the monotony of Butler or the crowded insides of Joe Café. Some of these unique places simply aren’t available to us normies; but, here are the secret department-specific locations you hardly knew about.

The Stronach Center (Art History)
Surprisingly enough, on the 8th floor of Schermerhorn Hall is the Stronach Center for Art History. We are all jealous of that fragment of classical sculpture and beautiful wall of books. The Stronach Center was renovated in 2009 and is now an extremely beautiful place to gather informally or study. It’s only really used by Art History graduate students so if you want someone who can tell you all about Vorticism, this is where to find them. We wish we could use their computer lab and Media Center, but alas…

The Bone Lab (Anthropology)
The Bone Lab is home to many fragments of bone and other relics. It isn’t a place for the squeamish, and is only open to those with special access through the Anthropology department, but if you have a passion for bones, this is the place to go. The Bone Lab is also located in Schermerhorn, where all the cool kids are, apparently.

Knox Hall (MESAAS)
Knox Hall is open to people other than MESAAS majors, but most people don’t even realize it exists. The courtyard here is extremely beautiful and a great place to study away from the crowds on the Steps.

More cool places after the break!

Oct

18

img October 18, 20172:27 pmimg 4 Comments

Apps = appetisers

As ‘Internship Season’ approaches and we see more and more of our classmates attending banking information sessions, decked out in penguin suits, the higher our anxiety over our own futures gets. Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers investigates the phenomenon known as the “cover letter.”

At first, the cover letter seems exciting, especially if you’ve found a great opportunity in a field that you’d really like to work in. What is more likely is that you are writing this letter to a mid-level HR manager in a finance/consulting firm, a field which you, in troth, care nothing for. Yet, they’re the only ones hiring. There comes your first grief in the cover-letter writing process; authenticity. Where do you find authenticity? And how do you fake it so someone will hire you? You dig deep into your wellsprings of enthusiasm, but there just seems to be… nothing there. Perhaps it’s the extra shot of vodka you took at Homecoming yesterday, perhaps it’s the fact that you have three midterms next week and this letter seems really trivial compared to Calculus III, but you’re finding it really difficult to talk about your … passion for stocks and bonds.

The next stage of grief comes over formatting. Sure, you could use one of the hundreds of cover-letter formats that are available on Google, but that just seems really impersonal. Besides, if it’s the top Google search, wouldn’t every applicant use that one? Shit. You’re lost. You don’t even know what the purpose of a Cover Letter is, so how are you supposed to know how to format one? Why does that seven page paper about Wordsworth now seem so extremely tempting? Anything but this. Solution to this stage of grief: just get a template from your most successful friend. You know the one, they had an internship the summer before freshman year and enjoy talking about the latest articles in the Economist. Yeah, they didn’t use the top search on Google. Luckily for you, they slogged through the hard miles for you. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of their labour.

Finally, the worry is: what actually do you have to show them? Why should they hire you, above all the other surely dazzling applicants? Honestly, nobody ever knows. How do you really show off what you learnt at that internship last summer, save an incredible knowledge of Excel Spreadsheets? Bwog advice would be: just be honest about it, and tell them that you learnt about Spreadsheets. Sometimes, the basic skills are all that are needed. Besides, you’ll probably just be printing, copying and filing papers anyway!

Awk hand model via Pixabay

Oct

11

img October 11, 20172:09 pmimg 4 Comments

This man’s terrible choice to have a goatee signifies he is definitely of age, and yet I still warn you against hooking up with him.

As our years at Columbia trickle slowly by, each year we are greeted by an ever-younger cohort in 1020, at the frathouses, and in our classes. How do you know that the cutie from Intro to Psych is legally of an age where you can get it on? Bwog Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers investigates.

Flirting is difficult when you don’t know what year someone is in, and what with the multitudinous brainiacs that graduated early and came to Columbia, that person you’re crushing on from across Ref may not even be old enough to be an option. Here is the definitive way to know that they’re just a bit too young for you:

  • They don’t remember cassette tapes or VHS/VCR
  • They don’t remember 9/11 AT ALL
  • They never had a MySpace
  • They never had a flip-phone
  • If they’re gay: their coming-out process didn’t involve Lady Gaga in any way
  • If they’re straight: they never sang Katy Perry’s iconic, yet deeply problematic bop “I Kissed a Girl” at a slumber party
  • They unironically use the phrase “Social Media Influencer”
  • They did the new SAT (I still don’t know how it’s different but…)
  • They’re still excited about LitHum
  • They never got LIT to My Chemical Romance
  • Their adolescence involved more pop-rap than pop-punk

But mostly, you’ll be able to tell if:

  • They’re not dead in the eyes yet.

That’s all folks! Remember to work in a conversation about your cringey MySpace profile the next time you bump into ~that person~ in the line at Blue Java.

Don’t date him via Pixabay

Sep

21

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Even Homer can’t handle this bullshit.

After having been back at Columbia University for a few weeks, Bwog is once again struck by how little attention their classmates have paid to the assigned readings- or logic in general. Here, Bwog Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers recounts a few choice excerpts.

“I know these are statues, but like…the Greeks…didn’t actually fight centaurs, right?” – regarding the Parthenon. Art Hum truly is illuminating!

“Plato’s use of censorship in the Kallipolis is like, totally like the core office picking only white men for the CC syllabus.” Yes, Plato was thinking of us.

“I thought this was Egyptian Architecture.” – Economy and Society

“Mencken would have been a Trump supporter.” Mencken would have decried the democratic system that allowed Trump to come to power.

Even more idiocy

Sep

9

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We hope you’ll be holding a gavel soon

After another summer, heading into another semester, many of us have come to a certain stark realization: not only will college not last forever, but also, when we leave this bubble above 114th, we will need to figure out what our next stage will entail. Join Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers as she explores one of your options—law school—and how Columbia can help you get there.

First of all, before deciding to embark on law school, you should ask whether it is the right path for you. It is often seen as a sell-out move for English or History students who no longer want to lecture in front of sweaty college students and wear tweed jackets. But it is a serious commitment, both financially and in terms of the sheer quantity of tedious reading required.

Now, if that didn’t put you off, keep on reading this article.

Most law schools have a deadline somewhere in February, so keep that in mind. If this is your senior year, you will need to get cracking. Furthermore, most law schools work on a rolling admissions basis, so they will favor applicants who get their applications in early. So ideally, you’re looking to submit those applications by late November or early December, but EARLIER is BETTER, so don’t procrastinate, this isn’t a CC Reading that you can do a week before the final. So you ideally want around a year for preparation.

More advice after the jump

Aug

20

img August 20, 20174:48 pmimg 0 Comments

Our next Houses and Homes comes to you from the Land Down Under, where it’s cold enough to eat soup and lit enough for Melbourne’s youth to get merry. Share your own summer sights by sending us a picture (or two!) and describing the other four senses of your home to tips@bwog.com.

Where: A mildly swish apartment on the corner of a less swish block in Melbourne’s CBD.

Sight: Inside, clean wooden paneling and modern art. Outside, a mixture of hipster cafes, liquor stores and dumpling places.

Smell: From inside, the lemony scent of detergent because my parents actually bother cleaning things. From outside, meaty grease emanating from both the aforementioned cafes and dumpling places.

Sound: What could be a street fight, or Melbourne’s youth on their way home from merriment at the nearby clubs. Either way, a lot of breaking glass.

Taste: A high amount of soup because it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere!

Apr

24

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Oh Alma, mother of wisdom and fairness.

We all know that season. The season of CCSC campaigning. We’ve all seen the Facebook posts, the blatant lies they tell. We put up with it. But what annoys us the most? Bwog Staffer Gabrielle Kloppers is here to complain.

I could deal with the Facebook posts, constantly popping up in my notifications as someone again bombarded the Class of 2019 Group. I could even handle a friend sending me a link to the voting website with the caption, “Thanks for the great time last night at 1020! Do you mind…” I didn’t even really mind the people taking candidate pictures, smiling sweetly on Low, or physically pulling people in with a cute puppy and then accosting them with a pitch. But this was unacceptable. It was becoming all too unbearable.

I’ll set the scene for you. It’s a Thursday night and I am tired. Dead tired, in my bones tired. Too tired to even walk to my room on 113 from Hamilton to take my nap. Knowing a friend is downtown, and that her door is rarely locked, I wearily turn from Hamilton to Hartley. I relish in the thought that this solution is perfect. Plus, unlike mine, her room smells really nice and doesn’t have a dish of crusted up EasyMac on the desk.

I’m snuggled up to her felt pillow, enjoying the scent of her perfume (this is not as erotic as it sounds) and trying to ignore the scent of the loudest weed possible (regrettably, it was 4/20), when I hear the sound of my friend’s RA approaching. I don’t think much of it. Then I hear her begin to knock on someone’s door. It, luckily, is not mine. But it is right next door. She introduces her friend, who is running for CCSC election. He proceeds to step into the room and give his spiel. More shockingly, at the end of it, he asks that those present take out their phones and vote for him. He stays and watches them until they do it.

Now, there are numerous problems involved in this situation. Firstly, what is the point of a ‘democratic’ election if those who vote are coerced? But secondly, why does CCSC have to invade everything, even my nap. People of Columbia, we should not be forced to quickly put out a joint or hide some bottles in fear of CCSC candidates (replete with RA!) bursting into our rooms and forcing us to vote. It is simply not right. And it interrupted my blessed nap.

Image via YourCCSC

Apr

19

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Everyone had those friends they made in NSOP, or COOP, or in their LitHum class. Eventually, most of them will fade off, crystallizing your real friendship group. Bwog Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers shares some (hypothetical) texts you will receive, or have received, from these. 

We have all had those friends. You met in the line for food at NSOP and hit it off, or maybe in your OL group. You banded together, and you kept it going for a while, going to frat parties and the dining hall together because you were scared. As people joined clubs, diversified interests, and started the classic college process of ‘figuring out who you are,’ your friends slowly changed.

Maybe they never contact you again, maybe they do in the throes of the sophomore slump. If they do, we guarantee you it was something like this.

Apr

14

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Raw Elementz power stance

If you didn’t make it to last night’s Rawcus 360, you really missed out on a supremely lit evening. Although this was a one-off and one-of-a-kind performance, Bwog writer Gabrielle Kloppers is here to give you all the details.

On campus this week, you could not have missed the hype about Raw Elementz and Rawcus 360. Raw Elementz is probably one of Columbia’s most prized performance group, and their performances always bring out record-breaking crowds. Last night’s Rawcus 360 was no different. Raw Elementz is truly a unique group, which explains the extent of their appeal to the Columbia community. Although they call themselves a “hip-hop dance crew,” their signature style tends to go far beyond this, with members bringing intimate knowledge of other dance styles to freshen it up and lend them a distinct appeal to the audience. This was in full evidence last night, when Raw’s mastery set the crowd into a frenzy. Beyond Raw Elementz, Rawcus also featured performances by Voltage, Onyx, Venom, CU Generation, and Party//of//Two, an offshoot of Thou Shalt Not, who played Bacchanal this year as the student opener.

Whirling around like dervishes under the jump

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