Author Archive

Oct

22

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Apr

12

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As ABC (Activities Board at Columbia) has their final meeting this Wednesday, Bwog thought that it would be helpful to give a quick guide to how to achieve recognition for any student who wishes to start an organization! Semi-literate Bwog Writer Gabrielle Kloppers is here to give you the lowdown.

This brief guide to how to achieve Activities Board at Columbia recognition is from my (jumbled) perspective only and does not reflect the actual process to a substantial extent. Or maybe it does. Apply to form a student organization and you too will know the trials and tribulations.

  1. Come to Columbia INSPIRED to start something new. You will and must leave your legacy on our great school. Let’s face it, this is the only way. You’re not the next Neal Gorsuch.
  2. Realize that to get money, or anything help at all in this quest, you will need ABC recognition. Note: ABC stands for Activities Board at Columbia, or as I prefer to call them, the Activities Bureaucratic Commission.
  3. Note: to form an organization, it will take 2 or 3 semesters to get Columbia accreditation. Yes, 2 or 3 semesters. So that wine-drinking club you want to form? You’ll actually be 21 by the time it gets off the ground!
  4. Then comes the frightening interview. They stand around watching you with suspicious eyes, certain you are trying to steal Columbia funding to buy a beer pong table.
  5. The interview: is very vague. Maybe accreditation is just a lottery?
  6. If you by chance survive the perils of the interview, you will be assigned an advisor…
  7. … Who will advise you to change everything about your original idea
  8. Final Columbia Achievement Unlocked: Complete disillusionment

ABC blocks via 123rf.com

Apr

11

img April 11, 20172:41 pmimg 4 Comments

The potential victims of our Bwog math…

We all know a lot of people get CAVA’d at Bacchanal. But since our lovely friends on CU-EMS won’t tell us just how many, we will have to do the math ourselves. Bwog writer Gabrielle Kloppers is here to help for all you liberal arts majors.

Let’s list the assumptions of this equation:

# of people CAVA’d per 20 acres per hour: 1

# of Columbia acres: 299 (rounded to 300 because I’m an English major soooo)

# of hours of Bacchanal: 7 hours (assuming an average pregame time of 10am and a pass-out time of 5pm)

Therefore, we can assume that there are 15 CAVA calls per hour.

More hard-hitting math after the jump

Apr

5

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The stately entrance of your potential new home!

Still unsure of where you’ll be living next year? As housing selection heats up, Bwog brings you another Housing Review! Nussbaum is a beautiful building, and what it lacks in new facilities it makes up with in high ceilings and a chill vibe.

Location: 600 West 113th St (colloquially known as Nuss)
Nearby Dorms: McBain, Watt, relatively close to Hogan and Broadway. Close enough to the frat rows on 113th and 114th that screaming will reach your window on lower floors on sorority formal nights.
• Stores and Restaurants: Nussbaum & Wu, Milano, Community, Dig Inn, Amigo’s, Amir’s and fantastically, International Wine and Spirits

Cost: All upperclassmen housing for Columbia has stabilized at $9,292

Amenities:
• Bathrooms: Bathrooms vary among suites, with some rooms that have private bathroom, some single use bathrooms and others with communal bathrooms with stalls. If bathrooms are a big stumbling block for you, Bwog advises that you go check your desired suites out in person.
• AC/Heating: No AC, and steam-powered heating. You won’t be cold, but you may be plagued by the ghostly noises of clanking pipes.
Kitchen/Lounge: Very few suites have lounges (mostly in the C-line suites). However, all suites have a kitchen or share a kitchen with an adjacent suite. The kitchens are generally modern, and have a stove, oven, sink, microwave and refrigerator and are easy to cook in thanks to copious counter space. Kitchens do have a tendency to become messy very quickly, which hinders cooking pleasure.
• Laundry: In the basement. A decent amount of washers and dryers, although you may need to wait at times for them.
• Computers/Printers: There are no public computers, but there is a convenient printer in the lobby.
• Gym: Nope, no gym to work off the daily bagels from Nussbaum & Wu.
• Intra-transportation: There are two elevators and a well-lit set of stairs. The elevators are incredibly slow, and one feels as if you will die any moment within, so you’ll have to opt for the stairs if you’re running late to anything.
• Wifi: Relatively fast Wifi and Ethernet are both available.
• Hardwood/Carpet: Entirely hardwood or fake hardwood.
• Facilities/Maintenance: Nussbaum has some completely undergrad floors, but others are reserved for graduate students and non-affiliates. Consequently, Nussbaum is home to a lovely non-Columbia maintenance crew, who clean the kitchens and bathrooms around once or twice a week. Maintenance requests are resolved very quickly, and the crew is generally lovely to be around, and is guaranteed to cheer you up, even if you just had an Orgo midterm.

More about Nuss after the jump

Apr

2

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This weekend, Bwog Writer Gabrielle Kloppers took a break from her usual weekend debaucheries to attend the annual Diplomatic Ball, hosted by Georgetown University. As the event featured multiple Ambassadors from various countries, here she will recount her experiences as the Ambassador of Columbia University.

Becoming the Ambassador of Columbia University was a rather large step up for me. I wasn’t sure I was up to the task, especially when I missed my morning bus. This meant I would only arrive at 6.30pm, cutting my timing extremely close. With this in mind, I got dressed in my formalwear (stolen from my roommate) in the bus station bathroom, knowing I wouldn’t have time to get properly dressed later. Suffering from motion sickness, I nearly threw up on my lovely jumpsuit. It was a rough start for the Ambassador of Columbia University, I lamented as I attempted to create a smoky eye look in the back of a taxi using only liquid eyeliner.

My thoughts of a disaster were ill founded. I would be the best representative Columbia University has ever known! Arriving at the illustrious Organization of American States building, I felt dwarfed by the immense size of the imposing neo-Classical structure. Nevertheless, imbued with the power and prestige of my role as Ambassador for Columbia University. I would not feel intimidated by this monolith!

At first, I spent my time hovering gingerly at the snack table, sometimes rotating to another snack table, in an effort to avoid the schmoozing and small talks I knew was inevitable. I needed to get out there and represent Columbia effectively. I did so by dancing raucously to ‘Bad and Bougie’. Some students approached me in a casual manner, impressed I am sure by my VIP status.

However, my true interaction as Ambassador of Columbia University came in the line for the photo booth. As I was getting down to ‘Uptown Funk’, an actual ambassador starting dancing with me. I had achieved true diplomatic ideals. I, however, did not reach the true heights of diplomatic interaction that evening. This was left to a vague acquaintance who was spotted being grinded on by an extremely intoxicated VIP, clutching a bottle of clear liquor.

I represented Columbia University admirably; my only wish is that ‘Ambassador for Columbia University’ was an actual position so I could’ve had my $70 ticket comped.

image from PublicDomainPictures

Feb

4

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Would you down this bottle in the name of rhetorical excellence?

Would you down this bottle in the name of rhetorical excellence?

In past years, not many people knew about The Philolexian Society, deemed “The Oldest Student Group at Columbia.” This year, however, with increased membership, The Philolexian Society has significantly grown in campus presence. Join Bwog Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers as she attends a typical Philolexian meeting.

Philolexian isn’t something most people know about. It may give off an aura of impenetrable prestige when you consider its Wikipedia page, which includes a list of notable members that surpasses several scrolls (a list which includes Allen Ginsberg). However, when one attends a meeting, it becomes clear that this is far from the expected stuffy literary society.

Upon entering Hamilton 603, a sea of faces jump out at me from the seats, many of which I recognized from altogether unexpected places. Many of these participants are “Full Philolexian Members”  (meaning they can hold positions of leadership within the society), but just as many are casual attendees, eager to see what the hype is about. Most Philolexian meetings are structured as casual, absurdist debates. Topics range from the serious to the rather insane- this week’s topic is “Milk in the context of cereal is a sauce.” Everyone is chattering away, but as the meeting begins, there is some modicum of silence.

Click for the debate

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