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Dec

14

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I may have suffered last week, but times have changed; I was so used to giving and now I get to receive. That’s right: my final papers are turned in, my takehome finals submitted on Canvas, and my ass has long since left each uncomfortable desk for each sit-down exam. I am done with finals on the first official day of Finals Week, and I’m leaving New York tomorrow.

Me and the squad looking down on youse

If I were to describe how I feel in a few words, they would be “free” and also “superior.” Ne’er again (till midterms next semester) will I enter the beige innards of Butler Library. Ne’er again (till midterms next semester) will I compile the most haphazard study guides known to mankind. Ne’er again (till midterms next semester) will I try to go full Charybdis on all the weeks of reading I didn’t do.

As I watch you mere mortals toil away, with your exams at 7:00 pm on the 20th and your papers due the morning of the 21st, I sit in my standard-issue dorm chair throne and laugh. When I get on that noontime United flight out of Newark, praying that I don’t get dragged from my economy aisle seat, my soul will be light with the knowledge that I am leaving this campus while others… aren’t. I have every Björk album downloaded on my Spotify, and not as study music, but as the soundtrack to my freedom; no longer am I held captive by “Classical Music for Studying & Brain Power | Mozart, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky.” In short, there are no responsibilities to my name, and many responsibilities to all of yours.

To all y’all still staring down all that work, I have just two things to say:

(1) Can’t relate
(2) “Good luck,” because I think that’s what you say to people who have more thing to do. I don’t know, I can’t remember; it’s been so long, you see, since I’ve had to care about anything school-related. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Teamwork dreamwork via Pexels

Dec

13

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img December 13, 20183:04 pmimg 9 Comments

…And they’re off. Swag I guess

Here we go, folks. Not only is today Taylor Swift’s 29th birthday, it’s also the day that applicants who chose to bind their souls to our school— that is, those who applied Early Decision— will find out if their deals with the devil were successful. Early Decision applicants to Columbia College and SEAS (or, as a frosh might so quaintly call it, “The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science”) will be able to view their results at 7:00 pm EST today. For those of y’all who struggle with timezone conversions, go to this website and figure it out.

Your_hopes_and_dreams.jpg

This year, Undergraduate Admissions “received 4,461 Early Decision applicants to Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science.” This represents a 9.2% increase over last year’s pool of 4,085 applicants; furthermore, since 2016’s pool of 4,086 was the largest ever at that time, this year now represents the largest applicant pool in Columbia history. Zoinks!

At this time, it doesn’t look like the Admissions Department is releasing any stats on acceptance rate or class composition. We’ll have to wait and see what the class of 2023 looks like. Good luck to all applicants— we’re rooting for you!

Nerdmobile via Leo Bevilacqua
Domus maximus via Bwog Archives

Dec

4

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img December 04, 20186:38 pmimg 0 Comments

Me this week, me every week

Senior Staff Writer Levi Cohen is at the end of his proverbial rope.

Look, I understand the idea that “you don’t believe in those Christmas finals.” I understand that you don’t want to be here on December 21st– me neither. (In fact, I’m somewhat excited at the idea of leaving campus early.) I understand that the idea of a Reading Week filled with anxious students emailing you their every thought must fill you with dread. By December, I, too, would be done with my students.

But do you really have to schedule your finals… now? The week before finals week, which happens to be the week designated for finals? A week during which we still have homeworks, papers, and problem sets due, considering it is not finals week, which is the week for finals, and is in fact “the week before finals week”– and if such a situation would arise that finals must be scheduled during this week, perhaps it might change its name to finals week rather than the week before finals week? Must I continue to descend into a maelstrom of madness and dismay as I stare down the two finals I have this Thursday? Must I console my friend who, bereft, has three on the same day?

You might argue that I’d probably procrastinate throughout all of Reading Week, dicking around and watching episodes of Bake-Off instead of directing a single thought towards my looming exams. And you know what, you’d be completely right. But it’s my God-given(?) right to waste my time like that, as opposed to my current situation– wherein regular studying feels like cramming, because I am cramming, BECAUSE IT ISN’T FINALS WEEK YET and SOMEHOW 40% OF MY TESTS ARE HAPPENING ANYWAYS.

In closing, I would like to say, “Stop this,” and also, “I am tired.”

Oh, and happy Hanukkah.

Self-portrait in times of distress via Bwog archives

Nov

30

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Papageno and Papagena, the real OTP

Senior Staff Writer and opera junkie Levi Cohen went to the Glicker-Milstein Theater last night for the Columbia University New Opera Workshop’s Fall 2018 Repertory Scenes. The Music Director and conductor was Katie Cooke CC’19, and it was produced by Julian Vleeschhouwer CC’19. Tickets are currently sold out for both tonight’s and tomorrow’s performances (they were available here), but we’d urge you to show up and see if there are any spares. With a CU ID, it’s free!

Sitting down prior to the start of CU NOW’s Fall repertory scenes, I felt just a little nervous about going to see student opera. I don’t normally feel the need to state my “credentials,” but I’ve been listening to opera from a very young age. It’s my favorite art form: its beauty, its ridiculousness, its persistence despite claims that it’s antiquated. So I approached the evening feeling unsure how people around my age could possibly fulfill the astronomical asks that opera demands of its performers.

I shouldn’t have worried. This was one of the most enjoyable evenings of student performances that I’ve yet experienced at Columbia, featuring some truly remarkable musicianship throughout. Every member of CU NOW seemed to be having fun as they sang, and I had fun with them– though I walked away feeling incredibly jealous of their singing abilities.

Read about individual scenes and singers after the jump

Oct

18

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“For those of us who live at the shoreline…”
(Art by Anchuli Felicia King)

Last night, Bwogger and wannabe theatre critic Levi Cohen braved the chilly autumn night to get to the Lenfest Center for the Arts. His purpose? To watch the opening of the first thesis of the Directing MFA Class of 2019: LORDES, directed by Katherine Wilkinson, written by Wilkinson & Gethsemane Herron-Coward, and produced by Elana Boulos. The play runs through Saturday, October 20th, with two shows on its final day. Tickets can be found on the Lenfest Center’s website, and using the code AUDRE (+ a student ID) gets you one for free! Otherwise, they’re $15. All shows are currently sold out, but a wait list will begin each night at the Box Office 1 hour prior to curtain.

You enter. An usher gives the final warning that there will be no reentry if you exit the theatre. Over his shoulder you see a circle of women in red, seated around a writing-desk, staring outwards. Soon, a persistent drumbeat begins to thump. You examine your options- it’s a thrust stage, so you have three banks of seats from which to choose. Settling into your chair, you watch as the women each individually stand and peel off from that initial circle, situating themselves like pillars across the theatre space.

All that is the unforgettable first step into the world created by LORDES, MFA student Katherine Wilkinson’s Directing Thesis and the first thesis of the class of 2019. The work, by Wilkinson and Gethsemane Herron-Coward (Playwright MFA ‘19), began life as a devised piece last spring. Featuring a cast of over 40 women, it’s an impressionistic and impressive take on the final years and feelings of one of America’s major poets and activists.

Lauren Marissa Smith gives a stage-shaking performance as Audre Lorde. Remaining centerstage for the entirety of the play, Smith has nowhere to hide, but more than that no need to hide— every beat works to capture Lorde as both a character and the human being she was. When she coughs or falls, one seizes up in empathy; when she sits to write, one really does believe that she is penning, say, “A Litany For Survival” or The Cancer Journals. Simple actions, like the removal of a headscarf or the tearing of herbs, are charged with a depth of meaning that is genuinely breathtaking.

Read more about LORDES below

Oct

6

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img October 06, 20183:26 pmimg 1 Comments

“Friday’s a free day. A woman’s day.”

Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Fun historical fact: The Milstein Center is actually the fourth Brontë sister

The door opens, I note with some surprise. It’s 8:03 am, and I’ve wended my way from my Schapiro double to the entrance of the Milstein Center, hereafter referred to as Millie. The objective: spend the next twelve hours in Millie. Already my plan hits a bump, since Millie closes at 6:00 on Fridays. The solution: camp out on the lawn for two hours after she closes. Come hell or high water, my physical presence is welded to this building for the duration of my Friday. Why? …idk.

Supplies: One (1) computer; two (2) linguistics textbooks; one (1) deck of cards, Bicycle brand; a cozy sweater; a friend’s short story (which I did not read. I have no excuse). I take my seat at one of the tables in the front of the building. I feel like I’m sitting in the lobby of a high-powered law firm whose receptionist has better health insurance than me. Here we go.

Letting the day go by, let the water hold me down

Oct

5

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The Tower of Babel. Not pictured: the folks trying to fix it

Senior Staff Writer and language junkie Levi Cohen made his way to the Heyman Center for “The Tower of Babel: Human Rights and the Paradox of Language,” a Global Language Mellon Sawyer Seminar presented by the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society as part of the Public Lectures Series in Global Language Justice. Noted international human rights scholar Moria Paz made the case for how courts are failing minority languages.

Having sprinted from Finnish class to make it on time, I arrived at “The Tower of Babel: Human Rights and the Paradox of Language” out of breath and a little out of sorts. I was soon put right the moment that Moria Paz— a Visiting Scholar at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford and a Fellow at Georgetown’s Center on National Security and the Law— took the lectern to put forth a compelling critique of human rights courts and their failure to adequately protect minorities.

Paz started off by asking us to think to ourselves about the basic function of language. A French mother living in New York, she said, might want her kids to speak English as the language that best facilitates their success in a primarily English-speaking landscape. Equally, she might want to teach them French, the language of her culture, her family, and her heritage. But French, with over 76 million native speakers, is a thriving global language. Paz transformed her example simply by switching what language she was talking about.

Romansh and the legal struggles of minority languages below

Oct

2

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img October 02, 201810:30 amimg 0 Comments

One rep’s declaration of pistachio as their favorite ice cream flavor caused some controversy

Filling in for Bwog’s Engineering Student Council Bureau Chief Finn Klauber this week is Senior Staff Writer Levi Cohen, here to give you the skinny on what the SEAS student government is up to. This week in the Lerner Satow Room: the recently-elected freshmen took their seats at the table, meetings were recapped, and events were planned.

ESC’s meeting last night was, in a word, efficient. Though almost the full hour was used, topics came and went at lightning speed- that is, after a quick icebreaker to introduce the freshmen class representatives to the rest of the council, and vice versa. Once everyone knew one another’s major and favorite flavor of ice cream, it was time to get down to business.

First on the agenda was the Columbia Food Pantry, which was requesting funding from all four student councils for an upcoming silent auction event. After some brief numbers-crunching — what percentage of the students who use the Pantry are in SEAS, how does that number compare to students in CC, and so on — the board voted unanimously to allocate the requested funds (and promotional assistance).

Following that came some rapid-fire updates; relevant ones from each position were as follows.

Alumni dinners? Mold?? Project grant apps???

Sep

9

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This Open Meeting Announcement brought to you by the Core Curriculum

In honor of Bwog’s first open meeting tonight, at 9:00 pm in Lerner 510, here are two recent translations of ancient Greek poetry. Come tonight for a good time!

Sing, Bwogdess, the Open Meeting of Bwog
and its location, which gave grapes thousandfold upon the Columbians,
hurled in their multitudes to Lerner 510 strong souls
of freshmen, but gave their pitches to be the delicate feasting
of editors, of all staff writers, and the will of Bwog was accomplished
since 9:00 pm when first there stood in division of campus news
Bwog the lord of publications and brilliant Bwog.

More Bwog Poetry below

Sep

9

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img September 09, 20189:50 amimg 1 Comments

The first Bwog meeting is actually the most important piece of world news today

Happening in the world: The Swedish polls are open for voting today. The far-right Sweden Democrats party, which has its roots in Neo-Nazi groups, is predicted to double its seats in this election. (BBC)

Happening in the US: Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams in the 2018 US Open, but the win has already become controversial due to what many, including Williams herself, saw as unfair violations being leveled against Williams during the game. Nevertheless, the title is Osaka’s. (CBS)

Happening in NYC: Mayor Bill de Blasio has chosen to endorse neither Andrew Cuomo nor Cynthia Nixon for governor of New York, a move that’s been labeled “cautious.” While de Blasio hasn’t endorsed anyone for state attorney general, his wife, Chirlane McCray, last week endorsed Zephyr Teachout for the role. (New York Times)

Happening on campus: I’m sure there are plenty of other things happening today, but far and away the most important is that Bwog’s FIRST OPEN MEETING is happening tonight, in Lerner 510, at 9:00 pm. There will be food. There will be merriment. There will be an opportunity to rush an organization without having to spend any money. #RUSHBWOG

Overseen: Someone at Sweetgreen literally ordering a salad with a little bit of everything. Like, literally asking for everything.

Iconic Bwog flyer by Youngweon Lee <3

May

6

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Pictured: Either a student in the middle of a final they haven’t studied for, or a volcano.

Bwogline: The Kilauea eruption on Hawaii is spewing high levels of toxic sulfur dioxide. A local state of emergency is in effect, with some residents evacuating to avoid lava and fires. (NYT)

Study Tip: If you’re having trouble focusing on a task (or focusing at all), start with something small and easily accomplishable– something that can be done in five-minute bursts. Beginning with an easier task is a good stepping stone to doing other work.

Procrastination Tip: Remember that list of shows you’ve always been meaning to start? Are you the one friend who still hasn’t seen Breaking Bad, or Making a Murderer, or Parks and Recreation? Just go for it.

Music:

Overheard: “Wait for me!” [Followed by audible sounds of someone falling down]

Kilauea by the USGS via Wikimedia Commons.

Apr

29

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Alternate opening line: “Tell me about a complicated Bwog.”

Move over, Emily Wilson and/or Richard Lattimore: Bwog is finally ready to uncover our own translation of the Odyssey. It’s a revolutionary version of the ancient poem that is sure to get the literary world talking; not only in its exacting attention to detail, but also the subtle ways in which we update the text for these modern times. Everyone on Bwog pitched in to write this most accurate of translations. The opening lines of this monumental effort, forthcoming from Columbia University Press in July 2018, are below.

 

Tell me, Muse, of the Bwog of many grapes, who was driven
far journeys, after he had sacked Lerner 510‘s sacred citadel.
Many were they whose pitches he heard, whose minds he learned of,
many the meetings he attended in his spirit on the MoHi campus,
struggling for his own finals and the procrastinating of his companions.
Even so they could not concentrate on Sunday at 9:00 pm, hard though
they strove to; they were destroyed by their own wild recklessness,
fools, who did not come to Bwog’s last Open Meeting of the semester,
and lost the grapes of their homecoming. From some point
here, goddess, daughter of Bwog, speak, and begin our story.

Opening lines via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Apr

29

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img April 29, 201810:51 amimg 0 Comments

This is a painting by Étienne Terrus… OR IS IT????

Happening in the world: A French museum dedicated to painter Étienne Terrus, a close friend of Henri Matisse, has discovered that over half its collection consists of fakes. Apparently, some paintings featured buildings built after Terrus’ death. Yikes! (BBC)

Happening in the US: Here’s a recap of the exciting news that, earlier this week, Joseph DeAngelo was arrested in Sacramento, CA, as the suspected East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker (EAR/ONS), also known as the Golden State Killer. Warning for lots of mentions of sexual assault and general violence. (NY)

Happening in the city: A cat that spent a week roaming JFK Airport after escaping from its owner has been captured. We can finally breathe easy knowing Pepper’s back in loving hands. (NBC)

Happening on campus: From 1:30 to 2:30 pm today, go to either John Jay Lounge or McBain Lounge for a dog study break! More information at the Facebook event page.

Sunday song suggestion:

Maybe a painting by Terrus via Wikimedia Commons

Apr

22

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Despite the best efforts of this grand university to crush everything and anything joyful about this place, the CU Marching Band… marches on, so to speak, releasing its first wave of flyers for Orgo Night.  The time, as always, is at the witching hour of Reading Week; the place is somewhat up in the air. Wherever Orgo Night ends up, Bwog’ll be there; what about you?

All images via CUMB Ministry of Propaganda

Apr

22

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Pictured: Howl.

Bwog was recently contacted by the estate of Allen Ginsberg (CC ’48), owing to the discovery of an early draft of his famous poem, “Howl.” We were told it might be of some interest to us, and oh, it definitely was. Read an excerpt of this historic find below.

I saw the best minds of my generation rushing Bwog, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves up the Lerner Ramps at 9:00 pm looking for an angry pitch,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who student loans and Canada Goose and hollow-eyed and high sat up eating green grapes in the supernatural darkness of Lerner 510 floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to the Editorial Board above the 1 Train and saw Alma Mater staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating MoHi and Woolf-light tragedy among the scholars of the Core,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene posts on the Wordpress of Bwog…

 To see what sort of publication could have possibly inspired such a masterwork, join us tonight. What else are you going to do on a Sunday evening?

Howl by USFWS via Wikimedia Commons.

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