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Author Archive

Dec

13

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All of us when we’ve been freed

Bwogger Sarah Braner wants you to know that we’re all gonna be alright.

Dear person about to go through finals,

For one of our final Bwog Loves before, well, finals, Bwog would like you to know that we love you. We here at Bwog think you are amazing. I promise we will all be okay. I promise that no matter how your tests and essays go, the world is not going to end, College Walk will still be beautiful all lit up at night, and JJ’s will still be there to welcome you home.

We’re so close, my friends. Only a little less than a week and a half (at most!), and then we will be released to actually enjoy ourselves for a while. Just think of how amazing it will feel to be done! Just think of how amazing sleep will be! Think of how amazing it will be to read a book… FOR FUN!

So study hard, remember to take care of yourself, support your friends, and know that the end is in sight. We’re so close. You can do it, and we all believe in you!

Love,

Bwog <3

Soon, my love via Bwog Archives

Dec

6

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Plants!

As finals loom (or are already here), Bwogger Sarah Braner is just trying to focus on the lights at the end of the tunnel. One of those lights is the Arthur Ross Greenhouse, located on top of Milbank Hall. 

I have an opinion: Milbank Hall is one of the worst buildings on campus. It’s hot, the elevators are slow, and the admissions office looms right over the entryway, bringing back memories of teacher recs and frantic CommonApp padding. But I am happy to report that Milbank has one saving grace: the glass behemoth known as the Arthur Ross Greenhouse that adorns the top floor. Well, okay, maybe “behemoth” isn’t really the right word, everyone’s pressed for space these days. But what it lacks in physical space is more than made up for by the space it has in my heart. I was lucky enough to visit with my Intro Bio lab section, though those interested are able to visit during open hours from 1-3pm on Wednesdays! If that’s not your thing, they also have a great Instagram account (@barnardgreenhouse).

Update, 12/6, 7:30 pm: A previous version of this post stated that an application form is necessary to visit the Greenhouse during open hours; this line has been removed because the form is only necessary for class visits. All students are welcome to open hours, no bureaucracy needed!

Green goodness after the jump!

Nov

30

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The image for the Facebook event

Nimesh Patel, a comedian known for being the first Indian-American writer for Saturday Night Live, had his stand-up routine at cultureSHOCK cut short earlier tonight due to uncomfortable jokes. cultureSHOCK, an event hosted by the Asian American Alliance, is a charity performance showcase that aims to provide a space to celebrate Asian American expression. Patel was one of the main events promoted beforehand.

However, his jokes quickly progressed to uncomfortable territory, including one about a gay black man who lives in his neighborhood and how “[I]t made me realize that being gay is definitely not a choice because no one wants to be gay and black.” The tension in the room increased as Patel told more jokes in this vein until organizers of the event went up on stage to stop him, citing a change in program plans.

Patel questioned why this was happening. The organizers replied that the person in charge of tech had to leave early, but Patel continued to claim that he was being cut off because the audience didn’t like his jokes. At one point, one organizer told Patel he was being disrespectful.

When asked for closing remarks, Patel responded: “I’m a generation older than all of you I know comedy,” and called the organizers incorrect in ending his set. He tried to continue speaking until his mic was cut.

We have reached out to the Asian American Alliance for comment and were told that their board is not yet prepared to release a statement. We will update this post if such a statement is forthcoming.

Image via Columbia University Asian American Alliance 

Nov

26

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New Conversio Virium poster for the upcoming term

WHY is this in our archives

Bwog had some lovely adventures over the break, and we hope you did too! Send yours into tips@bwog.com to be featured! 

Bwog is on break

  • Woke up to a rooster crowing almost every morning – earliest at 4 am, latest at 6 am
  • Went out to collect eggs in 23º weather without a coat
  • Got pecked by a hen
  • Climbed a tree for the first time in months
  • Wielded my family’s leaf blower whilst blasting Gaelic rock; destroyed my eardrums but it felt so powerful!
  • Saw my dog who got fat
  • Ghosted tf out of a very toxic high school friend
  • Went to a tiny town in MA that was some straight Fargo shit. At some point, a Nordic police officer has definitely gotten into a shootout with a criminal there
  • Went to the former president of the Massachusetts senate’s house to pick up something I left behind over the summer and, without thinking, complimented her dog’s, erm, anatomy (which, in my defense, was pretty impressive)
  • Drove to a diner over an hour away from my house just because my friend and I were both craving fried pickles
  • Had an extremely turbulent flight back home that had to refuel in Ireland resulting in several panic attacks from yours truly
  • Played Bob Dylan badly on guitar to a group of easily impressed baby boomers
  • Got a ride home with a middle-aged man I didn’t know and his Brazilian trophy wife
  • Went to art museums which made me wish Barnard had a visual arts minor
  • Watched a super depressing documentary on Native American boarding schools with my parents, am seriously considering adjusting my major
  • Helped my dad fix a piece of our garage that I broke a full four years ago
  • Fenced w/ my dad in our driveway

(more…)

Nov

26

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they did surgery on a grape

Surgery? On our grapes? Come to Lerner 510 at 9pm to find out…oh, and bring pitches.

They did surgery on a grape via Bwog Archives

Nov

26

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Not just for old folks!

Some things are best expressed through bingo. Therefore, your friendly neighborhood first-year brings you…

Barnard First-Year Bingo

Realizing the Millie suit looks like…that…
Bemoaning the quad’s laundry system
Trying to maintain your high school sleep schedule
Feeling like an impostor in Butler
Attending office hours religiously
Impulsively modifying your hair
“OMG how will I ever make time for 18 credits, 3 internships,  aND CIRCA?!”
Feeling sorry for all your friends in lit hum
Hitting up sulz friends for that sweet sweet AC
Barely anyone runs for SGA
Sitting in the front for lecture
Thinking JJ’s is a sustainable dining option
“Wait so what’s foundations again?”
(free space)
“Columbia has free laundry?!”
Forgetting that person’s name who you’re SURE you met during NSOP
Laughing at Columbia upperclassmen in PE classes
Freaking out when you see Beilock in the wild
So. Many. Extra. Swipes.
Feeling super intimidated every time you walk onto Columbia’s campus
Thinking that you’ll actually go to med school
Real homesickness hours
Realizing that you’re going to be in Barnard 304 a LOT
Realizing you’re not straight within the first month
Texting your OL when you need help
Accidentally twinning with someone else’s Barnard sweatshirt

 

 

Bingoooooo via Wikimedia Commons

Nov

15

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Their weapons of choice

The Barnard Chemistry Department has been hiding something from us. Something…mysterious. Something…menacing. Something…mole-evolent.   

Have you ever had a day in chem lab in which nothing went right? A spilled solvent, a broken test tube, sniffing a chemical you clearly should have wafted? Have you ever thought that the chem department has just had it out for you?

Well, perhaps it does. At least, its most effective weapon against a chem student’s GPA might. For deep in the recesses of the Altschul Hall, beyond an entrance only the most august of chemists can pass, lies the lair of the Secret Re-Agent.

Some say they like their solutions shaken, not stirred. Some call them Bond – Chemical Bond. Some say their only solace is quantum mechanics. The one thing anyone knows is that they know nothing.

But their presence explains the strangest of phenomena. A low percent yield? Simple, they must have pilfered some of your product the second your eyes left that flask. Have you ever wondered about what strange force led you to trip and spill every chemical you were holding? Clearly, the Re-Agent “bumped” into you, precipitating your current predicament. What is their mission? We can only speculate.

If you dare to find the Re-Agent for yourself, good luck. The Re-Agent is never found unless they want to be found. But if you happen to be successful, never share what you have learned…it is for your eyes only.

Tools of oppression via Bwog Staff

Nov

14

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Homesick at college

Me watching everyone who lives on the East Coast go home on weekends

Bwogger Sarah Braner is here to tell you all that IT IS OKAY TO BE HOMESICK.

The night before Fall Break began, I watched all the little people below Diana Café wheel their suitcases around, lamenting over my mediocre dinner how my home isn’t a simple plane ride away. Many people can relate; I live on the West Coast, which is a 9-hour ordeal round-trip (and many international students would scoff at such a short commute). I can’t simply go home at the drop of a hat.

Homesickness is a well-documented part of many people’s first-year experience, and for good reason. It’s quite normal. But that doesn’t make it any less hard to deal with. Personally, this is my first time being away from home for so long, and while overall I’m happy I took the plunge, being stuck here during breaks shorter than a week isn’t easy.

However, this isn’t just about me. This is to all the first-years who might be feeling something similar. Maybe you never thought you’d want to see your hometown again, but now any time it’s casually mentioned you find yourself starting to tear up. Maybe all you want to do is go back home and you don’t care who knows it. Wherever you are, however you deal with it, you are valid! Invite that person who you know is from your hometown but have never really learned their name to lunch sometime. Maybe make a Facebook group event for everyone from your hometown. Or do what I do and cry over pictures of your dogs. We’re all in this together.

If this ain’t me via Bwog Archives

Nov

12

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Abandon all hope, who enter here

Course registration time is finally upon us, and that means sifting through the many courses available. Bwogger Sarah Braner journeyed into the directory and survived to tell the tale (somehow). 

When I had journeyed half our year’s way, I found myself again within a shadowed forest of shitty graphic design. With no Vergil or Beatrice to guide me through this particular pit of misery, I made my sojourn alone, enduring raging user-unfriendliness and bare-bones aesthetics. And oh, the horrors I saw.

Like the gates of the damned themselves, the directory makes its purpose of inflicting pain and woe quite clear. This hits a journeying pilgrim immediately when they realize that they are not looking at the Columbia University Directory of Classes, but something else entirely: Directory University Columbia of Classes.

Ah yes, the prestigious Directory University

Sure, it makes the slightest effort to be legible with the color coding, but come on, did whoever designed this not realize that the typical human reads things from left to right? Why is this necessary? How hard would it be to…not have this issue? Who is responsible?!

After struggling to figure out what exactly they’re looking at, this poor pilgrim has to contend with how ugly the thing they’re looking at is. The “can’t be bothered to make a decent website” aesthetic extends to every corner of this hellscape.

DO YOU SEE IT?!

The way that “search” button extends beyond the drop shadow haunts my fucking dreams. No thought at all was put into the design. Seriously, Columbia’s multibillion-dollar endowment can’t get us a directory that looks like the graphic designer gave a fraction of a shit about what they were doing?

If a pilgrim dares to venture deeper, they may find the reason for their suffering; this website hasn’t been updated since 2001. SINCE 2001! Just let that sink in. (For some perspective, this monstrosity was last updated before most high schoolers were even born.) How could the powers above allow for such misery?!

To whoever’s up there, be it Prezbo or a better graphic designer, let us ascend from this chasm of design sins into the world above. I pray thee, deliver us from this pit, so that we may see – once more – the stars.

The gates of suffering, Directory University, and shitty search buttons via the Columbia Course Directory

Oct

22

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just look how sinister it is

Butler. 11 pm. You’re sitting in a study carrel when you hear that most dreaded sound… coughing. You scramble for something, anything, that could shield you from the onslaught of microbes, but alas, there’s nothing around! While this may seem like a hopeless situation, staff writer Sarah Braner has some tips for how to avoid the plague. 

  • Actually sleep for more than two hours.
  • Consume a vegetable.
  • Mix Emergen-C with everything you eat, drink, and breathe.
  • Chug orange juice with every meal.
  • Replace every meal with pure vitamin C.
  • Constantly listen to The Vaccines.
  • Spray Lysol on every single surface you interact with.
  • Encase yourself in one of those plastic hamster balls. (Added benefit: fun.)
  • Wash your hands after being within a ten-foot radius of a sick person.
  • Wash your hands after touching anything.
  • Just be in a constant state of washing your hands.
  • Never leave your dorm room.
  • Replace your water intake with hand sanitizer to cleanse from the inside (note: Bwog does not condone ingesting things that are not meant to be ingested.)
  • Go back in time and expose your past self to all the pathogens so you develop immunity.
  • Break into the CDC. Inject every single vaccine they have into yourself. Flee the scene.
  • Drop out of college and move to an abandoned yurt in the wilderness.

(And if you actually want to avoid the plague… be sure to get your FLU SHOT!)

you little fucker via Bwog Archives

Oct

16

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in here reside some of the hardest workers on campus

Staff writer Sarah Braner unveils the reason behind the ungodly sluggishness of the Barnard Hall elevators. 

Many of us have had a class in Barnard Hall. However, if you have had a class on the third floor or above, you are probably aware of the elevator situation: They’re slow. Really slow.

Well, there’s a reason the Barnard Hall elevators are the way they are. For they are not powered by newfangled hydraulics or anything the kids love so much these days. It’s just a bunch of mice with a pulley system.

Don’t believe me? Step into one of the elevators, making sure you’re alone. Say “God, why is this elevator so slow?” three times, and if the mice approve of your presence, they’ll take you to the secret floor below the tunnel. (Might want to bring a book for the journey.) When the doors open, there you will see it: just a line of mice and a rope.

You might have some questions. Why are they here? Do they know the Rat King of Lerner Hall? That rope looks like it’s seen better days, are we all in danger every time we take the elevator? Why haven’t they formed a union? (You probably didn’t need to come all this way to answer that last one.) These are questions I am not permitted to answer, but if they have approved of your presence this far, you may find the answers you seek.

Just be sure not to piss them off, or you’ll be doomed to take the stairs for all eternity…

ye who enter here via Bwog Archives

Oct

12

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Ain’t nobody fucking with my clique

Definitely-not-the-sports-editor Sarah Braner rounds up the sports for this weekend!

Men’s Soccer: Columbia (5-3-1, 2-0 Ivy) will play the Princeton Tigers (6-4-1, 1-0-1) in a home game at 1:00 pm Saturday. The Lions are coming off a win against Penn last week and are hoping to hang on to their second place ranking. Princeton’s main offensive threats come from Jeremy Colvin (3 goals this season), Sean McSherry, Kevin O’Toole, and Gaby Paniagua (2 goals each). Columbia’s top scorers are Kynan Rocks (3 goals), Dylan Mott, and Danny Laranetto (2 goals each).

Football: The Lions (3-1, 0-1 Ivy) will go head to head with the Penn Quakers (3-1, 0-1 Ivy) in Philadelphia on Saturday (at 1:00 pm if you fancy a road trip). While the recent 10-45 loss against Princeton probably still stings, the Lions are coming off of a win against Marist (34-24). This is the 98th time the Quakers and Lions are battling it out since the beginning in 1878. While Columbia eked out an exciting Homecoming win last year in overtime, the Quakers have a 77-21-1 record in the series. Penn has a formidable defense, with an Ivy best 21 sacks totaling 134 yards. Their offense also boasts an average of 217.2 running yards per game.

Volleyball: The Blue and White (9-6, 3-2 Ivy) will take on Penn (3-13, 0-5 Ivy) and Princeton (11-5, 4-1 Ivy) in away games on Friday and Saturday. Columbia is currently fourth place in Ivy League standings, while Cornell, Yale, and Princeton are all tied for first at 4-1. Penn is bringing up the rear of the league. The Lions are coming off a loss at home at the hands of Yale and a win against Brown. Columbia currently leads the Ivy League in aces per set, but the Tigers lead the Ivy League in assists, kills, hitting percentage, and digs. Penn is currently trying to get out of a losing streak, with attacks coming from outside hitters Raven Sulaimon (159 kills) and Parker Jones (126 kills).

God I wish that were me via gocolumbialions.com

Oct

7

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the scene of the crime

Staff writer Sarah Braner recently witnessed a truly scandalous event, and it has been taking over every thought in her head since.

It was a normal Saturday night. I was traipsing back from the Sulz 7 lounge when I ran into a group of friends clogging the hallway. “No problem, I’ll just slip past them,” I thought, until I witnessed something incredible: the tall, blonde boy at the rear of the group stopped in front of the hall inspiration board. In one smooth motion, he pocketed a single picture of the one and only Shakira. And then he left, unaware of the bond now formed by this secret knowledge we shared.

As he turned the corner, I remained frozen. How could I process this? Do I let it be? Do I tell the RA? I doubled over laughing, my body’s only response to what had happened.

I returned to my room, but the incident haunted the recesses of my mind. Why would someone steal just one photo? Ed Sheeran and Rihanna were right there, but why Shakira? What was the motive? Was it out of admiration? Spite? I could only conjure a few things one would want to do with such a contraband:

  • Burn it in honor of the music gods
  • Add it to his inspiration board of powerful women (we can only hope)
  • Add it to his Shakira Shrine
  • Tell it about his day
  • Use it as motivation that one day he, too, might become Shakira
  • Keep it to remember that one time he was in a Barnard dorm
  • Save it from its miserable existence upon the board

Yet I still have so many questions. How could one feel so empowered to commit such an act? Who is this thief, what is their story? And, most importantly, where will they strike next?

Dearest Shakira photo thief, I only wish to understand you. I promise I won’t call public safety or the RA of Sulz-Reid 7. Just please, explain yourself, so I can finally start remembering to forget you.

When will she return from war via Sarah Braner

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