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Nov

9

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Staff Writer Jake Tibbetts recently joined Staff Writer Danielle Mikaelian on a trip to Atlas Kitchen, the new Chinese restaurant located at 109th St. Though the service wasn’t everything that the two of them had hoped for, they both believe that the institution has quite a bit of potential—and one hell of a brilliant menu.

It takes a lot to get me to walk past 110th St. Even 109th, where the new upscale Chinese restaurant Atlas Kitchen is located, feels like a world away. When I began to notice glowing reviews of Atlas Kitchen pour in on Yelp, though, I knew that it was going to be necessary for me to try it out.

On Thursday, November 8th, I joined fellow staff writer Danielle Mikaelian for dinner at Atlas. As we walked in, we were immediately greeted by a whirlwind of appetizing aromas. We were told that we were going to need to wait about twenty minutes to be seated—just about what we expected—and we sat down near the bar. We took some time to take in the atmosphere, which can best be described as simple yet elegant. The walls were adorned with black watercolor murals, and the furniture looked as though it were lifted from a high-end New American establishment downtown.

Upon sitting down at our table, Danielle and I were greeted by a server, who filled our glasses with water. We then ordered almost immediately. To begin, I ordered the sour and spicy black and white fungus, while Danielle went with the (appropriately named, given who was doing the ordering) dan dan noodle dish. We ordered our entrées at the same time: I had the two peppers sliced beef with peanuts, and Danielle ordered the special sautéed sliced eggplant. Both main dishes were served with small bowls of white rice.

i smell like beef

Almost immediately, we began to notice issues with service. My beef entrée arrived far before anything else did. After fifteen minutes or so, the fungus and the noodles, meant to be appetizers, arrived. It took about another half hour for Danielle’s eggplant to arrive. When it did arrive, we noticed that it wasn’t the dish that she ordered; she was given the sautéed eggplant with egg yolk instead. When we finished our meals, we waited about a half hour before we realized that no one intended to give us our check. We had to tap another server on the shoulder and ask if he could bring it to us. What was supposed to be a fairly quick two-course meal took us over two hours to work our way through. Furthermore, when we received the check, we quickly noticed that there was only one, despite the fact that we asked to split the bill as soon as we sat down. I understand that all new restaurants have some trouble with delivering great service, and I do believe that Atlas will get better as time goes on; I do have to say, though, that this put a bit of a damper on my entire dining experience.

Luckily, though, the food was, for the most part, marvelous. The beef dish was absolutely exquisite. Though it wasn’t as warm as I would have liked, the beef had a perfect texture—it almost seemed to liquidize as soon as it hit my tongue. The peppers added a kick that forced me to down my entire glass of water multiple times, and the peanuts added a crunch that paired quite well with the tender beef. The sauce that the beef was cooked in was a tad sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. Though I hate to order the same dish more than once, I could see myself getting this again if I were to return.

More thoughts and photos after the jump!

Nov

8

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this is the look that cc guys give barnard women when they realize that perhaps they shouldn’t be taking up space in millie

I have sat in
the green chairs
that are on the second floor of
the Milstein Center

and which
you were probably
saving
for someone who actually attends Barnard

Forgive me
they were magnificent
so plush
and so cozy

(also i ate ur plums too lmao)

William Columbia Williams by Unknown

Oct

20

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Staff writer Jake Tibbetts is both a cardio junkie and an utter misanthrope. Going to Dodge used to be the only way that he was able to satiate his desire to engage in fat-burning, blood-pumping behavior—until he moved to McBain. The McBain fitness room receives a fair share of flak, and in this piece, Tibbetts seeks to defend the merits of this odd little room that is one part sanctuary and one part liminal space.

Until two weeks ago, when I wanted to work out—which is, contrary to popular belief, something that I do, in fact, occasionally want to do—I did what almost any other health-conscious Columbian does on a semi-regular basis: I walked over to the Dodge Fitness Center. My routine was simple: I’d head up to the upper level of the fitness area, sign out an elliptical for thirty minutes, run, sign out a treadmill for another thirty minutes, run some more, wipe down, drink my beverage of choice, and leave.

From this point on, I am only referring to this room as “McGains.” (Just kidding. There isn’t any strength-training equipment in here.)

I didn’t go too often, admittedly—and that’s not just because I’m lazy. Dodge is a relatively long distance from most residence halls on campus, and walking there and back in little more than a pair of gym shorts and a worn-and-torn Elizabeth Warren for Senate t-shirt (my outfit of choice) can be a trying experience. Going there was, for someone who loathes social interaction or even just being near other people as much as I do, quite exhausting, to be frank. Also, the place just smells. A lot.

Is the McBain fitness room really as bad as most people claim it is? Read on to find out what one Bwogger thinks.

Oct

9

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Staff Writer Jake Tibbetts loves granola and hates disappointment. This semester has been a bit rough for him, to say the least. He has a lot of problems with John Jay Dining Hall’s switch to generic Ferris-style granola, and now you’re gonna hear about it.

More like Gra-NO-la, am i right?

I am, in many ways, a simple man. After a long, draining Saturday night, there is nothing I look forward to more than heading to John Jay Dining Hall for the first time in three days to fill my stomach with carbs, a little bit of protein, and more carbs. On Fridays and Saturdays, I, like many others, am forced to eat breakfast in Ferris Booth Commons. Though there is nothing wrong with eating bagel with cream cheese after bagel with cream cheese, John Jay’s assortment of breakfast food puts Ferris’s to shame. In John Jay, one can find scrumptious little corn muffins, a wide variety of pastries, a vast assortment of different types of peanut butter, and, until very recently, the best goshdarn granola that I have ever come across.

To be fair, Ferris does also serve granola. In the section adjacent to the avocado toast bar, next to the Nutella, there lies a large bowl full of fairly generic, fairly flavorless bits of what seem to be oats, almonds, and honey. There’s nothing wrong with this granola, per se—it’s incredibly versatile and can be eaten with yogurt, with milk, with fruit, with some type of spread, or alone. But it doesn’t really stand out, and it isn’t really that memorable. I usually only find myself eating it when I realize that Ferris is out of cinnamon raisin bagels.

Read more about the saddest food-related story of the semester here

Sep

25

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Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, a U.S. Representative from El Paso who is currently challenging Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in his quest for a second term, is an insurgent firebrand with an incredibly bright political future… and a pretty interesting past. Though many people around these parts aren’t aware of it, Beto—or Rob, as he was known during his youth—is a Class of 1995 graduate of Columbia College.

Are you really going to look into those eyes and try to tell me that Rob *wasn’t* a typical CC f*ckboy?

When he was a college student, he studied English literature, had hair that was nearly down to his shoulders, was captain of the heavyweight rowing team, and played bass in a punk band called Foss. It seems highly likely that “Rob,” who has been campaigning as both a pro-choice, pro-LGBT+, pro-racial justice progressive and a skateboarding, air-drumming cool kid, was something of a woke dudebro (you know the type: the guy with a Hillary sticker on his laptop who unapologetically uses the word “bitch” ten times during an average conversation) back when he was a resident of Morningside Heights.

But what else was Rob up to?

Sep

19

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Staff writer Jake Tibbetts spent the past few days asking himself a question that has haunted Internet addicts for over a decade now: Who is @dril, the weirdest account active on Weird Twitter? After a brief period of reflection, Tibbetts quickly realized that the answer was right in front of him—and the rest of the Columbia student body.

This weekend, @dril, a pseudonymous Twitter account also known by the display name “wint,” turned ten years old. His first tweet, posted on September 15, 2008, contained only one word: “no.” Since that fateful day, @dril has slowly climbed the ranks and become king of “Weird Twitter,” one of the most surreal, absurd, and nonsensical corners of the Internet.

@dril is widely revered even by those who aren’t too familiar with the subculture and has been dissected by commentators, social scientists, and journalists ever since he first showed up on the scene. According to Clayton Purdom of The A.V. Club, @dril is “your uncle’s search history come to life and filtered through a scabrous comic sensibility, and … possibly the most popular, beloved man on the entire internet (after, maybe, The Rock).” Another writer referred to him as “grinning Jack Nicholson with severe persecution and self-esteem issues, poor physical health, and a bizarre love/hate relationship with cops.” He has been compared to Donald Trump, Ice-T, and the fictional character Ignatius J. Reilly. His posts range from inane (“user named ‘beavis_sinatra’ has been terrorizing me since 2004, by sending me pictures of cups that are too close to the edge of the table”) to insightful (“it is with a heavy heart that i must announce that the celebs are at it again”), from morbid (“so long suckers! i rev up my motorcylce and create a huge cloud of smoke. when the cloud dissipates im lying completely dead on the pavement”) to… uh… just plain strange (“another day volunteering at the betsy ross museum. everyone keeps asking me if they can f*ck the flag. buddy, they wont even let me f*ck it”). People seem to like what he has to say, though; at the time of publication, @dril has over 1.2 million followers on Twitter.

@dril bears an uncanny resemblance to Lee Bollinger. That can’t be a mere coincidence.

Little is known about @dril. He previously posted on Something Awful, a comedy website, under the name “gigantic drill.” Jacob Bakkila, one of the people behind the now-defunct @Horse_ebooks Twitter account, told Buzzfeed that @dril is a man who lives somewhere in the New York metropolitan tri-state area. Other than that, though, few details about @dril have been shared publicly. In short, no one knows how to answer one of the most pressing questions that we, as Extremely Online™ people, face today: Who, or what, is @dril, exactly?

Find out who @dril REALLY is after the jump!

Sep

16

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Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.

Amid one of this country’s most politically volatile periods, An Archive of Struggle did the unthinkable: temporarily assuage some of Yaniv Goren’s (CC ‘22) and Franky Campuzano’s (CC ‘22) existential fears. Read on to hear these intrepid Bwoggers’ eye-witness accounts of one of this semester’s more thrilling academic panels.

Franky: Although I had to look up what “bicentennial” meant, I was pretty excited by what An Archive of Struggle: Celebrating the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial had to say about the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass. And I wasn’t disappointed! Professor of Black Studies Celeste-Marie Bernier and her co-panelists – Barnard’s professor Kim F. Hall and Senior Associate Quandra Prettyman, along with 1199 SEIU Associate Director Frances Sadler – created a forum that was simultaneously spirited and civil.

Yaniv: Exactly! And An Archive of Struggle was, more than anything else, accessible. Bernier and her peers did without the pretensions and platitudes that often saturate academic discussions, focusing instead on the things that made Frederick Douglass human: his personal strife, his family, and even his moral transgressions. In memorializing one of this nation’s greatest abolitionists, these speakers also set the stage for the freedom-fighters of this generation.

Franky: Yes, and the crowd was amazing! A mix of college students, faculty, and MoHi denizens, the event’s audience was a testament to how interactive and universal the discussion that was taking place was. Well, to that, and maybe to how popular the smorgasbord of cheeses offered at the end of the panel was…

Read more about what Yaniv and Franky thought of this panel here

Sep

12

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Book Cultural Marxism

Bwog staff writer Jake Tibbetts recently discovered the Marxism and labor history sections in Book Culture, a business that boasts an… ambivalent history with leftist causes. Break out the good stuff – it’s champagne socialism!

Even in New York, a city with an extensive history as a bastion of left-wing theorizing and organizing, there are few radical independent bookstores. Some may argue that this dearth is a direct result of the decline of socialist thought in the United States that occurred as a result of Cold-War era McCarthyism; others may argue that it is a symptom of a much bigger sickness—the rise of electronic commerce companies like Amazon and the subsequent fall of brick-and-mortar stores. Though the cause can be debated indefinitely, the effect is undeniable: The agitators, educators, and organizers of the New York Left have very few options when it comes to seeking out reading material. Sure, the anarchists have Bluestockings, a bookstore, cafe, and “activist center” on the Lower East Side; and sure, the Avakianites have Revolution Books, a small shop in Harlem that seemingly dedicates half of its floorspace to books and propaganda materials written by the founder of the cult-like Revolutionary Communist Party. But for non-doctrinaire leftists who aren’t so much interested in promoting any single ideology as they are in learning more and spreading information about the history of Marxist thought and left-wing political movements, there simply aren’t many options in New York.

That is, except for Book Culture, the popular store on W 112th St. frequented by students and faculty at Barnard and Columbia.

Read more about what makes Book Culture so special here

Apr

18

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I’ll be honest: This aesthetically pleasing poster was part of the reason I decided to attend this lecture.

This Tuesday, staff writer (and honey bee fanatic) Jake Tibbetts had a bee-rrific time traveling to the other side of Broadway to listen to Dr. Jonathan Snow, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Barnard College, deliver a lecture about his research on the ways that honey bees respond to stress on the cellular level and about his attempts to connect cell biology to topics related to sustainability. In this piece, Tibbetts writes about his experience sitting in on a science lecture that even a humanities geek like himself could understand, learn from, and appreciate.

As a sociology and political science student, I don’t often find myself attending STEM lectures after classes wrap up for the day, regardless of how many opportunities there are here in Morningside Heights to learn more about the most pressing scientific issues of our time. As a die-hard fan of Jerry Seinfeld’s 2007 computer animated comedy film Bee Movie, however, I do take special notice when events centered around everyone’s favorite pollinators take place.

When I found out that Dr. Jonathan Snow, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Barnard College and a man who is perhaps just as passionate about bees as I am, would be delivering a lecture on Tuesday evening titled “What Does Cell Biology Have to Do with Saving Pollinators?”, I knew that, despite knowing very little about cell biology (or, to be honest, the process of pollination itself), I would need to stop by—and I’m quite glad that I did.

This talk, the third in the Barnard Noyce Teacher Scholars Program’s Current Issues in STEM Education colloquium series, was held in a large classroom on the fifth floor of the Diana Center and began at 6:30 pm. After Professor Snow, who has taught at Barnard since 2012, was introduced by someone from the Scholars Program, he dived right into his talk, aided by a slideshow presentation. He began by letting the audience know that his talk would be divided into three parts. First, he would discuss cell biology as a whole, its relationship to biomedical research, and his initial research. Then, he would discuss the reasons that he decided to begin studying bees. Finally, he would explore the question posed by the title of the talk: what, exactly, is the connection between cell biology and the protection of honey bees?

beez after the jump

Apr

16

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Unless the Columbia administration agrees to begin bargaining beforehand, the Graduate Workers of Columbia will begin striking on April 24th.

This morning, the Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC-UAW Local 2110), having just voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, announced in a post on their website that they will go on strike April 24 at 10:00am if the Columbia University administration does not declare its intention to begin bargaining with the union before then. The union also noted that it had sent a letter with these demands to President Lee Bollinger. If the university “continues to defy both labor law and the democratic voice of its workers, and does not agree to bargain by that date,” the union writes in the post, it will begin striking immediately. This strike, if initiated, will last until the end of the day on Monday, April 30th—the last day of classes this semester. The union notes that this “is only the beginning;” if the university still refuses to meet graduate workers at the bargaining table following this strike, the union will call for another strike in the future.

The union notes that their decision to strike follows both a democratic vote (in which 1,832 out of 1,968 participants voted in favor of a strike) and over 1,000 organizing conversations across departments that have taken place over the course of the past few months. Department leaders will be reaching out to graduate workers this week to develop more detailed plans for the strike, and the union will be holding a general body meeting tonight at 7:00pm in Avery Hall 114 to answer questions about the strike. In their statement, the union calls, once again, on Columbia to begin bargaining immediately so that a strike isn’t necessary; however, because graduate workers “would like the opportunity to continue [their] work with all the security a contract provides,” they “are prepared to strike if Columbia makes such an action necessary.”

If the strike does take place, the union will be operating a picket line from 11:00am to 3:00 pm on April 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, and 30th. More information about how graduate workers can sign up for picketing shifts will be made available soon.

The full statement is available after the jump.

Read the full statement after the jump.

Apr

13

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Staff Writer Jake Tibbets attended the Just Violence panel last night, held at Teacher’s College, talking about modern morals in the practice of torture by police officers in India. Dr. Rachel Wahl, the author of the event’s namesake book Just Violence: Torture and Human Right in the Eyes of the Police had a lot to say about the perceived standard of equality and justice. 

On Thursday, April 12, in Grace Dodge Hall at Teachers College (which is not to be confused with Dodge Hall at Columbia University, which is where the event was said to be taking place on the Institute for the Study of Human Rights’s Facebook page), Dr. Rachel Wahl, an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, spoke about her new book, Just Violence: Torture and Human Rights in the Eyes of the Police, a case study detailing how police officers and military officials in India are able to make sense of the human rights violations that they regularly and openly commit. The event was small and intimate; including myself, the speaker, and two facilitators, there were only fourteen people in the room. The modest setting, however, made it easier, in many ways, to digest the complex ideas that Wahl was bringing to the table (and I mean that literally—most attendees sat at one of four tables in the room, which had been arranged into a square). Even in the company of a relatively small number of people, Wahl was able to deconstruct human rights terminology, social contract theory, the modern moral order, and liberalism as a whole in just as eloquent and intriguing a manner as an academic in a more “high-key” setting would have been able to.

Thankfully, the location of the event was listed correctly on this flyer. If it weren’t, I would have spent my afternoon searching for Room 359 in Dodge Hall, which doesn’t exist.

After she was introduced by someone from the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, which organized the event, Wahl jumped right into her talk. Aided by a slideshow presentation that she had designed, Wahl began by briefly discussing how she came to become interested in this somewhat niche topic. During graduate school, she explained, she had become interested in Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor’s conception of a “modern moral order.” According to Taylor, this modern moral order is predicated on the assumption of a fundamental good centered around the prevention of suffering. Making this a bit more easy to understand, Wahl explained that the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is representative of this order. Wahl, motivated by Taylor, wanted to explore what may be being displaced by this modern moral order. Her studies, like Taylor’s, would be rooted in a certain philosophical anthropology; in other words, she believed that it would be impossible to know an ethic until she saw it enacted. She also operated under an assumption of the primacy of moral orientation. To her, to know who you are is to know where you are oriented in moral space. What she intended to do through her studies was to get to the bottom of what she calls the “social imaginary,” a set of values, institutions, symbols, and laws through which we imagine our “social whole.” To do this, she thought that it would be worthwhile to study the beliefs and actions of police officers and military officers in India during an era in which human rights ideology is almost ubiquitous. In summary, she said, she wanted to study how ideas are lived and what happens when the ideas by which people live are challenged, particularly by forces who seek to change things through education and activism.

Read more about human rights violations, liberal political philosophy, and more here

Apr

6

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Note: There are far fewer actors in this production than there are people in this drawing.

This week, the Columbia University School of the Arts New Plays Festival, which features original works by members of the 2018 MFA playwriting class, kicked off at the Lenfest Center for the Arts, where the first two plays of the ten-play festival will debut. One of those two shows is River Rouge, a riveting tale about workers, bosses, love, passion, industry, and art written by Andy Boyd and directed by NJ Agwuna, both of whom are MFA candidates. Bwogger Jake Tibbetts, who couldn’t turn down an opportunity to attend a play written about his favorite Trotskyist muralist, was lucky enough to catch the Thursday night premiere

The title of MFA candidate Andy Boyd’s newest play, River Rouge, may seem fairly self-explanatory upon first glance; after all, the majority of the play takes place at and near the Ford River Rouge Complex, which Diego Rivera visited at the invitation of Edsel Ford in 1932 in order to gain knowledge of the American capitalist mode of production so that he could prepare to paint his Detroit Industry Murals. One only needs, however, to see the first few minutes of the show, which begins with most of the players coming together on stage and singing “Union Maid” by Woody Guthrie, to realize that the significant of the color “rouge” extends far beyond being part of the name of the play’s setting. This work, which focuses primarily (but far from exclusively) on the relationship between revolutionary artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and wealthy industrialists Edsel and Henry Ford, is quite open about where it stands politically, depicting factory managers as almost cartoonish villages and giving its revolutionary characters more than a few opportunities to sing songs like “Union Maid,” “Solidarity Forever,” “Bread and Roses,” and, of course, “The Internationale.” The show is red as hell, and damn proud of it, too.

What is perhaps most fascinating about what this show had to say on a political level, though, is that it refuses to oversimplify complex debates which were relevant in the early 1930s and which remain relevant today. While the tale is a framed as one in which Rivera’s (and Kahlo’s) Marxist view of the world comes into conflict with the realities of capitalist America, Henry Ford, played by Roger Lipson of the Actors’ Equity Association, rejects the label of “capitalist,” as he doesn’t feel that he is motivated by profit. (Marxists, of course, would find this argument laughable.) Edsel Ford, the president of the Ford Motor Company, is depicted as being somewhat sympathetic to Rivera’s views, even if his class interests are fundamentally opposed to the interests of the class that Rivera seeks to uplift through his work. Rivera, an avowed communist, is unable to stop himself from thinking about his desire to increase his revenue. Even when the show seeks to depict divisions that exist between communists and capitalists, those on different sides of those divisions are rarely if ever portrayed as one-dimensional ideologues.

Find out more after the jump

Apr

4

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In this review, we’ll be tackling Hotel Furnald, one of the quieter dorms on campus. Whether you’re an incoming freshman who’s looking for a place to crank out UWriting drafts in peace or a bitter sophomore who’s trying to, for some reason or another, distance himself from the rest of his class as much as possible, you may find Furnald, a quaint corridor-style dormitory located mere seconds away from Lerner Hall and Butler Library, to be the place for you.

The Furnald lobby is undoubtedly one of the most aesthetically pleasing lobbies on campus.

Location:
2940 Broadway, right near the gate at 115th Street. It’s tucked between Lerner and Pulitzer.

Nearby dorms:
Carman is the closest dorm; John Jay, Hartley, and Wallach are also nearby, separated only by Butler.

Nearby Stores/Restaurants:
Morton Williams, Pret A Manger, Sweetgreen, Shake Shack, Starbucks, Amir’s, some random halal cart, Häagen-Dazs, and International are all right nearby.

Class Makeup:
Many freshmen and a fair amount of sophomores.

Cost:
$8,412/year for freshmen; $9,538/year for upperclassmen.

Amenities:
Cleaning: Kitchens and bathrooms are cleaned daily (Monday through Friday), but trash removal is the responsibility of the student.
Lounge: Each floor has a lounge with a kitchen and a television. These lounges are fairly spacious and contain four armchairs, a coffee table, and a kitchen table with another four chairs. There is also a spacious main lounge located in the lobby with plenty of seating area.
Kitchen: The communal kitchens, located in the floor lounges, have two microwaves, two stovetops, and an oven.
Bathroom: Bathrooms are communal. They are co-ed on the first and second floors and divided along gender lines on floors three through ten. Each bathroom has three showers, three toilets, and five sinks.
AC/Heat: It technically has both, but it’s not always reliable.
Floor: Hardwood in rooms; carpeting in hallways.

Read more about Furnald here

Mar

22

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I spent half of my day looking at Zagat reviews of restaurants in places that I’m planning on visiting this summer. In other words… Day well spent.

One of my favorite things to do when I have free time, which I rarely do, is people-watch—and as far as I’m concerned, there’s no better place to people-watch on campus than the computer lab on the third floor of Lerner Hall. Because my laptop is on its deathbed, I’ve been visiting the lab regularly this semester in order to complete assignments, and the more time I spend in there, the fonder my heart grows. Some of the things that I’ve seen in there are hard to describe. Just this past week, I saw someone laughing hysterically at something on his desktop, only to discover that he was staring at the log-in screen. A few days ago, I watched someone rush into the lab, grab a seat, take what looked like a container of some type of pill out of his bag, crush a few pills on the surface of the desk, swipe the pile of pill dust into a sandwich bag, and leave the lab as quickly as he entered.

Last month, the Student Affairs Committee announced at a University Senate plenary meeting that the computer lab will soon be converted into a meeting space, and though this transformation is yet to begin, I already feel, in a way, as though I’m grieving. In honor of this truly special space, I decided to spend my snow day doing what I normally do on Wednesdays: sitting myself down in a chair in the corner of the room and attempting to get work done. This time, though, I documented (almost) everything… for eight hours.

10:00am: After grabbing breakfast in John Jay, my dining hall of choice, I head over to the Lerner computer lab. It’s quiet: only three other people are here. This is fairly abnormal; I’ve never been in here when it wasn’t at least half full. The snow outside, I imagine, is to blame. Most people are likely sleeping in. I would have loved to do the same, but that simply wasn’t a possibility—I have a paper to write.

10:22am: It’s still disturbingly quiet. I’ve never seen anything quite like this. All three other people are keeping to themselves, and they all appear to be working on academic assignments. Good for them. I, personally, am distracted beyond belief: For twenty-two minutes, I have been looking at reviews of restaurants in Southwest Florida on the Zagat website.

10:37am: Finally, things are getting somewhat interesting. A dude walked in with a banana, left the banana on a desk, and disappeared. He’s been gone for about ten minutes. Here’s hoping that he comes back.

10:39am: Banana guy came back and retrieved his banana. All is well.

10:43am: A well-dressed middle-aged man has entered the room wielding what appears to be measuring tape. I would assume that he’s with Facilities, but he isn’t wearing anything to indicate that he works for the university. As I type, he’s measuring how tall one of the desks is.

10:57am: Someone entered the lab, sat next to me, looked at the computer screen, shouted an expletive, and moved to another computer. I’m dying to hear the story behind that, but I wouldn’t dare ask.

More of the finest Columbia has to offer after the jump

Mar

9

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This school needs a Core class on how to properly ride an elevator.

Bwog Staffer Jake Tibbets is tired of all of you not knowing how to ride elevators with decency and no, he’s not going to write an op-ed about it. 

When, during my senior year of high school, I learned that I had been accepted to what some (i.e., Deantini) may consider to be The Greatest College in the Greatest University in the Greatest City in the World™, I was told by countless peers, educators, and relatives that I would be spending the next four years of my life surrounded by some of the best and brightest students in the world. When I first heard this, I believed it entirely. Upon setting foot in Furnald Hall for the first time during NSOP, however, I quickly realized that not everything was as it seemed. Sure, Columbia University is home to countless high school valedictorians and salutatorians, plenty of National Merit Scholars, masses of award-winning musicians, hordes of top-tier athletes, and (perhaps too) many aspiring entrepreneurs—all of whom are hard-working, resourceful, and intelligent. But underneath the student body’s skilled, accomplished surface, there lies a terrible, terrible problem: almost no one here seems to know how to ride an elevator.

 

To be clear, I’m not arguing that no one here knows how to use an elevator on a technical level. After all, riding an elevator is a fairly simple process that requires an individual to press one button, enter a metal cage, press another button, wait, and exit the cage. The problem, however, is that far too few people seem to care at all about the unwritten rules about elevator use that underpin interaction and relationships. When people fail to follow these rules, they, whether they know it or not, risk letting society disintegrate entirely. As Bwog’s resident social assassin, I have decided to take it upon myself to write down some of these unwritten rules in order to ensure that riding an elevator at Columbia is an enjoyable-at-best-and-insignificant-at-worst experience and to maintain order and therefore, you know, prevent everything from going to shit.

Rule #1: Let people exit the elevator before you enter. This rule is similar to the unwritten rule that dictates that you allow the car that stopped first at a four-way intersection to go first. People who are coming from the inside of the elevator have the right of way. If you violate this rule, you’re in the wrong, and people will judge you for it. Period.

Rule #2: Don’t use the elevator unless you’re travelling up more than two stories or down more than three stories. It should go without saying, of course, that this rule doesn’t apply for a.) disabled individuals or b.) individuals who happen to be carrying an item that can’t be transported via the stairway. If you don’t belong to either of those two groups, however, consider taking the stairway. By doing so, you’re saving the time of the people using the elevator who actually need to use it and you’re giving them extra space. Besides, every single one of us should seize the opportunity to burn off the caloric equivalent of a JJ’s mozzarella stick when presented with it.

We got more rules, we ‘count em

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