In the first Senior Wisdom of the day we bring you the wonderful James Bennett II, star of Columbia’s Harlem Shake, Sensual Sundays, the International Butler Anthem, WKCR jazz shows, your dreams, and so on and so forth…
Name, Hometown, School: James A. Bennett, II; Baltimore, MD (the original Bay Area- Chesapeake what up); Columbia College
Claim to fame? I just see myself as a cynically unabashed dude who’s been known to fall down, read some shit out loud, put the needle to the groove in order to give you some aural stimulation at WKCR, and rap from time to time. Who knows, maybe I made you laugh once or twice. Back home, I’m just that kid from a kind of alright- turned-hnnnggg neighborhood who in no way was supposed to make it Columbia, but who wound up doing so anyway, because determination.
Where are you going? Word on the street is that I’ll be splitting time between New York and D.C., but mostly New York, and most definitely around.
3 things you learned at Columbia: Three things, eh?
- One reckless night back in the summer of ’11, I received the greatest bit of wisdom from a CC Alum, class of ’54. He looked me in the eye and said, “if it seems like a good idea, do it. When I was an undergrad I would want to just lose it and go outside and shout and have five-cent beer at West End Bar. So I did. ” Now, of course operating within the confines of the law, I took that to heart. I learned that you remember those impromptu trips to Brooklyn and forget those lost nights at a library. That a poorly planned mini-road trip is a much better memory than a routine Sunday morning meeting. That things get better, and that Butler isn’t forever. So, don’t you dare drop your metaphorical thun-thun. Thanks, Alum guy.
- That a perfectly executed headshake/finger wag combo says infinitely more than a stream petulant vitriol when someone is being a real social idiot. Practice in a mirror and with your friends, and give it a shot next time someone decided to walk in the opposite direction as you on those godforsaken stairs in Ferris Booth. One day this could be you.
- To be clear about what you want. I think we love imaging our lives like movies, and that everyone knows what our thoughts and wishes are. But there are no intimate over the shoulder shots or artsy jump cuts or silly theme music to cue up some dramatic dialogue. It’s just you and your professor/crush/friend/bartender//Max Bartik. Just be frank. Not curt, just honest. Now, honesty can be a motherfucker. No way around that. You may not hear or get what you want, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to breathe without a load of “what if’s” weighing you down. And you need your head to keep your cool.