how did i do it in high school? Archive



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img March 29, 201212:43 pmimg 48 Comments

so many letters

Destiny awaits!

The admissions staff is shipping the acceptance letters out to the Class of 2016 high school seniors.  As per tradition, they are out on college walk marching boxes of letters into the shipping trucks.  Admissions will be posted online tonight at 5 pm.  Freak out, high schoolers!

As always, it was one of the largest and most accomplished applicant pool.  The admission rate is up by .5 from last year’s 6.9 percent.  Jessica Marinaccio, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, gave the following statement about this year’s admissions:

Total number of applicants: 31,851

Total number of students admitted:  2,363

Admit Rate: 7.4%

Read Dean Marinaccio’s statement and more photos after the jump.



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img March 28, 20122:19 pmimg 50 Comments

Your mornings, next year.

You may need a few more of these.

Big schedule changes are in the pipes for Fall 2012, Columbia. Bottom line is that 8:40 am lectures and 8:00 am sections will exist. Today’s email from the Registrar is after the jump.

Yesterday, Bwog met about the change with Barry Kane, Associate Vice President and University Registrar, and Margaret Edsall, Associate Vice President for Academic Planning.

According to Kane, the “Classroom Committee convened for two years” regarding business “mostly to do with classroom.” Exciting stuff! They were tasked with figuring out how to allocate classrooms between departments and professors most efficiently. The Classroom Committee strongly recommended a new class schedule model; the unenviable task of putting that “conceptual” model into practice fell to Kane’s office.

Quite simply, we don’t have enough space. Due to recent incremental class size increases as well as expansions of majors and programs, there isn’t enough room. Unsurprisingly, “Faculty like to teach when they want to teach, and students like to learn when they want to learn.” This leads to “clumping” of like classes around popular time slots, like 10:35 am and 1:10 pm. Kane explains that when, for instance, a class ups and changes time and place without warning three days before class begins, it’s because there wasn’t a room for it.

Kane openly admits that the change is “not intended to provide a better schedule.” Rather, it is very pragmatically intended “to enhance the availability of classroom space.” This meant treating Arts and Science classes, SEAS classes, and language classes, differently. This isn’t even a solution, Kane contends, but really more of a stopgap measure.

Classrooms “directly affects the transmission of knowledge,” according to Edsall. You’ll see she’s right, if only you’ll consider the difference in quality between a discussion sections in classrooms with floating desks and those in rooms with a kitchen table. This is why departments will get the option of scheduling lectures as early as 8:40 am and as late as 7:40 pm and of scheduling sections as early as 8 am and as late as 9:10 pm.

However, there is hope for the future in Manhattanville: “If we got Uris, that would make a tremendous difference.”

Email below



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img March 01, 20129:44 amimg 5 Comments

i want to go to there

Bwog's happy place

Dreamy heartthrob Davy Jones of The Monkees died yesterday of a heart attack, leaving all of us just Daydream Believing (LA Times)

Did you finally stop having nightmares about Patrick Bateman?  Sorry… (Huffington Post)

Justin Bieber turned 18 today.  Those dreams you started having after “taking your little sister” to see Never Say Never are now totally legal and not at all weird.  (People)

New York high school admission letters just went out, making and breaking some 13 year old dreams. (NY Times)

Our very own NoCo continues to bring in the accolades.  We can only dream that one day it will have a real name. (MarketWatch)

Dream Lake, Colorado via Wikimedia Commons



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img January 18, 201210:07 pmimg 9 Comments

Today, compounding the stress of nervous high school seniors across the hemispheres, our Office of Undergraduate Admissions released preliminary numbers for the regular decision pool. The stats showed an overall drop in applications from last year, which they attributed both to a normalizing effect from Columbia’s switch to the Common App in 2010, and also to the recently reintroduced early action plans at Harvard and Princeton. Despite the less impressive numbers, the applicant pool was described, as it is every year, as the most academically competitive yet. Hooray! The potential class of 2016 also demonstrated itself to be exceedingly sensitive and loveable by excelling in categories like “diversity of experience” and “voice.” The breakdown is as follows:

  • 31,818 applications for a class of 1,391 students
  • Anticipated to be one of the larger applicant pools in the Ivy League
  • Applications were down 8.9% from last years numbers, but,
  • There has been a 21.5% overall increase in applications since 2010

Full email after the jump



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img March 30, 20114:17 pmimg 4 Comments

It seems like just yesterday that 2015 ED got sent out. Hell, it seems like just yesterday our decisions got mailed out. But it isn’t! Today the Deciders of Fates at Admissions mailed 2015 Regular Decision responses. Nail biting ensues.

The admissions people filed solemnly out of Hamilton, placing box after box (after box!) into the UPS van. Then they sang “Roar, Lion, Roar!” It made Bwog happy and feel fresh and excited and pre-froshy again.

Speaking of pre-frosh, holla 2015! We know you’re out there. G’luck friends.



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img February 21, 20112:00 pmimg 37 Comments

Flocks of prospective students clutter campus in celebration of Presidents’ Day. It’s rumored that the Undergraduate Recruitment Committee expects “mega tours” this week. Makes you feel sentimental, don’t it?



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img January 15, 20119:03 amimg 59 Comments

The accepted ~6% must be of a rare breed this lynx

Not everyone is deterred by our delinquency! According to Spec, Dean Jessica Marinaccio, Decider of Fates, reported that the admissions office received a whopping 34,587 regular-decision apps this year. Following a record number of early applicants, that makes an overall 32% increase from last year in total applications to Columbia. Marinaccio announced in March that Columbia was going to switch to the Common App, which is probably the most significant factor in the increased volume. Admissions prepared for the onslaught by “increasing staff and improving technologies.” We are sure that these measures will produce only the finest of future Columbians, and we wish all 34,587 potential ’15ers the best of luck. Honestly we probably couldn’t get in now…

Photo via Wikimedia



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img December 23, 20103:17 pmimg 22 Comments

Halp! More numbers! Some fun facts about this year’s crop of CC/SEAS Early Decision applicants:

Columbia received a total of 3,229 Early Decision applications this year (final after adjustments)
  • 632 students, or 19.57% of the ED pool, were admitted
  • 696 students, or 21.55% of the ED pool, were deferred to the Regular Decision pool
  • ED applications increased 8% from the previous year’s total of 2,983

And a word from Jessica Marinaccio, Dean of Undergrad Admissions and Decider of the Fates:

“The largest number of Early Decision candidates in our history applied to Columbia College and Columbia Engineering this year, resulting in an 8% overall increase in applications. This is the first cohort who applied to Columbia using The Common Application and Columbia Supplement, and we were thrilled to provide even greater access to students from a variety of backgrounds. From towns of 600 people in the Midwest to large cities in the Middle East; from students who are the first in their families to go to college to students who will be the third generation in their families to attend Columbia; from students who grew up blocks from Columbia’s campus to students who have never been to New York City before – students are joining us from every corner of the world and from every ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic background. We eagerly anticipate the dynamic contributions they will make in our classrooms, on our playing fields, in our science and engineering labs and on the Columbia and global stages, and we look forward to reviewing the Regular Decision applications of students seeking to join them in Columbia’s Class of 2015.”

Some statistics for the Class of 2014 here.



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img December 18, 20102:00 pmimg 55 Comments

bring it, bitch.

Another vintage post from our archives for you to contemplate while holed up in the library…

With classes completed and a weekend now free to bemoan our misery, Bwoggers weigh in from Butler Cafe/salon: what’s worse, studying for finals or writing papers?


Remember: every essay is an open book test. With class notes, a few highlighted passages, and the wisdom of Wikipedia, writing the final paper for that morning lecture you haven’t graced with your presence since October becomes a manageable feat. For the overachiever, a few days of advance planning gives plenty of time to skim a book or two on an exhaustive syllabus.  After a night’s work, you’re an experton Early Modern thought – or, at very least, you’re an expert on Descartes, whose Meditations on First Philosophy clocks in at around 70 pages– and your professor will be awed at your profound insights.Whereas the finals studier, settling down to confront that stack of unread books the morning before the test begins, will probably forget everything he wished he knew about Hobbes as soon as the clock starts ticking.

That’s another thing – essays are free of the stomach-churning anxiety that reminds you of the night before the SATs.  And that nervousness doesn’t make you work faster, it only makes you stall.  It’s not high school anymore, and we’re out of testing practice. Remember how you used to fire out short answers about the Monroe Doctrine?  Remember how you used to diagram the stages of anaerobic respiration?  Remember how you used to make flashcards?  Just look at you now: struggling to make a simple comparison between Aristotle and Aquinas.  Pathetic.  Don’t mourn your lost youth and do what we came here to do: argue, debate, and use enough pretty language to hide what you don’t know.


Finals are the godsend of the procrastinating humanities student. You read, er… skimmed, er… sparknoted all those books, but more importantly you sat through class and based your bullshit comments on the synopsis there given by the one person who read all of The Republic. They say you’ll remember an idea if you really engage with it – well, you have! You sat at that seminar table, didn’t you? Now all that’s left to do is to review, and you’ve got plenty of time, the test is tomorrow. It’s past midnight? Ok, technically it’s today. The test is in two hours. One hour. Not ready? Too bad, you can’t make up an excuse to turn this paper in late, even if it has the potential to be a masterpiece (once you start it). You have to show up to that test. And chances are you’ll do fine. And even if you don’t, 2 hours of studying will probably get you a passing grade, while two hours of writing a paper will probably only get you half a paper. This is about time management, Butler zombies.

Ok, so the more technically or linguistically minded among us might not get many organic compounds or Italian verbs memorized in 2 hours. But think of your theoretical other option – in an alternate universe, you’d be writing a paper about the development of that Italian verb (or worse, writing a paper in Italian) or a research paper on the use of Vomitoxin, Uranocene, or Fukalite (yeah, those are real organic compounds). But if you have a final, you’ll probably be asked at most to identify what type of compound Dinocap (also real) is in. And even if you don’t prepare in advance, you know you can – exams that test you on the whole of a psychology text book, for example, are easy to read ahead on. No “here’s you paper topic, due in 72 hours.” No one will argue that computer science concepts are easy, but would you really rather be writing a paper about them?

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