senior wisdom 2008 Archive

May

17

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Name, School:
Jesse Cooper, CC 08 

Claim to fame: BWOG Mario Kart Tournament Champion,  

Post-grad plans: Proctoring SATs, Mowing Lawns, going to the West Coast, finding a home, working for Steve and Barry’s 

Preferred swim test stroke? CHICKEN-T-SWIM BABY! The Inverted backstroke.  Yeah, its alright. 

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1) I can drink a whole Hennessey fifth.  Some call it a problem, I just call it a gift. (To plagarize Xzibit).  Oh I guess I learned that too.

2) Anytime there is free anything, line up about 5 hours early.  When student council advertises 100 free anything, keep in mind that 60 of them go to members of the student council and their closest friends

3) The ability to bullshit 5-7 pages about absolutely anything, with footnotes, in 5 hours or less.  Its really a remarkable but invaluable skill.

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May

15

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We check in with Noam Harary (right)

Name, School: Noam Harary, CC 08

Claim to fame: Jewfro  

Post-grad plans: Living on a friends couch in the city while bartending and acting.  I’ll be out West next winter teaching snowboarding.  

Preferred swim test stroke?  Butterfly, then desperately treading water once immediately exhausted. 

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1) You could forge your professor’s signature on the add/drop forms, and the registrar never checks or keeps a copy of that document. Hoo-rah.

2) Deadlines are a state of mind.  Extensions are always given if asked the right way… (hint: no one wants a jumper)

3) You can graduate with only a concentration. Seriously, no major, no thesis. What’s lazy, has two thumbs and a B.A.? This guy.

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May

14

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Name, School:

Laura S., Barnard College

Claim to fame:

Student Government President

Post-grad plans:

M. Levin, Project Analyst

Preferred swim test stroke?

Swimming isnt part of the Nine Ways of Knowing.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1) He’s not the one…

2) Neither is the other guy…

3) Nor is that guy’s roommate.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

As a Barnard woman I refuse to answer this question formally, as ‘justifying my existence’ is what I’ve been doing informally for four years.

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May

13

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Name, School:

Amanda Erickson, CC 

Claim to fame:

Former Spectator managing editor 

Post-grad plans:

Covering politics in DC for the Chicago Tribune this summer, then hopefully covering meetings about parking permits and roundabouts in a small town newspaper somewhere. Or else volunteering and backpacking from Argentina to Mexico.  

Preferred swim test stroke?

Floating on my stomach and trying not to run into the person in front of me. 

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1. It’s worth giving the benefit of the doubt. Most people at Columbia really want to make things better, though they disagree pretty fundamentally about how to do that.

2. Checking your email several times an hour will not result in more frequent, interesting mail.

3. There really isn’t enough time to do everything you care about here, so you may as well choose one or two things you love a lot and accept that there will always be others you wish you had done. 

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May

12

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Name, School:
Niko Cunningham, GS

Claim to fame: Student Body President of GS – you know the rest Post-grad plans: Going back to LA – getting back together with the gang and making movies.

Preferred swim test stroke? “If a student takes beginner swimming for one term and is still not able to pass the swimming test, the requirement is waived.” – from the Columbia website. That was my strategy.

What are three things you learned at Columbia? PODUNK – Pissed Off Deans Unleash No Kompassion FARMING – Financial Aid Reform Must Include Non-traditional Gsers CRAPS – Casbah Rouge and Pizza Slices ..Damn, I miss the Casbah!

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May

11

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Name, School: Jon Cioschi, Columbia College 

Claim to fame: My great, great, great (I’m not sure how many greats, to be honest) uncle, Antonio Meucci, may or may not have actually invented the telephone.  Alexander Graham Bell may or may not have stolen the designs from him and patented it before he could.  Reason being, Meucci couldn’t drum up the equivalent of something like $200 in today’s dollars to realize the design.  While it would have been nice to never have had to worry about money – which would have been the case if Meucci beat Bell to it, it’s been so much fun to tell this story just for the reactions I’ve gotten.  If you don’t believe me, Wikipedia (aka the source of all truth and the only source of truth in the world) will tell you all about him, along with ardent Italian nationalists and spiteful Italian-Americans who are quite pissed that they can’t claim to have been the cultural source of the foundation of modern telecommunications.  Objective truths, I swear.   

Post-grad plans: I’m now officially committed to work for the Man…(hattan) District Attorney’s Office as a Paralegal in the Appeals Bureau for one year, beginning June 23rd.  After that, maybe I’ll work there another year.  And, after that, I hope to embark on, perhaps for the 1000th time in world history, Che Guevara’s motorcycle tour of South-Central-Latin America.  And, after that, I will be heading to a yet-to-be-determined law school to begin my mission to become a poor lawyer in the service of social justice.  

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May

10

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Senior wisdom continues with the illustrious Kieron Cindric.  You may know him as Associate Professor Bradbury from V114, but Bwog’s got your backstage pass.   

Name, School: Kieron Cindric, CC ’08

Claim to fame:

Varsity Show, Xmas: A Secular Spectacular, various other musical productions; being naked on stage and dressing as cupid for Halloween

Post-grad plans:  

Starvation.  That is, trying to earn money singing and dancing

Preferred swim test stroke? 

Flipping above the water! (I passed through taking Diving as a gym course)

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May

10

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Senior Wisdom checks in with former LionPAC president and Achille Varzi fan Ari Gardner.

Name, School: Ari Gardner, CC’08 

Claim to fame: 

  • former Prez of Lionpac
  • Served on both the ABC and SGB, and lived to tell about it…
  • Was once quoted by a United Arab Emirates newspaper under the heading “Minority Perspective” 
  • lived on the illustrious John Jay 5 freshman year, and the Deuce (in Wein) junior year

Post-grad plans:  I plan to spend this coming year in Israel doing research… Following that, I plan to attend Law School. 

Preferred swim test stroke? 

Backstroke, because if I get tired I’m already in the right position for a nap… 

What are three things you learned at Columbia? 

  1. That it’s important to maintain perspective. No matter how trite it may sound: things have a way of working out and few things are really worth getting stressed out about. 
  2. That the best cure for writers block/inability to focus is a 30 minute run.
  3. That Orientalism is not a major at Columbia… It’s a way of life (joke…)

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May

8

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Name, School:
Reim Salaheldin Atabani, BC

Claim to fame:

I don’t make any claim to fame, but I’m a former MSA exec and RA. I’ve managed to know a lot of people without really being known. And I suppose I’m the last person you’d expect to be from Las Vegas who actually is.

Post-grad plans:

Self-actualization? I’m not sure. I’d like to work for a year. Then I’m convinced I’m going to take photographs and learn Arabic in Khartoum. Eventually, I’d love to practice urban planning in Muslim societies as I listen to the call to prayer five times a day and try to live a carbon neutral life.

Preferred swim test stroke?

I haven’t stepped into a pool in over a decade, by choice, which is one more reason I appreciate Barnard (and swimmers!).

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May

7

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Another person—besides, of course, all of SEAS—exempt from the swim test? Apparently, swim team captain Henning Fog. 


Name, School:  

Henning Fog, CC 

Claim to fame:  

Swim Team Captain, Sigma Nu Recorder Emeritus, “Life of the Party” (3/10/06)  

Post-grad plans:  

Am I too old to still say “astronaut” or “Tony Hawk”? Aside from mooching off my practical I-Banking friends, most of my future is TBD. As of now I have no job, no place of residence, and no long-term financial plan. I’ve got dreams, though, among them: a) sell a screenplay b) befriend five hip young Manhattanites, have hilarious misadventures and c) find my real dad. 

Preferred swim test stroke? 

I recently discovered that as someone “officially more than capable of completing a few laps” I am not required to take the swim test. Special treatment? Not on my watch. I’ll be there with water wings in two weeks, doggy paddling my way to graduation. 

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May

6

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It’s reading week, and we know you need something to tide you over between “re”-reading an entire semester’s worth of material. That’s why we’ve decided to run a very special additional senior wisdom with help from commenter favorite Nat Gale.

Name, School:  

Nathaniel (but call me ‘Nat’, please) Gale, SEAS 

Claim to fame:  

Not quite screwing up COÖP, WKCR, and Engineers Without Borders – Ghana. 

Post-grad plans:  

Hmm that’s a tough one.  I’ve been telling people that I’m about 70% likely to be in NYC, with a 30% chance of Portland, OR on my horizon.  Time will tell.  Summer will hopefully be packed with the likes of New England’s Rising Star (Hartford, CT), Minneapolis, Halifax, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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May

6

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As graduation nears, Senior Wisdom presses on. Today, we check in with CC senior and Delta Sigma Theta President Tyeisha Chavis

Name, School: Tyeisha H. Chavis, Columbia College 2008  

Claim to fame: If I served the Lord according to the calling He placed on my life, than I would have done a job well done.  

Post-grad plans: New York City Teaching Fellow 

Preferred swim test stroke? Front stroke  

Justify your existence in 30 words or less. God has a purpose for my life.  

What Columbia memory best exemplifies your college experience? The historic memory of the 1968 riots and most recent protests that have shaped my experience at Columbia, and contributed to the ways in which I acted to affect change.  

Days on Campus memory? The massive step show on college walk with a wide array of National Pan Hellenic Council Greek steppers.  

Regrets? I make a conscious decision not to live with any regrets. 

May

5

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Though classes stop, Senior Wisdom continues as we check in with
CPR editor-in-chief and n+1 pamphleteer Mark Krotov. 

Name, School: Mark Krotov, CC 

Claim to fame: Editor of the Columbia Political Review, Former editor of The Birch, Spectator film critic. Oh, I also handed out n+1 pamphlets last fall, which compelled many denizens of Butler to give me (rightfully) mean looks. 

Post-grad plans: Currently murky. I wish I could say that there are options, but right now, they’re mostly hypothetical options. In other words, I’m terrified. 

Preferred swim test stroke? I think the swim test is very stupid, but when I inevitably give in next week, it’ll be freestyle. Quick, easy, and there’s not much flailing involved.  

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May

4

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Next up in our Senior Wisdom series: CQA bigshot and self-described card-carrying lesbian Cait Clancy.

Name, School:

Cait Clancy, SEAS  

Claim to fame:

Queer Awareness Month Head Honcho, CQA secretary  

Post-grad plans:

Very vague year off, then medical school. 

Preferred swim test stroke?

I’m in SEAS, punks.  I’ll build a bridge instead.   

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1.  If everyone at Columbia would stop talking about how busy they are, they might actually have some time on their hands.

2.  Coalition building isn’t coalition building if you don’t feel like you want to claw your eyes out.

3.  Cardiac output = Heart Rate x Stroke Volume. (more…)

May

3

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It’s time for another installment of Senior Wisdom as we check in with Rhodes Scholar and PBKer Jason Bello.

Name, School:

Jason Bello, CC 08 

Claim to fame:

Almost burning down Hartley (several times) and getting my own CTV cooking show out of it (“The Careless Cook”).  

Post-grad plans:

I am leaving the US during the most exciting election in decades to study political science (thank goodness for comparative politics).  

Preferred swim test stroke?

Synchronized swimming with Rahul Jain and Felipe Tarud. 

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

  1. If you’re hosting a dinner gathering, a surefire way to get everybody to know each other is to come late to your own party :)
  2. People who are balder than their opponents get on average between 3% and 6% less votes in open gubernatorial elections (original research from W4911).
  3. It’s okay to have a messy room (replies my suitemate: “that is what you think, not what you learned”). (more…)

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