senior wisdom 2009 Archive

May

16

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Name, School: Justin Grace, CC

Claim to fame: Fucked a chicken on stage at the UCB. Didn’t actually, but it’s a much better story that way (Thanks, Noam). Also, I run a comedy show downtown that no one goes to but somehow got nominated for a cabaret award. I think it might be a pyramid scheme.

Post-grad plans: Making lots of money in I-banking. That’s still a thing, right? Alternatively, becoming a doctor for sick pigs.



What are three things you learned at Columbia?


1. John Jay? Totally awesome. Don’t you fuckers like burgers? They’re burgers. It is impossible to screw up a burger.

2. No matter how much you think you’ve outgrown your adolescent classism, it will never stop sounding like Mozart when wealthy kids complain about tuition. It is, however, bad form to start singing “Free Ride” immediately after.

3. “Depression” is just a fancy way of saying “I want to watch The Wire for a month and not have anybody call me out on it.”

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.  Has only been in a Starbucks twice. Sings everywhere he goes. The two might be related. (more…)

May

15

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Name, Class
: Jacob Taber, GS/JTS

Claim to fame: SGB Vice-Chair, Dems Board ’06-’07 (i.e. the year of the Minutemen), Baccalaureate speaker, general Jew-about-town

Post-grad plans: Finance staff (fundraising) for a Senate race, and marrying my beautiful fiancée.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

(1) You haven’t really made it on this campus until you’ve been torn a new one by Bwog trolls.

(2) If you’re drunk enough, anything can be deep-fried. But use your own kitchen.

(3) MoMA is far more persnickety about having an up-to-date semester sticker than anywhere on campus.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

“Jacob is best known in certain circles on campus for his role in setting up a giant inflatable missile on Low Plaza to demonstrate the scariness of the Iranian bomb…” (more…)

May

14

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In our last post before we switch to summer mode (more on that tomorrow), we present the Senior Wisdom of our graduating Bwog staff (sniff). Finally providing their own answers are former daily editors Anna Corke, John Klopfer, David Iscoe, and Sara Vogel, and editors emerita Katie Reedy and Lydia DePillis. We’ll miss you.


Claims to fame:

Anna: Former Bwog/Hawkmadinebwog editor, former B&W literary editor, cellist and webmistress of the Bach Society.

David: Was the editor of Jester, was in Egg & Peacock and KCST spring shows, and played in garbage time at a few water polo tournaments. I also can speak loudly at times, which helps people remember me.

John
: If you asked ten people you would get ten different answers, none of them interesting. also wrote for Bwog. That’s why I’m on this.

Sara: Being on good terms with the good people of the Spectator, the Blue and White, and the Columbia Political Review simultaneously. Also, knowing about half of this year’s freshman class.

Katie: Naming the War on Fun; former managing editor of the Blue and White, Bwogger; Buffalonian.

Lydia: Bwog Editor 2007


Post-grad plans:

ALC
: Fish husbandry/developmental neurobiology in a lab at the University

of Washington, making pictures like this.

DHI: That’s up in the air. I’m training to be an EMT and writing video scripts for the Onion, but I need a job. But I’m in New York, I have a sweet apartment for a year.

JBK: Working on switching St. Kitts & Nevis over to electric cars.

SEV: Teaching for America

KER: Young American in the Foreign Service

LBD: Lowly positions at Slate.com and then The New Republic in DC. (more…)

May

13

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Name, School
: Peter Valeiras, SEAS

Claim to fame: President of the Engineering Student Council

Post-grad plans: Teach For America New York. High School Physics… keeping some form of engineering alive!

Favorite study spot? Avery Library… I’m probably the only engineer that knows about this place.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1. Engineers would probably not survive a huge flood or invasion because we do not have a swim test and really can’t build a boat… or catapult… in a reasonable amount of time to escape.

2. You can always get free things at Columbia… examples being that I have gone a week without buying food and all of college without buying a single t-shirt. And now I even got a free USB Memory Stick.

3. John Jay trays make the sturdiest sleds, although they are a little small.  Best sledding spots include: the steps, Riverside Park and the steps out to 120th by Mudd (although you need to make sure that you do not hit the wall).

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

I think that I am supposed to be able to design a bridge… I can’t… and therefore really can’t justify my existence. (more…)

May

13

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Name, School:
Rob Trump, CC ’09

Claim to fame: I co-wrote a couple Varsity Shows (113 and 114) and have done various other campus comedy things. Also, I am the reason for the existence of my admittedly vastly superior arch-nemesis, anti-rjt.

Post-grad plans: I’m moving to L.A. to try to write sitcoms. Those are pretty easy jobs to come by, right? I’ll probably have one in a month or two.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1. The people who are happiest here are the ones who find something they like doing more than they like sleeping. I like sleeping a lot, so this was hard for me, but I found it. Even better: find something you like more than either sleeping or partying.

2. Whiskey goes with everything, tonic goes with everything, but whiskey and tonic together are disgusting. It’s like gray and khaki. I learned this one really recently.

3. You can’t do anything without offending someone.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

I’m majoring in English and concentrating in Math. I literally studied reading, writing, and arithmetic. I am a student from a 50s PSA. (more…)

May

12

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Name, School: Tina Musa, CC

Claim to fame: Being a Peer Counselor/Advocate at the Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center (Consent is sexy!). Living in the IRC. Being a part of Filasteen, SPEaK and the Ethnic Studies Suite while they were around.

Post-grad plans: Going to medical school, liberating Palestine, and traveling to New Zealand to find the Shire.

Favorite study spot? My bed! Also my favorite sleeping spot coincidentally…

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1) Everything is a social construction. Even icecream.

2) The best dumpstering spots are outside of Milano and Absolute Bagels.

3) Butler Library has comic books. Look up “The Boondocks” on CLIO…

Justify your existence in 30 words or less. I can cook pretty well – I’d say that covers it. (more…)

May

12

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Name, School
: Sherif Farrag, CC

Claim to fame: National and international fencing, Co-captain Varsity Fencing, Turath VP, MSA OCM

Post-grad plans: I hope to live my ambitions, conquer my dreams.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1) I will not work on an assignment or study for an exam until the last possible minute. The subsequent pressure makes up for the lost time, and everything works out fine, except that I might not remember what I argued in that essay the next day.

2) We’re all the same in a lot of ways, and our differences are only different shades of the same color.

3) No matter how much you wish that night’s John Jay dinner might be good this time around, it will always disappoint. It’s so bad.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less. I am one of billions of people on earth, and that’s humbling. (more…)

May

9

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Name, School
: Gena Miller, CC

Claim to fame: Member of the 2009 intramural floor hockey championship squad “Team Fulton”?

Post-grad plans: Teach for America in NYC, allegedly.

Favorite study spot? Sounds like an oxymoron to me. I usually study in my room.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1. Never invade Russia in winter.

2. If a professor has more than 7 CULPA reviews that all say the same thing, it’s probably true.

3. People at Columbia (and lots in NY too) are interesting, quirky and wonderful and worth knowing. See “Senior Wisdom 2009 style: Chris Daniels”.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

I can type 57 words per minute. (more…)

May

9

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Name, School:
  Josh Mathew, CC

Claim to fame: Editor in Chief of the Journal of Politics & Society; former Middle East affairs correspondent for the Bwog; RA; Double Discovery Center; leading conspirator in the anti-hunger strike; local jackass.

Post-grad plans: Lounging on the always classy Jersey shore for the summer and then returning to a consulting firm’s office in Dubai/Riyadh.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1. There is no “return to roots.”

2. If you’re ever trying to push through a crowd to ask Al Gore to write for your journal, it’s not a good idea to shout out “Mr. Clinton.” It’s also not a good idea, when people then stare at you, to swear loudly.

3. “With so many dissonances in my life I have learned actually to prefer being not quite right and out of place.”



Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

Bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor. Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more? (more…)

May

8

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Name, School
: Colin Felsman, CC

Claim to fame: If four years of mediocre diplomacy have taught me anything it is that one should never attempt to publicly reflect on their fame, especially not when it will be footnoted by anonymous commentary. But like my senior cohorts I’ll play the acronym game: President of CIRCA (formerly Model UN), COOP (Bop love), CCSC Senior Rep, EC1220, NEQ (The Nancy Elite Squad).

Post-grad plans: International Organization for Migration- Fellowship based in Harare, Zimbabwe. After that I hope to land something rewarding(and paid) in Washington or New York.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1. Like texts from the Core, never prejudge Columbians as we have a funny way of impressing (or disappointing). For efficiency’s sake prejudge everyone else.

2. Social time is rarely unproductive, Butler time often is.

3. JS Mill first tenant, basically one must accept that no belief can be proven completely infallible and thus the strength of any truth must be judged through competition in the marketplace of ideas. This is the most persuasive argument for life-long learning and for always maintaining an open mind. It is also a roundabout way of saying that I learned that I have a lot more to learn.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

When faced with daunting challenges I have trouble being concise (10 words) (more…)

May

6

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It’s still Wednesday, and you’re probably still be in full blown procrastination mode. Bwog is here to help with a new Senior Wisdom from the political left, Andrew Lyubarksy.

Name, School: Andrew Lyubarsky, CC

Claim to fame: SCEG member, former Spec columnist, aspiring Andean peasant-farmer/Latin Americanist, post-Soviet subject, part of the Marginal, Radical Fringe that constantly tries to hijack debate on this campus

Post-grad plans: In the short-term, working at a summer program at UT-Austin, followed by hopefully some sort of outdoor labor in the Western desert-lands of Manifest Destiny, followed by teaching English via Fulbright in Argentina next March. Long term, urban planning/housing work/international non-profit-industrial complex in Latin America?

Favorite study spot? I never understood the phenomenon of studying in a communal pressure-pot, frantically looking for the few available spots in Butler while your cracked-out classmates lumber about like zombies. I must betray a fondness for the Butler Reference Room, however, whose monumental “MAN IS BUT WHAT HE KNOWS” (or something like that) has led me to brief spurts of inspiration.

(more…)

May

6

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No Spec means no QuickSpec. So this morning, Bwog gives you… FaureSpec? That’s quick-speak for the Senior Wisdom of former Spectator EIC, Tom Faure.

Name, School: Tom Faure, CC ’09

Claim to fame: Started with SEEJ, volunteered at Postcrypt Coffeehouse for a while, and was Spectator Editor in Chief after years covering student politics shenanigans. My claim to substantive relevance may be that I publicized, I think for the first time, what the hell F@CU is. But my real claim to fame is I got this email from Bwog.

Post-grad plans: Three nouns and three adjectives that have yet to pair up: journalist, novelist, and philosopher; failed, freelance, and broke.



Favorite study spot:
Some friends and I would shack up in Butler 303 for weeks, but camping is a little harder these days. Avery is nice, but inevitably the only place I get any work done is Butler 202.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1) In the words of Poor Tom’s a Cold: “The worst is not, So long as we can say, ‘This is the worst.'”

2) I’d known the world was an infinitely complex puzzle beyond my full comprehension. What I never realized was how infinitely complex and interesting are the people that comprise that world. (Not to seem like a pedantic name-dropping twat, but Wittgenstein’s phrase, “The limits of my language means the limits of my world,” is basically the coda to my airhead liberal art studies. My addendum would be that the limits of my world mean the limits of my language. Good people can enrich one’s vocabulary.)

(more…)

May

5

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We start the reading week of Senior Wisdom with the Columbia Democrats’ outgoing president, Chris Daniels.

Name, School: Chris Daniels, CC

Claim to fame: Dems President, Former RA, Perpetual Intern

Post-grad plans: Teaching For America in Philadelphia, then Harvard Business School

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1. Everyone here is really freaking weird. I’m still not quite sure why that just occurred to me this year.

2. 99% of them are worth getting to know anyway.

3. A significant number are truly brilliant, wonderful, and funny people who will change your life.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less. “If you don’t have grass stains on your knees at the end of the day, then you should seriously re-examine your life”(borrowed from Calvin and Hobbes). (more…)

May

4

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Our series continues with SGA President Sarah Besnoff.


Name, School
: Sarah Besnoff, Barnard College

Claim to fame: Student Government Association President, Columbia Urban Experience Coordinator, Peace by PEACE volunteer

Post-grad plans: Eventually: law school, local politics in Philly; Now: Looking for a job in New York and moving into an apartment with my CUE Co-Coordinator Stephanie Davidson

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

1) Developing “good time-management skills” really means learning to function on less sleep.

2) The kindergarten friend-making tactic (e.g. “hi, we both like troll dolls; will you be my friend?”) is also how it’s done in college/the real world. Now it’s just called “networking.”

3) The Barnard-Columbia relationship is confusing because Barnard students think we’re part of CU and the Board of Trustees thinks we’re partners with CU…And both are right.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less. If I meet you once, I will continue to smile and say hi if we pass each other on campus. (more…)

May

3

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Before they start working to pay off their student loans, Bwog humbly asks for departing seniors’ thoughts and advice.  Read the rest of this year’s here.


jacob weaverName, School:
Jacob Weaver, CC/GSAS

Claim to fame: Former Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Politics & Society and Treasurer of ABC

Post-grad plans: I’ve been working on my MA in Statistics here at Columbia since graduating in December. This summer, I’ll be traveling in China and then working for McKinsey in New York.

What are three things you learned at Columbia?

I learned how to speak Chinese (more or less), translate German, and write English.

Favorite study spot?

The fifth floor of Lerner is under-appreciated during finals, but I like studying at home. Potluck House in particular had great common rooms with friends, good food, and comfy chairs cast off by the law school.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

I fully intend to survive and eventually reproduce. With luck I will find a way to help people while I’m at it. (more…)

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