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  1. re: law school sex clinic  

    sometimes it seems like half of columbia's raison d'etre is the study of race, gender, sexuality, class, and so on.

  2. opal mehta  

    gothamist used spec quote...

  3. brilliant  

    more gender studies and less profs like waldron..no wonder columbia's rep is quickly going down the drain

  4. ummmm  

    columbia's reputation isn't actually quickly going down the drain.

    but yeah.

  5. a reader  

    Man, Fernanda Diaz really sucks.

    • if there's anything of which we can be certain  

      she certainly lives outside of reality; that's for sure.

    • another reader  

      you're just jealous. fernanda diaz's column is thoughtful, funny, and well-written.

      thank god for the 'warning' signs though.

    • Friend of Fern  

      Jesus! Do you have nothing better to do than rag on the first year columnist who is enthusiastic and optimistic. I used to think the BWOG was funny but now its just plain mean-spirited.

      • Another Another Friend  

        Hell, optimism and enthusiasm are great qualities to have, but she's writing newspaper columns, not teaching grade schoolers. And the simple fact of the matter is that (as so many seem to agree) her writing is irritating and pompous.

        (You can be somebody's friend while still thinking they're a shitty writer, you know)

      • Xavier  

        To be fair, it's not the Bwog hating on Fern, rather an anonymous commenter. Generally, people feel free to be much more mean (or honest) about any given subject when they are anonymous. I would hope that Ms. Diaz isn't terribly hurt by some anonymous comments on a message board. As for that parody, I think it's a pretty funny caricature and is one of the more tasteful and funny things to come out of the Fed in a long time.

    • Another Friend  

      Man, Fernanda Diaz really rocks.

  6. rotfl  

    brilliant! i love it how the spec puts a 'warning' sign next to the senior column by kathy gilsinan!

    senior columns are usually boring, so the handy sign saved me two minutes.

  7. Fern's Column  

    Apparently managed to piss off all of the people from that LJ community. Read here apology here:


    • whoa  

      you have to have an LJ account to see that page. will you post the text of the apology?

      • posted in fern's LJ  

        To all fellow members,

        Regardless of whether or not you’ve read my column in the Spec today, I wanted to write to all of you and maybe, possibly, seem less like the bad guy.

        I’ve had a column all year that has focused on the first-year perspective (vaguely) on Columbia life. Today was my last column of the year and I thought that to write the “end of freshman year” column, there was no better topic to write on than how it began.

        For me, as well as for a lot of us, freshman year began on this site, where we met other people as excited for school as we were; people who made us even MORE drawn to Columbia because of their sheer amazingness.

        I included certain anecdotes that were exactly what I experienced both closely and from a distance, writing about our cries of “August!” and our personal chats.

        Due to the reactions I’ve already gotten from some of you, I wanted to say this: I’m sorry that this had created feelings of discomfort. It made me sad to write it, too, but it was such a great phenomenon that I couldn’t move on without immortalizing it. This community, at its best (which was always, unless you count its inactivity in its transgression), was beautiful—it let us experience wonderful feelings, and is a part of us that might not be ever-present, but I don’t think it will go away.

        Maybe it was too honest, too open, too embarrassing. But, it was the truth, and that was the point. If any of you were hurt that I didn’t ask about writing this before it was printed, I’m sorry. I was writing a personal column in a newspaper, and nowhere in journalism do you have to ask someone’s permission to tell personal anecdotes that include him or her (especially when they’re anonymous and unless someone spent way too much time searching this community, would remain anonymous). And yes, all of you were included because all of you are members, and all of you saw all of this go down, months before school and up until the days leading into orientation. All of you know that the bonds that existed on this site were rarely carried out when we got here—that’s pretty undeniable, but oh well.

        The only reason I’m even writing this and making a big deal out of a silly thing is that we made this place a pretty big deal, and I never thought that I’d get such strong reactions against the piece. Suggestions to delete the community have been brought up, and if you want it, that’s fine. I just think that deleting it defeats the point I was attempting to get across: we started here, and now we’ve moved on, but it was awesome while it lasted. To delete it would be cowardly, as if we were embarrassed by our enthusiasm, which was definitely the best part. The fact that most of us aren’t actually “close” like we once were through this site doesn’t invalidate that passion, or at least I really hope it doesn’t.

        Thanks for reading =)


  8. what a douche  

    anyone see http://www.columbiaspectator.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/04/25/444dd1a9b90ed?in_archive=1

    and i quote:

    "I work at housing for a fraction of my market rate because I really love the atmosphere"


    • ccc  

      Apparently he was in one of my classes last semester, but I never remembered seeing him in class... except on the last day. He came in 10 minutes late, walked across the room, put his problem set on the top of the pile, and proceeded to walk right back out the door.

      The professor was witness to this utter disregard for the class and after the door shut, commented, "He'll go far."

  9. i can't believe im saying this  

    this was a really strong spec, at least in terms of writing

  10. J Train  

    Fern Diaz is the only decent columnist the Spectator has.

  11. i like fern  

    I don't know how anyone can really HATE her column - sure it's a less mature perspective, but that's the whole point of a freshman column. I think it brings and interesting voice to the Spec, and represents "diversity" of a kind we don't usually think of. I think she's done a fabulous job with it…

    • Get lives  

      I agree with 20, how can you deride Spec for trying to get a younger perspective in the paper? First-years are important, and am I the only one who noticed how her voice matured since the first column? You critics are very short-sighted and should consider writing a Spec column if the current ones are so bad. It'd be less easy, pretentious, cowardly, and generally petty than posting here.


      ps: Estes is also a tool.

  12. hate the sin, love the sinner  

    I love how Fern apologizes for creating "feelings of discomfort" and not, say, for actually writing hte column. Also, I'm curious as to the type of diversity it adds -- what paragon of journalistic professionalism is the Spec that it needs a "less mature perspective?"

  13. yeah  

    post it, that spec page in the last(?) fed issue was right on target

  14. Someone in the Know  

    All right, here are the ground rules:

    1.)The opinions expressed in this mock article are those of the authors and not necessarily those of their institutions, nor are they those of the bwog.

    2.) It is not a personal attack. This is satire of writing style, and should be taken as nothing more. Like any criticism, it is a matter of opinion.

    3.) All resemblance to real people is purely coincidental (ahem...)

    What I’m Trying to Say

    By Fermina Daza

    There are many different people on my floor. There are kids from California, Montana, New York, Vermont, New Jersey, Dakotas and Carolinas North and South, and even Southern California. We have different interests and backgrounds, hopes, dreams, tastes (even though at night we do most of our tasting at JJ’s, hah), and even plans. Some of us have boyfriends (like me) and some don’t, some of us love reading Woolfe while sitting under a tree in the quad, marveling at her use of stream of consciousness, at her ability to not give so many fucking examples, perhaps even eating an apple (like in Genesis, remember?) and some of us don’t. So maybe what I’m trying to say is not so much that there are many, but that there are a myriad of different people on my floor. It’s kind of like New York. Beyond the lime-roofed, cloistered, ivy walls; beyond the bubble, one that is ready to burst with vigor and energy, one that wakes up to each new morning with a fresh face saying “I’m ready!” in a way that Thucydides might have, is a world far different from that of campus. New York is full of different people. Not a myriad, perhaps, but rather a plethora; indeed, a veritable bevy.

    New York is like a handbag. You can open it up and a million different things are inside, and they’re all different. Sometimes they’re unorganized and you have to find what you’re looking for, but once in a while you’ve just got to take a deep breath, close your eyes and take what you get, like in life, or the housing lottery (Oh my!). Sometimes you have a zipper that closes everything up quickly and sometimes you have those little buckles, where you have to do one at a time, and it takes a while. Sometimes it’s small and has the same letter all over it and sometimes it’s larger and has many different letters in it (like Don Quixote!) but you sport it all the same, because, for better or worse, you’re a New Yorker.

    Maybe what I’m trying to say is that it feels like only yesterday that we were freshmen, overwhelmed by the sheer size of Low, smelling the smells of campus, meeting other kids who for the first time also liked Mozart, and Brahms, and Paganini, and Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich, and Bach, and even 50 Cent (haha), and knew it took being a Columbia student from some suburban town in New Jersey to truly understand what it is to be a New Yorker.

    But you just can’t just live in New York, you have to live New York. In a city full of opportunities it’s almost our obligation to get out of campus, to enter the ironic darkness of the subway tunnels in a city that never sleeps. I almost feel sorry for students who feel the need to stay in their rooms drinking, instead of going out with their boyfriends and absorbing all that New York is. Maybe what I’m trying to say is that Winston Churchill once said: “I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly” (hah! Isn’t that funny?) which is the perfect example of the vices that inebriation, intoxication, and even drunkenness can force people to engage in.

    There are opportunities abound at college, rather than engage in harmful, idiotic activities such as doing marijuana, heroin, and cigarettes. In the end, maybe what I’m trying to say in an overly verbose and circuitous manner is that sometimes I start thinking about school, and my friends, and life, and my family and I sit on the floor and start crying.

  15. seriously  

    we can talk about how much fern's writing sucks, but that would be pointless when it's coming from the fed. it's a shitty paper with really, really fucking ugly writers.

  16. almost important  

    Can we stop talking about Fern's freshman column. She's a SENIOR now. Has her column changed much?


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