Senior Wisdom: Ari Gardner
Written by Bwog Staff
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?
- 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.
- That the best cure for writers block/inability to focus is a 30 minute run.
- That Orientalism is not a major at Columbia… It’s a way of life (joke…)
Justify your existence in 30 words or less.
I’m a pacifist by nature and an activist by necessity. My curiosity is insatiable. I make a mean shakshuka but my specialty is stews. I like to schmooze.
What was your favorite controversy in your time at Columbia?
My favorite controversy would definitely have to be Ahmadinejad’s coming to Columbia, for a number of reasons:
1) The media frenzy that accompanied it was rather humorous to behold, with CU invitation of Ahmadinejad being vilified by the far right, lauded by the far left, and heatedly debated about by those who fell in-between the two extremes;
2) The student response was also pretty amazing to behold: The campus went CRAZY, with students mobilizing both for and against the invitation and/or the man himself. Everyone had an opinion and was willing to voice it. Yet, the most amazing thing was that, despite the heated and at times polarizing nature of the debate which ensued, students remained remarkably civil throughout it all. It was impressive;
3) The soundbites that came out it were also pretty great: “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country…” “Women in Iran enjoy the highest levels of freedom…” You all remember… Priceless.
What Columbia memory best exemplifies your college experience?
I’m working on a paper. It’s 2AM. Not making much progress. Suddenly, my phone rings. I pick it up.
“What are you talking about?”
“You and me. We’re making guacamole. Now.”
“But it’s 2AM, I have a paper to write…”
“You have guacamole to make.”
“You’re a bad person.”
“that was easy…”
“you know my weaknesses… Damn you!”
I don’t entirely know why, but for some reason that not-too-distant memory just kind of resonates for me.
Which prof do you think would be the best kisser?
Professor Jay Topkis, esquire. The man may be getting up there in age, but he’s got class.
What percentage of seniors do you think are virgins?
Based upon an unscientific polling of 20 Orthodox Jewish seniors…. I’d say about 95%….
Would you rather permanently give up oral sex or cheese?
As an avid lover of le fromage my choice is clear. While oral sex is all well and good when you’re receiving it, I ask you this: can you buy it on demand at any bodega or grocery store? Does it only get better with age? Does it come in wedges or wheels? Does it go well with lightly toasted 9-grain bread, tomato, basil, and a dash of red pepper? The answer to all of the above is, of course, ‘no.’ And thus, though it pains me to say it: far rather would I give up oral sex, than bit eternal adieu to my precious cheeses.
Days on Campus memory?
I’ve passed many a day on campus and have many fond memories, which I would be happy to impart, but sadly never attended Days on Campus… Don’t remember why.
Not seeing more Broadway shows, never actually learning to salsa or swing, not having taken a class with Achille Varzi (Check out this youtube video, it’s kind of amazing…. ). I think that my biggest regret though, is that I simply didn’t have more time… I’ve had a great time at Columbia and am sorry to be leaving.