CC Class Day Recap
Written by Bwog Staff
CC Class day, though never a particularly riveting experience, was cold, blustery and, well, boring this year.
The afternoon began with clear skies and salutatorian Julia Kalow, a double major in chemistry and creative writing, whose speech tended toward the latter. She told the story of a writer who informs her friends that she’s written a story with no ending. They balk, as does a snobbish boy in the corner reading the Iliad, who then notices, “Troy hasn’t fallen, the war isn’t over—perhaps the stories didn’t need endings.” Kalow reminded seniors that though they may be graduating, their “illustrious Columbia experience” doesn’t “end when our IDs expire,” or “when the University stops asking us for money.” Rather, it never ends, which was ambiguously comforting.
Following Kalow was Joel Klein, who in 2002 became Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, and whose speech sounded remarkably like his resume, with assorted quotes from Alan Alda and Theodore Roosevelt thrown in.
Clichés abounded. The glass was half empty or half full. Columbia had given seniors a car and gas and now they just had to drive. College is a “cocoon.” Acknowledging that “this was a hard assignment” and no one would remember what he said, he finished with: “The only thing I want you to remember from what I said today is, ‘go for it.’” Unfortunately by that point half the audience had forgotten who he was.
Dean of Student Affairs Costantino Colombo announced the award recipients as two of his staffers, who stood behind Bwog, loudly commented that writing speeches for the man is a sheer impossibility as he will only improvise. This is unfortunate, they noted, for words are the enemy of the Colombo.
Then there was senior class president Neda Navab, who continued Klein’s theme of giving a speech largely about herself and her trials and pitfalls in the last four years. She announced that her sister would be a freshman in the fall and as the cameras panned over her sister’s face, the audience cooed in unison. “Can it get any better than this?” Navab wondered.
It can! It did! Thank goodness for Dean Quigley and PrezBo, who between the two of them managed to be charming. “I’ve decided that I care too much to allow you to graduate,” joked Quigley. PrezBo gave some inspirational asides and then referred to the college as “one of the greatest dating services,” that appears to have failed quite a few of its seniors. “You seem to be a generation that wants to take your time to match up—the alumni association can help you!” he said, adding “Columbia and you are now wed.”
A hearty Bwog thank-you goes out to the kid wearing the spiderman costume under his gown–you made it all worthwhile.