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Opening Remarks: The New Criterion

As per custom, Bwog unveils its list of the most outrageous and laughable comments made by professors at their first class meetings of the year.  Be sure to email us with all of the inspiring, hilarious, and insane things your professors say today to bwgossip@columbia.edu to keep our tradition alive, and please check back as we continuously update the list.

Christina Hunter, Art Hum

“This is a very easy class to fall asleep in, especially if you’re an athlete and have already ran 5000 laps. I suggest you sit in the uncomfortable chair in the front to stay awake.”

Self-described “quirky” Political Science Professor Mona El-Ghobashy, in Intro to Comparative Politics

(Explaining her thoughts on cell phones): “I’m probably one of five people in New York who doesn’t own a cell phone. I’m a cell phone hater, not a congratulator.”

(Answering why none of her works are on the syllabus): “You can look me up on Google!”

A number of gems courtesy of Professor Brendan O’Flaherty’s Principles of Economics class

“If you can make me cry, you get an A.”

“In 1790, Ozge (Akinci, a TA) could go into any pub in London and kick butt.”

“I will not teach you how to chirp and lay eggs.”

“Prerequisites: Breathing. If you are a corpse, you will not be admitted to this class.” 

“One of the best places you can get shot is Newark; there’s only a 10% chance that you’ll die.”

“If you think that you will be raped, you don’t go rape them first!”

“I never teach class with a gun.”

“Anyone who shoots me gets a bad grade.”

Professor Dick Bulliet’s History of Iran class

“There’s nothing that you won’t find in Williamsburg that you can’t also find in Tehran.”

Professor Rosalind Rosenberg, Barnard History Department

“John W. Burgess, the founder of Columbia’s history department, once said,

‘women will teach in the Columbia history department – over my dead body.’

Well, he’s dead.”

Andrew Sarris’s The Works of Howard Hawks Class

(The TA never showed up with the movie until the projectionist ran over to get it from Butler). Sarris said, “I never wanted to teach this course. If I went to the New York Times to take over A.O. Scott’s column for a week they’d toss me out the window. And that building has a lot of floors. It’s very high up. ”

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9 Comments

  • Tyreequa says:

    @Tyreequa “the problem with hypothetical examples is that some smarta$s students respond with statements to the effect of (in a high, baby voice) ‘well, if batman puts on a super-duper-cloak he can beat up superman'”

  • econ says:

    @econ vintage o’flaherty.

  • Susan Elmes says:

    @Susan Elmes “Don’t think that if you disappear, everything will be okay.”

  • fdsjkl says:

    @fdsjkl Those sure are some “wacky” remarks!

    1. Aunt Sassy says:

      @Aunt Sassy Well, THEY GOT IT!

  • Riven says:

    @Riven Mona El-Ghobashy actually threw out people during class when their cell rang. It was an interesting sight.

  • Yet another says:

    @Yet another Christina Hunter:

    “I know it’s early, but just think: you get to sit with each other in the dark and look at some of the most beautiful things —the most beautiful male and female bodies— and there are worse things you could be doing at 9:00 am than looking at naked men and women.”

  • '08 alum says:

    @'08 alum I am actually missing Columbia right now, which is shocking.

  • another says:

    @another christina hunter gem. “as you may have learned from the bible or emo music, Jesus was crucified.”

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