Senior Wisdom: Colin Felsman

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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)

Favorite study spot?

During the semester I adore the picturesque setting and camaraderie of Butler 301. But during midterms/finals, when Butler starts to smell and the camping crazies come out, the Lehman Library first floor reading room is a strategically secluded place where I actually get work done.

What was your favorite controversy in your time at Columbia?

Without a doubt Ahmadinejad. From the slew of reporters to the aggressive protesters, for better or worse the event firmly placed Columbia in the international spotlight. It also sparked vibrant debate across campus and awkward student interviews with Fox News. I landed pretty great seats in Roone and distinctly recall Prezbo’s controversial introduction and Ahmadinejad’s largely incoherent retort as jaw-dropping moments. The controversy will forever be preserved by countless student eds, and by random publications that misquoted many of my peers. For those of you not lucky enough to be here, it is also conveniently on youtube.

Any battle wounds/war stories from the War on Fun?

Like Kim the 2009 Winter Gala Coat-Check debacle stands out. I do find that when wounded alcohol tends to disinfect. With this in mind I think there were some victories on 40 days, yet since these lines are meant to illustrate my wisdom I dare not divulge.

Would you rather permanently give up oral sex or cheese?

Drawing on a few wise forbearers faced with this very dilemma, the difficult conclusion can only be: I would give oral sex for quality cheese. (read: brie, goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, fondue, raclette, etc.)

What do you wish you could tell the Class of 2013 before they come here?

1. New York City is home to unbeatable restaurants and nightlife. Morningside Heights is definitively not.

2. A wise and undisclosed source once described Columbia as a series of micro-communities that interact and coalesce in interesting and unanticipated ways. Rather than a homogenous unit, we are a community fueled by the mutual pursuit of our individual passions.

3. Recognize that Columbia is an imperfect institution. Then instead of wasting energy on cynicism and bashing everything (for more details see commentary below), dedicate your time to improving and enjoying the things you care about with the people you care about.


Failing to recognize sooner just how fleeting time can be

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  1. Wow......  

    this guy just admitted to possibly having homosexual tendencies.

  2. my god  

    This guy's senior wisdom makes me wish someone would castrate him. What an utter, utter douchebag.

    • Douchebag Count  

      What the hell? It seems like every single senior wisdom piece has had at least one asshat comment like this. For the sake of my opinion of the bwog-reading community, which I confess was never particularly high, I hope they're all coming from the same person. In which case, keep your thoughts to yourself.

  3. chick-deese  

    worst cheese answer ever.

    i now know that colin felsman wouldn't give up dome for cheese whiz or kraft singles.

  4. noo  

    this was a great one. much better than the last one, for sure.

  5. fail  

    wow. very pretentious.

  6. chick-deese  

    i do like his third piece of advice but i don't see how columbia's institutional problems relate to the requisite bashing that comes with senior wisdom.

    oh, wait, it's because they have nothing to do with one another.

    still, don't let the haters get you down.

  7. i thought  

    john stuart mill's first tenant was samuel bentham in 1820 when samuel stayed at his house for a few days.

    anyway, great senior wisdom. i enjoyed it.

  8. everybody  

    who actually knows Colin thinks he's the best!


  9. hey colin  

    it's tenet, not tenant

  10. pretentious?  

    really? he seems really cool to me.

  11. ...

    much circa love, papa colin!

  12. Colin  

    is a friend of mine and is awesome. Way to go.

  13. colin  

    is a terrific! he's a hard worker, genuine, and a great friend...anyone who is passing him off as pretentious or a douche clearly does not know the guy.

  14. Fondue  

    is not a "type" of cheese. It's a way to "prepare" cheese.

  15. colin  

    is a pretty amazing, stellar Columbian. this is a great senior wisdom, except for the one fact that Colin has too much wisdom for a Bwog post.

    i love Colin!

  16. colin  

    he's ok, except for how much he oppresses the gays.

    great guy

  17. colin  

    rocks! coop love

  18. ats  

    several of the responses certainly qualify as 'wisdom' to me. pretty sagely and insightful colin, impressive.

  19. Well...  

    He is in coooooooooOP!

  20. a fan  

    Colin, I'll miss you in CIRCA!!!! Make us proud working for Robert Mugabe... Don't get cholera!

  21. We want Pat

    How about some wisdom from Pat Kerns. He would be perfect for this

  22. can  

    we have a senior wisdom from someone other than a "student leader"? PLEASE.

  23. BWOG!  

    ARITA THATTE for senior wisdom
    nice change from uninteresting people who are picked just because they're on the E-board of some club

  24. jealous  

    because colin is hot??

  25. CIRCA Member  

    We'll miss you Colin!!!

  26. sigh

    my crush on colin will forever be unrequited...

  27. ...  

    also mutual pursuits of individual etc. doesn't really make sense. It probably would have been better to say collective pursuit of our individual passions.


    i think that is the outcome of trying ever ever ever so hard to earn the title of senior wisdom.

    though I am sure colin is a swell chap

  28. Me too...

    The most important question went unasked: is Colin single?

  29. Douche?  

    I honestly don't see any shred of 'douche' here. Answers being longer than 6 words doesn't mean douche.

    He seems like a really nice (and cute (just saying)) dude.

    Want to see douche? Search the last profile before that one. Urgh. It annoys me just to think of that guy.

  30. What's surprising is  

    that he is going to get a diploma without knowing the difference between 'tenant' and 'tenet.'

  31. if you  

    have to preface two of your answers for what you learned at Columbia with a reference to the Core and JS mill, you are a douche. If in your attempt to get people to vote for you for a CC prize you cite how your life at Columbia reflects Aristotle's happy mean, you are a douche.

  32. ughhh  

    senior wisdoms dont normally bother me but this guy seems like a huuuuge fucking dbag.
    just saying

    • but  

      he's actually not a "dbag". if you knew him in person, you would be as perplexed as i am that people actually think this. Colin is a really awesome guy, and gets along with almost everybody.

  33. CIRCA ♥ Colin  

    Colin is a pretty awesome guy and not a douchebag in the slightest. I have no idea where people are getting this perception.

  34. ugh!  

    he is a little pompous. Mark Johnson is so much cooler.

  35. wow  

    He's actually a great, super nice person...not even remotely a douche bag.

  36. i mean

    he can be a douche sometimes. he's fairly well intentioned though and the douche behavior is probably more social awkwardness.

    mark johnson is nicer, but colin is way more competent.

  37. Please Bwog!

    Give us someone we don't know. Someone on the fringe! The unfamiliar wisdom is often the most valuable.

    • agreed  

      or someone who did something minor but interesting...

      • just saying

        Do people really think that anything that is done by a student group is "major".

        Even the hunger strike had less real meaning than the local thugs who pushed a Columbian into traffic last year.

        • to qualify

          i.e. that act of brazen depravity towards human life was more significant in shaping the world (for the worse) than anything accomplished (positive, negative or otherwise) by student government, ad hoc groups, etc.

  38. good guy  

    colin's a good, nice guy. people complaining based on this senior wisdom would think differently of him if they met him.

  39. nope trust me  

    met the douche unless you're in his inner clique of CIRCA buddies

  40. dude  

    I don't know about all of you but he seems pretty chill to me. Best 2013 advice I've seen..

  41. Hmm.

    I know Colin, and I think that he's somewhat of a douche. A well-intentioned one, for the most part--a nice-hearted guy--but super pretentious and usually trying to one-up you about something. Just sayin.

  42. agreed  

    comment 56 is spot on

  43. it kind of just hit me  

    that it's amazing that we all do this: that we all chime in after a bwog post that emphasizes any particular student and collectively, publically analyze the kid and decide whether or not we like them. we scrutinize all of the information presented and declare that someone to be 'cool' or a 'douche.'

    Prior to Columbia I would absolutely never have done this or thought it was okay, but here, under the guise of anonymity we've decided that it is okay. And I'm not pretending to be up on my high horse here -- I've done my fair share... it's just mind-blowing how being part of this incredibly judgmental, at times malicious, online community has changed me for the worse. Were I this kid, or the millions of others who are picked apart on bwog, even if I had thick skin (which I don't), I would feel really shitty.

    I don't expect my little reflection to stop the practice, but I wanted it heard that I think this is wrong and I'm disappointed in myself for having participated in the collective garbage that is this type of discussion. It is shameful.

    • This

      should win the best comment of the week award.

    • Anonymous  

      You're trying to move from my "douche" column to my "cool" column, aren't you?

      • haha  

        indeed I am friend, good detecting

        ... but seriously this is not the kind of shit that people would utter aloud, much less say to a person's face (and I don't mean the stuff in this particular post but just generally in the bwog comments). It's cowardly, and i get that there's some pleasure to be had in being part of a mob and getting to cast judgment and feel superior, I've clearly taken part in it myself. I'm just saying that now that I see it for what it is, somewhat, I'm disturbed that a community full of some of the brightest minds of our generation, sinks this low to derive pleasure, because its a sobering picture of what the rest of the world is probably like

        I mean, if intelligent people, many of whom are well-versed in the teachings of the moral/philosophical principles behind human decency -- if that group of people acts like a lynch mob when no one's watching, it bodes poorly for the rest of humanity.

        • hmmm

          why do you think that the "brightest minds of our generation" arent misanthropic like everyone else.

          Egalitarianism is a myth. Everyone is selfish. Nobody truly cares about people with whom they dont have a close relationship.

          Even though people like to believe they love mankind (or animals, or...) they really only do/say it because it gives them a sense of personal pleasure. Nobody ever subverts their own needs for others.

  44. although  

    56 is right, colin is a good guy. he's been great for circa and a good friend.

  45. senior  

    good senior wisdom. if you've taken a class with him, you know he's a smart guy (vocabulary mishaps aside).

  46. instead  

    of repeating "colin is a douche" can we pick another adjective...say asswipe?

    • My favorite

      part of bwog is usually the negative stuff come from people that don't realize that their comments can be tracked. So they usually end up being 5-6 people antagonizing, rather than an angry anonymous mass.

  47. Dude  

    I liked it. Best Senior Wisdom page so far.

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