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