In our last post before we switch to summer mode (more on that tomorrow), we present the Senior Wisdom of our graduating Bwog staff (sniff). Finally providing their own answers are former daily editors Anna Corke, John Klopfer, David Iscoe, and Sara Vogel, and editors emerita Katie Reedy and Lydia DePillis. We’ll miss you.
Claims to fame:
Anna: Former Bwog/Hawkmadinebwog editor, former B&W literary editor, cellist and webmistress of the Bach Society.
David: Was the editor of Jester, was in Egg & Peacock and KCST spring shows, and played in garbage time at a few water polo tournaments. I also can speak loudly at times, which helps people remember me.
John: If you asked ten people you would get ten different answers, none of them interesting. also wrote for Bwog. That’s why I’m on this.
Sara: Being on good terms with the good people of the Spectator, the Blue and White, and the Columbia Political Review simultaneously. Also, knowing about half of this year’s freshman class.
Katie: Naming the War on Fun; former managing editor of the Blue and White, Bwogger; Buffalonian.
Lydia: Bwog Editor 2007
ALC: Fish husbandry/developmental neurobiology in a lab at the University
of Washington, making pictures like this.
DHI: That’s up in the air. I’m training to be an EMT and writing video scripts for the Onion, but I need a job. But I’m in New York, I have a sweet apartment for a year.
JBK: Working on switching St. Kitts & Nevis over to electric cars.
SEV: Teaching for America
KER: Young American in the Foreign Service
LBD: Lowly positions at Slate.com and then The New Republic in DC.
What are three things you learned at Columbia?
ALC:1. If you work hard enough, Columbia might give you your own desk.
2. You can do a million things you love, but there is a trade-off with
spending time with the people you love.
3. I also learned how truly mysterious the brain is, and to love that mystery.
DHI: 1. Nobody really knows what they’re doing.
2. Libraries are mainly used for quiet study spaces in college; it’s not about the books, even though college libraries have great selections of books.
3. The view out the west side of an East Campus high rise is better than the view out of any place you’ll likely be able to afford for the rest of your life.
JBK: 1. There is a giant throw switch under CEPSR that you can get to through Mudd. Top of throw to bottom, it is about the height of you or me. I’ve always wanted to know what it does.
2. Log rules and Lagrangians.
SEV:1. Once you get the critical gaze, it’s hard to turn it off, and that’s OK. It’s easy to find people here who are pondering the same questions as you.
2. The LLC…it’s self-explanatory!
3. Unpopular, but true for me: 10-minute naps > Red Bull and coffee
KER:1. Overreaching theories and strategies relating to humans usually cause more harm than good.
2. It’s unfortunate that journalism is going through a crisis, because the media is the glue that holds society together.
3. The world is young and urban. It’s a wonderful place.
LBD:1. Everyone is the Other sometimes.
3. Concision! Also exclamation points.
Justify your existence in 30 words or less.
ALC: Once a frog tried to have sex with my hand. I tried to eat poop when I was little. If you squish my first name and middle initial together it spells Annal Corke.
DHI: I’m a goddamn human. Some people are always hating on humankind but I think humans are pretty cool. This is a pretty aggressive question. Justify your existence, Bwog.
JBK: Closet engineer. I can open your salsa jars and fix your whatevers.
SEV: Can’t drive, but there’s a subway map in my brain and a MetroCard in my wallet.
KER: The qualitative shall inherit the earth.
LBD: Borderline hypergraphia, except in questionnaires.
Favorite study spot
ALC: My very own desk in my lab. :)
DHI: I usually work in my room.
JBK: Home. Or the big conference table in Lehman. There’s lots of light and a water fountain nearby.
SEV: There is a permanent imprint of my bottom in an armchair in the Wallach sky lounge.
KER: I fondly recall the Alcove and the Ref experiences of yore. But really, for total seclusion, the language labs in IAB are great. During finals, people jimmy the doors so they stay open all hours. Great for paper writing if you can stand the abject fear of being alone in IAB at 4 a.m.
LBD: Nowhere for more than three hours at a time.
What was your favorite controversy in your time at Columbia?
ALC: This, small but delightful.
DHI: The Ahmadinejad speech was definitely the most exciting. At the time it was announced I was a daily editor for Bwog, so I actually posted the notice that he was coming to Columbia; when we got the link for ticket registration, I immediately registered and then posted the link on Bwog. On the day of the speech, I had a conversation with Marc, the key guy (who is one of the best people at Columbia to make friends with, especially if you keep losing your key), in the Schapiro elevator: “Are you going to see my brother Mahmoud? What do you think about him?” I said something about how Ahmadinejad’s professional dishonesty. “Lies, yes, lies! Like a cheap merchant!” He was pretty fired up. That set the tone for the whole day.
JBK: Sala-i-Martin v. Sachs. FC Barcelona v. MDG’s. Muppets v. Angelina Jolie. It will still be a controversy when the freshmen of 2013 matriculate.
SEV: Livebwogging the Minutemen melee with two dear friends — I saw the kick as it happened!
KER: Everyone so far has named Ahmadinejad or the hunger strike. Those are fine. But really, there are so many more worth mentioning: Cracker gate. Saigon Grill. Sundry hate crimes. Matthew Fox. The time all the freshmen cheated on Lit Hum. Ashcroft. But as far as the major controversies go, Minutemen fiasco beats the hunger strike hands down.
LBD: Minutemen—it started out like such a normal day!
Any battle wounds/war stories from the War on Fun?
ALC: War on Fun? People have fun at this school?
DHI: Like everyone else, I’ve been affected by it. What can I say? The War on Fun sucks. Was it Bwog that coined that phrase? Whoever it was, well done.
JBK: My freshman year roommate was smoking a cigarette and uncorking a bottle of wine, once, when Jason Bello called in the duty RA. The RA told my roommate to pour out the bottle. So he tipped it back and drank the whole thing. I’m fairly certain we weren’t written up.
SEV: A reluctant ground troop of said War, I extend my apologies to the residents of Wallach 4A.
KER: Not really. I do recall the days of 2005 and 2006, however, when there was almost no enforcement of any rules. Once I was drafted into an epic battle between Potluck and Metta houses (I think) where people were getting dunked in barrels of cider and whipped-creamed all over the EC courtyard. These days they’d probably raid rooms to find contraband whipped cream.
LBD: Too much time spent prying information out of administrators about battle strategy.
Would you rather permanently give up oral sex or cheese?
ALC: I have tried giving up both. Oral sex for around the first 20 yrs of my life. Cheese for two years (I was a vegan). I missed cheese more.
DHI: Well it depends how optimistic I am.
JBK: Refusing cheese is awkward.
SEV: Cheese is a staple of my often protein-poor diet.
KER: I must refer to the 5/7 episode of 30 Rock. Liz Lemon is curled up alone in her apartment, wrapped in a blue Snuggie, sampling from a large cheese tray and singing to herself, “Workin’ on my night cheese,” to the tune of “Workin’ on my night moves.” This scene encompasses my answer and my general philosophy.
LBD: I could do without the gooey versions of both.
What do you wish you could tell the Class of 2013 before they come here?
ALC:1. Learn to seduce people with your cooking. This has worked for me
several times. If you really can’t cook, go to Pisticci’s on Broadway and LaSalle.
2. Find a way to sleep as much as you need to. Even on nights before exams.
3. If you find yourself not enjoying the classes you take, switch majors – even if you’ve almost completed the first.
DHI: I actually have a chance to tell some of them because they read this blog, I tell them this: don’t worry about other people; make friends and interact with people but just don’t worry about what they’re doing or what they think about what you’re doing. All that stuff changes anyway.
JBK: 1. Professors want to know undergraduates. Visit office hours. Host professor dinners with your friends. Ask questions that don’t involve the upcoming exam. You’ll probably learn something interesting.
2. Math is taught pretty well if you’re not taking introductory level courses. One guy I know in the department compares quitting math because of Calc I to quitting English because of University Writing.
3. With your Facebook profile, less is more.
4. Make the best of John Jay when it’s still subsidized. Half the people you meet, and probably all of your best friends, will be your dinner buddies from John Jay.
SEV: If you’re thinking about the wacky inter-disciplinary major, just do it. And if you have a lot on your mind about something, grab a co-host, get a radio show on WBAR and just yak into cyberspace.
KER: Keep reminding yourself you’ve only got four years, both when you’re discouraged and when you’re goofing around. Take lots of photos of yourself now, because you’ll never look so good again. You’re at the node of a gigantic network, be aware of where you stand. And, you girls especially, don’t let this world get you down.
LBD: Eat at Absolute Bagels at least once a week. Get a bike. Study on the Lerner ramps—it’s the nerve center. And if you really want to have sex in Butler, find the closet on the 9th floor of the stacks and shut the door.
ALC: Not spending a summer in NYC. Never making it to the end of a Subway party.
DHI: There’s a lot of stuff I should have done, but in general I’m pretty happy; I think if you go around regretting things you can just keep going with that.
JBK: I wish I had majored in sociology. A couple of other people have mentioned this: there should be a joint sociology – economics major. I also regret not flipping a coin for Mandarin and Arabic and just taking one. That’s all I can think of now.
SEV: Not a regret so much as a promise — I will leave New York again (the life-long New Yorker in me says probably not for good)
KER: To quote Rick James’ two-ton black granite gravestone, which is in Forest Lawn cemetary in case you’re ever in Buffalo, “I’ve had it all, I’ve done it all, I’ve seen it all. It’s all about love…. God is love.” This should have been my maxim, alas.
LBD: Failing at scholarship. But hey, if I did this all over, I probably wouldn’t do it any different.