Opening Remarks: Of Gods And Pornography

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The first two days are up. Your profs did what they could to hook you in. Here are the highlights from the crazy geniuses who walk among us. Keep ’em coming!

Adam Cannon, Intro to Computer Science/Programming-Java

“Cheating is like pornography; you know it when you see it.”

Padma Desai, Principles of Economics

Desai: “Do you want to use clickers?”

Class: “Nooo”

Desai: “Good, because I don’t know what the hell they are.”

Charles Doubleday, Organic Chemistry

“So the more you pull apart the two hydrogens the more they start to say…eh…I just don’t care.”

Aaron Fox, Social Science of Music

Describing the derivation of social science: “So during the Enlightenment, God lost and science won. That’s the short version…But I mean I guess right now God is kind of making a come back.”

Aaron Fox (head of the Music Department), Social Science of Music

Opera singing in the background: “I’m always next to an opera class… always. I hate opera. Don’t tell anyone I said that.”

Giuseppe Gerbino, History of Western Music

Describing the ancient Greek perception of music: “Music is an auditory experience… of the order of the universe!”

V.R. Berghahn, Modern Germany

“My parents told me to come back to Germany to become a professor, where that’s considered a very elevated position. Not like in this country where we’re treated like part of the furniture.”

George Saliba, Introduction to Islamic Civilization

“Princeton was not mad that they lost. Princeton was mad that they lost to Columbia. That, I call chutzpah… (later on) Beat Princeton.”

Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Intermediate Macroeconomics

“The difference between micro and macro is that macro is useful.”

“He [Keynes] said, ‘in the long run, we’re all dead.’ And he was right! He’s dead now!”

“Every Korean now has 6 Ph.D.s.”

“In a few years, the Chinese are going to want their money back. Not because they’re Chinese.”

Achille Varzi, Intro to Symbolic Logic

“There will be a surprise quiz next week. Now, we only have class Monday or Wednesday, and the quiz will be a surprise. So when is the quiz? It can’t be Wednesday because then if it is not on Monday, you will know on Tuesday that it is on Wednesday, and then it is not a surprise! So then it must be on Monday… but wait! Then you know it is on Monday! So then it is not a surprise! There can’t be a surprise quiz!”

[Everyone laughs with delight and relief.]

“But I will still give you a quiz. And you will all be surprised. So I win.”

Anthony Webster, Intro to Accounting and Finance

In reference to i-bankers: “They make money off you on the way in and way out, heartless parasites…and on that happy note: important accounting quantities.”

Gareth Williams, Augustan Poetry

“I want to examine how some of us think that Latin resembles dentistry.”

Wael Hallaq, Major Topics in Islamic Law

On why we study Islamic Law: “We must always ask why we study this thing called Islamic Law. Why is there a thing called Islamic Law? Why is there a thing called Mathematics, or Science? Why is there a thing called the Columbia Business School? That, perhaps, we cannot answer.”

Ross Posnock, Modernism in America

“One of the best things about being bourgeoisie is being able to call other people bourgeoisie.”

James Shapiro, Shakespeare I: Early Shakespeare

On cell-phone policy: “If your phone rings twice [opens window in Hamilton 602] I will throw it out this window and give you $100. Mine survived the fall, but it’s one of those small, thick ones – maybe we can do an experiment!”

On the syllabus: “Who’s read Lucrece or Venus and Adonis? The rape poem and the cougar poem?”

Dr. Peter Norden, Studies in Operations Research

“I was once told that if you walk into the center of Seoul and yell out Kim, Lee, or Park, 98.7% of the population of South Korea will turn around.”

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  1. I LOVE  


  2. $100? Sounds Good!

    I've got a cheap-ass crappy cell phone I wouldn't mind replacing.

  3. the best shapiro line from the first class  


  4. Seriously  

    Don't cheat in intro cs classes. It's so obvious, and not worth it.

  5. Escapee

    Slight context: I'm pretty sure Saliba is talking about the football game that ended Columbia's record setting losing streak in 1989. In short, Princeton is classless.

    I love that he exhorts athletes in his class to beat princeton on a regular basis. Now that's spirit!

  6. Anonymous  

    cannon said that same thing last year

  7. Kender  

    "This is one of those things you probably shouldn't try unless it's 3 AM and everyone's lubricated".

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