Senior Wisdom: Ian Kwok

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Seniors we shall miss you! At least their wisdom will be enshrined on Bwog.

Name, School: Ian Kwok, CC 2011

Claim to fame: I’m that guy who shows up to every free food event no matter how little I know about the event/organization. (So yes, I’m a moocher, but it’s better than letting good food go to waste, eh?) Anyways, my food budget over the last year averaged to about $2 a day. I also maintained @thefreedomblog for a while, and I’m helping with a new start-up: (check it out!)

Where are you going? I’ve always wanted to try to catch a giant squid in the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, I already used up my master ball, so it’s going to be tough. In the meantime, I’m going to keep scavenging around New York City, looking under shrubs for hidden items.

Three things I’ve learned at Columbia:
1. Postcrypt is the coolest place on campus. I’m really biased, of course, but seriously, check it out. Free wine and amazing art and music.
2. It took me two years to realize that you can watch the little lever go down to indicate that a train is approaching. Of course, the MTA finally installed digital signs, which are total spoilers.
3. The facility and public safety people who work here are really cool, friendly people. Next time you’re swiping in or getting your washroom cleaned, start up a conversation with one of them. You won’t regret it!

“Back in my day…”Dinosaurs roamed the earth freely, without hatred or Bill Murray references. But then again, Bill Murray references are hilarious, so maybe the modern world is alright after all. Also, the Beatles will never stop rocking.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I’m a hyper-fast walker. And I’m Canadian. Go Leafs Go.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? The War on Fun rages on, but hope remains. A lot of it comes down to simple communication breakdowns (they drive me insane!). When I was president of Postcrypt Art Gallery, we got banned from our home in St. Paul’s Chapel for a few months because the Man thought we were recklessly damaging the historic building. It’s always a compromise, but eventually we worked it out, and now the future of Postcrypt looks better than ever. And as much as parties get busted, the actual penalties for students are pretty lax. My wonderful friends (MG, GT, JC, KH, RS, MJ <-not that kind, silly!, HA, AW, AR, AM, et al.) and I have thrown a bunch of punny parties that I’m quite proud of, and I’ve only been written up once. Party on, comrades!

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’m not gonna lie, I eat a lot more cheese than I get oral sex. I’m a pretty practical guy, so I’m sticking with the cheese. If anything, I think this question opens up an exciting world of sexual possibilities involving cheese fetishes.

Advice for the Class of 2015:

Columbia is a university where it’s really up to you to make what you want of it. So have some fun with it! Sure, grades are important, but in the end, that last 2% isn’t going to change how successful you’ll be in the long run. I mean, studies show that it’s just as important to be good-looking, so if success is what’s important to you, why not switch some of that tuition money over to get some quality plastic surgery?

Anyways, I kid, but seriously, enjoy yourself! Seriously enjoy yourself. Enjoy your serious self. You’ve got the rest of your lives to worry about your career. As a pre-med, I can assure you that you can have fun and still get into a good med school (I’ve only been to Butler a handful of times, and usually to rent a movie or play Sardines). And if you feel like you’ve got too much on your plate, just give some to me. I’ll take your leftovers, any day. So take it easy, eh? All you need is love!

Any regrets? I regret not meeting every single one of you! There are some truly amazing people here, and really I hope that I’ll be able to meet more of you as alumni. Peace and love, Columbia! =)

Know someone wise? Submit your nominees’ UNIs and a few good tales to [email protected].

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  1. Wait  

    This guy's Canadian? Why the hell am I reading this???

    (Just kidding. Ian is great!)

  2. Adorable  

    I "aww"-ed at least 3 times

  3. points  

    for the led zeppelin reference.

  4. Anonymous  

    yay Ian!

    Also, his choice of photo is 10x more epic than the others so far

  5. Ian is awesome!  

    Btw, is the misspelling of Kwok in the picture caption intentional?

  6. Hell  

    yeah! Ian Brennan Kwok we love you. And I am happy that I am one of the few with whom you (I hope gladly) walk slowly.

  7. million dollar question

    do white girls like asian guys?

  8. Anon  

    I regret not meeting you too-- Anyone who manages to reference the Beatles twice in one interview is a friend of mine.

  9. Anonymous  

    sardines in butler is brilliant!!

  10. Anonymous  

    great senior wisdom!! enjoyed reading this and i'm sorry to have not met you. good luck!

  11. senior  

    I want to be his friend

  12. Anonymous  

    the lever thing - SO TRUE. I feel so smart at 96th every time I know the train is coming because the lever goes down...

    • Anonymous

      How does this lever trick work can someone explain?

      • Also...  

        By each signal light (red/yellow/green), there is a device by the rails which is a safety device. Most signals work like this: a red signal means "train in the next few blocks ahead, do not pass". The lever goes up so that if any train tries to pass, the brakes are automatically applied. This means that for these signals, the lever going down meant that a train just _left_ the station and is a few hundred meters away, *not* that a train is about to enter.

        However, there are also signals that regulate speed, and a lever drops down at a certain interval from when the train is a bit away, to ensure that the train is coming in at a certain speed.

        You can get far more information than you want here:, but I think most likely the levers the person saw were related to trains leaving, not arriving. But it's complicated: some signals could indicate trains arriving, too, but not all of them.

  13. Dear Ian  

    any special hints/tips for doing that $2/day thing? where do you find out about all the free food events (and don't just say bwog)

    • Ian  

      Believe it or not, flyers! People put them up for a reason, and it's easy to ignore them but you could end up trying something fun and new! Facebook friends' events are really useful too. My favourite food sources: bhakti, live at lerner lunches, and departmental events. Oh, and bringing tupperware is key. Hope that helps!

  14. JC  

    Kwok u da man. I can't believe that Spartan picture is public now haha. can't express how many awesome memories you've brought to my life. Live strong live free.

  15. Anonymous  

    Ian Kwok!!! One of my favorite Canadians at this school fo sho!

  16. RS  

    WHOOOA you're my best friend,/ in a world we must defend

  17. wow

    he sounds so awesome
    i wanna be your friend!
    in a non creepy way!

  18. hahaaa  


  19. how do you pronounce it?  

    Ian Cock?

  20. MMJ  

    You really are a fast walker. I have so many bruises from trying to keep up with you (and not becoming roadkill!).

    With that said, thanks for helping to make college phenomenal! :)

  21. v  

    this guy is actually pretty damn cool. down to earth, has his own mind, and does his own thing... don't even know him that well but def feel his positive "aura" as you might call it whenever i see him around.

  22. Furnald 4  

    Woo, totally love Ian. What a great person to live by freshman year. Definitely made life more interesting!

  23. Drunk Hulk


    • Racist Asshole


      Seriously dude. why are you allowed to be in a photo with people of your race without being "noninclusive of other people" and he's not allowed to be with his?

      • Anonymous  

        I know all of them--the girl in the front is Asian, the guy on the far left is white, and the one on the far right is half-Asian half-white. But who the hell cares?!

  24. HZ  

    Ian Kwok, you are my hero! No one will be able to replicate your powerful legacy of getting absurd amounts of free food, but I shall try. Thanks for all your good advice, Yoda. You're wiser than most 22-year-olds I know.

  25. Anonymous  

    I love you Ian!!!

  26. SpecNewsie  

    Ian Kwok could not pick up his award at Spectator last night because he was in Canada watching a hockey game, the only country where hockey is watched.

  27. AR

    be my sardine, Ian Kwok!

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