Senior Wisdom: Alice Mottola

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Name, school: Alice Mottola (occasionally known as “Nurse Alice”), Barnard College Class of 2011

Claim to fame: Co-President of Latenite Theatre for two years. Pretty decent actress, despite once bitterly dividing Bwog commenters. This semester, I wrote and directed a play called “Brightness” that people really seemed to enjoy. I’ve also been called a cult leader on more than one occasion. Non-theatre kids may know me as that slightly gothy-looking girl in their CS class, or as their TA for COMS 1004 (Hi students! Good luck on your final!).

Where are you going? First things first: I’m going home to my gaming desktop to play through my perfect run of Dragon Age 2 (female mage, romance with Fenris). I messed it all up last time.

Then, I have a list of dream roles I want to play before I die. It includes (to name a few) Hedda Gabler, Cleopatra, Ophelia, Mrs. Lovett, and Winnie from Happy Days. I’m going wherever will take me closer to checking items off that list. For now, I guess that means Brooklyn…

Three things you learned at Columbia:

1. My wonderful director Rob Bundy passed on this quote to me last semester: “A religious person is someone who believes in hell. A spiritual person is someone who’s been through hell.” It really is true that nothing strengthens the spirit like a dark night of the soul. My first two years of college were extremely difficult, but I don’t regret any of it. They were the two most valuable years of my life.

2. There is no bad mood that cannot be lifted by talking to a GLD (good-looking dog) on the street.

3. The best way to be a feminist is not to call yourself a feminist. Just be the baddest bitch you can be, and let your actions speak to your worth.

“Back in my day…” I ate my thin crust pizza in the McIntosh Center. Yup, I’ve been here for five years. (Two years of Japanese + trying to schedule bio labs for my major = no way around it, 5 years.)

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I have an unmistakable aesthetic and a strong sense of honor. I’m a spirit nurse. And I’m always willing to help an animal in need.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? The War on Fun will never be over. The best way to swing the pendulum toward our side is to take your parties off campus. I’ve got some of the best war stories this side of Mars, but they have nothing to do with Columbia Public Safety.

However, to the people starting up Morningside After and related events: I salute you! Godspeed.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?

When the sorrows of knowledge appall,
And this life seems a puppeteer’s stall,
Special time with a friend
May your troubles suspend,
But cheese achieves nothing at all.

Advice for the class of 2015:

-The two most powerful forces you can wield on this campus are comedy, and the written word. Even better if they’re combined. Write something. Show it to people. Get others involved in your creative work, and your whole life will suddenly change for the better.

-You’re going to run into a lot of people who act like they know what they’re doing. Don’t let them get away with that, until they prove it to you.

-Go to a Philo meeting (and the after party). If it’s not for you, you’ll know, but if it is, you’ll have a welcoming, awesome circle of friends right away.

-Keep a journal. Interesting and valuable things happen to you every day, but if you don’t remember them, you’ll never learn anything. But don’t treat it like an academic exercise. Engage with your mind and your heart. Write only what’s important, or what might be important later on.

-Acquire a copy of Grant Morrison’s one-shot comic “Kill Your Boyfriend,” and read it once every few months.

Any regrets? Same as everyone else: not meeting all the excellent people who have attended this school concurrently with me. I enjoy making new friends in weird ways, so if you think we might have some things in common, feel quite free to e-mail me at [email protected] and say hello. (Current 93/Thomas Ligotti fans encouraged.)

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

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  1. Anonymous

    Hello nurse!

  2. Anonymous  

    I dont know this girl, but this is THE best wisdom. HANDS FUCKING DOWN.

  3. wft  

    this girl is a freak-a-leak.

    • LoLo  

      only if you mean that in the best way possible...which is a really awesome woman whose differences and uniqueness set her far above the rest of the populace.

  4. 1004  

    best TA ever! thanks Alice<3

  5. Van Owen

    My kind of lady.

  6. cc  

    cutest senior wisdom ever <3

  7. damn.  

    I regret not going to your office hours now.

  8. Anonymous  

    only cool senior wisdom so far

  9. wtf?  

    This is shit

  10. CC '11  

    Loved the advice about writing and engaging with your heart and mind, also, echo the previous comment: ORAL SEX POEM FTW!!!!!

  11. another 1004er  

    best TA ever. Alice is just awesome.

  12. So  

    fucking impressed. Printing this shit out and putting it on a wall.

  13. Nurse Alice  

    Just wanted to know that I think you're a genius. Your play was brilliant. Good luck in the future!

  14. Anonymous  

    Alice you're awesome and your play was brilliant. Good luck for the future!

  15. dayyyum..

    are you into ladies?

  16. Anonymous  

    "3. The best way to be a feminist is not to call yourself a feminist. Just be the baddest bitch you can be, and let your actions speak to your worth."

    THE BEST <3

  17. Anonymous  

    i second that. is she into women at all?

  18. Anonymous  

    3. The best way to be a feminist is not to call yourself a feminist. Just be the baddest bitch you can be, and let your actions speak to your worth.


  19. Anonymous  

    This was actually wise. And pretty fucking awesome. Now I wish I knew you better.

    ORAL SEX POEM FTW!! (Can that be a thing now please?)

  20. Anonymous  

    Holy fuck, someone else on this campus listens to C93?

  21. feminist  

    right on! thanks for the representation

  22. Let's just say

    She comes across better in writing

  23. brightness

    was amazing!

  24. Comment Analyst  

    Alice is great--she's bright and upbeat and I generally loved her senior wisdom.

    However, the limerick is a little off. There are nine syllables in the first two lines, and only eight in the fifth. Also, I'm not really sure what "when the sorrows of knowledge appall" means. It seems that 'sorrow of knowledge' can only mean that knowledge possesses sorrow or at least brings it forth. Fine--all of your knowledge makes you sad. But how do we reconcile this with you being 'appalled'--it doesn't make a lot of sense to be appalled by the fact you are sad because of knowledge. Just sayin'.

  25. You  

    must be a blast at parties...

  26. Thank GOD  

    for the track function, dumbass.

  27. Mozzarella stickler  

    Many people like to think of the acquisition of knowledge as a positive and empowering experience. Upon discovering that sometimes you'd simply rather not know (or that in gaining some knowledge you become more aware of what you do not/can probably never know, which can be upsetting), it is reasonable to be appalled: knowledge was supposed to make you happy. Your sorrow at your increased knowledge is appalling.

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