Actual Wisdom: Marcus Folch

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Marcus Folch

Take a moment on your last Sunday at Columbia this semester to soak up some knowledge. In this edition of Actual Wisdom, classy Classicist Marcus Folch warns us not to be classist, among other things.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: Existence, least of all my own, needs no justification.  We are, after all, ends in ourselves.

Your claim to fame: I am, to my knowledge, the only Latino Classicist on a tenure or tenure-track position in the US.  I’ve met one Latino classical archaeologist grad student and a single Cuban-American Latinist who’s in a temporary adjunct position somewhere.  But I think that’s it.  Shouldn’t that make me famous?  Or is it merely a very solid claim to obscurity?

What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience? It’s either that I learned ancient Greek and Latin or lived in a cooperative as an undergraduate.

What’s the craziest student excuse/extension story you’ve heard?
Student: “I’m so sorry I missed class last week.  On Monday I had an interview with Harvard medical school.  On Wednesday I had to fly all the way to Chicago for another interview.”
Me: “On Monday I saw you making out with your boyfriend on the grass below my office window.  On Wednesday I was standing behind you at the coffee shop fifteen minutes before class; once again, it seems, you had bits of dried grass stuck to the back of your sweater.”

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’m vegan and a Classicist.  Both of which would seem to preclude either option.  That said, there’s no fire without oxygen.

Back in my day… I was an anarchist and I taught CC.  Now, alas, such ways set aside.

Three things you learned at Columbia:
1. Students do not have the luxury of choosing the economy they are born into; or, in other words, the middle class is a historical anomaly.

2. The Social Sciences are to the Humanities as the Renaissance is to the Middle Ages.

3. The ceiling will collapse at every NYC apartment I move into.

What’s your advice to students/academics/the human race in general? Make friends with your classmates. I know it’s hard. I know they’re weird. Some of them may seem unjustifiably elitist or beneath you or otherwise contemptible. They’re not, by the way, even though they may seem so. More importantly, in ten years, no matter where you go or what you have done, you will have more in common with any random person from any random course you took at Columbia than with anyone else you will ever meet.

Pensive gaze via Flickr.

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  1. Anonymous  

    HOW do I make friends with my classmates? If anyone has had success in this, please help.

    • Anonymous

      the key is to realize that the person you want to be friends with probably wants to be friends with you too, because it's likely you are both awesome and both love breaking bad and parks and rec and beer! they aren't going to make a move, so you should. it's cheesy, but all it takes is a smile and a wave or a funny joke about the class you're in. the worst that can happen is that they think you are weird , but you are probably weird anyway, so joke's on them!

      (the best that can happen is that you make a new friend)

  2. Anonymous  

    oh dear lord. i am unhealthily obsessed with this man. thanks, bwog. just when i had settled into finals mode, purging my mind of any extraneous thoughts except work, you reminded me about Marcus Folch. if i fail my finals tomorrow because i was thinking about him all night, i'm blaming you, bwog. [and don't even think about asking me to blame him instead; it's not his fault he's a beautiful, intelligent and compassionate specimen.]

  3. he's a looker, for sure

    but also kind of an ass.

    that being said, I always looked forward to CC.

  4. Anonymous  

    his true claim to fame is that every single girl (and guy, probably) in CC was in love with him.

    also, those forearms.

  5. Anonymous  

    The best part about Folch is his haircuts.

    He gives fantastic haircuts.

  6. Anonymous

    The track button has a function. You should learn it

    • Anonymous  

      jQuery("a.track").click(function() {

      Here's the function, but I don't understand how this helps my ear??

  7. wut  

    HOW does each oral sex / cheese response get better with each passing Real Wisdom?

  8. Anonymous  

    how does being a classicist preclude oral sex?

  9. Anonymous  

    "you will have more in common with any random person from any random course you took at Columbia than with anyone else you will ever meet."

    this seriously scares the shit out of me.

  10. Anonymous  

    no fireworks without oral sex?

  11. Anonymous  

    Hey, are you Marcus?

  12. Anonymous  

    Dear Bwog,
    Why did you change his picture from the one you had up three hours ago?
    One who Bwogs too much

  13. Anonymous  

    "More importantly, in ten years, no matter where you go or what you have done, you will have more in common with any random person from any random course you took at Columbia than with anyone else you will ever meet."


  14. Anonymous

    If there's no fire without oxygen, does that mean there's no oral sex because he's single?

  15. Interview  

    John Gamber!!!!!!!!

  16. o.I  

    The current photo seems to be depicting the ambiguity of his oral sex answer (regret?)

  17. Anonymous  

    I spent a while puzzling this question over. I might be misreading, but the gist of the joke seems to run thus:

    He's a classicist. Thus, no oral sex.
    He's a vegan. Thus, no cheese.

    This fellatotyric aporia is (tangentially, confusingly) compared to a lack of oxygen, in which the fire of choice cannot be kindled. That is, because he can neither receive oral sex nor eat cheese, there is no way for him to determine which of the two he would prefer. The fire of choice, as it were, is snuffed out by the vacuum of vegano-classicism. Florid is the wrong word, but it might be a trifle less abstruse.

  18. he was

    the most obnoxious man i've met. you could count how many times he would mention his PhD in class and get to 24. also fuck that im-the-only-latino bullshit. you aint helpin the people asshole!

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