Name, Hometown, School, Major: Sara Lederman, Minneapolis, MN (home of the most genuine hipsters…we wear flannel because it’s cold/we are real-life lumberjacks). Barnard, Anthropology with a minor in Religion
Claim to Fame? Purpled-nosed Reindeer with serious sinus infections in XMAS! 5; went to India twice this year (hanging out with Indian Muppets and then rural sex workers – thank you, Barnard); managing editor for Sanctum, a small religious thought publication you’ve never heard of; having the fluffiest bed at the Bayit.
Where are you going? To quote Noemi Schor: the retirement home. Really, I have no set plans, much to my mother’s chagrin. There are a few options I’m still considering: some involve Nepali street theatre, others involve working with awesome professors, and the most compelling one involves selling everything I own just to pay rent in the swanky East Village so I can sit on fire escapes and belt out show tunes into the night forever and ever.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
“Back in my day…” Construction noises booming from the Diana was white noise. Even in Sulz. All day, every day. And people still giggled when they said “The Vag”. Scratch that – people still said “The Vag”.
Justify your existence in 30 words or less: I finger-paint and read “Everyone Poops” on a weekly basis. My friends are superheroes. I listen to people debate about whether or not a bagel-cutter is kosher 60 minutes/week.
Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? I have not really witnessed the War on Fun, but I have witnessed the War on Meaningful and Effective Programming. I don’t know why, but I’ve found myself tangled in a few administrative webs. And that can just majorly blow. But once you get over the initial frustrations, you realize that there are so many ways to circumvent the insanely bureaucratized system. It may feel at times that the student-administration relationship is an antagonistic one, but once you find an administrator/professor who wants to develop a real partnership (Rachel Romesburg! Gale Kenny! Tovah Klein! Dean Blank! Megan Goldman! Hell, even D-Spar!), you realize the “war” is really nothing more than a state of mind.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? “Aren’t you lactose intolerant? “ – quote Nava Kantor. Yes, Nava. Yes, indeed I am. I guess that genetic disposition makes my decision pretty easy. I’ll make my Jewish Eastern European Old Country ancestors proud by confidently answering with “oral sex”. Hi, Baubie and Zaide!
Advice for the class of 2016:
Any regrets? I think, generally, something I regret is focusing a bit too much on the final product and less on the process. Delusional Sour Patch Kids-fueled all nighters! Endless lab reports on plants you could care less about! Peer editing a mind-blowing, award-deserving thesis when yours is not even close to being done! The results themselves are often far less impressive than the processes. Being goal-oriented is important, but it is also distracting and can be disempowering if it dictates how you operate. Easier said than done, obviously. But so it goes.