May

9

Senior Wisdom: Felicia Bishop

Written by

Name, Hometown, School, Major: Felicia Bishop, Arlington, MA, Columbia College, Sociology and African American Studies

Claim to Fame? hmmm.. perhaps the most epic walk of shame? I was forced to run through hordes of graduating students descending on college walk for Commencement last year, smelling like the Heights manufactured a fucking fragrance to eternalize the nights we just might forget if we’re lucky. Even better, I didn’t wake up the person I was with for the ceremony and to this day am not entirely sure if they made it…

Certainly co-authoring and directing the AMAZING production Frieze.

Drunkenly crying about capitalism in the middle of West Side and then being asked not to spit on the cashier that I was talking to.

Where are you going? I am deferring my placement in the Mississippi Delta with TFA for a bonding session with myself. Basically, I’m trying to be James Baldwin for a year but my writing will be shitty and my lust life endlessly awkward instead of seriously profound.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. To accept the fact that people don’t and won’t like me. When I first got here, finding out someone disliked me was just like that moment right before you realize the wind has been knocked out of you and that you’ll actually live. That kind of hollow paralysis crippled me for so long, and was only relieved when I figured out how to be the Felicia people needed/wanted/expected me to be. With time, a lot of gossip, the best frienderventions, and the oh so lovely bwog and spec comments section, I stopped morphing. I stopped changing. I stopped pretending to be happy and satisfied and fulfilled. I realized that people didn’t have to like me and that’s absolutely okay. I also realized that I should take heed to recurring and consistent feedback (I promise I’m trying)
  2. Nnaemeka Ekwelum is my soul mate. He’s someone I can sit in a room with, in absolute silence, and feel loved and important and respected. Every day I wake up knowing that there is someone I am in love with, in the most platonic way possible, and that is so amazing.
  3. That organizations here can change your life. The Black Students’ Organization gave me purpose, resolve, love, laughter, and family.

“Back in my day…” going to Ferris Booth was only for people who flexed on flex.

Justify your existence in 30 words or less: My laugher. My hand gestures. My hair flip (even when I’m living the short hair don’t care life style). An undying desire for justice.

Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories? The War on Fun is so fucking real. For those leaders in the struggle that get consistently written up, here is my thanks. War Story? Perhaps the night that I opened the door at three different parties for the same RA to shut them all down.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I would be really really really sad without cheese. I would be really really really mean without oral sex. I rather be sad than mean.

Advice for 2016: College is incredible. It is dark and lonely and tiring. It is freeing and beautiful. Embrace both ends of this spectrum. Feel the darkness. Sit in the beauty and the uniqueness and own it. Do not strive to be understood–strive to be respected and trusted. Future members of the Black Students’ Organization–work towards justice in everything that you do. Love your legacy. Support each other. Create! Create! Create! Creation is literally one of the most empowering human pursuits. Say you’re an artist even when you aren’t and figure out how to make it true. Also, a lot of what you do will not be appreciated: dealing with that can either make to bitter or unbelievable strong.

Regrets? Hurting people intentionally.

Tags: ,

41 Comments

  1. I LOVE YOU  

    Felicia and I love your senior thesis!!

    do you.

  2. Nnaemeka Ekwelum  

    friend zone = level 99

  3. Great way  

    to leave the school Feli B.

    xoxo

  4. This is  

    the greatest. Thanks for your words!!

  5. Nnaemeka Ekwelum  

    Felicia, I can't say much more than I love you. Great wisdom.

    Keep striving in the library so that we can raggggeeee tomorrow!

  6. Ale

    Felicia, you are my hero! FemSex with you changed my life. I'm sure you'll do wonderful things wherever you go, but you'll be missed at Columbia!

  7. Anonymous

    I've long admired your presence and brilliance, and I've been fortunate enough to speak with you in the past year. You are an incredible person, Felicia, and you'll do great things. just keep being you and know that you have left an indelible mark here. <3

  8. WILL  

    the real Nnaemeka Ekwelum please stand up?

  9. Anonymous  

    You're amazing.

    When are we doing the tunnels?

  10. RNS  

    I LIKE YOU FELICIA. AND NMAEMEKA EKWELUM. you guys have challenged my perceptions and thoughts so much. better than any class I took at this damn school

  11. Anonymous  

    love you roomie

    • hmmm...  

      sooooo you've never actually had a convo with felicia, felt her awesomeness and understood that it is people like her that make columbia the incredible place that it is. no no, you just sit in ur room and think of ways to be an asshole... how productive. i hope ur friend is enjoying the mods. yo felicia, you rock on!! xoxo

  12. Anonymous  

    I have a friend that is your age who scored in the 99th percentile on the SATs, SAT IIs and graduated as her high school's valedictorian. She took enough APs to earn an associate's degree, earned a seat on the US International Math Olympiad team and raised over $10,000 for cancer research. But because she was Jewish and not an affirmative action admit, she ended up with a rejection letter from Columbia and studying at Boston College.

    Unfortunately, although her relatives were also slaves (for around 500 years in Ancient Egypt) and her people were nearly exterminated WITHIN her grandparents lifetime, she didn't get a leg up through the discrimination process known as affirmative action. That said, she earned a small grant from the US government to pursue research in biochemistry, and last year alone, patented a new medical technique while still a junior in college. Imagine what she could have done with the resources at Columbia.

    I am glad that Columbia has admitted you in her stead so that you can advance African Studies and I can benefit from your diversity. Thank you for your selfless service and equitable use of Columbia's resources!

    • Felicia Bishop  

      thanks for the laugh :) the BSO listserv loved it!!

      • Anonymous  

        it's nice that you guys are all yukking it up in there. do you always forward your views to your echo chamber instead of engaging people who disagree with you? what impact have you actually had on anybody on this campus? i think his words resonate with far more people than you and your listserv are willing to admit (or laugh off).

        • Felicia Bishop  

          If you were really concerned about engaging in a dialogue, you wouldn't be writing things under "anonymous." when you're ready to stand behind your words, I'll be here waiting.

        • Andrea Garcia-Vargas

          If you're questioning whether Felicia has had an impact on student life, you clearly have been out of touch with campus news. And probably don't even go here ... Even the students who disagree with her views wouldn't deny she's been a leading and important campus figure during her time here.

    • Anonymous  

      Come on, you're keeping something from us. Let's hear the rest of your friend's stats. GPA? Name of high school? What other schools rejected her?

    • laughing at your friend who got rejected  

      i drink the tears of white people

    • wow!  

      I feel you on the worthless minority at Columbia thing...have you tried writing to Obama?
      oh yea..her grandparents were slaves. hmm maybe while you finish memorizing her resume, you can look into affirmative action in Egypt

    • Anonymous

      Wow..Congratulations. I haven't read such an ass-backwards comment in quite a while. Please. I implore you to go challenge your ignorance. Look at the correlation studies between the poorest white public school districts and the poorest black/minority public school districts that you can find across urban and rural America. DISPROPORTIONATELY, you will find that, even among the poorest of the poor, the minority districts STILL have the lower state-allotted education budget (while the county next door oddly has one twice as big), lower standardized testing scores, a higher dropout rate, a larger percentage of kids held back year to year, a larger student/teacher ratio, the list goes on. Oh yeah, I guess this is just an arbitrary coincidence, right?

      And yes, the Holocaust--like any genocide--was an ineffable obliteration of justice. I am sorry 6 million people died because of one man's charisma and bigotry... and yes, i'm sorry there was slavery in Egypt (and everywhere else, for that matter). However, at the end of the day, systematic racism doesn't stand in the way of a white people's progression like it does for a minority. That is why affirmative action exists. If the government refuses to fix the inequality between schools at the elementary level, then the implications of their inactivity must be dealt with at a different level. It doesn't just magically go away. As corroborated by your own post, your friend got a grant money AND has patented biotechnology. Sounds like they're gonna be justtt fine with their Boston College education. As for that kid languishing away in a 40 person class...well... I can't say the same for him.

      -Just your average white guy

    • Allow me to enlighten you  

      You clearly do not understand how Affirmative Action works. Admissions is based on a number of factors (SATs, high school grades, quality of high school, athletic ability, leadership, legacy status, and diversity). Diversity includes racial, ethnic, geographic, regional, socioeconomic, and gender factors.

      Most people don't know- but Affirmative Action is more apparent for males than it is for any one minority group. Think about it, the data shows that females outperform males in high school - yet most universities and colleges admit men and women on a 1:1. Do you know what that is? Shocker - Affirmative Action.

      But back to your genius friend who got denied by Columbia (and somehow every other Ivy and other schools ranked about Boston College, which sits at #31 on the US News and World Reports rankings). So lets, for one very quick minute, entertain your theory that Felicia, or any other minority student on this campus, affected your friend's admission to this university. Affirmative Action does not even affect the average SAT, GPA, etc.. of the entering class. There may be a few majority-students (whites, Asians) that would have been admitted if the policies were different. But, they would be the pretty weak students.

      Saying that minority students take the place of other deserving students is just statistically wrong. Columbia is not admitting minority students who failed high school - they are admitting the best and brightest minority talent (the students who also took AP and Honors classes, who held jobs, who were leaders in their communities). Furthermore, there are no "Affirmative Action admits". Affirmative Action is a policy, not a check-mark quota system.

      And, just some personal enlightenment: You should really try to be a better person. It will make you and others in the world much, much happier.

      Hope everyone is making it through finals okay,
      <3 a CC13er who wants to use math and economics to talk about inequality (not a hit to my finance friends, just do what you love).

  13. Anonymous

    I went to a ROOTEd discussion once, and Felicia argued really passionately against a lot of what I was saying, pointing out some of what was problematic about it. I was really embarrassed and never came back.

    I never thanked her, but Felicia made me completely reevaluate how I viewed a lot of things, and made me much more conscious of race and gender than I had ever been. She's a great thinker and Columbia is better to have had her study here.

  14. the other (other other) carman 815-er  

    i always loved your big laugh and even bigger heart. i wish i was wise enough/self-assured enough to get to know you better when i had the chance. congrats, felicia, and keep doing great things!

  15. Anonymous  

    Not a fan.

  16. Nnaemeka Ekwelum  

    marry me, felicia. will you?

  17. Anonymous

    all the way with you on being CREATIVE. that is too often lost at this school

  18. Anonymous  

    Sure, the original post is severely misguided--perhaps flat-out dumb.

    But, on the other hand, making a mockery of these attitudes within self-selecting circles doesn't exactly promote campus harmony or healthy discussion, does it?

    • Anonymous  

      Oops, this is in response to the people hating on the angry anti-AA ranter above.

    • lol  

      ^ white opinions

    • Nelson  

      Being anonymous does not promote or ALLOW for healthy discussion either. I would love to have a discussion with someone about affirmative action and the state of our country as it relates to race and privilege. We could even make an event out of it and possibly invite Presbo and whoever else is considered sufficiently armed with the facts and arguments against affirmative action. I personally commend everyone who has responded for maintaining a relaxed attitude to the blatantly sarcastic and somewhat racist comment made by the first anonymous user who apparently doesn't see any pros of the advancement of African Studies. I'm pretty sure everyone else here would be open to the idea of having a healthy discussion as well if those who seem to feel so strongly against would only come forth with names and/or faces...or at least an email.

      And to the person who originally posted about their valedictorian friend: It is great to know that our generation continues to push forward in the sciences. I am sure Dean Valentini, some other Columbia professor, or even neighboring professors at MIT, Harvard, and the other resourceful universities in Boston would be delighted to help out such a promising scientist, regardless of the school she attends. Her many awards and accomplishments in life thus far and in her future will surely continue to be something to admire.

    • Anonymous

      The poster wasn't "mocked" because he disagreed with affirmative action. He was mocked because he was a total ignoramus about it. The only evidence he had to support his viewpoint was a pitiful anecdote about a friend who didn't get in to Columbia despite her high test scores. -_- As if that wasn't enough, the poster had to take things one step further and attack Felicia's accomplishments in African-American studies by implying that they didn't have as much merit as patenting biomedical techniques. I don't even know Felicia, but I do know that it was not her fault that that girl got rejected. There is a difference between asserting an opinion and spewing baseless vitriol. Be prepared to be ridiculed if you choose to do the latter.

  19. Nnaemeka Ekwelum  

    The feeling isn't mutual

  20. Anonymous  

    i agree with what you said about affirmative action, but the Holocaust was, i think, more the result of widespread bigotry and indifference to others' pain than the result of one man's charisma and fucked up racial theories.

    I think that its an important distinction to make just because i think a lot of people understand the Holocaust that way and it leads them to see genocide and persecution in general as a freak accident rather than as the result of a more universal human tendency towards bigotry and indifference. i'm sorry if this comess off as pretentious- i just think that's a really dangerous outlook to take and not something to leave unaddressed

  21. Anonymous

    "College is incredible. It is dark and lonely and tiring. It is freeing and beautiful."

    That is the realest shit I have ever heard. Wish i could have spent more time learning from you, Felicia.

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