Tonight’s Actual Wisdom: Gary Okihiro, Comparative Ethnics professor and expert on the Department of Social Formations, humility, and how many times a person can die.
1. Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer.
Throughout my over thirty-year career, I’ve had to justify my field of study, comparative ethnic studies, repeatedly. Now I’ve got to justify my existence?
2. Your claim to fame (what makes you special?):
I am the sole member of Columbia’s Department of Social Formations. I serve as the department’s chair, secretary, faculty member, and dog walker of the department’s chair.
3. What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience?
College administrators told me God was not pleased with interracial dating.
4. What’s the craziest student excuse/extension story you’ve heard?
“My grandmother died.” But, four times in a single semester?
5. Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?
Easily, cheese. Oral sex teaches us humility. It is best performed on one’s knees.
6. Back in my day…
Back in my day, Columbia was a temple of pure learning. Since 1968, the barbarians have overrun the place.
7. Three things you learned at Columbia:
The core curriculum is God’s gift to (hu)mankind. God is not pleased when we tamper with the core. The core is God’s gift to (hu)mankind.
8. What’s your advice to students/academics/the human race in general?
Be extremely skeptical of advice.
Gary Okihiro via Gary Okihiro