May

24

Senior Wisdom: Jasper Clyatt

Written by

Jasper Clyatt

Jasper Clyatt

And now we bring you one of Bwog’s favorite people at this entire school in his reveal as the voice behind @Butler_209, who got us through many an all-nighter–not to mention his work on Carman Forever and Ni**as in Ferris.

Name, Hometown, School: Jasper L. Clyatt, Rye, NY, CC

Claim to fame? I photograph a lot of things and have supplied at least 30 of James Bennett II’s Facebook profile pictures. I blue myself at Halloween and Bacchanal. I worked with some excellent rappers while directing Carman Forever and the Ni**as in Ferris music video series. I was the voice of @Butler_209.

Where are you going? Like the late Alvin Lee said, I’m goin’ home. My plan is to commute into Manhattan from the suburbs for about a year, then rent a penthouse quadruplex in the Village for two weeks. Prorated, of course.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. It seems that many Columbians would rather be right than happy. Not everyone and not all of the time of course, but as a community we always find something to indignantly defend or destroy. Every semester has at least one scandalous controversy that divides and brings out the worst in us. I don’t claim to have a solution, but whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I turn to Book 2 of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. Or, I just think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport and sip on a Baileys hot chocolate.
  2. The fundamental attribution error. Take an intro Psychology class or Google it. I won’t explain the FAE here, but I’ll share my method for correcting it: any time you start to pass judgment on a person, count to ten and put yourself in their shoes. Don’t just assume that someone is a dick; consider the possibility he just bombed his final exam and feels like shit, or that he’s angry at the world because he was up all night breaking up with his girlfriend. It’s natural to make assumptions about a person’s character without considering their circumstances. Take the time to think, and I promise it will make you a happier and more empathetic person.
  3. I know it’s cliché, but the Core really is fantastic. I didn’t fully appreciate it during my CC and Lit Hum years, but by junior spring in Music Hum things started to click. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Music Hum (s/o to Alex Mincek) changed my life. Discovering that music could be so powerful and complex seemed to flip a switch upstairs; I realized that there’s so much more out there left to learn and understand. Everyone says the Core teaches us how to think, although I disagree. “Thinking” isn’t something that can be taught in just four years. I believe the Core teaches us that we can think, and that our lives and our worlds are worth thinking about.

Back in my day… JJ’s Place operated on Dining Dollars and had a convenience store that sold milk, ramen noodles, and cookies. Combine that with the dining hall, CrackDel delivery, and an entire floor of friends, and you could theoretically spend the entire semester without leaving John Jay. You would fail all of your attendance-based classes of course, but I’m sure any reasonable instructor would let you Skype into LitHum if you asked/bribed them.

On a more serious note: we didn’t have 2Chainz, Trinidad James, or trap music. It was a different time, you understand.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I may not leave behind a city of marble, but I try to make things better when I can. If I can create more smiles than frowns, that’s worth something.

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: Obviously Butler 209. I’ve spent the past year studying there and subsequently studying the beast itself. On a daily basis, 209 is a fascinating microcosm of Columbia; its 24 hour life cycle pulses as students from all walks of life and levels of stress come and go. While I’ve never run a full Butler marathon (26.2 hours awake, allowing up to 2 hours for hygiene and food), I’ve come pretty close with 24, and you see a lot in 24 hours. I learned so much from 209, not just about schoolwork, but about life, love, and sleep deprivation induced auditory hallucinations.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’m lactose intolerant, but that’s a bullshit copout and we all know it. Besides, I eat dairy and cheese all the time anyway. Lactaid invented delicious vanilla-flavored chewable tablets so I can enjoy my dairy products without discomfort. So no, I wouldn’t give up cheese.

I don’t mean to mouth off, but giving up oral sex might not actually suck. Now before I get ahead of myself and blow this out of proportion (as I wouldn’t want to eat my words nor swallow my pride), I must clarify that I’m operating under a semantic assumption: that by “giving up” oral sex I am compelled to neither receive nor perform. Though I certainly don’t mind when the situation warrants it, I would not protest being spared the trouble of sneezing in the cabbage, so to speak. As for receiving: is it unreasonable to suggest that less oral sex could lead to more intercourse? It just seems like the case for holding onto oral sex is going south. Anyway, I forgot how I was going to finish, but it’s on the tip of my tongue…

One thing to do before graduating: Go to a comedy show, alone, and turn off your phone. When the show begins, don’t just watch it – embrace it. Forget about being judged, forget about your friends and your homework and your job search; just listen and become one with the act. I promise you will laugh the hardest and have the best time of anyone there.

Any regrets? I regret staying in Butler to write a term paper instead of venturing down to Ground Zero on the night of Osama bin Laden’s death. I missed out on capturing the most powerful moment thus far in my life as a photojournalist in order to avoid a half-grade lateness penalty.

However, I believe that is the only thing I truly, truly regret from my time at Columbia. The problem with regret is that it assumes you know what is best for you, and that you know exactly who you are and where you’re going at a given time. Regret is for people who view their lives teleologically. Perhaps at the end of my life I can look back and evaluate which actions and thoughts had delayed my realization of happiness, but to label most things as regrettable now would be woefully premature or laughably trivial. I have done things I’m not proud of, but I wouldn’t take them back because we all need mistakes from which to learn.

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19 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Before this week, I had no idea this kid even existed; now, I can't seem to get away from him. I've literally seen him like 6 times in the past 7 days.

  2. ETP

    Alex Mincek is the bomb dot com and the love dot gov.

  3. Roko

    As soon as I saw this article, I started scrolling through it to find something pun-worthy. Then I saw the cheese question and, Jasper, you blew me away. I'd gladly get down on one knee, at the least, for a man like you. I did not see it coming, but having known you for a while and knowing what spunk you have, now it feels like it was under my nose the entire time. I hope you're not embarrassed by my words of praise. If you are, just shake it off, please, cause I don't want this to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

  4. Anonymous

    Yay Westchester, lol.

  5. Jasper

    well played sir

  6. Anonymous

    "take an intro Psychology class or Google it"
    This really says something about Psychology as a discipline.

  7. nightfan

    You are an ace photographer. Seriously.

  8. seas 2016

    Jasper u are so cute!! i wish i had the courage to ask u out when u were here :(

  9. Disney

    Jasper is the best!!

  10. This may be because I'm stoned

    But Jasper is actually the bestest

  11. bigga the jigga was my n i g g a

    in Paris.

  12. bjw2119

    #3: "'Thinking' isn’t something that can be taught in just four years. I believe the Core teaches us that we can think, and that our lives and our worlds are worth thinking about."

    Truth.

  13. Anonymous

    Jasper is actually one of the kindest people by far at this school. He is incredibly passionate about this school, and you can't even touch him when it comes to photography. Looking forward to big things from you, man!

    -Aaron

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