May

25

Senior Wisdom: Randolph Carr III

Written by

Randolph Carr III

Randolph Carr III

Name, Hometown, School: My birth name is Randolph Carr III, a name long descended from my slave-owning, colonial forefathers. However, throughout my time at Columbia, at some point or another, I have been called Malik Newton, Xavier Lee, Brother CUSH, or some combination of these names, usually began with the honorific, Brother. South Central Los Angeles, California. Columbia College.

Claim to fame: At random hours, I could be seen walking around the Upper West Side, casually strolling about, usually alone. At the most unnecessary of moments, I would ride my bike from my dorm to class in Hamilton, just because. Whenever the weather permitted, I could be seen perched on the platform at the side of the Low Library steps, overlooking Low Plaza. In other words, my claim to fame is not really doing shit.

Where are you going? I will be in the city, here and there, wherever I happen to find myself. I will work enough to pay for a ridiculously cramped apartment with several roommates and enough food to survive. I will read, incessantly and indiscriminately. Occasionally, I will be on campus to, once again, sit atop my perch on Low Steps, not doing shit. I want to stay informed and active, preparing myself for what is next to come. What is next to come? If my vision were that good I would have less injuries, more money, and I would, surely, be much, much less interesting.

If you are around in the city and you are one of the rare individuals who doesn’t find me annoying, please give me a call. I always enjoy a good conversation. And, to those friends who will be returning to Columbia in the fall, whenever you have a swipe you would like to give away, hit a brother up.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  • You are not unintelligent. Just because your classmates may have gone to elite private schools since nursery school, translated the Iliad in high school, and often use words like milieu or some other frequently misplaced word like dialectic, does not mean they are smarter than you, or their thoughts more valuable. You should never be afraid to speak your mind, candidly and openly. You should never walk with your head down for you are intelligent despite feeling otherwise. Anyone who would have you believe differently is probably not as intelligent as they would hope or pretend. Speak, and speak proudly.
  • Keep your commitments that you make to yourself and others. All of your words, big or small, should be honored. When you say you will do something, do so. If you can’t keep your commitments to your friends while in college , why might you suddenly do so in the “real world”? All you have are your words. If you say you will meet someone at John Jay do so even if it means missing that concert that you just secured tickets to and much rather attend.
  • Don’t take up too much space. You should always be present, fully, in every living moment. While, yes, you should always proudly, and sometimes loudly, speak your mind–no one likes a motor mouth. Speak in short thoughts, when asked, when necessary. This does not mean be silent or be passive: you can also take up a lot of space when you say nothing. Be conscious and present with others in the room. Your words mean infinitely more when they are preceded by an open ear, a giving hand, and a kind heart.

Back in my day…

  • Every room came furnished with these terribly clunky ROLM phones which I seriously doubt anyone ever used, or touched, beyond throwing it on top of the closet, or sliding it under the bed, never to be accounted for again until one had to fill out a Web Inventory Report.
  • Ctrl +Alt + Backspace had meaning to the initiated: you never had to trifle over quotas, you could be as liberal and wasteful as possible with what you printed, and you felt damned good about it, despite having jumbled up the print queue.
  • Ferris had a Burrito station.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: As a philosophy major, I have heard affirmed: I think, therefore I am. However, I’ve read a more deep reaching, vibrantly stirring affirmation: I feel, therefore I can be free.

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: To her: you are beautiful. If only I had the courage. I would have told you the truth. I would have approached you with my head held high. If only I had the courage, dearest Alma Mater. You are beautiful, but beauty can mask some ugly things. Put down your staff. Do not seek to conquer the world for the sake of some global community. You are beautiful. Share that beauty with others in your community. Extend your open hand to those near to you. Smile more often; stress will only wear on you.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’ve had good cheese and I’ve had bad cheese. I’ve had cheese that I could have done without. I’ve had cheese that makes me feel on top of the world. I’ve had thoroughly matured cheese, ripened to perfection. I’ve been given many cheeses, of different flavors. I enjoy cheese. Moist cheese and even dry, crumbly cheese. I will rarely turn down cheese: Red Leicester, Tilsit, Caerphilly, or whatever the Cheese Shop has in store. But, when faced with an ultimatum of such dire consequences, before one could blink, I would give up cheese.

One thing to do before graduating: Rob this school blind. Check out as many books as you can read, and keep whatever you find inside. Apply for every grant whether you think you are qualified or not. Any professor who you are slightly interested in, take every spare moment they will offer you, to loot their wisdom. This school is abundant in resources, most of which it has, indeed, robbed from someone. Do not be ashamed, steal every opportunity you can get.

Any regrets? I only wish I was a better thief.

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31 Comments

  1. Anon

    This was beautiful

  2. Anonymous

    Love this guy.

  3. Anonymous

    Only met you once but was blown away by your presence, passion, and voice. Thanks for all you do.

  4. Senior girl

    Randolph, you are truly amazing and I'm so glad we got to know each other this past year!

  5. Rega

    Love this and love you more than I know how to express.

    • Malik Newton

      Rega Jha,thank you. And, just in case you are wondering, Iaccidnetaly down voted your comment. I type on my phone and I was cursed with fat, clumsy fingers.

  6. Never met him

    But damn, I hope to have as much wisdom as this fine man does by the time I'm a senior.

  7. everytime i hear randolph speak, I'm blown away

    this guy is incredibly thoughtful and incredibly humble.

  8. your first point about speaking

    made me cry.

  9. Tastemaker

    this is one of the best wisdoms ever and I wish I'd gotten to know you

  10. Randolph

    could get itttttttttttt

  11. Dude from river

    Good stuff Randolph. I wish you the best of luck on your future endeavors.

  12. just gotta say...

    i have always loved you from afar randolph and this does nothing but affirm that love and respect! columbia is a better place because you were here.

  13. I read this

    and incredibly regret that I have never met you. Your point about being a thief has resounded with me, wow, why have I never seen you?

  14. Anonymous

    On a dark and stormy night almost nine years ago, my life as I knew it came to a screeching halt. On this night, just like any else, I fired up my first person-shooter of choice at the time (Wolfenstein), logged in, waited for the damn map to load and started killing nazis.

    Although I had good intent at first, I quickly bored of fulfilling my service to my country. As twelve year old boys are prone to do, I stopped playing by the rules. I went rogue.

    In a few, short-lived moments of childish folly, I found a server that enabled friendly-fire, and began to spawn-kill my own teammates. Clenching my stomach, I laughed so hard that I became winded.

    But then, something which can only be described as utterly disturbing happened - through the grainy static of the voice over ip connection, I heard "SergeantMuffins69"'s dastardly cackling, condemning me to a life of monstrous disfigurement and internet snark. Little did I know, I had trolled an actual troll.

    In a convulsive fit of blinding pain, I immediately fell to the floor, writhing in agony as my body transformed. Where there was once a pert, rounded nose, a hooked beak had emerged in its place. I glanced down at my skin in horror as thick scales pockmarked with boils greeted my eyes.

    When the writhing had ceased, I hobbled to the mirror to inspect the damage. I was met with a goblin-like shell of my former self: my pupils had blackened, my back had hunched, my hair had thinned and my bust had blossomed. I was at least a C-cup.

    Needless to say, my peers at school noticed the change and pointed fingers at me in mockery, ridiculing my ghastly appearance. What's more, I began receiving unwanted attention from boys, several of them 'accidentally' brushing against my plush, voluptuous chest.

    Although at first I had suspected I merely suffered from a rapid onset of puberty, the brochures I had acquired from the school nurse told a different story. To my dismay, talons were not par for the course. Neither were fully-developed man-boobs.

    Cast-out by my peers, I desperately sought a solution. As the young scholar that I was, I scoured the public library in search of an answer. In the deepest, and darkest shelf far within the entrails of the library, I found a particularly ancient and thick tome on the History of Internet Trolling. After wiping the dust off the cover, I flipped through the ancient book.

    I learned that according to medieval folklore, the only I hope I had for reversing the curse of an internet troll was anti-trolling: that is, I needed to find words on the internet so pure and noble that the acrimoniousness of the trolling would be neutralized, thus breaking the spell.

    I searched day and night for those magical words that might cure my ratchet unsightliness. Forum upon forum, blog upon blog, I was the Lewis and Clark of Google, foraging through dangerous, uncharted territory of the blogosphere, in hopes that perhaps, it might just lead to my salvation.

    As the years went by, I became gripped with bitter disappointment. The internet had failed to provide any content with even a modicum of insight or wisdom. All I had to show for my journey to the center of the internet was an endless collection of cat videos. As my desperation grew, so did my rancor at the vacuousness of the content I had uncovered: my choleric disposition reared its ugly head in the blog comments I left behind.

    Academia was the only means I had left to discover true wisdom for myself. I vowed to attend an Ivy League University, where high-minded conversations with my peers online and the 'senior wisdoms' students reputedly attained might dampen the curse.

    What's more, I dreamed of becoming University Senate since perhaps then, my peers would look past my fetid inside and outside, and beyond my luscious rack, and see me as the happy-go-lucky, starry-eyed boy I once was.

    My intense isolation proved fruitful for my plans. Once I received my acceptance letter from Columbia, I promptly became an active commentator of BWOG, the school's most active student forum. Yet, the trash that I was subjected to through its articles enlivened my dormant rage and worsened my condition.

    Thanks to the insufferable vacuousness of the BWOG articles, the four years of college saw my most prolific years feats of trolling: the shit-storms following the obamanard scandal, the football debacle, the band's orgo-night antics as well as porsche zhang's 'why not merge' op-ed were all my doing. Although my political campaign for University Senate, too, proved to be a success, I was a lost-soul.

    As my time at Columbia drew to a close, I was about to give up on ever hearing those coveted words of wisdom to unshackle my heinously ugly chains. But then, my luck turned around. I chanced upon your senior wisdom, Dear Randolph Carr III!

    After reading your senior wisdom, the cocoon of thick, scaly skin imprisoning my body has shed, my hunched back and crooked spine have righted and my grotesque countenance has metamorphosed into a dashingly handsome, chiseled face. Yes, your truly wise words of wisdom have finally lifted the curse! Although I still have mammoth, air-bag-sized tits.

    Nevertheless, Randolph, you are the anti-troll I have been awaiting. I am forever grateful for your freeing words of wisdom.

  15. Zach

    This was everything I had hoped for and more. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Randolph.

  16. Naureen

    This is the best senior wisdom I have read to date... really awesome

  17. This is the most awesome senior wisdom I have read to date!

  18. yl

    so glad we had HUMA 051 together. you have grown even more into the humble, insightful, and kind person I met then. will be in the city; we'll get that coffee/conversation that I was always too busy to follow through on.

  19. Gerard

    This is definitely one of the best Senior Wisdoms I've read.

  20. Just reread it.

    I never met this dude and I wish I'd have had the chance.

    Godspeed, bro! Go out and do exactly whatever it is that you'd like to do!

  21. BC14

    I've never met you, but your first piece of advice was something I think most people (myself included) needed to hear. Thanks and good luck to you.

  22. Denzel

    Randolph is the man! First Bwog post i actually enjoyed reading. lol Good luck!

  23. Sorry for irrelevance!

    Hate to detract from the wisdom, but Is this the last BWOG post for summer? I feel like at the very least there should be some kind of note about this being the last senior wisdom in the article.

  24. Beyonce Pad Thai

    RANDY

    Fitting that even your senior wisdom is poetry.

  25. m0st_d0m

    chess in compton, hit me up gawd//

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