David Fine

Here we have one of Bwog’s favorite green sock wearers: David Fine.

Name, Hometown, School: David Fine, Dallas, TX, CC

Claim to fame? Editor of The Current, wearer of green socks, SGB chair.

Where are you going? Working in New York, occasionally reliving the glory days with fellow CU alumni on Low Steps heckling current students.

Three things you learned at Columbia:

  1. Everyone talks about a triangle with work, sleep, and socializing at each corner, saying you need to pick two points to succeed. That is the biggest load of codswallop you’ll hear here (and there’s certainly a lot of codswallop floating around, least of which is my own). Don’t make charts for how you should live your life. Instead, figure out what balance works for you and stick with it. When it stops working for you, change it—even in the same day, even in the same hour! The stuff that we call socializing here should enhance every other aspect of your time at Columbia, especially academics. In sum: fret less about how you should do Columbia, and just do it.
  2. All is fair in love and war (with administrators) and finding open booths at 1020. It’s the last that you truly must perfect if you’re to have any success at all. Here’s a good story that explains all three. I love Barnard, I think it’s the best. When last semester Barnard Student Life imposed a pre-approval on student fliers, as SGB chair I knew it was my job to help fix something I love. I sat down with a Barnard administrator for over an hour trying to explain that this policy was bad and that they wouldn’t win a fight with SGB or other student groups over this. As the meeting was winding down, the administrator sincerely looked me in the eye and pleaded, “I hope I could’ve said something in this meeting that would avoid you opposing us on this.” I said something like, “suspend the policy immediately and work with us on creating a new one.” The administrator deadpanned, “we won’t do that.” We both looked at each other and kind of shrugged, shook hands, and went our separate ways. It was basically a declaration of war. Less than a week after that meeting Barnard had repealed the policy. So, if you’re keeping track, I’ve got love (for Barnard) and war (with administrators), what does this have to do with 1020 booths? The first rule of securing 1020 booths is that when you jump into a just emptied booth, you must stare down any would-be booth thieves without blinking. You must be vigilant and you must be steadfast in your commitment to the booth. I applied the same principles when faced with obstinate administrators, broken bureaucracy, and intransigent interests at Columbia. Everything I learned worth knowing, I learned at 1020.
  3. There’s very little that beats finishing a thesis, handing it in at 10:00 AM on a blue-skied Friday morning, and then popping bottles of champagne with your thesis seminar in front of Alma Mater while a wide-eye tour group looks on. For those stupid enough to write a thesis, and smart enough to tempt Public Safety with blatant acts of bottle-popping, I highly recommend it.

Back in my day…

  • Senior Wisdoms had a War on Fun question. Bwog, just because we’ve entered a Cold War on Fun, doesn’t mean that it’s over.
  • Speaking of our Cold War on Fun, washable paint used to actually be removable from EC walls. What gives, paint manufacturers?!
  • Freshmen waited to be introduced to 1020 and Senior Night by their upperclassmen.
  • Koronet served the best size:price per slice in the city. Bring back the sub-$4 slice, Koronet, this shall not abide!

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: From the inestimable Rega Jha: “If I were the SGB, you’d be my David Oh So Fine.” Admitted Zionist. Signing my name D. Asher Fine starting now. “Hi five David Fine!

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: Zayd Dohrn and Peter Pazzaglini, you showed me the best of what the Core can be in your Lit-Hum and CC courses. I admire you for your dedication to teaching and your students, and for showing me what a true Core course and the liberal arts are meant to be.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? When wit fails, truth prevails: cheese.

One thing to do before graduating: Just once during your time here find something that you care about so deeply that you’re willing to stand up and organize a protest over it. Don’t just do this for protesting’s sake, but rather for what you believe to be right and true. The first time I did this, I met some of the most excellent guys I’ve come to know here. I also came to the wonderful realization that even if your friends disagree with you, they’ll continue being your friends—those who don’t weren’t real friends to begin with. Learn how to take a position, stand by it with reason and nuance, and argue it passionately with your peers, preferably over a beer at that 1020 booth you snagged. It beats venting in Bwog or Spec comments any day. Also, do a keg stand at least once, even if it results in concussion.

Any regrets? Nothing. Good and bad, it’s all been part of a great experience at a truly great university. Except! Climate & Society: Case Studies with Professor Petey D, a truly awful class for a freshman history guy to take. Petey D, why did you do me so? Even then, I met a few awesome people so it wasn’t that awful. #DGAFing