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Senior Wisdom: David Fine


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 Less than a week after that meeting Barnard had repealed the policy.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

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  • David Fine says:

    @David Fine is a good guy through and through. Good luck to you, sir!

  • JK says:

    @JK Well said, David

  • 209 says:

    @209 oh david u so fine, u so fine in 209

  • Scott says:


  • Not gonna lie says:

    @Not gonna lie I’ve wanted to tap that for a long time.

  • ok but says:

    @ok but why are you obsessed with 1020

    1. astonished says:

      @astonished um, why AREN’T you?

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous because it’s a terrible bar. seriously, get off campus…1020 sucks.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Mister Fine
    There are many people at Columbia
    Some of them wear boots
    Others wear sandals
    (I wear Uggs and Crocs cuz I’m kool)
    But then there are the exalted
    The ones that make us wow
    To that group you belong
    For you are very fine
    Mister Fine

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous dis is a ode of luv
      y duz it get nun?

      or in COLUMBIANESE

      The above composition represents Anonymous’s affection for David Fine. His/her careful world choice demonstrates deep attention to the nuances of language and and desire to communicate his/her feelings as directly as possible. The writer’s deliberate choice to begin with “Mister” and not Señor nor Mr. introduces a conversational tone that implies familiarity. In the next line the neutral term “people” is used where more specific collective nouns might otherwise serve to place Fine amongst his fellow students, gentlemen, or scholars. Fine demonstrably, then, stands among mankind.
      Most vital to understanding this composition is the parenthetical line. It serves as a window in the author’s mind and breaks the fourth wall. The author admits to wearing the crasser forms of shoe: uggs and crocs. He is a man five years behind the times. Yet, he uses mod terms like “cuz” and “kool.” He, like Fine, is one of the young people. Standard English does not chain him down. Emotions can fly from his eleven fingers. (Scientific studies show that the frequency of the letters e and i compared with that of z and p correlate with eleven-fingeredness.) In the end we know that we are reading an honest account.
      The cumulative effort that we can see this surely demanded shows both deep love and deep affection. An inability to appreciate this, on the part of the wider Bwog comment reading population evidenced by a lack of upvotes or comments disregards this acute and fine compositions inner workings; this is baffling and distressing.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous why r u obessed with barnard? why didn’t you talk to the Barnard administrator for the big issues (not the pre-approval on student fliers), like housing, that affected students

    1. he was SGB prez says:

      @he was SGB prez housing wasn’t really within his scope

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous how is the power to release a statement about housing any different from the power to release a statement about fliers tho

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous meant as reply to he was sgb pres

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous The protests that he, Sam Schube, and Eliza Shapiro orchestrated towards Ahmadinejad coming were the most condescending, neoliberal PR pieces of bullshit I’ve ever seen. Pat yourselves on the back, liberal elite New York champagne socialists! Why don’t they realize that Iran’s current situation is largely due to the fact that U.S. has fucked it over so much in the past (taking oil to fight in WWII, 1953 coup d’etat, anyone?). By reinstalling the Shah, and subsequently, monarchical rule, the U.S. forced any hope of Iranian democracy to die for the sake of western oil profits. This largely led to the Iranian people having to turn to someone just as strong and crazy(the Ayatollahs) to liberate them from the colonizer, which, in turn, fucked them over in the long run since religion can never be a source of governing. By rallying for Human Rights, they are essentially ignoring history and pretending that Iran can just as easily become a secular democracy like the U.S. and its just a bunch of “bad guys” keeping the people down. Don’t you realize that lots of the reasons Iran doesn’t trust Western, pro-democratic (and largely, anti-Islam) ideals is because those were the same ideas the colonizer espoused in his own country yet treated others like shit because their lives were worth less to him? Why can’t the U.S. admit they fucked up and help Iran without trying to Americanize it or only understand it in a secular, liberalist, pro-capitalist framework. The “progressivity” we pride ourselves on in America is bullshit compared the shit our country has done and still does to other countries. Seriously, thanks but no thanks. Take your bullshit, assimilationist MSNBC approved activism elsewhere, Iran doesn’t want it. I don’t even get where people on this campus get off calling themselves progressive or leaning left on the political spectrum when their philosophy is so ingrained in white, upper-middle-class, imperialist cultural privilege.

    1. dirty mike says:

      @dirty mike for some reason, dirty mike approves this message.

    2. Fine friend says:

      @Fine friend Angry ad hominem comments on senior wisdom posts totally miss the point.

  • also says:

    @also why is this campus so down with Zionism

    1. The Dark Hand says:

      @The Dark Hand that feel when you were up until 5 am scrolling through twitter feeds during finals week to write that specsucks post and someone actually read it ;_;

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous 1020…is a just a bar

  • BC '13 says:

    @BC '13 David Fine: You are the bee’s knees and you’re lookin’ good in that shirt!

  • anon says:

    @anon ” Mista F “

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous David is your name
    Asher is your middle
    Victory’s your game
    In free speech-related riddles
    Deep into your eyes
    A girl can’t help but stare
    Such blue depths she spies
    “He’s like, SGB chair!”
    Every time I see you [twice]
    Ruefully I sigh
    For you could be my boo
    If we hadn’t said goodbye
    Now we’re both commencing
    Even then, I’ll try?

  • Steve C. says:

    @Steve C. Dude, I’ve seen you at so many functions, always genuinely helpful in the future development of this school, whether it be deans or whiteboards or first semester p/d/f or flyers. You have my great respect, and I wish I had taken the time to get to know you better since that coffee at Artopolis junior summer.

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