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Senior Wisdom: Louise McCune

Louise McCune

Louise McCune

Today’s first Senior Wisdom: Louise McCune, the fine lady behind some of our Butler archetypes, and the fine lady who is probably sitting behind you as you read this, considering your eligibility for portraiture. 

Name, Hometown, School: Louise McCune, San Francisco, Columbia College, American Studies

Claim to fame? In these circles I am probably best known as the Butler archetype whisperer/portraitist. I am likely also sitting behind you in Butler. I would like to take this moment to urge you, if you believe that you are a particular brand of weirdo that was overlooked, to please approach me. I would love for you to sit for me this reading week; I take commission in Pop Chips. Preferably the green kind.

Where are you going? I am going to California for a quick dip in the cool Pacific to restore my complexion to its usual ethereal glow, by which I mean I’ll be embracing my cat for a week and eating every other kind of fruit besides green Pop Chips. But then… I’ll be back! Radiant and ready for adulthood.

3 things you learned at Columbia:

  • Everyone is magic. Seriously. Every single person has special powers, and whether we’re talking about a wicked sense of humor or an awesome storytelling sensibility or the fiercest eye-contact EVER, your interpersonal interactions will benefit if you get excited about discovering and witnessing and appreciating these. College is cool because you are surrounded by superheros, and if you let yourself you may find people whose special talents jibe really well with your own and you guys can forge an alliance. Here’s the thing though: as with real superheros, that magic is more often than not lurking where you can’t see it on first encounter. Sometimes it takes several chance meetings before you strike gold, and then suddenly! You have a friend. Which brings me to my next point…
  • Do not underestimate the power of the stop-and-chat.
  • Taking good care of yourself requires some serious dedication. I happen to have sourced my own personal sanity mantra as follows: I was once listening to the Beach Boys during a very stressy time, because what else is a girl to do? Brian Wilson told me to “sleep a lot, eat a lot, and brush ‘em like crazy,” and it was, in that moment, truly a revelation. It is indeed pretty easy for some integral life-type things to fall by the wayside given all the other great stuff there is to do here– don’t let that happen too much. That is a recipe for badness. You will learn a lot of awesome things in your classes, but sometimes you will need to make it your HOMEWORK to be as magnanimous as possible to both yourself and everyone around you. Start with brushing your teeth, like CRAZY. And make sure you put aside some time for the lols.

Back in my day…. I did not need to come equipped with a personal fan in order to thermoregulate properly in 210. A handful of facebook “likes” was plenty and nobody really knew what a GIF was. If you ever wanted to eat a sandwich and pet a cat at the same time, that was a thing you could do at P&W. The Milano cat really does not hold a candle in terms of petability.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I would prefer not to.

Write a CU Admirers post to anyone or anything at Columbia: OK, sure, I have a few. To my Witches of Claremont 63– You put a spell on me. To everyone else that I have learned from in my time here, professors and administrators and staff and fellow students alike– You rock. Thank you thank you thank you oh my god a million thank yous! And to the bathroom in Dodge across from the music library– just wow. The stall with a window on the top floor of Wien gets an honorable mention.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Oral sex.

One thing to do before graduating: Get into it. Whatever “it” is. I wish upon everyone some extremely “chill” times in college, but I also hope that there will be days– weeks! months!– that you are so so so so absolutely INTO what you are doing that it is almost all you can think about. Take advantage of this unparalleled opportunity to have ideas and make things in the company of all these brilliant people.

Any regrets? I wish I had spent more time in office hours. I wish that I had read all the books. I think that I could have said thanks in small ways to my friends more often, and there are about a million trillion classes that I am sad I never got to take. So it goes. This one is hard, though. Some of the most valuable things I’ve learned about myself and the world during my time here have come from regretful-type situations, so. Have regrets! But don’t let them eat you up.

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  • louise says:

    @louise hi you’re the best

  • louise is says:

    @louise is the coolest lady
    super stylish
    a great bio TA
    ridiculously awesome
    a role model

  • your local scrivener says:

    @your local scrivener I see what you did there.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Super

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Smart

  • mama says says:

    @mama says oh louise, one of my greatest regrets in college is i didn’t get to know you better! you are a really sweet person and i wish you the best.

  • magic says:


  • yl says:

    @yl louise, my first indelible columbia memory is that first day of lit hum, when you introduced yourself and proudly mentioned your four cats. thank you for the laughs then and now. you make great art, run crazy distances, and I trust wherever the wind blows you (on either coast), you’re going to help many people find their own superpowers. thanks for sharing yours.

  • Yup says:

    @Yup Still my favorite.

  • Naps Monteaux says:

    @Naps Monteaux Louise you one fine individual. So glad you mentioned the Wien bathroom, but I hope it doesn’t get too much publicity. I love you friend!

  • Rajitha Ratwatte says:

    @Rajitha Ratwatte Louise, I have know your parents from before you were born and you have watched you playing little league and our families have driven down the length of the East Coast of Sri Lanka using wooden platform to float our vehicles across the lagoons…you are a remarkable person.

    Your parents are my most favorite persons in this world and you have one task left….exceed their virtues !

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