For today’s Actual Wisdom, we have Bruce Robbins, of previous and expansive Bwog fame. You know it’s a good sign when they already have a Bwog tag to their name.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer:
Justify my existence? Can’t be done. When people all around me are getting stonewalled or downsized, why should I have it so easy?
Claim to fame (what makes you special?):
I wrote an essay that gets read in University Writing. I also play a mean game of ping pong for someone who never learned the backhand smash.
What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience?
Ping pong on acid. Followed by scrambled eggs at 6 am with my French teacher.
Back in my day… (what has changed at Columbia?):
ROTC has returned. (How could we?) I wish I had taken the Core. Also, that I had a chance to help re-write it.
What’s the craziest excuse/extension story you’ve heard?
Dog fell through the ice on the swimming pool and I had to rush him to the hospital.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?
Sorry to disappoint: I can live without oral sex.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
- not to argue against the return of ROTC, at least not on camera, and not at SIPA.
- Uptown and downtown are two different countries—9/11 didn’t really happen up here.
- one of the most exquisite pleasures known to the human race is making real contact in a seminar
What’s your advice to students/academics/the human race?
Thomas Pynchon: “Keep cool but care.”