Bruce Robbins

Bruce Robbins

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.”