Former Bwog Editor Finn Klauber is a classicist, an advocate for the Core, and a proud member of Beta. Apparently, you can do it all.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Andrew Finn Klauber, The College, Classics, “Someplace Special” aka Cooper City, Florida
Claim to fame: Lived in a red, white, and blue brownstone for three years. Former Internal Editor of Bwog. Kept two plants alive for a year. Won $300 in a Sweetgreen meme contest on Columbia Buy/Sell. Former admin of the Overheard@Barnard Facebook group. Never made a LinkedIn or had a high profile internship. Everglades fanatic.
Where are you going? Some old, really rich school in Boston.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2023?
- Columbia has the best library system out of any school I’ve ever been to, including Harvard and Yale. Take advantage of it.
- If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. As someone who doesn’t really plan on making it in New York, you can trust me on this.
- Take the Core (in the College, at least) seriously. You’ll become a more interesting and complex person for it.
“Back in my day…” Beta had a party every other weekend. The Cafe space in Lerner was super grimy and open 24/7 to the public. Cannons was still a thing. The football team literally lost every game. American Apparel sold everything (including their mannequins) when they went out of business. Columbia had a Geology Library.
Favorite Columbia controversy? By word count, probably when ESC tried to ban smoking on campus, but waking up to a pretty big protest held outside KDR after the Wrestling GroupMe scandal was also really interesting.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I made it to the top 15 personalities on bored@butler before it was shut down.
What was your favorite class at Columbia?
I’ve taken a lot of interesting classes in my time at Columbia, so I’ll have to narrow it down to my favorite major class and my favorite non-major class:
- In Classics, I think I have to choose Intermediate Homeric Greek with Deborah Steiner as my favorite class. I’m not sure if Steiner is teaching this class in the future, but it would be disastrous to skip out on it if she does. Steiner is a world-class scholar on Homer, extremely worldly, and obviously loves teaching and learning. She gives the impression that every thing she learns is just a piece of information which she once learned long ago. I can still recite the first two lines of the Odyssey from memory (and that’s a good thing!). Honorable mentions: anything taught by Gareth Williams or Katharina Volk.
- Outside of my major, I have to pick COMS W3136—Essential Data Structures for Non-Majors—with Tim Paine. I thought it was ridiculous to attend a school well known for making its students complete the Core but whose students could graduate without learning anything serious about computer science. Since I was actually interested in (and somewhat capable of) learning more CS after passing 1002, I decided to really ratchet things up by taking 3136. I learned so much in this class about memory, computers, coding, and data structures, things which are entirely removed from Classics and yet deeply linked to my daily life. Above all, learning some CS in depth trains you in an entirely different system of analytical thought, distinct from what is trained in the humanities, which allows you to solve problems in novel ways. Tim is actually a great professor and a Columbia legend. I highly recommend that every person take an intro CS class, followed up by 3136 if they’re interested. Plus, I’m now one of the only Classics majors who can claim to have taken SEAS coursework for a grade. Didn’t help when it came to departmental honors, though…Honorable mentions: Science Fiction Poetics with Michael Golston, Jews in the Later Roman Empire with Seth Schwartz.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I don’t really eat that much already so cutting out cheese is not a good move.
Whom would you like to thank? All the professors who helped me get into grad school, my parents, my friends and pledge brothers in Beta, Amara, Youngweon, Rani, the guys at HamDel, the Butler custodians, and anyone who ever invited me to a party that I didn’t go to.
One thing to do before graduating: Go to Queens. It’s really cool to see that there’s a whole city out there totally removed from the petty issues which continually reverberate around campus. Queens is also just a cool borough.
Any regrets? I definitely regret covering ESC for so many years and never getting any cool SEAS swag. Also, I horribly regret sending over $1000 of books home through USPS before going abroad, as they lost two boxes. The only survivor from two boxes filled with books was my Quran…