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Senior Wisdom: Riva Weinstein

Bwog’s beloved Arts Editor and resident comic artist Riva Weinstein encourages you to take your time and express your love!

Name, School, Major, Hometown:

Riva, BC, Anthropology/Archaeology, South Pasadena, CA.

Claim to fame:

Drawing a comic about a man stepping on a rat; informing you of the best places on campus to ache; being the jack-of-all-trades of the theater world; being the bottle flipping guy’s stunt double; having very strong, very esoteric opinions on things that happened 3000 years before my birth… allegedly.

Where are you going?

I’ll let my friend D.H. from the 1935 Barnard Bulletin say it for me:

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2024?

  • You need mentors. Adopt yourself some good professors! They’re literally here to help you—take advantage of that openness. Go to their office hours and ramble about things you’re both passionate about. Absorb their wisdom and their unconditional kindness. Let them inform your vision of a future self worth growing up for.
  • If you are the kind of person, like I used to be, who believes that growth happens in isolation, I am here to tell you that’s not true. Schedules are always busy. There will never be a good time, a safe time, to finally have the experiences you want to have. Make that time for yourself and your friends. Create the spaces you want to live in, and the growth and creativity will flow from there.
  • The city is fast and old and heavy as a subway car, and it will try to convince you that you are hurtling towards disaster. Don’t listen to it. As my art history professor told me when I met him on the downtown 1: No, no, no, no, no. You have so much time.

“Back in my day…”

Barnard was 80% tunnel (there was a Barnard), you couldn’t buy a Black Tie coffee on campus (there was a campus), and Great Comet was the best show on Broadway (there was a Broadway). :(

Favorite Columbia controversy?

I’ve gotta go with Ferris thumbtack potato salad on this one.

What was your favorite class at Columbia?

Origins of Human Society with Severin Fowles, an evil incubus of a man who lured me into the seductive path of Archaeology without telling me that it involves manual labor and you don’t get to keep the cool artifacts.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?

Nice try, The Government.

Whom would you like to thank?

Okay, bear with me here, but I’m going to do all my thank-yous in the style of an enigmatic Lemony Snicket dedication…


To my parents—

You will always be in my heart,

In my mind,

And in the same fucking house


To my friends—

My love for you was like a hot-air balloon;

Until quarantine swooped down like a fanged snake thrown by a guy in a higher hot-air balloon


To Bwog—

Darling, dearest, deleted.


One thing to do before graduating:

“Graduation” has no meaning to me anymore. It’s a social construct, like the military-industrial complex, Lorde, and sleep.

Any regrets?

Any time my pride, shame, or cowardice kept me from telling the people I loved how much they really meant to me. I also really, really wish I’d seen Hadestown.

Image via Levi Cohen

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  • Eleanor Levie says:

    @Eleanor Levie You take after your mother all right.

  • Jane Holbrook says:

    @Jane Holbrook Brilliant! With your sense of humor you will always succeed. Best Wishes and Congratulations!

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