Joel spends his time on stage, but off stage you can find him in Pupin or the Wallach vending machine.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Joel Meyers, CC, Astrophysics & AMP; Theatre, Seattle, WA

Claim to fame: Hmmm. If you’ve watched any on-campus theatre in the past four years, chances are I’ve popped up somewhere. Otherwise, I’m generally one of the shortest members of any group.

Where are you going? Right now? To class. Well, I’m already there because Zoom and all. But you know what I mean.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2025?

  1. From the Theatre Department: When in doubt, “the Brechtian rhetoric of embodied liberal humanism” sounds scholarly. Meaningless, but scholarly.
  2. From the Physics Department: Everything is a simple harmonic oscillator if you look hard enough. Everything.
  3. From the Core: The “Hermeneutic Circle” from U Writing should be the “Hermeneutic Spiral.” Seriously. The whole point of the thought diagram is that you’re going back around the editing process to come to a new place each time. Calling it a circle completely defeats the purpose. Ergo, Hermeneutic Spiral.

“Back in my day…” We had to walk to class. Also, one had to go to the Stacks to avoid Bacchanal…

Favorite Columbia controversy? The GabNYC party undoubtedly.

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Probably either Science of Space Exploration or Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology, both taught by Caleb Scharf. Quantum Mechanics I and II with Bill Zajc have also been enjoyable during the pandemic.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? …Well. The only kind of cheese I actively enjoy is shredded medium cheddar cheese. So I guess if we’re free to choose, I do enjoy that. But I don’t particularly care for any other kind of cheese…

Whom would you like to thank? The Wallach vending machine.

One thing to do before graduating: Join a performance group of some kind, even if it’s just once. Also, the Theory Center on the 9th and 10th floors of Pupin is an excellent place to study (the chairs outside Brian Greene’s office are my favorite).

Any regrets? Not spending more time in the Pupin Theory Center before they sent us all away.