She’s as good as superfruit.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Maude Latour, Columbia College, Philosophy major, New York City 

Claim to fame: Gosh, probably just walking around campus in a neon hot pink winter coat, a skip in my step, blasting music in my headphones and singing everywhere I go. 

Where are you going? Guess I’m gonna go on tour. Playing festivals all summer. Need to finish my next EP and then…start working on my first album. I guess we’re gonna go do this thing for real. 

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2026?

  1. You should say that thing on the tip of your tongue. There were so many classes where I didn’t speak and just be absolutely terrified to raise my hand. There are still some sentences that live in my brain that I wish I said in class, questions I wanted answers for. Are you kidding? You’re here. You’re supposed to be here. You will get so much from being vulnerable, and doing it. This applies to everything. I’ve bitten my tongue when telling my someone how much I like them, how beautiful they are, that I’m falling for them. Having conversations with your friends, bluntly, meaning your words, saying when you are hurt. I’m realizing how much more alive life can be if I take that risk. Just close your eyes and raise your hand. You got this. We want to hear you spill your mind. Your head is golden. 
  1. When you’re walking towards (or from) Butler, always walk down the dead center of the lawn. Someone who was a senior when I was a freshman made me promise to do that every time. I still do. Slow down, take it in, feel this space, remember why you are here, how deeply you care for your curiosity. I always walk down dead center and take a deep breath. 
  1. Try to stay inspired. Write things down so you can stay inspired. I don’t want to be corny about it but, the things I’ve learned here have really shaped my mind and heart. Things are so complex; for almost everything, if one thing is true, the opposite of it is also holding it up. The paradoxical support system of reality is what makes this all possible. Maybe particles are in superposition, this total opposition gives rise to this world. Time is just a function of space, it’s only motion. There are no patterns, there are patterns, both and neither are true, what about the negation of everything? And what about the negation of that? The answer is the answer to the question we can’t ask. Damn, life is made up of both material and spirit. Du Chatelet is right, don’t let them convince you the passions aren’t important. I didn’t know I’d ever feel like I was in my body, and I’m starting to learn to. All this is is to say— real life, real ground, real grass. Real friends, real love takes work. You put the time in, you put the effort in, you nurture the seeds you want to grow. You go through hard things with people, and if you love each other, you come out the other side with community. If you have someone to call, anyone, I promise that is enough. Let your people love you, and give them love too. Careful, attentive love. They are everything. Ok, I just had to spill all of that out. Thanks for listening.

“Back in my day…” We used to turn our papers in on hard copies. Like we used to print the pages and staple them…for like every class. Looking for staplers constantly. We used to run through campus holding our papers sprinting to meet the deadlines.

Favorite Columbia controversy? The first case of COVID-19 on campus being my roommates “…ex,” who she had hung out with in our room a day earlier. The whole school shutting down because of him. If you’re reading this, shoutout to you, lots of love, never ever forget. The next day our baseball team suitemates announced they were going to house the ENTIRE team, fresh off the plane from a game, in our common room (whether we liked it or not). 

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Postmodernism with Margaret Vandenburg. New York Intellectuals with Ross Posnock. Philosophy of Physics with David Albert. Romantic Poetry with Erik Gray. Language and Society with McWhorter. Shakespeare I with James Shapiro. These classes rocked my world. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? See ya oral sex. Lol. Give me that goat cheese or else. 

Whom would you like to thank? I want to thank Mabel, Samantha, Aeja, Lola, Michael, and Fergus. We went through this pandemic with each other. I have been given more home-cooked meals than I deserve. We have navigated every growing pain together, crying over candlelit dinners. We have gone through pain and loss and complexity— situations I never thought I would live through, we have done it together. Breaking down interactions. Piecing together the set pieces of our lives. Holding my hand, crying, looking into your eyes and realizing you have made me who I am, you have made me feel a place in this world, you have made me believe in myself and you have made me believe in life. You are the reason I am ready to be an adult, and I see beauty in love. I know how to love because of you. Forever changed by you. Thank you for every moment. 

One thing to do before graduating: Bu*ler R**f 

Any regrets? Be an English major. Be your guilty pleasure major, full send it baby. Do it.

Don’t cry too long over a broken heart. It’s gonna seem small and you’re just around the corner, I promise you’re gonna grow away from them, and it’ll seem like a distant dream. I swear. 

Take that alone time. You got it, blast your music with your headphones on.

Portrait of Maude via herself