Do your readings.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Isabella Aldrete, Barnard College, English, Philly!

Claim to fame: Convinced Capitol Hill security that I was “chief of staff” as an intern. Relentless hoarder. I still have ticket stubs from freshman year.

Where are you going? To live with the rats.

What are three things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2028?

  1. I have come away from college probably far less wise than when I came into it, so I feel entirely unqualified to share anything with the probably much much wiser freshman class. Best piece of advice I have is to read “On Self Respect” by Joan Didion and to actually do the readings for your classes.

“Back in my day…” Back in the Pre-Rosenbury days, President Beilock would always walk around in a florescent pink coat, in what remains today as one of Barnard College’s greatest feats of girl-bossery.

Favorite Columbia lore? Hmm, I am a sucker for anything tunnels related. I think one of the silliest pieces of tunnel lore is that back in the 30s, there was a group of bagpipe players that used them as a practice room after facing “discrimination towards their musical taste.”

What was your favorite class at Columbia?

  • Fiction and Personal Narrative with Ken Chen
  • Gandhi, King, and the Politics of Nonviolence with Karuna Mantena
  • Art and Craft of the Diary with Jhumpa Lahiri
  • …and my most controversial take, COMS 1004 with Adam Cannon

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? “‘French Cheese Under Threat’ read the report from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) on January 16th, 2024. In the ensuing weeks the findings of the report have been picked up around the globe. As is often the case when reporting on the impact of discoveries in microbiology and population genetics, there has been a lot of confusion around how to understand and interpret the science. The biology at the heart of the report is complicated. The same thing can be said of our relationship with the microorganisms that we rely upon for cheese production. Rather than sound the alarm that these beloved French cheeses are on the road to extinction, what if we saw this as an opportunity to rethink what it is that we value in cheese? A chance to not only expand the diversity of rinds produced, but also to redefine our responsibility to our microbial coworker.”

Whom would you like to thank? The entire staff at both The Eye and Quarto! I learn something new at each of our meetings and they’ve been such integral parts of my college experience. And of course, all of my thoughtful and kind friends.

One thing to do before graduating? Sneak into the MET in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler style.

Any regrets? Not forming a secret society (unless…).

Isabella via Isabella