Adams’s Facebook post
“If there was anything Adams could learn from having a child with Down syndrome, she hasn’t learned it yet.”
That’s the second to last line of Cristina Nehring’s utterly vicious review of Columbia English professor Rachel Adams’s Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery. Merits of the book notwithstanding (I haven’t read it), Nehring takes obvious pleasure in turning a cruel phrase. Nehring depicts Adams as a narcissistic, selfish mother to a son with Downs syndrome; she unfavorably compares Adams to herself, who has a daughter with Downs syndrome.
Read it for yourself, in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
After the review went up, Nehring sounded the horn: she wrote to an international Down syndrome email listserv for support in the comment section. (A commenter quotes Nehring from there: “I confess that if you felt like throwing yourself into the fray to comment, I’d be touched and grateful.”) In response, Adams posted the above on her Facebook page, calling upon her friends to “please comment in my defense!”
And it was on: a comment thread of academics pseudonymously carping at one another. Read the rest of this entry »
“A tradition of drama, satire, and Columbia spirit”—that’s our annual Varsity Show. At its best, it critically and cohesively ties off one year in Morningside Heights. At its worst, it delivers three hours of dull one-liners that reduce to, “Ha, ha! We go to Columbia, too!”
Broad consensus on campus is that V118—two shows ago—was the former. V119—last year’s—was the latter. Read the rest of this entry »
Subject line: “Athlete Going to Columbia–Is Columbia Fun and Preppy!” Behold:
I am pretty sure that I am going to Columbia for crew next year, and I am very excited to be in NYC, but I come from a super traditional and preppy boarding school, and I actually love that lifestyle, and don’t want to lose that in college. I get that Columbia is a cultural melting pot filled with incredibly smart people from all over the world, and I totally appreciate that, and that is one of the reasons I like Columbia, so I can open my horizons.
BUT… I have grown up in a preppy environment my whole life, and some of you might say that I am an elitist, but I love the tradition, the lifestyle, the community, the clothing, and the education. I want to make sure that I am still getting part of that experience that I love and have grown up around.
I don’t want to be the only person dressed in hunter rainboots and a barbour wanting to go to a kegger party, and I don’t want to have to deal with a bunch of intellectuals chain smoking cigarettes on the Lower steps 24/7. This is a little silly, but I also want to make sure that there are boys I can date here that share at least some of the things that are important to me…
To the author, username abullock: they’re called the Low Steps. And—please—pick another school.
We few, we happy few
Columbia football is not good. Three weeks into the season, they have lost three times: to Fordham (52-7), to Monmouth (37-14), and to Princeton (53-7).
This weekend, the Lions are slated to lose to Lehigh. More of the same, right?
Wrong. This one’s gonna be aired nationally, on NBC. So that’ll be pretty humiliating. (Maybe not as humiliating as going on NBC for hate crime arrests and questionable tweets, but still). But, the athletic department reasons—if we must lose at home on national TV, we should at least do it with stands that aren’t quite so empty as usual.
Accordingly, athletics is trying something that CU has done before, with middling success: bribing Columbia students to be, well, more normal.
To that end, Columbia is offering two $1,000 prizes: one “to the student group that brings the most students” and the other “to the most spirited student group.” The administration also included a helpful tip for Columbia students unfamiliar with how sports fandom works: “bring signs and wear Columbia apparel.”
We’ll see how many hungover Columbia students drag out the Columbia tee they haven’t worn since high school and make it up to 218th street by noon. Since we can’t have a fair bet over the game: over/under 15 students for the winning group?
[Stands via @ColumbiaLionsFB]
434 Riverside Drive.
St. Anthony Hall is Columbia’s semi-secret society for the uninteresting children of interesting—or rich—people. No surprise there. (Thomas Pynchon’s son got a tap; the father of last year’s president is a managing director at Goldman Sachs.) The society’s membership is a secret, if a loosely kept one. Read the rest of this entry »
For many people, the college essay is the hardest part of their application, as they seek to define themselves in 500 words or less for a faceless committee of admissions officers. The Columbia Class of 2017, though, has given us an inside look at what exactly it takes to be part of the 6.89 percent to win entry to the school this year. A tipster recently directed us to a Google Drive folder in which newly admitted Columbians are posting their application essays for their peers to see. And, thankfully, they left it public.
Topics range from the deeply personal, to the seemingly mundane, to the blatantly ridiculous. We’ve included a list of some of the more notable entries below; feel free to categorize them yourself:
- The sub-prime mortgage crisis, told as a tortoise and hare allegory (“There are regulators at every mile to ensure the hare plays by the rules established by the Security Enforcement Commission.”)
- Sketching a nude model for the first time (“As the model stepped out of her robe, I felt unsettled and self-conscious. I was scared. Where was I supposed to look? Was I ready for this?”)
- Arrested Development getting renewed (“So ‘Arrested Development’ is the epitome of all things—good, bad, or ironic—coming to inevitable conclusions.”)
- Imagining literary lunch dates with fictional characters (“Generally, my peers don’t understand my compulsion to inhabit the worlds I read, or my overactive imagination’s ability to project those worlds into its own reality.”)
However, some of the essays deserve a closer examination. Here are our personal favorites:
The IvyGate award for “Most Original Essay (For Better Or Worse)” goes to a mock script of a conversation between the applicant, musical theater heavyweight Oscar Hammerstein II (Columbia Class of 1919), and composer Tom Kitt (Columbia Class of 1996). The alums lead our author on a journey of self-discovery as he finds that, yes, he should pursue his dreams and doggone it, people like him. Here are the opening lines, which subtly set the scene for the author’s insecurity:
Hammerstein: Ok, kid. You’ve seen the school. Now what?
Noah: (HE knew this was coming) I—I really don’t know…Major in Drama and
Psychology or choose something safe…Economics?
Kitt: (Bombastic as always) Oh cut the crap, why don’t ya? You worked your ass off for years to get to this point, and now you finally have; if you get in, you’d have all the resources you could possibly want—
Noah: (Frantically) BUT, I don’t know how to use them. I don’t know how to use them or what to do with them. Musical Theater is my life; I love it more than anything else I’ve ever done. To be up on the stage—the songs—the emotion…but as a career?
Hammerstein: Kid, breathe. Pursue it.
Noah: But that’s easier said than done! It’s just so—so…
Kitt: (Like the Hindenburg, exploding) Christ! SPIT IT OUT!
Noah: …Hard. Read the rest of this entry »
Bwog has an email up from the Barnard Associate Director for Residential Life expressing her “great disappointment ” that one Barnard bathroom has been closed by the school due to various cleanliness issues. Apparently the girls of Hewitt Third Floor are guilty of “improper behavior” when it comes to cleaning up after themselves, as the email details the many disgusting issues present in the bathroom.
“Over the past few months, we have seen feces smeared on toilet seats and the floor, urine on the floor, clogged and overflowing toilets, paper towels clogging the sinks, and garbage strewn around the bathroom.”
The best part of the email though is how the Resident Life director not so subtly accuses the perpetrators of being unbalanced and in need of serious help. They write,
“the responsible individual(s) may need the resources and support of the counseling center based on what we have witnessed in this bathroom.”
This is actually the second case of Ivy League bathroom shenanigans this semester, as back in February Yale had to address the cleanliness of one of its dorm bathrooms (poop on walls, chamber pots, using the sink as a tub).
Check out the full email to the Barnard girls below, courtesy of Bwog: Read the rest of this entry »
After a video of Columbia Physics Professor Emlyn Hughes’ unusual introduction to his Frontiers of Science lecture began circulating the web yesterday, The Spectator has reported that Columbia administrators will review the video to determine … something. According to Columbia’s statement, the university will judge “excerpts” from Hughes’ lecture — in which he stripped to his boxers, showed video of 9/11, and brought ninjas onstage, among other still unexplained actions — to see if he potentially crossed “academic freedom” and entered “things that have nothing to do with quantum mechanics.”
Frontiers of Science, or FroSci, is a mandatory part of Columbia’s Core Curriculum (freshmen are preregistered for the class). According to its website, the course’s goal is to “change the way students think about questions of science and about the world around them.” Columbia’s administrators should keep this in mind when watching Hughes take his clothes off to Lil Wayne’s remix of “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” because after Monday we doubt any FroSci student will be thinking of their professor the same way.
Below is a video Hughes’ FroSci introduction, courtesy of Bwog, and click through after for Columbia’s statement, courtesy of The Spectator.
Read the rest of this entry »
Following the recommendation of Columbia’s Inter-Greek Council Judicial Board, the school’s Zeta Beta Tau chapter lost its charter this week due to a hazing infraction, The Columbia Spectator reports. Although it has not been revealed what exactly ZBT did to lose recognition, their national organization will be appealing Columbia’s decision.
A tipster forwarded us an email sent Thursday night by the IGC’s Director of Public Relations and Marketing cautioning the Greek community to remain tightlipped and alert in this time of “heavy scrutiny.” Perhaps more seriously, he foresees a Columbia where the newly outlawed ZBT brothers have become modern thugs, terrorizing campus and turning Greek against fellow Greek. We imagine something like The Warriors. Or maybe Mad Max.
Our tipster sums it up pretty nicely: “Stick together, because we’re a Greek family … but watch out, because ZBT might try to forcibly extract information from you.” You know, because they haze.
You can read the full email below: Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier this week, we received an anonymous tip about a post on SpecSucks, a blog unhealthily obsessed with the Columbia Spectator. The post details a fairly ridiculous story of a group of Spectator editors breaking into the Columbia Provost’s office, using their connections in the Deans’ office to get out of trouble, and then calling in favors at Bwog to keep everything out of the headlines. Perhaps worth noting though, there’s now an update on the post that mentions “a dozen or two factual issues with [our] post.” So there’s that.
While we corresponded with several people who anonymously vouched for the veracity of various parts of the story, representatives from each accused organization have all denied involvement. This morning we reached out to Columbia Dean Terry Martinez, who was accused by SpecSucks of “sticking out her neck” to help the Spectator editors. Below is the university’s statement:
“While federal student privacy law prevents us from commenting on specific cases involving student discipline, we can say unequivocally that any claim of an improper relationship involving Dean Terry Martinez is completely false and without any factual basis. Moreover, Dean Martinez has no role in adjudicating these types of disciplinary matters. Reports made earlier today in this vein fail any standard of journalistic credibility and should be promptly retracted.”
“With respect to the Columbia Daily Spectator, it is important to note that like any news media organization, the student newspaper is completely independent from the University, and we have no comment on its handling of this matter.”