While there’s still eight months to go until Democratic primaries in city elections this September, how candidates do in fundraising can be an early barometer of their political support. Campaign finance disclosures were due earlier this week, so here’s an update on local candidates’ donations:
A few takeaways after the jump. More »
For the last Quick and Dirty of the semester, we were inspired by this story about the death of professor Karl-Ludwig Selig. As one former student described, “Fifty years later people can still recite his lectures,” and, “He was always available—if the light was on in his office, he’d have been happy to talk to you for hours.” So we asked our contributors: Do professors like Selig still exist?
Salonee Bhaman, Columnist: Professors like professor Selig absolutely exist—that it’s even a question is ridiculous! What may have changed is our willingness as a campus to partake more fully in academic life outside the classroom. Legacies like this aren’t made in a vacuum—they’re made during office hours, and during class dinners, and going out for drinks with your peers to talk about subject matter in a more informal context. They require more personal engagement.
Lanbo Zhang, Editorial Page Editor: I know many professors who would be happy to talk for hours, but I also know that they experience administrative burdens that make it impossible. I don’t blame those professors for not trying, mostly I just wish they could. More »
Last week’s New York Times featured an article by Princeton Professor Christy Wampole on that favorite subject and object of ridicule—the hipster. She argues that hipsterdom is just a symptom of a larger cultural epidemic, and thus ridiculing hipsters is, in a way, ridiculing ourselves.
With all their retro clothing, hobbies, and gadgets, hipsters are simply the most obvious and visible examples of our ironic and insincere culture.
When I read Wampole’s article, I couldn’t help but think about how all this talk of insincerity applies to Columbia. Is the Columbia culture as ripe with irony and insincerity as Wampole claims the rest of American culture is?
On one hand, Wampole’s characterization seems to fit. General examples of our impulse to be ironic rather than sincere are everywhere. How many of us roll our eyes (smh, if you will) when we see a Facebook status about having a bad day or sappy song lyrics that express someone’s inner feelings?
Instead we tend towards witty or pithy statuses and look down on such sincere and sentimental confessions. But such behavior is hardly uniquely Columbian. More »
In her column last week, Amanda Gutterman asks us to put on a “professional face” and think about what it means:
Specifically, we move from normal life to carefully monitoring every aspect of our behavior, anticipating how those who might remunerate us would perceive it…The object is strict self-control. Even when we are personally called upon to express an opinion in a traditionally professional setting, it requires emotional suppression and enforces neutrality.
There’s been a lot of talk this semester about the future of Frontiers of Science. CCSC held a town hall to discuss problems with this newest addition to the Core, and Spec Editorial Page Editor Lanbo Zhang and Columnist Leo Schwartz weighed in on the debate in a podcast.
Discussion of the Core this semester has also included another freshman course that needs reevaluation—University Writing. While a lot of gripping focuses on Frontiers, I think that University Writing deserves some attention, too. The course has always seemed to me to be the weakest link in the Core.
Although I will admit that I came out of University Writing a better writer, I think that the fundamentals the course teaches can only take students so far. I quickly learned that each discipline has a distinctive approach to writing—an approach that’s not necessarily the same as the one UWriting takes.