• The Blue and White Magazine

Are You Gonna Finish That?

Updated: Sep 4

Affirmative


All is going supremely well for me in college, thank you for asking, except for that my roommate Sarah is a state-of-the-art bitch.


We actually hit it off pretty well during NSOP, fiercely bonding over Boba Tea outings and conversations about “BDE” and other hilarious phraseologies we both swear we made up.

However, last weekend I caught a horrific glimpse of another side of Sarah. As it turns out, you can’t trust everyone who shares your interest in Boba (I know).

Illustration by Jennifer Bi

It all started in Ferris, as most things do. I arrived at the table with three plates of beeferoni salad and, obviously, a hefty puddle of ketchup. I sat down next to Sarah and began forking mouthfuls of ‘roni into my mouth in between insightful remarks, having an altogether pleasurable experience. About twenty-five minutes into our meal and perfectly stimulating conversation, something strange happened:


Me: “Yeah, I mean, I just think the Balkan Peninsula takes up too much space in history books. Sometimes I even get the feeling that other peninsulas are experiencing a sort of historical silencing.”

Failing to acknowledge my great conversational point, Sarah instead paused to look down and scan my two remaining beeferoni plates.


Sarah: “Hey, are you gonna finish that?”


Now, the primordial bitch would have intended this as some sort of fat joke. But the modern one is even craftier—she skips the easy punches and goes straight for the jugular.

Am I going to finish that? What kind of question is that to ask someone who is always intentional and never accidental? What kind of sadistic insult, wrapped inside the packaging of an innocent question? It’s true, the Columbia Bitch attacks by implanting the idea of failure in her enemy’s mind.


Yes, I intended to finish the beeferoni, because I love beeferoni, and I got three plates of it for a reason.


I’m going to finish The Iliad even though I’m only on book sixteen and keep forgetting who Ajax is.


I’m going to finish my degree at Columbia, finish law school, finish my Goldman Sachs internship, finish around three healthy romantic relationships, finish the teleplay I’m working on about three quirky friends who move to New York City, finish scoring my dream body, all in no particular order except for the Goldman Sachs one should be somewhere toward the beginning.


I didn’t tell Sarah all that. Of course not. All I did was simply gather my beeferoni plates and quietly move to a table at the south end of the dining hall. Just before I walked away, however, I slowly turned my head over my shoulder and called back: “Yes, I’m going to finish this. You can read about why later this month, you sneaky girl.”


At that, I sauntered across the room, reveling in my eloquence. From my new table, I peeked back at her a couple times, and caught her looking dumbfounded and struck by my lasting wisdom. Because I am not a sociopath and therefore possess some amount of empathy, I did feel a little bad for how hard she was taking my win. She even changed rooms shortly after that because of how hard it was for her to cope. However, I don’t feel bad for her anymore, because I finished my empathy too.

—Malia Simon


Negative


Seriously? Take a second look at the ridiculous amount of food I’ve collected and ask yourself honestly: “is there any possible way that he could finish all of this?” Three slices of meat lover’s pizza, one and a half chicken pesto paninis, two chickens-worth of BBQ wings, a chocolate fudge brownie, celery, a vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles, and the obligatory doctor-appeasing apple. How could anyone but the “Man v. Food” guy stuff this caloric blockbuster down their throat in one sitting? Also at this point, it should be apparent that I have zero self control and just grabbed every single item that remotely tempted me.


But you know what? It’s not even my fault. I’m merely a product, no, a victim, of the gluttonous society that we live in. In today’s America, one doesn’t simply watch just ‘an episode’ of Narcos–you watch for hours ‘til you’ve wasted far more time than you can afford, ‘til your bloodshot eyes cry for sleep, until your headphones can no longer drown out the sound of concerned suitemates banging at your door. Similarly, it’s never just one shot of tequila–you down those things ‘til you’re screaming every word you can remember from your beginner Spanish vocab book with a bunch of people you’ve never seen in your life. Society is to blame for the total shit-show of a weekend I just had. I’ll spare you the details, but just know that I found myself at the one 24 hour bodega in Flatbush which sells chicken lo-mein flavored Hot Pockets at 4 am three nights in a row, and that I now have a grand total of $3.46 in my bank account. Clearly, ‘The Man’ doesn’t want you to control yourself. Also, back to the food, I thought that we were supposed to purposely throw away as much food as possible. Isn’t that the deal with these dining halls?

Illustration by Rea Rustagi

Oh, you were talking about this book? The one that I place next to my food as if were actually going to finish the reading for tomorrow? I mean, I guess I could finish it; I’ve heard good things about this Homer guy. But, then again, in a world with Shmoop, what’s the point? Honestly, like the calculator did for learning arithmetic, I think Shmoop has made the actual reading of books an obsolete practice. I mean, I’m no expert on politics, but I think using Shmoop is what our forefathers would have wanted. The Declaration of Independence was about evolving and advancing beyond the onerous confines of British rule; if we want to live with the same spirit of hope, we must cast off this oppressive yoke of intellectual bondage, and do away with reading whole books.


You don’t think Honest Abe would’ve Spark-noted the U.S. Constitution if he could have? Think again, buddy! That thing had like a bunch of fuckin’ amendments, get real. The Gettysburg Address was 271 words. My guy, Abe, was all about brevity. In two minutes he delivered what is widely renowned as one of the best speeches ever delivered. By extension, you’d think my 13 word reading responses would be hailed as analytical masterworks; but no, all I get is an F and a letter from the Dean of the English department asking me to “Please, never register for one of the department’s classes again.” Philistines! I’m getting off track, but think about how many more vampires President Lincoln could have slain if he didn’t have to actually read all that politico-legal mumbo-jumbo that comes with being president. In 2018, Shmoop empowers us to cut through loads of bullshit and slay our own metaphorical vampires, don’t you think?


Wait, where are you going? I’m not done explaining myself! Come back and let me finish!


—Santiago Costa Peuser

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