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  • Writer's pictureThe Blue and White Magazine

Blue Book, Orientation 2014

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Letter from the Editor.

I’m going to risk exposing myself as a philosophical fart so that I might tell you something important. (In general, First Years, I would advise you, during your time at Columbia, to keep an ear open for farts of all kinds.)

There’s a wonderful moment in one of Plato’s dialogues when Socrates asks his companions about the nature of courage—a virtue universally praised in Greek ethics—and demonstrates to them that much of what we’re apt to consider courage is really cowardice, selectively described.

A person risks their life, say, without a tremor. Is that courage? Maybe. The real question is why they’re doing it.

Often we put ourselves at the risk of harm or humiliation because the alternative would involve more harm, more humiliation. You strike up a conversation to end the awkward silence, you call someone out on their bullshit because it’s insulting. However, facing the undesirable to avoid the even less desirable might include acts of outright murder, so “courage” understood this way loses whatever internal connection it had to virtue. More importantly, this kind of thing isn’t courage, it’s fear. Expressed in a prudent, rational way, surely, but fear nonetheless. Fear of whatever might happen if you don’t act.

The treatment this idea gets in Plato (who, of course, reserves true courage only for philosophers) may ultimately be incoherent. But, at least psychologically, he’s onto something. On the surface, fear doesn’t always look like fear. Sometimes it looks like mind-melting dedication to your work. Sometimes like resolute ambition. Sometimes like an exhilarating night of drinking, smoking, snorting something. It’s relatively easy to live those ways because they’re all better than what seems like the alternative, and you can keep it up for a long time. Many of you will without realizing it.

Don’t let your passion be fear in disguise. Seriously: it’s easy, after a while here, for dread to be your only motivation. But dread will turn you into something so empty you might as well be dead. So try to be honest about why you’re doing whatever you do. Act on what seems important because it’s important. Stay positive. Talk to strangers. Read. Make time for dancing. Start smoking cigarettes. Quit maybe.

Graduate. We’re all working on it.

— Torsten Odland



Halal Guys on 95th Street

Class of 2018

Drugs from around the world

Fall Bacchanal

Columbia Weekly Spectator 


Conference rooms on the 5th floor of Lerner

Ding Dong Lounge

Chad Washington from the

football team

“Black Box” filming around


Fall Bacchanal

Spring Bacchanal?

Come Again?!

“Spectator changed my life.”

– Miriam Datskovsky, 

in her Spec Op-Ed 

Where Are All the Hotties At? 

We know you can’t stop thinking about it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of! In the spirit of sex positivity and body liberation, The Blue and White presents you this primer on where the hotties can be found.

1. You can find hotties on “the steps” (you know the ones), tanning or chilling, but always exposing their hot flesh.

2. Check out Brad’s Toasted Subs. The hotties here know how to use their tongues and teeth. Good shit!

3. The Men’s Sauna in Dodge. No better place to meet a sweaty hottie with his dong out.

4. The hotties at Columbia like to read and that’s why Butler 210 is teaming with some of the hottest flashes of round skin on campus.

5. Chipotle—can’t beat the smell on these hotties.

6. Ferris Booth Dining Hall. You can scope out all the hot shit from the balcony above. That’s sexy!

7. Hungarian Pastry Shop is where all the hotties like to talk. Put on a nice shirt and get ready to move your mouth if you want a chance with these sexy animals.

8. The Barnard Quad is a good spot. All the Barnard women are hot as fuck.

9. 1020 is a bar where pretty much all the hotties go. It’s like a sex paradise.

10. Hotties just love to congregate on the balcony behind Mudd. What’s that smell? It’s not just weed, it’s your crotch too.


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