What Do Algebra and Castro Have in Common?


What do algebra and Castro have in common? What are Columbia’s Contemporary Civilization class discussions really like? And what’s the secret weapon of white male Republicans? Here’s some more hilarious quotes I dug up.

Patrick Zimmerli was a lecturer for my beginning music theory course. In addition to being upbeat and nice, he was eccentric and hilarious. He encouraged students to dress up on Wednesdays, which he declared “snazzy-Wednesday.” He playfully embarrassed by making us sing chords, which he said helped him relax after a long day. And he told us to call him “PZ.”

  • PZ to female student Susan who’s wearing a wimple, on a Wednesday at that: Wow, you’re really hot and on. [The class laughs nervously.] Oh, was that not appropriate for me to say?
  • The New York Philharmonic used to be the New York Philharmonic Society – lovers of music. Now they just get paid to be yuppies.
  • I am inclined to let this discussion go on, but I’m just going to end it. We will discuss this at 2AM while ingesting hallucinogenics. – PZ interrupting a pre-class discussion on whether glasses makes one’s vision worse.
  • Is that “merch”? – PZ asking about the shirt of a female student who’s a member of Columbia’s Bhangra student group
  • The brain is not for thinking. Remember that. – PZ
  • For those of you who find this unbelievably boring just sit there eand think about whether we should countinue the human species in its current condition. – PZ after some students have trouble with 4-part reduction.

Columbia’s philosophy classes are the paragon of intellectual discourse.

  • What do you have against happiness! - an indignant student on Kant’s Groundwork on the Metaphysics of Morals during Columbia’s Contemporary Civilization course
  • I don’t think it’s fair to assume they were women. – Contemporary Civilization Professor DEL after Nick makes a comment about Adam Smith’s pin factory and refers to the factory workers as “pin ladies”
  • Sorry, I was totally channelling Rosie the Riveter that whole time. – Nick
  • Okay, Chris. You are not allowed to bring up eunuchs for the rest of the section. – teaching assistant Buyun during a Chinese history class discussion section

Chinese language class cracked me up.

  • Big girl have big dream. Tell me your dreams and aspirations. You can say whatever. This is Chinese class so just say them even though they probably won’t come true. – first-year Chinese language class lecturer Jia Liu
  • Although she’s very beautiful, no one likes her. - Chinese language class exercise
    Why is that? – Jia Liu asks class
    Because she’s bitch. – female student Ruoxi out of left-field

Who else brought a pillow to Columbia’s Frontiers of Science lectures?

  • I think if you’re teaching climate change it’s counter-productive to give everyone a copy of the worksheets. – Sharmila Kamat on saving the Earth one handout at a time

Sometimes I wish I were still M.K.’s roommate.

  • I’m not wearing a diaper because I don’t want gay people to rape me. – M.K. on why he’s not dressing up as a baby to the Village Halloween parade
  • I can’t wait to see James and Rachel hook up. – M.K. on James’ newfound intensity
  • I’m gonna fuck your mom in the ear. – M.K.’s retort to Eric’s “yo mama” jokes
  • I know that shit is real because they film it in my stomach. – M.K. about Pinky and the Brain
  • The things I do for my mom…she really appreciates me. – M.K. about his mother
  • I read somewhere that the chances of your vote counting is one out of five billion. – M.K. on the futility of voting

Keep some people in your life for their entertainment value.

  • Obama has won the election. Attn: all white people report to the cotton fields tomorrow morning. – Phillip H. text message to Joseph Y.
  • If you’re interested in someone as more than a friend, even if it’s somewhere down the line, you should want to bone them. – Mishi C.
  • Have you gone off every exit in New Hampshire? – Margaret W. I have actually explored the surrounding countryside, motherfuckers! – Seth D.

Do you realize you’re speaking to reporters on tape?

  • Misfortune is a spectator sport nowadays…Even white male republicans are using it. – former Barnard College President Judith Shapiro
    It’s the only way they can get elected. – former Barnard Dean Dorothy Denburg