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I pushed a guy off a cliff and now he's trying to ruin my life.
Now before you all go jumping down my throat about how I shouldn’t be pushing people off cliffs in the first place, let me give you a bit of background on this guy.
First of all, he’s a huge daredevil. He rides a motorcycle, sky dives, bungee jumps…you name it. This guy is no stranger to danger. In fact, he was even wearing a shirt that said “daredevil” on it on the day that I pushed him. The way I see it, if he doesn’t want to be treated like a daredevil, maybe he shouldn’t dress like one. Just a thought.
Second of all, he was standing right next to the railing on the side of the cliff. He put himself in that situation. I honestly don’t know what he expected was going to happen. It’s a well-known fact that many people have a certain amount of bloodlust. The truth is, I did what a lot of people would have done in the same situation.
Third of all, he didn’t expressly tell me not to push him off the cliff. How was I supposed to know he didn’t want that thrill? Really, if anything he should be thanking me for even wanting to push him off that cliff in the first place.
As it turns out, the fall didn’t kill him, but it did paralyze him from the waist down. And now he’s pressing charges of - get this - attempted murder against me. I certainly didn’t think of what I was doing as attempted murder. Yeah, he could have died, but there was no weapon, no struggle. He just kinda…fell. How was I supposed to know a legal technicality would classify my actions as attempted murder? This whole thing has just been blown way out of proportion.
I mean, I know I screwed up. I get that. But he deserves his share of the blame too. If he hadn’t put himself in that position, I wouldn’t have been tempted to push him. Instead of using me as a scapegoat for his poor decisions, we should be focusing on the root of the problem and teaching people how to avoid getting pushed off cliffs. For example, if you’re going up to a high altitude, bring more than one friend along so you can keep an eye out for potential killers. Don’t wear clothes that imply you want to die. Things like this can keep you safe and prevent you from ruining the life of a person who might try to kill you if given the chance.
So, yeah, I’m really upset about all this. I begged him not to press charges, but apparently he doesn’t care about how this is all going to effect me. Yeah, he’s paralyzed, and that sucks for him, but I’m going to be the one who might have end up going to jail. I’m the one who’s going to have to bear the stigma of being an ex-con for the rest of my life because I made one mistake. I’m the one who’s going to be forever branded as an “attempted murderer”. Did he ever take a moment to think about how all this is going to effect me? How hard it’s going to be for me to get a good job or find someone to go mountain climbing with?
The way I see it, my life is pretty much over now. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure CNN is going to be sympathetic to my plight. I’m also looking forward to the flood of posts online telling that jerk who I pushed that what happened to him was his fault. Because, from what I’ve seen, that way of thinking is pretty common nowadays.
Things Every Vegan Should Know
1. Asking people to minimize animal cruelty is useless because on some level they will end up hurting animals. So, just let people support inherently cruel practices. Eating meat every day is okay because you’re going to step on a bug in the future.
2. Championing the cheapest, most widely available diet on the planet makes you elitist. Some of the poorest people on Earth are vegan because they have no other choice; it must be very expensive.
3. The occasional indulgence in nut or soy products that mimic animal products is more unhealthy than eating animal products every day. Eating mostly fruits, grains, nuts, legumes, seeds, and vegetables is more unhealthy than eating pizza and hotdogs all the time.
4. Harvesting wheat kills animals, too. So we should eat animals that have been fed grain. No, that can’t possibly mean that more grain is harvested and more animals die. Animals are stupid anyway.
5. Talking about animal rights means shoving your beliefs down people’s throats. Forget about the victims; keep your mouth shut. All the time. Never mention being vegan or you’re annoying. If someone offers you meat, eat it, because that’s the polite thing to do. Ignore that it goes against your morals and will give you the shits because you haven’t eaten it in years.
6. Not everyone can be vegan. We need meat to survive, that’s why all the vegans are dead. If someone somewhere can’t be vegan, animal rights are ridiculous and you don’t have any responsibility to minimize animal cruelty.
Really, why don't we merge?
My fellow students, I agree with Mr. Lanbo Zhang: we’re kidding ourselves. For all of the defensiveness and attacks, for all of the controversy and contention— Columbia and Barnard are one school, and we should make that the case not just in theory, but also in practice.
I think it’s time Columbia became a part of Barnard College.
It’s obvious that this has been coming for years now. Columbia has been going downhill. Inefficient academic bureaucracy? Drug-busted frats? Five-thousand dollar Nutella? The signs are everywhere.
I went to Hamilton earlier this week. The elevator line crowded the lobby. The walls and floors were scuffed beyond belief. The distinct lack of plastic potted plants (a serious aesthetic issue) was entirely unfortunate. When are they going to get a wrecking ball in here and just level the place, already? Maybe then they can at least add an elevator that fits more than three people at a time, in a building that plays host to hundreds each day.
As we move into the future, I can’t help but wonder how Columbia can justify its continued existence alongside a school such as Barnard. Columbia is truly a university stuck in the past: a past of patriarchal bullshit, and a past where poorly-researched collegiate elitism and general misogyny can still be published in the newspaper. Meaningless rhetoric and attachment to the Columbia brand-name aside, what does the university really have going for it? Certainly not its facilities, its close relationship with the student body, or even its community spirit. Well, maybe the football team? Oh, wait…
And seriously, what difference is there between a large research university and a close-knit liberal arts school, anyway? None at all. What need is there for a co-ed institution that so poorly educates its male students so as to produce men unable to understand the need for a women’s school in a world where 51% of the population has only 18% of the seats in the Senate, and just 17% in the House. In a world where a woman trying to talk about misogyny in video games ends up dealing with threats of rape, murder, and a game about punching her in the face. In a world where Heidi Klum can save the lives of her nearly-drowned son and nanny, and the only thing the media talks about is that her nipple slipped out of her swimsuit. How can Columbia believe that they are “educating” respectable men who make comments such as: “Barnard girls are either dumb, rich, or (most of the time) both.” (See comments section here.)
You Columbia students will also be much happier under the Nine Ways of knowing. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want to be forced to take certain classes when they could have the option of taking a variety that allows for personal interest. And it’s not like classes taught by Barnard professors are any different, anyway! Particularly not in their attention to the plight of women and other disenfranchised parties, which are so oft overlooked in other educational experiences. Let’s be real: Columbia’s love affair with the intellectual pursuits of crusty old white cisgendered heterosexual men is quaint, at best.
I have no experience with Columbia health and counseling services, and even minimal with the ones here at Barnard, but I feel confident enough in my knowledge of both of these things to say that the services here at Barnard are vastly superior.
Honestly, this merge is completely logical. Columbia is having serious issues with educating their students in respect for differences and general decency. Their moral fibre is in shambles, and with Barnard’s strong philosophy and drive to end the proliferation of misogynistic attitudes from young men who think they know what’s best for other people, it’s obvious what the solution is: It’s high time that we cease being “Barnard College” and “Columbia University”, and finally become Barnard University.
Columbia, don’t be in denial. You know it’s true.
Brooke Jaffe is a proud Barnard Junior majoring in English. She is an occasionally snarky writer who does, actually, have a lot of love for her awesome friends at Columbia University, even if she does get sick of the privileged non-Barnard student contingent telling her college what is ‘best’ for them. Her interests include sticking it to the man and writing silly satire at 2AM.