So apparently Duke has started reading. This is a good thing because, well, we have finally caught up with first graders all over the nation. Before when people at Duke were not reading, lots of bad things happened. Testaments to this fact: Trent, Curriculum 2000, Larry Moneta's new plan for West, Rick's Diner ran out of food- the list goes on. But now boldly proclaimed in large color photos in the lobby of our great Perkins Library, Duke's best and brightest stand up and proclaim: "DUKE READS."
Despite some critics, the Duke Reads program has been what seems to be an outstanding success, with Duke's most notable citizens taking part in the program. Next session's participant will include our war-hungry and fearlessly illiterate President Bush (Bush apparently signed his application George W., not realizing that he had a last name). On a sadder note, Bill Burig entered the acceptance lottery for the program and unfortunately lost. But hey, somebody has to lose these lotteries, right? Burig later said, "I am motivated by a strong desire to read all the fan mail that is sent to me every spring that I can't read yet." I think we would all agree that ignorance is truly bliss. Another applicant, Mike Dunleavy, sent in an application which was found lost in the depths of the Duke postal system with a note asking if someone could please tell him who "Nba" was and what the word "draft" means.
The most noteworthy participant in this past group of graduates from the Duke Reads program was our president, Nan Keohane. Shocking? Yes. I am sure upon reading that, there will be a collective slapping of heads as Duke's student body says aloud (in mild language). "We knew she wouldn't have stood up for the new housing policy if she had actually read it." Nan, CONGRATULATIONS! Here is a tough one for you: Curriculum 2000. Nan, if you have been able to read this far, GOOD JOB! Keep on going. Seriously though, we love you Nan. We wouldn't even trade you for a completely literate president.
One of the Duke Reads program's most spectacular achievements to date has been helping Tom Wolfe to read. Now I would like to point out that Wolfe, who by the way is also a "Duke Dad" was writing books before the Duke Reads program! This man wrote before he could read! Superbackwardsman! He was probably doing that thing before he could do that other thing! Finally, even he will know exactly what the heck he was writing about. Tommy W., if you have gotten this far, congratulations, seriously good job (Nan, you too). When asked about the program Wolfe responded, "It was a good time-. The most memorable moment of the program for me was when we all figured out the 'kick me' sign trick."
Lino Marrero, past president of Duke Student Government, according to the posters has not quite started reading, even though half of his poster is covered with the phrase "Duke Reads". Noted in the fine print at the bottom Marrero is just "surfing the web for today's news." But hey, let's look to the future. If Duke Student Government has finally started (almost) reading, that means it will be able to get at least get three times the amount of work done than before. Which in real world terms means that you multiply the current amount of work being done (0) by the new increase in the rate of work (3) and you end up with: 3 x 0 = 0. Fantastic!
Another success story according to the posters in Perkins is our very own John Hope Franklin, professor emeritus of history, who has also started reading. Franklin was quoted as saying "The History Department had never placed a big emphasis on reading. We prefer the fly by the seat of our pants approach. Sure, the South didn't win the Civil War, but hey, it's history, it doesn't really matter." Franklin was also quoted as proclaiming "I have- some- big- emeritus-!" (For editorial purposes we condensed this quote. The original spanned many pages. Word order was also altered for coherency purposes.)
Billy "Beef Sticks" Jones, was also a member of the Duke Reads program. In an exclusive interview with Beef Sticks, he said that he was upset that he didn't have a picture on the wall of the library. Beef Sticks, as friends refer to him, also claimed that during one of the initial tests, Nan tried to cheat off of him. According to Duke Reads founder, the man formerly known as Chef Pete, things then went sour. "Nan had a natural tendency to push people around, and she sort of ganged the class up against BJ-. At the time we sort of shrugged it off saying, 'Presidents will be presidents.'" And, although showing initial high scores, Billy Jones sadly left the program after the fourth week.
Reynolds Price has also started reading. This may not mean that much to you until I explain something. Reynolds Price is none other then a James B. Duke Professor of English! I always knew that all those English majors were faking it. Seriously, do you really think Shakespeare would have written something like, "'Tis pity she's a w----." Of course not! Shakey, as his friends used to call him, was actually best known for his bad pickup lines. His perennial favorite was the old (over-used at the time), "I'd like to Trojan Horse your city gates."
The Second Gunman wholeheartedly supports all the hard work that Duke's finest have put into the program. The only thing that he can't figure out is, if all these people are supposed to be reading, why aren't they looking at the books in the posters?
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