I’m soon to be just another senior crying in my room. This is my last article as Monday Monday. I’ve written a few others that I hope you check out. I’ve loved writing them, and I hope you’ve loved reading them. In addition to my articles, I also suggest you check out Mark Botterill's Monday Monday reveal, which inspired me to apply. My reveal won’t be that good, but it’s still worth a shot:
As an expert reporter for The Chronicle, I’ve been assigned to hand in my pen, but I’m not ready to do that.
I’m not ready to leave yet because there are so many articles I didn’t get to write: An op-ed from a KA defending selective housing because he’s aware that everyone hates them. The breaking news of Kim Cates’s much-needed Fall House course on how to have intelligible conversations at night clubs. The scoop on Duke’s campus-wide move to Connecticut where it could be closer to hot trophy moms and Goldman Sachs’ headquarters. An investigation of Duke Parking’s creation of a new Blue Zone lot conveniently located in Chapel Hill. I’ve missed out on a lot else too. I’ve never set foot in Twinnie’s or 3D printed something. I’ve never been to Old Duke. I never bought graduation robes. How can I leave when there’s so much I haven’t done?
I'm not ready to leave yet because there are so many places I didn’t get to say goodbye to.
I wanted to eat at Marketplace one last time. I loved knowing freshman year that I could walk in and sit down with anyone and know that the other person was living on East Campus just like me. I made so many friends in Marketplace.
I wanted to submit my last assignment on First Floor Perkins. Although Perkins looks stressful, it’s where hundreds of Duke students do what they do best—engineer cool things, kick ass on papers, socialize, run clubs, make something to better Duke and the community, scroll on their phones. The First Floor of Perkins has been my home because it’s authentic.
I wanted to push past a line of tablers and say goodbye to spending afternoons on the BC Plaza. On the plaza, Duke students can take off their masks and be themselves for a moment. No Duke student can pretend to be someone they’re not while they’re shoving a Sazón Quesadilla into their mouth.
Can’t I just have 5 more minutes on the Plaza that inevitably turn into an hour?
I’m not ready to leave yet because my friends are here. It was hard to find community at Duke without Greek life or an SLG. Those things take up so much of other people’s time. Eventually, I found community, and I value it so much more than I might have had I joined SLGs freshman year. I’ve hated so many of my Duke mornings because I had to wake up at 5:00 a.m., and I relished in blaming and hating on my friends at rowing for making me go to practice. I’m not going to suddenly admit that I did it because I loved everyone in my boat. I’ve learned to open myself up through Camp Kesem, but I need more time before I’m open enough to say goodbye. To the friends I drink with and play games with, my roommates, the Four, the Tractors, First Floor Perkins, the birders, Bassett friends, and even the people I just say hi to, an ode to any of you deserves paragraphs and even pages. A goodbye to any of you would last days in writing, but luckily I’ll see you all soon.
How can I leave without celebrating one more night on the Bassett Fire Escape and professing my love for you all?
I’m not ready to leave yet because being Monday Monday for The Chronicle is the greatest privilege I’ve had in my life next to coming to Duke. The Chronicle is unmatched in campus reporting. It holds Duke accountable and highlights the best parts of Duke, proving that Duke students really do have a say in how Duke runs. I realized that when Gary Bennett (the only Duke admin who looks like he goes here) explained that so many of the reforms of CAPS came from students who knew what they wanted who likely spoke first in The Chronicle. It shows the voices of our peers no matter how different those voices sound from our own. Lastly, The Chronicle allows countless students to feel like they’ve figured Duke out and have some invaluable wisdom to give (case in point above). I applied to be Monday Monday because I hoped to do all of these things.
How can I leave when there’s so much more I want to give back?
I’ll be the first Chronicle op-ed writer to say I don’t have the answers. If I know one thing it’s that I have to leave; I foolishly turned in my last assignments before realizing what I’d done. I'm sad to leave, but I’m also excited for the future. I’m excited to see all my friends again soon. I’m excited to read what the next Monday Monday has to write.
I worry, however, that the BC Plaza, Marketplace, and Perkins will never be the same without the same people. It’s crazy to say that I’ve cried about Perkins. I try not to think about that. Instead, I think about one of the last times I went to Perkins. I sat across from an alum who was in Durham for just two days, but could not stay away. Never had I seen anyone happier to be in Perkins. And now when I get sad about the BC Plaza and Marketplace and Perkins, I think about coming back as a washed-up alum, sitting down and seeing just a few familiar faces, and it sounds amazing.
My name is Maxwell Silverstein, and I’ve been your Monday Monday.
Although it’s not goodbye, now is a good time for me to say thank you to all the people who’ve made my time here amazing. Thank you to Duke Department Of for helping me grow as a satirist. Thank you to all the communities I’ve been part of from Camp Kesem to Duke Men’s Rowing and The Four to Duke in Madrid to The Tractors to First Floor Perkins to the Young Trustee Candidates to the BC Plaza to the birders to Marketplace to Bassett. Thank you to Leah for being an incredible editor and friend and Mihir for being a great two-time editor… and also friend.
Thank you to Becca for pushing me to become a more thoughtful and funnier writer and person and introducing me to the people in Inside Joke. Thank you to all my cousins for making me laugh and doing a million different cool things around the world. Thank you to Bubby and Poppop for constantly sending me encouragement in the form of words of wisdom and mailed cakes. Thank you to my sister for reminding me both that I’m not that funny and that friends and family are more important than school. Thank you to my parents for always supporting me—my mom for making me enjoy the moment and my dad for reminding me that even if the joke is going to fall flat, it’s worth it to try.
Maxwell Silverstein is a Trinity senior.
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