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Column: The ghost of Duke past

(03/21/03 5:00am)

As I walked to the gym two weeks ago I was shocked by the condition of Krzyzewskiville. I know what you're thinking: Jen at the gym? That's as frequent an occurrence as a solar eclipse. But I digress. As I made my way up to the gym I gaped at the cemetery-like atmosphere of the famous fan site. Tents were left in tatters, broken down on the lawns. Pieces of chairs and other furniture were left scattered in pieces. Tarps were strewn about. It looked like nuclear fallout in the tent city, and as I stood taking in the grim view, it became blatantly clear: Duke's spirit is dying.

Column: Duke or Disneyland?

(01/31/03 5:00am)

Forget label wearing, name dropping and the basketball team. The latest announcement from administration by far separates Duke from all the rest. I hear conversations about "the monorail" and mistakenly assume it's in reference to The Simpsons. Then I find out that it's a possible transportation system for campus. But there's more: We're going to have "Main Street" and tear down and rebuild all of Central. So, as Duke plans to sink exorbitant amounts of money into a project that will come to fruition when we're in our forties, I ask: Is this a University or a theme park? I can just see it now: We'll officially rename it The Gothic Wonderland. Instead of Epcot, we can do Frat-Cot where all the fraternities kicked off campus can have their own "nations of the world" area. Clearly, the Chapel is the Magic Kingdom. We can even have students work as characters, dressed up as professors and administrators. With tuition about to clear the $40,000 mark I'm sure we can afford it. And if construction costs go over, we can always have the members of Pi Kappa Alpha build it for us as part of their community service. But before we start sketching plans for "It's Nannerl's World" and "The Washington Duke Teacups," let's focus on the main problem with this part of the Master Plan: There are improvements that can and should be made now.

Commentary: Introducing the Duke players

(01/17/03 5:00am)

So I'm back at Duke and life on campus is in its normal state of affairs. Tenters are wearing 8.6 layers of clothing and telling anyone who will listen just how cold it is outside; there are enormous stray cats roaming the campus day and night; Bill Burig and Larry Moneta are still in stiff competition for the title of most hated man at Duke. But best has been getting to see the Duke characters once again. I'm referring to the six or so stereotypes of students that some of our peers willingly fulfill. It's these kids-the Duke players-that make campus a demented version of The Real World. The roles are not embodied by the majority of students, but those who take them on definitely add a little spice to everyday events. Some of these characters we love, others we love to hate. And so, for lack of an intellectually challenging topic this week, here's my little character summary. These are Duke's soap opera wannabes.

Column: Returning to the Duke bubble

(11/15/02 5:00am)

As my stay in Australia comes to an end, I find myself reminiscing about what I've learned during these past few months. Yes, it sounds like the trite opening line to a college admissions essay, but this 20,000-mile distance away from home has brought on many new perspectives. Most importantly, it's been a reality check about Duke and the social bubble in which we live.

Column: Taking a break

(10/18/02 4:00am)

Lately it seems every couple I know is redefining their relationship in order to see other people. Couples aren't breaking up, but rather reshaping what they are under new names for the sake of a quasi-single life in college. Everyone has a different name for their new situation: there's the "non-exclusive hook-up", the "open relationship" and the ever popular "taking a break." Whatever title they may be given, relationships in this new genre all amount to the same thing: a trial separation, only without the marriage.

Too close for comfort

(09/20/02 4:00am)

On a typical night out in Australia it's inescapable--everywhere I look couples are all over each other, and it seems every place in the country is an unspoken Lovers' Lane. I don't know if it's the South Pacific currents or the time difference, but the people down under have no problem sharing their love with the rest of society everywhere and at any time.