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What I would have missed

(04/28/08 4:00am)

I was a phone call away from never knowing any of you. When springtime rolled around in 2004, acceptance letters arrived in my mailbox from several schools I should have been ecstatic to attend. But there was one that I wanted more than all the others, and when I logged online to see if I had made the cut, I encountered the stomach-punch feeling that comes when you're placed on a college waitlist.




WIN THE CROWD

(02/05/08 5:00am)

As sports fans, Duke students are a puzzling anomaly. They're hopelessly irrational yet somewhat sensible, traditional but still trendy, and, more than anything, just plain weird. They file into Cameron's wooden bleachers for men's matchups even Vegas won't touch and a small yearly slate of women's games. They pack Koskinen for the biennial men's soccer game against North Carolina and, especially now, for any chance to see Matt Danowski and Zack Greer on the same field. Hell, they even show up en masse to tennis matches. Strange? Sure, but that's not the most perplexing part.




THE VIRTUAL WAR

(10/01/07 4:00am)

Today, Sergeant First Class Paul Tidwell will deploy a squad of first-year Army ROTC cadets to Baghdad, Iraq where they will engage enemy insurgents on a blistering desert battlefield for the first time in their lives. Despite the daunting task, the sergeant's orders don't seem to unsettle the students, who munch on cookies prepared by Tidwell's wife as they sit before him in t-shirts and shorts. The students won't need to trade in their civilian clothes for boots and body armor. They will conduct the whole mission in the friendly confines of the West Duke building's subterranean computer lab.