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How to grieve a time and place

(04/07/20 4:00am)

I don’t like bell peppers, so on Tuesdays, when the Divinity Cafe serves them for lunch, I always notice the smell of them cooking. Wednesdays are distinctive, too–the sharp and spicy smell of Buffalo Mac ‘n’ Cheese, the little-bit-cramped, elbow-touching feeling from every one of those red chairs being full. I love Div like that: when you can hardly find a seat, when you have to shout over the clinking silverware and surrounding conversation. But I also love it after it’s just opened, with two best friends before our 8:30 class, when it smells like fresh coffee and baked oatmeal and breakfast meat. Or at 2:45 p.m. on a Friday, when the tables have been wiped and it smells like cleaning spray, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a cookie that nobody wants to waste. The lights are always warm, yellow, easy on the eyes. Every time I go there–and I went there every day–somebody I love is there.

Stop and smell the roses

(04/06/20 4:00am)

I’ve fallen from grace. This quarantine has driven me so crazy. The routine. The cancellation of my senior spring. The stress. I’m worn down, and I’ve finally caved in and decided to write some kind of op-ed advice column. Yes, this is serious. As a late April Fools Day prank, Leah has allowed me, Monday Monday, to be a little basic—as a treat. Here it goes.

'I thrive in a high-stress environment' and other lies we tell ourselves

(04/06/20 4:00am)

I used to say that I “work best” in a high-stress environment. When asked about my future professional aspirations or my busy schedule, I would boast that I thrived when I was busy. Having things to do made me feel accomplished and happy. It was my justification for the impossible schedule I gave myself and the upkeep of that classic Duke effortless perfection. But it was an excuse I gave myself, which is made apparent in my present state. During social distancing, we are experiencing the stress of school without the feelings of occupation and purpose that usually come with it.

Is your professor real?

(04/06/20 4:00am)

This past summer, at the Dostoevsky State University in Omsk, Siberia, one of my most cherished dreams came true. A dean escorted me into an auditorium, and seventy students leapt to their feet. The dean waved her hand in the air and said something, and they all sat down. There was no food, crinkling cellophane, open laptops, or whispering in the room.  An hour passed, then the students leapt to their feet once more and applauded. Later, after it was over, I learned that that’s basically the way class is in Russia—though of course it was cooler not to know that. It’s the leaping I recall, and the noise of clapping, but I know that the main thing is what we talked about. 

Duke men's basketball 2019-20 player review: Vernon Carey Jr.

(04/04/20 7:37pm)

Season breakdown: Two words: freshman phenom. Vernon Carey Jr. was among the most dominant diaper dandies in America this season, providing a consistent interior presence on both ends of the floor. He displayed a refined offensive skill set throughout the year, and often gave the Blue Devils a reliable option to turn to in crucial moments. In the low post, the South Florida native utilized a bevy of moves to his favor, particularly quick spins and drop steps. 

How to stay safe and support others during the COVID-19 pandemic

(04/03/20 5:29am)

Chris Woods is a professor of medicine and global health and co-director of Duke’s Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health. The Chronicle spoke to him about how students should stay healthy, keep others safe and support each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Duke men's basketball 2019-20 player review: Cassius Stanley

(04/03/20 2:56am)

Season breakdown: Cassius Stanley was already known as a showman before he even stepped foot onto Duke’s campus, but he proved that with his electric playing style comes legitimate output. Most will look back on the Los Angeles native's season to reminisce on the dunks, and there are a fair share to choose from. But there was more to the Stanley experience this year. The freshman turned in his best performances when the rest of the team came out flat: his 24-point and 22-point lines against Louisville and North Carolina, respectively, proved to be essential in keeping the Blue Devils in both games.