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What’s under the rock

(01/31/24 3:10pm)

I was at a high-stakes meeting at a top research institution the other day. Mousy, elderly female humanities Professors of the Practice are not usually included in high-level gatherings, so I folded my hands in my lap and switched into listening mode. At the meeting, a terrifying, extremely eminent social-sciences professional pointed out with some fervor that a university Slavic program in the 21st century has no business “throwing Tolstoy at students.” What frivolity to read made-up stories at a time like this! It’s a tough world out there and time is money (время – деньги). Give students a toolkit of basic words and concepts; train them in how to gather facts and summarize arguments in crisp, convincing memos.

Column: After a strange few years, Duke vs. North Carolina is finally a battle of blue bloods again

(02/02/24 5:37am)

One of the many remarkable things about the Tobacco Road rivalry is its refusal to go away. Other rivalries may wax or wane as dynasties fade or players and coaches move on, but few are as effortlessly or inextricably linked as Duke and North Carolina. In more than 100 years of bitterness, there has hardly been a dull moment.

Q&A: Former Duke men's basketball captain Wendell Moore Jr. muses on Tobacco Road rivalry

(02/02/24 5:37am)

Wendell Moore Jr. played for the Blue Devils from 2019 to 2022. He captained Duke to the Final Four and earned the Julius Erving Award for the nation’s best small forward as a junior before he declared for the NBA Draft, where he was selected 26th overall. Among many successes in Durham, Moore is perhaps known best for his overtime buzzer-beater to seal a come-from-behind win against North Carolina in Chapel Hill in February 2020. Currently, Moore plays for the Iowa Wolves, the G-League affiliate of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Scouting the Opponent: No. 3 North Carolina's veterans and versatility will challenge No. 7 Duke men's basketball

(01/31/24 5:27pm)

For the first of two scheduled regular-season matchups, the No. 7 Blue Devils will drive a few miles down Tobacco Road to take on the No. 3 Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. The Blue Zone is here with a preview of the squad the hosts will be fielding. 

No. 7 Duke men's basketball's headliners showed up in win at Virginia Tech. Crucially, so did the whole team

(01/30/24 5:10pm)

BLACKSBURG, Va.—There were 21 seconds left on the clock when sophomore center Kyle Filipowski snatched the ball for a defensive rebound. Virginia Tech had cut the Blue Devils’ lead to three just moments earlier off a triple from MJ Collins. Cassell Coliseum was roaring as the momentum seemed squarely on the Hokies’ side.

Review: Trapped 'Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell'... and inside the Duke Screen Society Theater

(01/30/24 6:00pm)

“The existence of faith is ambiguous.” These are Thien’s words, a Vietnamese man in his early thirties living a life of meaningless comfort in Saigon — hanging out with friends, soliciting erotic massages — until one day a brutal motorcycle accident leaves him traumatized. This, along with the death of his sister-in-law in a car accident days later, presses Thien with existential questions. 

The strange nostalgia of 20

(01/30/24 5:42am)

A few days from now, I will turn 20. It’s hard to believe. I know it’s become normalized to let the tears flow on birthdays, but I’ve never really been one to cry on this special occasion. After all, it’s a day I get to make all about myself! This year though, I do feel a certain melancholy or dread about turning 20. We all “officially” become adults when we turn 18, but for some reason, 20 feels more significant.