The last time I visited Duke, Tom was applying to graduate school (20+ years ago) and I have to say a lot has changed in downtown Durham. Annie and I were thrilled to find JuJu, a delicious Asian Fusion restaurant on Ninth Street that was recommended by a friend who recently toured Duke. Our lunch of banh mi, pork buns and wild boar dumplings was so unexpectedly good. As much as Durham has changed, thankfully Duke is still Duke – an absolutely beautiful campus where you just feel smarter by simply walking among it’s select student population. I’m so in awe of college students these days; they major, they minor, they earn certificates, they save the world over summer vacation, study abroad in places like Antartica and have jobs before they enter senior year. As I sit in college info sessions I’m torn between wishing I could return to college in 2016 and thanking god that I went in the 80’s where you were just happy to graduate.
We arrived on campus the day of the Duke UNC basketball game which is a HUGE deal for both of these schools. Have you heard of tenting? It’s a Duke event/tradition – and begins several months before each Duke UNC basketball game. Supposedly there are no student tickets to games. Students are admitted from a student “line” 90 minutes before each game. But seats at this semiannual event are so hot, the line becomes a tented city that starts in early January. Each tent “team” must have 12 students and in the first few weeks, each team must have 2 people in the tent at all times and 10 must sleep there each night. The inhabitant requirements diminish as the game nears, but the line monitoring tent checks increase. If a tent is caught violating the rules, it can get moved to the end of the tent line. If they are caught violating it more than once, they can get kicked out of K-ville (the tent area named after Coach K). Duke has installed WiFi and Ethernet ports in the light posts so students won’t fall behind on their school work. Heaters are not permitted and it’s been pretty cold these past few weeks. Annie and I stopped by for a little tent tour:
These two pictures are looking left and right…
This was a really big tent complete with white picket fence, a mailbox and an instagram account.
And, if they are victorious tonight, the game will climax with the…wait for it… burning of the benches!
*** helpful tip of the day: If you are signed up for the early morning info session, arrival time is important. Arrive too early and although there are lots of parking spots, there is no one to give you a parking permit. Arrive too late and the spots are all taken. Plan on getting where you are going 30 minutes before the actual start time. And always, always check in! (Demonstrated Interest)