To the Class of 2013

As you can see, I haven’t posted here much recently and just started Tweeting again after a hiatus. I’m proud to say I graduated from Duke on May 12 with degrees in Economics and Public Policy. The past six weeks have been a whirlwind and I haven’t had time to follow the news, much less write on it so that’s the reason this blog has been dead. I’m gonna pick back up now so check back often!

As for Duke, it’s been an amazing four years and I can’t say I’m happy to leave. But I am very excited to start a new chapter of my life, though I cannot yet say what that will be. Hopefully, I’ll have a clearer answer in the next few weeks. I’m not one to get very sentimental so instead I figured I’d post my two favorite commencement addresses. Melinda Gates spoke at our graduation this year and while good, these two speeches are tops in my book.

The first is by David Foster Wallace in 2005 to Kenyon College:

The next one is at Princeton in 2012 by Michael Lewis, author of numerous books and writer for Vanity Fair:

Enjoy!

When Technology Works

Duke HealthViewI accidentally slept in my contacts this weekend and have had some eye soreness/light sensitivity since. My eyes are improving, but I’m heading to the eye doctor later this afternoon. Those that know me know that I’m not one to frequent doctor’s very often. So, although I’m a senior about to graduate, this was my first time interacting with Duke’s online health portal and wow is it impressive.

After I called and set up an appointment, I received an email directing me to the site to check-in for that appointment. I signed into my account (which I had made freshman year as required by Duke – took a bit of time to remember my password/username combo) and went through the process. First, I checked all my insurance information, then personal information and finally paid the co-pay. Afterwards, it gave me a PDF file containing the appointment itinerary and confirmation that I had already checked-in. Even more impressive, in the top right corner is a bar code that I’ll scan when I enter the Eye Center and it will automatically notify the Center that I’ve arrived.

How cool is that?! It saves so much time, resources and limits mistakes. Given my distaste for doctor’s offices, I’m not sure how long Duke has had the system. The PDF does state, “[s]ome of our clinics have Arrival Kiosks and we will be adding more in the coming months. If your clinic does not yet have an Arrival Kiosk, use the Express Arrival lane at the clinic’s front desk.” So, maybe I’m getting all excited and the Eye Center won’t have an Arrival Kiosk yet. But, still, this is clearly the future. Even if I didn’t use online check-in, I can imagine a system where I walk into the office, confirm my information and pay on a touch screen and that signs me in. Quick and easy, like self check-in at airports.

In addition, the Duke health portal has all of my past medical history and is incredibly easy to navigate. I’m guessing that Duke is pretty advanced in switching to an electronic system, but this is nevertheless impressive and a happy reminder that technology can simplify our lives in incredibly useful ways.

 

Last Game in Cameron

I’ve never posted about my time as a Cameron Crazie. I’ve been about as die-hard a fan as you can be over the past four years. I’ve never missed a home game while I’ve been on campus. I’ve been a top-10 tent for the Duke-UNC game every year. I’ve been front row, painted and cheering maniacally for almost every ACC game. Duke basketball has been one of the main focal points of my time here and tonight is my final game as a Cameron Crazie. Of course, I will always be one at heart, but my time in the student section is up. Time to pass the baton.

Maybe at some point I’ll reflect on my experience in the Cameron student section. It’s a lot more than cheers, jeers and a sea of blue and white. It’s an intricate process, complete with long schedule-making, rushed pregame painting and cold nights on the sidewalk. Of course, it is well worth it. There’s no better view in college basketball than the one I’ve had the past four years. Every second was worth it. Here’s a picture from right before the Duke-UNC game my freshman year. We spelled out “Kick Us Out Roy” after UNC coach Roy Williams had security remove a fan from a UNC home game after he yelled during a UNC free throw, something that happens everywhere all the time.

Kick Us Out Roy

I’m the awkward “I” in blue hair, second from the left.

It’s also fitting that my penultimate game was possibly the best one I’ve been to. Duke-UNC games have been incredible over the years, but this past weekend’s Duke-Miami showdown was as good as those. It was as loud a crowd as we’ve had in a long time and few players have had as special a night as Ryan Kelly. Add in beating a top-5 team and a close, well-played game and it made it an unbelievable night. I’m glad it was the penultimate. Tonight we play Virginia Tech (the last-placed team in the ACC) and hopefully will win easily. Hopefully Coach K can give big minutes to walk-on senior Todd Zafirovski and take senior stars Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee off to a long standing ovations. They deserve it. If tonight’s game was against Miami or an equally tough opponent, we would be too caught up in the game to thank the seniors. Playing against Virginia Tech provides us that opportunity.

So tune in to ESPNU at 7 tonight and watch the seniors’ final game. I’ll be in the front row painted (weather-permitting, right now not looking good).