Special 2018

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The Khumbu Icefall lies between Base Camp and Camp One on the Nepal side of Mount Everest. The icefall rises 2,000 vertical feet and is one of the... Read more
When I was sixteen, I skipped my senior year of high school and went to Duke on a soccer scholarship. I was the youngest Division I athlete in the... Read more
It was 1989 and the most sweltering summer on record, and I’d already fallen in love with hip-hop. Through cheap foam headphones I had taped together... Read more
Sharks and crocodiles can snap up legs. The venom in a rattlesnake bite or scorpion sting will shut down a healthy heart in a matter of hours. But... Read more

Special 2018

You ought not go over there. Ain’t no telling what could happen to you.”That’s how an aunt warned me when I decided to study abroad. The decision wasn’t surprising because I had a lifelong...
One weekend, while not paying attention as I was playing a game of football, I collided with a friend. My hand puffed up immediately, and a visit to the doctor confirmed what I felt: It was broken.
...
A friend came home to this recent surprise: a copperhead enjoying the late-day sun on her front stoop. She grabbed a hoe and chopped it into little copperhead parts. She was moved to silently...
My patients are afraid. Very afraid. They’re afraid of being in pain. They’re afraid of suffering. They’re afraid of losing their dignity and of being dependent on others. More than anything, they...
Bill Fick ’86, printmaker, lecturing fellow of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, and assistant director for visual and studio arts at the new Rubenstein Arts Center, makes monsters. In fact,...
And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”This is what one character, Lee, says at the end of John Steinbeck’s novel East of Eden. I graduated this past May, and these words have...
The first horror movie to scare the living daylights out of me was The Wizard of Oz. It was also the first movie I saw without the protection of parents—my older brother (nine, at the time) was...
The election commissioner had gone missing a few days earlier, but we hadn’t thought much of it. A misunderstanding, a reclusive tendency, or perhaps a midnight tryst. Then the news came over the...
A friend of mine yet grieves her mother. I take her out for wine and let her talk and cry and talk. As we leave the restaurant, she tells me she almost did not accept my invitation. “I was afraid...
I began my professional journalism career juggling three elements: political commitment, personal ambition, and—when necessary—danger. For a young, activist reporter in a hurry, the trick was...
In the Gospel of Matthew, much is made of two servants who multiply what they’ve been given. Five coins turn into ten. Two coins turn into four. ese two servants are like the “goody two shoes” in a...
Among the reasons I chose to attend Duke in 1990 was the portrait of diversity it advertised as a strength. Racism in Southwest Arkansas in the ’80s was reminiscent of a ’60s segregation that had...
Being an introvert can complicate life. As a teen, sometimes I was afraid to introduce myself to a stranger or to ask a young woman for a date. At Duke, the frosh-faces picture book struck fear in...
I don’t remember the moment particularly well. I remember shaky hands and picking at the holes in my jeans. I remember making small talk with the nice alumni around me. It almost made me feel bad...
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The Real Warnings Are Always Too Late I want to go back to the winter I was born and warn youthat I will flood through your life like acidand you will burn yourselves on me.On my sixteenth birthday...
To set the stage: Duke University Improv’s (DUI) orientation-week show for new first-years. We ask for a suggestion of a word—any word at all. Responses are weak, which is to be expected, and...
I am afraid that the America of my youth has died.My parents and I landed at the Mid-Continent International Airport in Kansas City in late December 1971. We carried with us a few suitcases and...
I really want to take this class, but I’m not sure I can do it.”We listen intently to the young woman standing before us. Tears pool in her eyes. Her body shakes with the e ort of holding back the...
Divers often recite an old adage that “diving is 99 percent mental.” For most of
 my career, I understood
 it in the context of sports 
psychology, supposing that
 peak performance is dependent upon...
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Daphne in the Darkwill you tread softlyif you go? will you leave me awakewith anxious earsclinging toyour jacket’s rustlea prophecy in a tonguei never learned will you deprive me of conclusion asthe...