Exploring [the wizarding world of] Duke University

by Heidi Obermeyer

It’s a rainy, rainy day in Chapel Hill, folks. And you know what that means…. absolutely nothing! Other than that I am going to sit inside all day, drink iced tea (sensible, I know) and probably start working on a presentation on the European Union’s common security and foreign policy (thrilling, I know). I went to the beach with some of the other TAMsters (TAM is my UNC program) yesterday and that’s a hefty drive- a little under 3 hours each way- so I’m ready for a chilled out Sunday.

I finally got my camera battery charged, and wanted to finally write about one of Emily and my’s adventures while she was here (almost a month ago now!), which was a trip over to Duke. Duke and UNC have a huge rivalry, particularly in basketball. Em and I were disappointed that we didn’t get to wear the Carolina swag that we had purchased the day before, but it was probably for the best.

Duke has a gorgeous campus, by the way everyone. It looks like Hogwarts. Really. No, but really.

Durham, North Carolina

The Duke-Carolina rivalry is actually pretty understandable- the big state school versus the small private, light blue versus dark blue, one really good basketball team versus a… similarly good basketball team. As you can see, I’m very committed to a side here. Oh, did you know Duke has a cathedral? That’s pretty cool. We heard that people get married in there all the time, which means all those weddings were probably super legitimate.

Durham, North Carolina

There’s also lots of majestic trees everywhere (just like at UNC, ehm!) which, as a product of actual moisture in this part of the country, are always impressive to me.

Durham, North Carolina

There were a few groups of kids running around for freshman orientation, and the orientation leaders were wearing Nike shirts. As a random student group. Not at all related to athletics. I guess sweat-wicking fabric is just as important when you’re doing a scavenger hunt with a bunch of 18-year-olds as it is when you’re a varsity athlete? Man. Just think of the swag you’d get going to this school. Wasn’t it Duke that gave out ipods to the entire freshman class a few years ago? Why yes, yes it was.

Durham, North Carolina

Hmmmm, what else to say about Duke… it was just so beautiful. We spent basically the whole time admiring everything. And expecting Hermione and Ron to bust out of a doorway at any time.

Durham, North Carolina

On the basketball side of things, their stadium (according to my sports expert Emily) is super small and famous. Getting tickets to a game in that stadium is like winning the lottery. Duke students camp out for months for tickets. Months. The rule is that at least two people need to be with your tent at all times. TENTS. Holy crap.

Durham, North Carolina

Anyway, there’s some pictures from exploring Duke. We also went to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, which were lovely, but you’ll hear about them another day. I’m really looking forward to all the leaves starting to change; I can definitely feel it getting cooler (and significantly less humid, yay!) around here. Have you been reading about all of these breeches of embassies and consulates across the Middle East? It’s so scary to hear about, particularly after working with some of the lovely people in the Foreign Service in Munich. Stay safe people!

This week I’m doing my German evaluation that will confirm that I can go to Berlin this spring and probably signing up for an Oktoberfest 5k in a few weeks, which would be fun! I haven’t done much any running like that or races basically since I was 14, so it might be nice to try out a 5k again. Anybody else have good plans for the season of the Wiesn?

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