My fellow Crazies, after a long wait it is finally that time of year- it’s tenting season. I will be bringing you a step by step account of my tenting experience for the next six weeks to give you an inside look at the most sacred tradition at Duke University- tenting.
14 days down
28 to go
12 first year students
The second week of tenting claimed two more members of our tent. One was forced to drop due to the pressures of pledging. He was the only member left that was pledging and was not pledging the same fraternity as I was. We began the process with six members of our tent pledging, one of whom dropped during the first week, and now we were down to four. A second member of our group also was forced to stop tenting at the end of this week because she had been accepted to a program that travels to Costa Rica over our spring break this year. The Carolina game is the first day of our spring break, so she would be unable to attend. It didn’t make much sense for her to continue tenting, to say the least. So we welcomed two new members to our tent in their place, two girls that live on my floor in Giles. With that there had already been 15 people that were members of Tent FF in the first two weeks.
As our second week of tenting drew to a close, we could tell it was going to be a long tenting season. The amount of juggling and multitasking I was forced to endure was starting to take its toll on me. Sleep was not really much of an option at this point- on any given night if I wasn’t up late pledging, I was sleeping in the tent. Though the second week of tenting was unseasonably mild (temperatures in Durham were often in the mid-60’s and even touched 70 degrees at some points), the weather was starting to cool down and a February chill was returning to the air. When you’re forced to put up with the obscene time commitments associated with schoolwork, tenting, and for some of us pledging, a lack of sleep can come back to haunt you. One by one over the course of the week, members of my tent began to get sick. I suppose that when you’re overworked to begin with, sleeping outside in the cold doesn’t really help. I had been battling a lingering cold for the better part of tenting and it really started to catch up with me over the course of this weekend. It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to sleep at all, let alone in the tent, and it was around then when symptoms of viral conjunctivitis (aka pink-eye) began to set in. This would knock me out of the tent for a few days as I recovered and waited to become less contagious.
Friday night was possibly when I was at the worst point in this sickness. My throat was sore, my voice was gone, I was exhausted, and to make matters worse, I had a tent shift from 7-9 that night. The sun had gone down and it was starting to feel really cold. I was feeling like crap and it was a Friday night so I wasn’t going to get any work done, so I went inside the tent and decide to sleep through the rest of my shift. I wake up around 8:30 and check my phone, only to find a strange email from a person I don’t know. I opened it:
Someone turned in a MacBook computer that I believe belongs to you. I’m sure you have been looking for it. It was left in the Center for Living parking lot. I’m not sure how it got there, but we have it here at Duke Integrative Medicine. The battery was dead when we got it, so I took it home to charge it and find out who it belonged to. I saw your name and email when I turned it on. So you can come pick it up at the front desk at your convenience. We will be open tomorrow from 9:00am – 2:30pm. Feel free to call before you arrive. Take care.
What came next was one of the strangest mixtures of joy and confusion that I’ve ever encountered. My thoughts raced as I tried my best to fathom that I was actually going to see my computer again, but there were still so many things that didn’t make sense to me.
- I had never been to Duke Integrative Medicine before. In fact, I didn’t even know where it was located.
- The e-mail said nothing about the other items that were stolen from me. Does that mean that they were all together or was my computer just sitting in a parking lot by itself.
- If that was the case, if someone was going to take my stuff why would they leave what was far and away the most valuable item?
- If they were going to ditch my computer somewhere, why would someone leave my computer at a medical clinic on campus?
- I had never been to Duke Integrative Medicine before.
So the next morning, after a quick trip to student health to confirm that I had pink-eye (which of course was viral, so they could do nothing for it), I headed over with a friend to Duke Integrative Medicine. It was actually on campus, but a little bit more on the outskirts than I had ever traveled before. We pulled up to the building and I was able to confirm that I had never seen this place in my life. I ventured inside and approached the front desk, and of course the woman there knew who I was. I’m operating under the assumption that I was probably the only person walking in there asking for a computer that morning. The woman who had emailed me was not there, but would later tell me that the computer was found by itself in the parking lot, and there was no sign of my bookbag, camera, or keys. I would later discover that the computer was never used during the week it was out of my possession and there was not so much as a scratch on it. It was a Festivus miracle, of sorts, and the only reason why it was slightly inconvenient was because I had given up hope of ever seeing it again and bought another computer. But in the grand scheme of the things, returning that would be far less inconvenient than what I might have been faced with otherwise.
Some surprises are the good kind and some aren’t as good, and unfortunately for us that was the best surprise we would encounter all weekend. It was much less pleasant when Duke surprised us by dropping a second home game at Cameron the next day, falling to Miami 78-74 in overtime.
It was a tale of two halves for Duke, allowing Miami to jump all over them inside during the first half to build up a 14-point halftime advantage. The lead would be as many as 16 in the second half before the Blue Devils came alive. They played inspired basketball down the stretch, knocking down shots from all over the floor and getting crucial defensive stops, something they had been unable to do virtually all season. As they continued to shave the lead down the stadium was rocking and the Crazies brought the noise. They were able to briefly take the lead with just a few minutes remaining in the game, but Miami fought back to keep within striking distance. When it was all said and done, Austin Rivers had two shots at the line. Duke was trailing by one with just over 20 seconds to go in regulation when Rivers missed the front end and knocked down the second. The Hurricanes had the chance to win the game on their next possession, but Miles Plumlee stepped up on the defensive end and shut down Miami’s Reggie Johnson- they didn’t even get a shot off.
Overtime was another story for the Duke, as they fell behind early and trailed by as many as six points halfway through the period. For a team that spent so much time clawing its way back into the game, you’d have thought that they didn’t have the energy to finish this one off. But it appeared that we were refusing to lose. A three by Ryan Kelly and a jam by Mason Plumlee later, it was back to a one-point game, and Quinn Cook (who had been playing the game of his life, by the way) found himself with a chance to give Duke the lead back with 27 seconds left. He missed both free throws, but Duke would get the ball back when Johnson missed two free throws of his own. We would have one more chance to steal this game away, but Quinn threw up some kinda of inexplicable runner in the lane on our last possession and Miami pulled down the board. They would take the game 78-74 after Duke missed its last sixfree throw attempts in regulation and overtime.
With the first Carolina game looming just days away, many took mixed feelings away from this loss. Yes, the team had dropped another game at home to a serviceable, but inferior opponent, but it had also just played its best half of basketball we’d seen all year (discounting overtime). We were all a bit worried for what we might see this team bring to Chapel Hill later that week, but at this point all we could do was just wait and see. It was just one of those weekends. You win some, you lose some.
Be sure to check out the rest of Dan’s tenting diary! Links galore below:
Pre-tenting: It Begins
Day 1: Welcome to K-Ville
Day 2: From Dusk ‘Til Dawn
Day 4/5: Into The Storm
Day 7: Losing Momentum
Day 9: The Other Side of Duke Basketball
Day 12/13/14: You Win Some, You Lose Some
Day 15: The First Taste
Day 18: Insanity
Day 26: When One Comeback Isn’t Enough
Day 29/30: I’ve Been Dreaming Of A White Tenting
Day 35/36: Taking Out The Trash
Day 40: It Gets Personal
Day 41: One Force, One Fight
Day 42: Go To Hell Carolina