THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009
THE INDEPENDENT DAILY AT DUKE UNIVERSITY
ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTH YEAR, ISSUE S1
Trustees elect Blue, OK budget
University bans travel to Mexico Swine flu threat forces program changes
by Emmeline Zhao THE CHRONICLE
ates of nine schools during the 157th annual commencement exercises, held at Wallace Wade Stadium. Commencement speaker Oprah Winfrey, a world-renowned media mogul and television icon, used a diverse array of people, from Monica George—a woman who became infected with a flesh-eating
The Board of Trustees elected Dan Blue as chair and approved a $1.8 billion budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year at its meeting last week, the University announced Friday. Blue, Law ‘73, will be the Board’s first black chair when he assumes the position July 1. He currently serves as the covice chair of the Board of Trustees alongside Richard Wagoner, Trinity ‘75, a former General Motors chief executive officer. Dan Blue Wagoner was re-elected as vice chair Friday. A managing partner of the Blue, Stephens and Fellers law firm based in Raleigh and a member of the N.C House of Representatives, Blue formerly served as N.C. speaker of the house. Last week, the Wake County Democratic Party selected Blue to take the place of Democratic state Sen. Vernon Malone of Raleigh, who died in April. Blue will serve out the remainder of Malone’s term, which expires in 2010. “It will be a great transition for Duke,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations.
SEE COMMENCEMENT ON PAGE 6
SEE TRUSTEES ON PAGE 4
by Lindsey Rupp THE CHRONICLE
As the new H1N1 swine flu virus spreads across the globe, Duke is taking extra precautions to ward off the epidemic. The International Travel Oversight Committee has added Mexico to its restricted regions list, forbidding undergraduates to travel to the country through Duke programs or funds and recommending that graduate students, faculty and staff refrain from unnecessary travel to Mexico. Duke in Mexico relocated its summer program to campus, aiming to instead engage students in Durham community service. DukeEngage’s program in Arizona will only send students on its scheduled week in Mexico if the country is removed from the list. “As always, student safety is our topmost priority for all of our study abroad programs and ultimately, this decision was made to ensure that we were not putting student’s health in jeopardy,” Paul Paparella, assistant director of the Office of Study Abroad, wrote in an e-mail to Duke in Mexico participants. Margaret Riley, associate dean and director of Study Abroad, was not available for comment Wednesday. The United States currently has at least 950 more documented cases of swine flu than Mexico, according to the World Health Organization. In a memo to the University and the health system from Dr. Victor Dzau, chancellor for health affairs and president and chief executive officer of Duke University Health System, wrote, “the collective understanding is that this strain behaves more like a typical seasonal flu.” Still, the University created the Web site “Preparing for Pandemic Flu” to showcase its response to the outbreak and provided hand sanitizer at commencement in addition to restricting travel. Gilbert Merkx, vice provost for international affairs and chair of ITOC, said the committee placed Mexico on the restricted regions list in response to recommendations from the World Health SEE MEXICO ON PAGE 5
MICHAEL NACLERIO/THE CHRONICLE
Commencement speaker Oprah Winfrey addresses graduates in Wallace Wade Stadium Sunday. Graduate Will Bumpus, Trinity ’09, is Winfrey’s godson and the son of her close friend Gayle King.
Oprah urges grads to find inspiration in hardships by Julius Jones THE CHRONICLE
The radiant faces of fresh graduates, their families, friends, faculty mentors— and of course, Oprah—illuminated overcast skies to graduate the Class of 2009 Sunday. The rain ultimately stayed away from the festivities as President Richard Brodhead conferred degrees upon the gradu-
BOT approves Sanford transition to school by Emmeline Zhao THE CHRONICLE
The Board of Trustees voted to approve the transition of the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy to the Terry Sanford School of Public Policy, the University announced in a press release Saturday. The shift, effective July 1, will make Sanford Duke’s 10th school. “The creation of a new school is significant any time you do that in a university,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. “It brings Sanford and public policy to the same level as law, medicine, business, divinity—it’s at one level. It’s a statement that this is a very significant priority for the University and also a recognition of the quality of the program.” In becoming a school, Sanford will see an increase in the size of its faculty to accomplish one of its goals of “transforming student lives,” said Sanford Director Bruce Kuniholm, who will become dean of the school in July. In the last three years, the institute has increased the size of its tenure track faculty by 50 percent, he added. The shift will also enable the school to carry out its strategic vision centered around global and international development and environmental, health and social policies, Kuniholm said.
Although faculty and research expansions are imminent, the school plans to retain a similar number of students, according to Saturday’s press release. With approximately 185 undergraduate and 85 graduate students receiving degrees every year, Sanford offers one of the country’s largest public policy programs. Despite Sanford’s new sanction as a separate school, incoming freshmen will not be required to submit a separate application to be enrolled as a public policy student. Students in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences will still be able to declare the public policy studies major in the same way as they do now. And for public policy students, the school will offer new opportunities for interdisciplinary programs and “elevate the stature of their degrees,” Schoenfeld said. The change will enable Sanford to collaborate more easily with peer universities and engage directly in joint programs and hires, Kuniholm added. He noted that Sanford has already hired faculty members in conjunction with the Global Health Institute and the Nicholas School of the Environment and is looking to move toward partnerships with others, such as the Pratt School of Engineering. SEE SANFORD ON PAGE 3
commencement Check out photos from the graduation weekend, PAGE 7
men’s lax Duke advances to NCAA quarterfinals with 14-5 rout of Navy, PAGE 11
2 | THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009
worldandnation 2 3 1
Opposition leader held, put on trial
YANGON, Myanmar — Myanmar’s military government planned to put detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on trial Thursday in connection with the intrusion of an American man who sneaked into her compound, a spokesperson for her party said. A motorcade escorted by armed police left her home early Thursday and reached Yangon’s Insein Prison. It was not immediately known if Suu Kyi was in one of the vehicles, but her party’s spokesperson, Nyan Win, had said earlier that she and the two women who live with her would be taken to a court at the prison compound for trial. Such a trial could justify another extension of Suu Kyi’s yearslong detention, which officially ends May 27. In the past the junta—which regards the Nobel Peace laureate as the biggest threat to their rule—has found reasons to extend her periods of house arrest, which international jurors say is illegal even under Myanmar’s own law.
Pope speaks to Palestinian camp
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BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Pope Benedict XVI made a powerful plea Wednesday for a Palestinian state, mixing prayer and politics at Jesus’ birthplace and expressing solidarity at a refugee camp with “all the homeless Palestinians who long to be able to return to their birthplace.” At the Aida refugee camp, the pope spoke in the shadow of the massive concrete barrier that divides Israelis and Palestinians and urged both sides to resist the urge for revenge and find the courage needed for peace.
NEW DELHI — India’s monthlong election ended Wednesday, with tens of millions of Indians casting ballots in a vote widely expected to usher in a shaky coalition government. While results were not being announced until Saturday, Indian media polls indicated the Congress party-led ruling coalition could be narrowly ahead of the opposition Hindu-nationalist alliance. But with the existing alliances deeply fragile, and both main parties set to launch their final quests for allies once the results were officially announced, little in the political scene was clear. “We can only be certain about the uncertainty of it,” said Amitabh Mattoo, a political analyst. “You will naturally have a coalition,” he said. But the final form of that coalition was impossible to predict. According to the constitution, a new parliament has to be in place by June 2.
Computer chip co. fined for ploys
SAN FRANCISCO — Intel Corp. was fined a record $1.45 billion by the European Union Wednesday for using strong-arm sales tactics in the computer chip market—a penalty that could turn up the pressure on U.S. regulators to go after the company, too. The fine against the world’s biggest chip maker represents a huge victory for Intel’s Silicon Valley rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., or AMD, the No. 2 supplier of microprocessors to PC makers. AMD has sued Intel and lobbied regulators around the world for the past five years, complaining that Intel was penalizing PC makers in the U.S. and abroad for doing business with AMD. Although the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is also investigating, AMD seems to have found its most sympathetic ear in Europe. EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said Intel has harmed millions of European consumers by “deliberately acting to keep competitors out of the market.” “Intel did not compete fairly, frustrating innovation and reducing consumer welfare in the process,” she said.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is considering more than six contenders for the Supreme Court, a list dominated by women and Hispanics, including judges and leaders from own his administration who have never donned a judicial robe. Among those under consideration are Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Appeals Court judges Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Pamela Wood. California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno is also under review by Obama. Sources familiar with Obama’s deliberations confirmed the names to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no candidates have been revealed by the White House. The confirmation amounts to the first time any name has been directly tied to Obama.
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Craigslist nixes ‘erotic services’ page
CHICAGO — A month after the killing of a masseuse who advertised on Craigslist, the classified ad site announced plans Wednesday to eliminate its “erotic services” category and screen all submissions to a new “adult services” section before they are posted. Law enforcement officials praised the move as a victory against online prostitution, but they acknowledged doubts about whether the changes will curb the practice.
—compiled from wire reports
SATURDAY iso. t-storms
Obama considers Court nominees
Uncertainty clouds India election
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THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009 | 3
Judge sets $10M bail for Oates
Neighorhood campaign raises over $1M The annual Duke-Durham campaign raised more than $1 million in donations this year, combining $848,434 of in-kind donations with $190,308 in cash donations, according to a University statement Wednesday. The Duke-Durham campaign, part of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, uses 100 percent of the money it raises to benefit 12 neighborhoods, including Trinity Heights, and eight schools close to Duke’s campus. This year’s donations went toward projects such as the building of a new amphitheatre at Forest View Elementary School and renovating the Hunt Street warehouse housing New Horizons, an academic program for at-risk children. Donations this year were down from last year’s campaign, which raised $1.2 million for Durham schools and neighborhoods, but are still much higher than 2007 donations, which totalled $730,882. Jerry O’Keeffe, 2009 campaign chair and manager of the Large Customer Group at PSNC Energy, led a team of more than 30 Durham community volunteers, who collected donations from local businesses and individuals. The Neighborhood Partnership and the Duke-Durham Campaign are coordinated by the Office of Durham and Regional Affairs and its Office of Community Affairs. The University and the neighborhoods in the partnership work together to identify and achieve residents’ goals, which include improving education and making housing more affordable. The Duke-Durham Campaign has been running for more than 50 years. —from staff reports
by Julius Jones THE CHRONICLE
MICHAEL NACLERIO/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
The Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy is set to become Duke’s 10th school July 1.
SANFORD from page 1 “President [Barack] Obama said when he signed the Serve America Act, ‘We need your service right now, at this moment in history.... I’m asking you to stand up and play your part,’” Kuniholm said. “Across the nation, students are flocking to public policy programs and have much more interest in public service. Sanford is answering that call.” Knowledge in the service of society is one of a number of Duke’s strategic plans, including international and interdisciplinary education, Kuniholm said. Such global emphasis has led the institute to collaborate with governments in India and China. Although the new school is still working to reach its fundrais-
ing goal of $40 million by July 1, officials said the school is being built on financially stable turf, as Sanford has already raised $36.1 million in cash and pledges as of this month. The institute also has one of the largest endowments of public policy schools across the nation, Schoenfeld said. The process of transitioning Sanford from an institute to a school began in the summer of 2005, when a provost-sanctioned task force recommended that Duke consider creating a separate public policy school. Since then, University officials have worked toward the shift. Prior to the trustees’ approval last week, the Academic Council approved the change at its April 16 meeting. “[Sanford is] ready,” Provost Peter Lange said. “It is indicative of our continued forward momentum.”
Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour set bond Monday for Stephen Oates, the man accused of the January 2008 killing of graduate student Abhijit Mahato. Baddour set bond for Oates, 29, at $10 million— an amount requested by Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline. Baddour agreed to the bond at a court hearing at the Durham County Courthouse. Mark Edwards, Oates’ defense attorney, said in an interview that Oates will remain behind bars because he is unable to post the 10 percent needed for bond. During Monday’s bail hearing, Cline also announced her plan not to seek the death penalty for Oates, The (Raleigh) News & Observer reported Tuesday. Edwards said he is not surprised by Cline’s decision because of the weaknesses he sees in the case. “They have no physical evidence tying anyone to the actual crime,” Edwards said. “Their only evidence is the statement of two other people who were shot and when showed a picture of Mr. Oates, identified him as the shooter. However, when my investigators questioned them, they were adamant that he was not the shooter.” Prosecutors believe that Oates, along with Laurence Lovette, robbed Mahato in front of his apartment on Central Campus. During the robbery, Mahato was killed by a single-shot to the head. Lovette also faces charges for the March 2008 murder of Eve Carson, then-senior and student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Duke to publish paper by Obama’s mother by Toni Wei THE CHRONICLE
Duke University Press will publish Ann Dunham’s graduate school dissertation this December, 14 years after her death. Dunham, who is the mother of President Barack Obama, completed the work in 1992 for her doctorate in anthropology at the University of Hawaii, after doing 14 years of thesis research through the late 1980s, Duke University Press Publicist Laura Sell said. “[The dissertation] still definitely has a lot of relevance,” Sell said. “We sent it out to a lot of pretty high-powered reviewers, who all said it’s a worthy work of scholarship and people can learn a lot from it.” Duke University Press’ editorial department invited Robert Hefner, director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University and president of the Association for Asian Studies, to write an afterword for the book. Hefner said in an interview that he was “honored and delighted” to do so. The book, which will be titled “Surviving Against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia,” is focused on the metalworking industries in the Javanese village of Kajar and their position as a possible economic alternative in an area that traditionally depends on rice for survival. The dissertation—at the request of Dunham’s daughter, Maya Soetoro-Ng—was edited by Alice Dewey, Dunham’s graduate advis-
er, and Nancy Cooper, her fellow graduate student in anthropology. “We’re well-known for publishing in anthropology, so the book kind of came to us through a couple of authors who knew [Dewey and Cooper],” Sell said. Sell added that the publication of the dissertation has been a very accelerated process, and that normally a book’s transition would be much slower. “There will be a special panel on the book at the American Anthropological Association in December, so we wanted to make sure the book would be ready for that,” she said. Hefner commended the efficiency of the book’s publication. “[Duke University Press Editorial Director] Ken Wissoker and Duke University Press have done an outstanding job getting the manuscript to production,” he said. Although actual sales numbers can’t be predicted at this point, Duke University Press has high hopes for Dunham’s work, Sell said. “We have high hopes that some people who are not anthropologists will read it and that people who are anthropologists will take a lot from it,” she said. Sell said everyone at Duke University Press is proud to play such a large role in publishing the work of President Obama’s mother. “Everyone here is excited, and we certainly hope—we know the President knows about it—we hope that he will have some words about it,” she said.
TRUSTEES from page 1 “Mr. Blue is very committed to and passionate about the University and about its excellence and success. And his experience in North Carolina government will only help us enhance the University’s ability and presence in the state.” Blue has been on the board since 1995 and served as chair of its Budget and Finance Committee, “steering the University through some very challenging times,” Schoenfeld added. The new budget approved by the board is $200 million less than last year’s $2 billion budget as part of the University’s plan to spread out budget cuts over three years. The budget approved for the 2007-2008 fiscal year was also valued at $1.8 billion. The University faces numerous challenges in the coming year, Executive Vice President Tallman Trask said. Despite measures to make budgetary cutbacks, several variables remain unclear—such as the number of employees who will accept early retirement incentives. In March, President Richard Brodhead announced that the University had lost almost a quarter of its endowment and is facing a budget shortfall of $125 million. To offset the deficit, University-wide budget tightening measures are being put in place over the next three years. Employees making more than $50,000 annually will undergo a salary freeze for the coming fiscal year. Those making less than $50,000 will receive a single $1,000 payment. The University has also instituted a retirement incen-
tive program that changes retirement criteria to include employees who hold 10 or more years of Duke employment or who are 50 years old or older, qualifying hundreds more for early retirement that includes health care benefits and monthly pensions. Trask noted that the budget is “no longer a document you wrap up in May” and the budget shortfall necessitates cutting additional administrative expenses. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better—we’re not out of the woods yet, we have some issues to fix this Fall,” Trask said. “If I had to guess, next year will be worse than this year.” The 2009-2010 budget also includes a 3.9 percent increase in undergraduate tuition and fees to $49,895 and a 17.1 percent increase in undergraduate financial aid to $114 million. It shifts the accounting classification of financial aid from an expense to a reduction in revenue. This change cuts the operating budget by about $200 million compared to last year—to a total of about $900 million. “In the face of this global recession, it is important for us to think creatively and ambitiously about how we can continue to support our most critical priorities, such as continuing to strengthen our faculty and making it possible for any outstanding undergraduate to attend Duke,” Provost Peter Lange said in a statement Friday. Additionally, the budget accounts for a 6.7 percent increase in graduate and professional financial aid. The aid increases were budgeted under the assumption that students and their families would exhibit
more need “given the state of the economy,” Executive Vice President Tallman Trask said. The University is also reassigning internal positions, eliminating vacant spots and cutting back on external hiring, according to its Friday announcement. All new construction is on hold, but planning will continue until Duke can resume breaking ground. A $10 million place holder, however, has been reserved for Central Campus improvements that are slated to begin this summer, Trask said. Changes to Central include the construction of recreation facilities and an on-campus restaurant. In other business The board also resolved to rename the Film/Video/Digital Program as the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image. “The new Program in Arts of the Moving Image will build on the strengths of the old—the production of film, video and animation as well as film history and critics—by expanding to include the production of innovative moving image arts and the critical study of such new moving image forms,” Stanley Abe, interim director of the Film/ Video/Digital program, said in a statement Friday. Additionally, the trustees passed a resolution to recognize sophomore Rebecca Ward for her athletic contributions to the University. She won the 2009 NCAA Championship in women’s saber competition and became the second fencer in Duke history to win an NCAA championship. Ward entered Duke last August with two bronze medals in fencing from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
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Attempted abduction reported on Erwin Rd. A student claimed that a man attempted to force her into a truck near the intersection of LaSalle Street and Erwin Road around 2:30 a.m. Monday morning. The student described the suspect as a Hispanic male driving a black truck, according to a Duke Alert sent Monday afternoon. The student told the Duke University Police Department that the suspect fled in the truck. Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Durham Police Department or DUPD. The Clery Act of 1990 requires the University to issue timely warnings about
crimes that present a threat to Duke’s students or employees. Popular student residences including the Lofts at Lakeview, Erwin Terrace and Belmont Apartments are all located off Erwin Road near the LaSalle Street intersection. The Duke Alert system was most recently used by DUPD to notify students of the Jan. 30 burglary of two Central Campus apartments and a Dec. 10, 2008 robbery that a student reported in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. —from staff reports
Dems struggle for unity in health care reforms by Erica Werner THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — The White House scrambled to unify Democrats behind a single health care appeal Wednesday— lower costs, plenty of choice—amid concerns Republicans could scare votes away with images of a ghastly system run by bureaucrats. A key senator pushed to enforce an offer from care providers to trim $2 trillion in costs over the next decade. Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said he wanted to build cost-saving mechanisms the industry is devising into sweeping health care over-
haul legislation his committee is writing. His comments Wednesday came as President Barack Obama went on TV for a third straight day to push for passage of health care legislation he hopes will extend coverage to 50 million uninsured people. Standing at his side at the White House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi renewed a promise to bring legislation to the House floor by August. “We’ve got to get it done this year,” Obama said. “We don’t have any excuses; the stars are aligned.” SEE HEALTH CARE ON PAGE 6
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MEXICO from page 1 Organization, the Center for Disease Control and International SOS, a risk analysis firm. Now, WHO no longer cautions against travel to Mexico though the CDC suggests only essential travel. The committee will meet Friday to discuss Mexico’s status. Merkx said if the CDC and ISOS lift their restrictions, the committee will likely remove Mexico from the restricted regions list. He added that moving Duke in Mexico to Durham was based on public health information and campus discussions from April. “I think at the time it was the right decision,” Merkx said. “Obviously, in hindsight we know a lot more now and we wouldn’t make that decision... we were being inundated by calls from parents and people and needed to make a decision, and [the outbreak] looked like it was going to be a lot more dangerous.” Students in the Duke in Mexico program had until May 8 to decide whether they wanted to attend classes in Durham. Six students will attend the intermediatelevel program May 15, but the elementarylevel program was cancelled due to lack of interest, said Jenna Gates, a sophomore attending the program. Gates said she is disappointed not to go to Mexico, but is looking forward to living with her classmates and attending field
trips into the local community. “I wish they could have just waited, what was it, a week after they cancelled it that we find out its not that bad?” Gates said. “I definitely wish they hadn’t canceled it. I would have preferred to go to Mexico or another Latin American country any day but... I think Duke did a good job because safety is obviously a first priority and they couldn’t have known that in a week it would turn out to be not that bad.”
“...Ultimately, this decision was made to ensure that we were not putting student’s health in jeopardy,” — Paul Paparella, asst. director of Study Abroad Despite emerging information, Merkx said students should continue to take precautions, such as frequent hand washing, at home and abroad. “I think Duke students are pretty smart,” Merkx said. “I think that everyone is aware of this... and I think that whatever Duke sponsored programs people go on overseas... people generally are given a lot of information about how they should be careful.... It’s not rocket science to take certain precautions.”
6 | THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009
COMMENCEMENT from page 1 bacteria after giving birth—to former South African President Nelson Mandela, as examples of how to overcome obstacles to achieve success. She explained that at different moments in every individual’s life something would eat away at them—such as anger, guilt or painful past experiences—and they cannot let it get the best of them. “But graduates, I want you to know that if you can summon the courage of Monica George in the face of your own life’s hardships—and you will have them—and if you can remember what good are you to anyone if you’re miserable, I know for sure you’ll be a huge success, because you are responsible for your happiness and you are responsible for the energy you bring to everything,” she said. Winfrey also told the story of a woman who purchased a pair of shoes from her at a charity sale, despite the fact that they were too large. The woman would stand in the shoes whenever she got depressed. “And she said she wanted to stand in the shoes until she’d be able to stand on her own, and she used the shoes as a sense of inspiration to herself,” Winfrey said, adding that the woman decided to go back to school at the age of 50 to earn a degree. “You really haven’t completed the circle of success unless you can help somebody else move forward. That’s the truth.... How do you get someone else to move to higher ground?” Winfrey noted that she decided to speak at Duke’s commencement this year because her godson, Will Bumpus, is a graduating senior and the son of her close friend Gayle
HEALTH CARE from page 5 The developments underscored a quickening drive toward health care overhaul legislation in Congress. Obama has asked the health insurers, doctors, hospitals and others who brought the much-ballyhooed—but vague—$2 trillion cost-saving idea to the White House earlier
King, who is editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine. Winfrey added that Bumpus often does not like disclosing his relationship with her, but he did want her to speak at his graduation. “I’m like the crazy aunt they keep in the attic and they only let me out for commencements,” Winfrey said.
“You really haven’t completed the circle of success unless you can help somebody else move forward. That’s the truth.... How do you get someone else to move to higher ground?” — Oprah Winfrey, commencement speaker Winfrey was among eight men and women to receive an honorary degree from the University at commencement. While the presentation of degrees and speakers went smoothly, graduation was not entirely without complaint. There were not enough chairs on the field and several students were left standing. “Usually there are probably 300 to 400 chairs left over on the floor and we even added additional seats to be safe, but unfortunately there weren’t enough,” said Terry Chambliss, director of special events and University ceremonies. “There’s no one more sorry for that than our office right here.” Chambliss said her office uses the number of orders for
this week to produce specifics by June 1. “I met with them today and reminded them of their pledge to the president,” Baucus said, adding that he’d aim to give their plans the force of law. He spoke to reporters after he and other Senate Democrats met with White House political adviser David Axelrod as the White House pressed to get the party behind a unified message on health legislation.
graduation attire placed online by students to determine the number of seats. But because students are allowed to use attire from hooding or hippocratic oath ceremonies, the method is not perfect. Typically, only 74 percent of graduating seniors participate in commencement exercises, Chambliss said. She said she attributed the larger crowd this year to Winfrey’s popularity. “I think she is very popular and you can see it in the stands and in the greater student participation and greater faculty involvement and family attendance,” she said, adding that the standing graduates were offered seating to the left of the stage in the stands. Preceding Winfrey on stage was Robert Jones, Trinity ’02, a graduating medical student who was selected to give the student address. During his remarks, Jones spoke about his life as a “loser” and how essential his experience with failure was to the success he enjoys today. Instead of being afraid to face personal struggles and shortcomings, Jones asked the graduates to take on the challenges they encounter and to be honest about their strengths and weaknesses. “I think there is empowerment in acknowledging one’s imperfection,” he said, adding that Duke was a place where students were allowed to fail at times despite the pressure to achieve perfection. Students said Winfrey’s and Jones’ speeches were a fitting end to their college careers, challenging them to leave their own unique marks on the world. “It was awesome and so heart-moving,” said graduate Hee Jeong Lee. “She mentioned failure and how to overcome it and how to inspire people.”
Senators emerged with agreement on emphasizing affordability and choice. The issue of coverage for the uninsured would be tied to affordability for all, as when uninsured people drive up costs when they go to emergency rooms for routine care. “This is an effort to coordinate our messaging so we present a health care reform effort that the American people trust,” said Sen. Dick
Durbin, D-Ill., the No. Two Senate Democrat. Last week political strategist Frank Luntz gave Republicans detailed advice on how to attack the Democrats’ health plan, even though it doesn’t yet exist in anything approaching final form. Luntz’s advice included the use of lines like “a committee of Washington bureaucrats will establish the standard of care for all Americans.”
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THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009 | 7
CLASS OF 2009
Scenes from graduation
MICHAEL NACLERIO/THE CHRONICLE
Commencement speaker Oprah Winfrey (top) told graduates how to be a “huge success” with a series of personal stories in her address Sunday. Graduation weekend also included speeches from Dean of the Chapel Sam Wells (above) at the baccalaureate services (left) in the Chapel.
8 | THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009
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Check out the Sports Blog for breaking news about former Duke point guard Greg Paulus, who will announce his future plans during a teleconference today.
Blue Devils Navy no match for Duke defense ease into quarters by Gabe Starosta THE CHRONICLE
by Felicia Tan THE CHRONICLE
The three-week break from match play might have been the Blue Devils’ biggest opponent over the weekend. No. 3 Duke (25-3) dealt with its rustiness and avoided any potential stumbles with ease, defeating Richmond and Virginia on back-toback days at Ambler RICH 0 Tennis Stadium to DUKE 4 move onto the Round of 16 for the 13th time 0 in school history. UVA The Blue Devils DUKE 4 also extended their winning streak to 14 with the victory. “We ended the season playing really well, so we were just excited to play,” head coach Jamie Ashworth said. “It was just good to get back on the court.” “I think we did a great job [not overlooking the first two rounds],” senior Melissa Mang said. “We knew that [Richmond and Virginia] were not going to give us any easy matches, and we were ready for that. We came out really ready to play. I think it’s a great, great start to the tournament.” It was smooth sailing once the Blue Devils got in rhythm. On Friday, they jumped all over Richmond (17-6) from the start, dropping only two games in the two doubles matches that were completed. Jessi Robinson and Mallory Cecil manhandled the Spiders’ No. 2 pair 8-0 in under half an hour, and the tandem of Mang and Amanda Granson gave Duke the doubles point with an 8-2 victory. Three easy singles points and a 4-0 result later, Duke turned its attention to its next challenge: the third meeting with No. 27 Virginia since April 4. Having already lost to the Blue Devils twice in the span of a month, the Cavaliers (14-10) went into the match with nothing to lose, and it was essential for Duke to match that intensity level. “We knew from the very beginning of doubles that they were after us,” Mang said. “We knew it was going to be a tough match, and I think that helped us get fired up, knowing that...we still have to go out there and beat them again, or else our season’s over.” Duke took a heavily contested doubles point against the Cavaliers, and in singles play, Robinson contributed a 6-0, 7-5 victory and Cecil thrashed her opponent in straight sets. And with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Claire Bartlett, Mang put the win in the books soundly Saturday to improve her dual match record to 24-2, including an undefeated conference record at the No. 5 spot. The Blue Devils head to College Station, Texas to take on No. 14 Arkansas Friday, with the victor taking on the winner of the Miami/UCLA match Sunday. If Duke faces the Hurricanes in the quarterfinals, the two teams could relive their epic ACC tournament final, which Duke edged 43 last month.
Neither a 25-minute rain delay nor Navy’s typically stingy defense could slow down Duke Saturday night. Under the lights in a muddy Koskinen Stadium, the No. 3 Blue Devils jumped all over the MidNAVY 5 shipmen in the DUKE 14 first half and never looked back. The result was a 10-0 lead at halftime, and an eventual 14-5 win for Duke over the Patriot League champions in the first round of the NCAA tournament. With the win, the Blue Devils (14-3) advanced to their third straight national quarterfinals, where they will meet No. 6 North Carolina for the third time this season. Duke defeated the Tar Heels during the regular season and again in the ACC tournament finals, and their final matchup of the year will take place next Sunday afternoon in Annapolis, Md. Before reaching the quarters, though, Duke had to beat a team that was playing as well as it had all year. Navy (11-5) had just won its conferene tournament avenged two of its regular-season losses, but Saturday, Duke sailed past the Midshipmen. After a scoreless first four minutes,
CHASE OLIVIERI/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
SEE M. LACROSSE ON PAGE 12
Senior Brad Ross opened the scoring in the Blue Devils’ 14-5 win against Navy at Koskinen Stadium Saturday.
Blue Devils survive but lose Davis by Harrison Comfort THE CHRONICLE
This year’s Mother’s Day had the opportunity to prove especially sweet for Duke head coach Kerstin Kimel. Playing the first round of the NCAA tournament for the 12th straight time, the Blue Devils hosted 13 Virginia, an opUVA DUKE 15 ponent that boasted an 3-0 record against Kimel’s squad in the tournament. But luckily for Duke, history would not repeat itself. On Sunday, the No. 5 Blue Devils edged Virginia 15-13 at Koskinen Stadium in an overtime thriller that sent Kimel’s team to the national quarterfinals. Senior Lindsay Gilbride scored what would prove to be the game-winning goal
in the first period of extra time. After winning the draw in overtime, Blue Devils (155) managed to draw a foul, and Gilbride converted on the free-position chance. “When you’re in overtime, the most critical thing is winning the draw and we were able to do that, and then possess the ball well in our offensive end,” Kimel said. “Lindsay dodged hard, drew the foul, and finished, and when you’re put in that situation you have to finish. To me that was critical.” After Gilbride’s score, the Cavaliers (11-8) stormed down the field to try and to tie the game. Senior goalie Kim Imbesi, however, thwarted the comeback attempt by making a huge save that kept Duke in front. “[Jenny Hauser] started to challenge and our defender had put good pressure on her and jammed her hands,” Imbesi
MARGIE TRUWIT/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
Junior Lindsay Gilbride scored the go-ahead goal in overtime in Duke’s 15-13 win over Virginia Sunday.
said. “[Hauser] then put a shot high left and I was ready for it, got there and made the save. We had practiced that particular play all week.” Despite the thrilling victory, Duke suffered a major setback in the first period. Five minutes into the game, the team’s leading scorer, Carolyn Davis, left the game with a knee injury. Kimel said Wednesday that Davis, a senior and Tewaaraton trophy finalist, had torn her right ACL and would miss the rest of the season. Davis missed part of the 2007 season with a torn ACL in her left knee. Rather than letting the devastating injury hurt team morale, Davis’ teammates rallied together as they have done all season. The game’s most critical moment occurred just before the overtime periods began, when the team got together in a circle. Imbesi, senior captain Jess Adam and sophomore midfielder Sarah Bullard took the lead in getting the Blue Devils fired up for what could have been their last six minutes of the season. “To be able to be in that situation and having fun, when we got in [the hudle] Sarah, Jess and I explained this is what we work for all year,” Imbesi said. “We play for moments like this,” the trio told their team. The Blue Devils have at least one more opportunity to get themselves into a similar situation—in Philadelphia Saturday at 1 p.m., when they take on Pennsylvania in the national quarterfinals.
12 | THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009
Bullpen woes doom Duke by Jason Palmatary THE CHRONICLE
The Blue Devils traveled to Charlottesville, Va. Friday to face the No. 11 Cavaliers and appeared primed to take their last road set of the regular season DUKE 11 after winning the series opener, 11-4, and 4 UVA building an impresDUKE 9 sive lead Saturday. But a disastrous 10 eighth inning gave UVA Virginia momenDUKE 1 tum, and ultimately, 12 the series. UVA Entering the critical eigth frame of Saturday’s ballgame, Duke (32-19,13-14 in ACC)had built a 9-3 lead off the bats of Nate Freiman and Matt Williams. Starting pitcher Andrew Wolcott, who battled Virginia hitters into deep counts all day, departed the game in the eighth having scattered six hits and allowed four runs. The Cavaliers (36-10-1, 14-9-1) then greeted Duke reliever Dennis O’Grady in the harshest of fashions. Five consecutive batters reached base before O’Grady was able to record his first out, and the inning saw Virginia tally five runs to pull within one of the lead. Then, after holding the Blue Devils scoreless in the top of the ninth, Virginia freshman Danny Hultzen knocked the ball out of the park on the first pitch he saw, tying the score at nine. Cavalier outfielder John Barr finished off the rally with a walkoff single past a drawn-in infield to give his team the 10-9 win. Freiman’s offensive performance--which included a two-run blast that extended his streak of conference games with a homer to five--was a bright spot for the Blue Devils. “I can’t say enough about the terrific sea-
son he is having in the middle of the order,” head coach Sean McNally said. “And it’s just part of what has been a terrific career.” After losing in such gut-wrenching fashion the day before, Duke had little time to regroup before Sunday’s afternoon start, and the Cavaliers cruised in the series rubber match by a score of 12-1. “We did a good job of getting ready to play today,” McNally said. “There wasn’t any carryover from yesterday. You have to credit Virginia—they were terrific today.” The story on Sunday was the pitching of Virginia righthander Robert Morey who quelled Duke’s bats, allowing just one run over seven innings by painting the outside corner, and his run support was provided by Jarrett Parker, who had four hits and a grand slam. In the end, what was nearly a series win for Duke ended with two sloppy defeats. Duke opens its final homestand of the season at Jack Coombs Field tonight against Georgia Tech at 7 p.m.
MICHAEL NACLERIO/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
Andrew Wolcott pitched a strong game Saturday, but the Blue Devils lost two of three to Virginia.
M. LACROSSE from page 11 Brad Ross put the Blue Devils on the board with a low, bouncing shot. Robert Rotanz scored with just under seven minutes to play in the first quarter to make it 2-0, and with that, the floodgates were open, although the rain mercifully held off the rest of the way. Duke led 6-0 at the end of the period, and extended that lead to 10 by intermission. “I’m at a loss for words,” head coach John Danowski said. “Nobody expects to go up 10-0 in the first round of playoffs, especially against Navy. I’m not so surprised at the 10, but certainly surprised by the zero.” Unlike in past years, in which Matt Danowski and Zack Greer might have dominated the box score in a game like this one, 10 Blue Devils recorded points Saturday. In Duke’s 10-0 run to open the game, eight different Blue Devils got on the scoreboard, with only Ross and attackman Zach Howell scoring twice. The Blue Devils’ offense, though, was successful partly because of the team’s stellar defensive display. Navy won 9-of-2 faceoffs in the decisive first half, which would normally provide the Midshipmen with a tremendous advantage in time of possession. But Duke’s midfield and defense forced turnover after turnover, leading to odd-man situations and transition opportunities in the offensive zone. Junior Parker McKee exemplified that performance Saturday—he recovered 14 ground balls on his own, while the entire Navy squad recovered just 33 for the game. He and the rest of the defense harried the opposition into errant passes all night, and were able to prevent the Midshipmen from getting point-blank chances in front of goal. “I think we pack it in a lot more in the middle so guys aren’t getting those open looks anymore right in front of the crease,” McKee said. “The close defense-
COURTNEY DOUGLAS/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO
Senior Ned Crotty had one goal and two assists in Duke’s 14-5 win against Navy Saturday night. men are taking a lot of ownership of their men and not letting them get any looks.” Duke’s defense will have to be on top of its game to contain a Tar Heel offensive unit that notched 13 goals in the ACC final defeat to the Blue Devils and 15 goals in its first round win against Maryland-Baltimore County. UNC sophomore Billy Bitter scored eight goals on just nine shots in that contest and now has 69 points on the year– one more than Ned Crotty, Duke’s leading scorer and the ACC Player of the Year. “The Duke-UNC rivalry is something that has been great, especially since I’ve been here, and it’s gotten even better this year as [head coach Joe] Breschi has done a great job for them,” Crotty said. ”They’re playing their best lacrosse now, so we’re really excited to play them again.” And if the first half Sunday against North Carolina mirrors last Sunday’s first half against Navy, Crotty will have plenty to be excited about.
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Academy’s upper school seeks an assistant speech and debate coach to attend two or three team practices per week and about one tournament per month during the 2009-10 academic year. The team competes locally and nationally in LincolnDouglas debate, public forum, student Congress, and extemporaneous speaking. Competitive salary. Valid driver’s license required. To apply, email a cover letter and resume to Jeff Welty at jeffwelty@ yahoo.com.
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STUDENT NEEDED The Chronicle Business office is looking for a Duke student to work 8- 9 hours per week during summer and 10 hrs per week in the fall. Duties: data entry, deposits, customer service. general office work. Contact: Mary Weaver, 919-684-0384 or mweaver@duke. edu
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THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009 | 13
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis ACROSS 1 Sign in a reserved parking area 6 Time’s Person of the Year 2008 11 Official in black 14 Screen dot 15 Communion bread holder 16 Originally called 17 *Era in which Shakespeare wrote most of his plays 19 __ Palmas 20 Hullabaloo 21 Danger 22 Indifferent 24 __ Sabe 26 Unadorned 28 Border 29 “Rocky III” actor 31 Quick-drying paint 33 Grazing ground 34 Jumps (out) 36 Article in Elle France 37 Performing arts site where ground was broken 5/14/1959, and a hint to the shared feature of the answers to starred clues 40 Photo taker 41 Gives out 42 Auction action 43 Leave in the lurch 45 A followers 46 Choir garb 47 Keats’s “__ Psyche” 50 Kennel chatter 54 Victimizes, with “on” 56 Work on the cutting edge? 58 English __ 59 “Ghost” psychic __ Mae Brown 60 *Put in order, as files 63 Wasn’t colorfast 64 Foolish 65 “Hungarian Rhapsodies” composer 66 Cobb and others
Shoe Chris Cassatt and Gary Brookins
Dilbert Scott Adams
Doonesbury Garry Trudeau
By Gary Steinmehl
67 Idlers in a jam 68 Breezy bye-byes DOWN 1 Command to Fido 2 El Niño feature? 3 Geometry truth 4 Tasseled topper 5 Wing movement 6 “Fidelio,” for one 7 Dyeing art 8 Only team besides the Yankees to win three consecutive World Series 9 __ culpa 10 “The Brady Bunch” actress Davis 11 *With no tags 12 Calibrated tool 13 Old dinero 18 Crooked 23 Computer site, sometimes 25 Portent 27 Editing mark 30 Hurried 32 “Hardball” airer 33 *Veggies of Andean origin
5/14/09 Wednesday’s Puzzle Solved
(c)2009 Tribune Media Servies, Inc.
34 The right side-view mirror compensates for it 35 Farm crawler 37 Symbolic end of summer 38 Melville novel 39 Neat 40 Garage alternative 44 Marshal at Waterloo
45 Nincompoop 48 Culture: Pref. 49 Fast-food carriers 51 Elite group 52 Lunch slice 53 Leaves in 55 It’s a long story 57 Hide 61 Manager Piniella 62 __ Maria: liqueur
The Chronicle First day of summer school!: ...UNC started two days ago: ..................................................... hon must. access. stats. lab!: .....................................................wimeline ...we’re already watchdogless, so we found: ... Bo the obama dog “Do they speak Spanish in Berlin?”: ..................will, will and... will breaking out the new facial hair: ............................................ gabe what classes?: ................................................................. m. naclerio no, seriously, what classes?!: ..........................................naclerio v2 engineering isn’t newsworthy—only sanford is: ..........holmstrom Rolly C. Miller never made it to class today:............................Rolly
Ink Pen Phil Dunlap
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The Independent Daily at Duke University
14 | THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009
Mexico decision rash, uninventive On April 29, the Univer- courses at Duke. The relocatsity announced its decision ed program will also include to cancel the Duke in Mex- field trips that allow students ico study abroad program to interact with Hispanic due to the recent outbreak communities in Durham and of a new other parts strain of the of North staff editorial H1N1 virus, Carolina. commonly known as swine Although the CDC’s warnflu. The decision to place ing and the declaration of a Mexico on the restricted public health emergency are regions list was a response certainly causes for caution to the Centers for Disease and concern, the decision to Control and Prevention’s cancel the Mexico program recommendation that U.S. was premature. citizens avoid all nonessenThe threat of the swine tial travel to the country. flu has been largely overThe University explained stated by the media, and the on its “Preparing for Pan- current strain of H1N1 apdemic Flu” Web site that it pears to be no more lethal will relocate the program to than the common flu. The Durham. Students originally University’s hasty decision scheduled to go to Mexico reflects public paranoia will instead be given the op- rather than a cautious, meaportunity to enroll in Spanish sured approach to the out-
You really haven’t completed the circle of success unless you can help somebody else move forward. That’s the truth.... How do you get someone else to move to higher ground?
— Commencement speaker Oprah Winfrey in her address to the new graduates. See story page 1.
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pression that Hispanic culture in Durham is a direct substitute for Mexican culture. Clearly it is not. Many students make course selections and map out their academic careers with the intent to study abroad just once. For some of the 19 students who were planning to participate in Duke in Mexico, their window of opportunity may now be closed. The University and the Office of Study Abroad should have offered other options to students enrolled in the program. For those students willing to shoulder the individual liability of increased personal health risks, the University should have worked to accommodate them. If Mexi-
co was deemed a categorically unsafe destination, the Office of Study Abroad should have explored the possibility of sending students elsewhere. The Office of Study Abroad has connections with immersion programs in Spanish-speaking programs across the globe, in addition to its own summer program in Madrid. The swine flu outbreak was an unforeseen crisis and the relocation of the program is one possible remedy. But it should not be framed as the only replacement for the educational goals of a study abroad experience. The University should have put more effort into giving students alternative options.
On offense, defense and T-Reqs
break. Instead of relying on independent verification, the University caved in to public pressure. And the swine flu problem is no longer relegated to Mexico. More than 3,000 cases of the new virus have been confirmed in the United States, including about a dozen in the state of North Carolina. The decision to simply “relocate” a study abroad program to Durham shows a lack of consideration for students’ plans. The purpose of study abroad is to provide students the opportunity to engage with a foreign culture. The relocated program does not do this. Moreover, the offering of local field trips to Hispanic communities gives the im-
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here is a tendency among Duke students to not believe the tale of the poor twenty-something-year-old who lives off soup cans and beer until he gets a lucky break at the office. To think that a career could be solely determined by catching a few breaks after going to a school like Duke! Yet, I only have to look as far as my television to realize the naivety of such disbelief. A lifelong Celtics fan, I have watched former Duke basketball great and now less-than-mediocre Orlando Magic backup guard J.J. Redick play a number of relatively unremarkable minutes in this year’s NBA playoffs all as ben brostoff a result of starter bro’s stuff Courtney Lee’s broken sinus. If Lee had not been the victim of a misplaced Dwight Howard elbow, Redick would presumably still be on the bench, seeing as he is no more than a largely one-dimensional player who has failed to acquire any expanded skills since graduating from Duke. If nothing else, Redick serves as an example that four years at Duke does not make us masters of our own destinies, or free us from being slaves to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (in this case, really only outrageous for Lee). A liberal education from a school like Duke should at best protect students against a Redick-like fate. The Trinity curriculum, according to Duke’s Web site, encourages “breadth as well as depth,” of knowledge, and, “reflects Duke’s desire to dedicate its unique resources to prepare students for a rapidly changing and globally interconnected world....” Exposure to the five areas of knowledge, mastery of a major, and careful practice of the modes of inquiry over four years should give one an education with breadth, depth, and reason—an education suited for globalization. In short, if you can shoot the J, pass, and play D, you’ll generally find playing time waiting for you, regardless of the coach or team. Accordingly, Redick’s far more versatile Duke counterpart, Shane Battier, has garnered starter’s minutes for several years now, while Redick himself has floundered about like a beached whale. Developing students with diverse skill sets really doesn’t seem so different from building Battier-like players: if practice makes perfect, then multiple types of practice yield multiple forms of perfect. The Trinity requirements, affectionately known as T-Reqs, are supposed to act as this eclectic-but-
necessary practice regimen. By making graduation contingent upon passing courses in a variety of subjects, Duke provides an incentive for us to learn to play both sides of the ball. Learning to play both sides of the ball, however, is not akin to learning how to play both sides well. While ACES, the food plan and intro courses at Duke are routinely bashed because they are hard—hard to use, hard to tolerate and hard to understand—it seems T-Reqs is lauded because it’s easy. The value of taking courses of questionable value and low difficulty is justified if it meets a Trinity requirement: “I took ‘Rocks for Jocks’ to meet my natural sciences requirement...’ goes the old refrain. At some point, it became run of the mill to opt for relaxation over intellectual stimulation with regard to filling non-major requirements. Like Redick defending a clearly inferior opponent, working T-Reqs to one’s grade point advantage is a way to look good doing something easy and get credit for it. The path of T-Req least resistance is there for those who choose to take it, and a plethora of other paths certainly do exist; the responsibility of choosing a path ultimately lies with the individual. Fortunately, this responsibility lies far in the future, and the summer beckons as a time of release from these paths. With no curriculum requirements at all, the recommended readings come recommended not from professors, but friends. As book titles, articles, and web links come pouring in via Facebook, Twitter and text message, I am assured that learning isn’t only highly recommended at school: it’s an integral part of the culture. It’s nice to know an unsatisfactory, loophole-filled requirement system is partially redeemed by an intellectually curious student base. Thus, flawed systems don’t always produce flawed players; even MJ came out of UNC. Modes of inquiry, the areas of knowledge and T-Reqs don’t begin to describe the lessons we accrue at Duke and how we use them. Jump shots and education have one thing in common in that they are never perfected, and we as individuals choose what the final product looks like. While MJ took the summer after his NBA rookie campaign to perfect what became the greatest fallaway J known to mankind, Redick used the summer before his NBA debut to stamp the letters DUI next to his name. A liberal arts education, as clichéd as it sounds, is what we make of it. That choice, more so than economic recession or freak injury, determines a lifetime of playing ball or sitting on the bench. Ben Brostoff is a Trinity sophomore. His column will run every other Thursday during the summer.
lettertotheeditor I was awarded a Ph.D. in December from the mathematics department and I attended the commencement exercises this weekend, including the hooding ceremony Saturday night. The hooding ceremony was excellent and well organized, with names being called correctly and ample time given to each candidate. The commencement exercises, on the other hand, were poorly organized and embarrassing to the Ph.D. and M.D. students left standing at the back of the student section for part or all of the ceremony. It seems illogical that Duke would risk not having enough chairs for the graduates for the purposes of not having empty seats on the field. Moreover, fifteen minutes into the ceremony, when two golf carts of extra chairs were brought to seat those of us that were lucky enough to get chairs, there were still approximately 30 medical students who did not receive chairs and were left standing
for the entire ceremony. Another complaint of mine is that the Ph.D. students and medical students, who march last because they are considered the highest degree Duke gives out, were left to sit in the back. I did not feel very honored left to sit in the back of the student section without a chair. It would have been more appropriate for a count of students in each section to be made before marching to allocate the appropriate seats and for the students marching last to be given seats in the front. The commencement exercises were my final act at Duke as a graduate student, and unfortunately, because of poor organization, they left me feeling embarrassed and a little disrespected. I hope future medical students and Ph.D. students don’t have to share this feeling.
o save you all some time, I’ll distill my message into a single, concise sentence: stop reading this column. And, no, I don’t mean you should mosey your eyes over to the column next to mine—I’m telling you that it is the summer, and you need to pick up a book. And don’t tell me you can’t think of one. We both know that there’s that one novel that’s sat on your shelf for years, its spine uncracked, its pages coarse and un- nathan freeman thumbed. Or maybe good night, you’ve read enough and good luck of it to B.S. your way through conversations with people who ask you about it. Well, now’s the time to finish that sucker up. Seriously—go, right now, and start reading it. But if you are that type of person who lacks the initiative to engage in structure-free reading, the type of person who can’t choose a book on their own volition—well, you’re in luck! It just so happens many Duke administrators already have their summer reading books lined up, and now’s the perfect opportunity to piggyback on their ideas. So I’ve reached out to the people who run Duke, and put together a summer reading list. Seeing as it’s structured by administrators, let’s call it the Interim Report on the Cross-Cultural Initiative for the Strategic Plan of the Initiation of a Summer Book Club. We’ll start at the top. President Brodhead wrote me an e-mail saying that even with his schedule, he doesn’t confine his reading to a single season: “I always have a work of non-fiction and a novel going at the same time,” he wrote me. Right now, his requisite non-fic piece of nightstand lit consists of “The Race Between Technology and Education” by Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz. A book on growth income inequality may not be the ideal beach read, but Nicholas Kristof does call it “one of last year’s most important books.” Filling Brodhead’s fiction quota is Joseph O’Neill’s “Netherland,” a novel that has also sneaked its way into the White House, as President Obama mentioned recently. If you like Gatsby-esque Trinidadian gangsters, cricket matches and the mythology of New York City, this acclaimed novel is for you. In his e-mail to me, Executive Vice President Tallman Trask said he recently finished “Drood,” a novel by Dan Simmons that invents a series of events that could have inspired Charles Dickens’ final, unfinished novel, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” The tale is narrated by Wilkie Collins, a colleague of Dickens, and the story follows this Edwin Drood
Good will reading
as he lurks after the two of them through shadowy London streets. Trask has finished the book, but says he’s “not sure what’s next.” Provost Peter Lange wrote in an e-mail that he’s checking out “House of Cards” by William Cohan, an in-depth look into the collapse of Bear Stearns—a modern-day tragedy in which Alan Schwartz, Trinity ‘72 and member of Duke’s Board of Trustees, plays a starring role. In contrast, Lange’s fiction pick is “The Skull Mantra” by Elliot Pattison. It is a novel about, in Lange’s words, “a detective (sort of) who operates in Tibet and China and is embroiled in immediate crimes which are enmeshed with Chinese politics around Tibet and Buddhism.” Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta seems to be skewing toward the top of the bestseller lists: he’s just finished “Outliers”—the newest bit of pop sociology from wild-haired Malcom Gladwell—and found it “easy but illuminating,” he said in an e-mail. Moneta is also looking around for a good volume of Croatian history. “You’ll have to do some investigative digging to find out why the Croatian history is of particular interest to me right now,” he told me. When is the history of Croatia not interesting? Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, is getting his James Bond on with “Secret Wars: One Hundred Years of British Intelligence Inside MI5 and MI6” by Gordon Thomas, he wrote in an e-mail. Also on the queue are “This Republic of Suffering” by Duke-of-the-NorthPresident Drew Gilpin Faust—“because Civil War didn’t end when the guns were silenced,” he said— and “Long Lost,” a gumshoe-led yarn from Harlan Coben—“because his fictional sports-agent-turneddetective Myron Bolitar is a Duke graduate.” And last, but not least, Dean Sue is masquerading as an incoming freshman by reading “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz, this year’s required reading for the Class of 2013. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel follows the comic book-obsessed, overweight and unlucky would-be Lothario Oscar as he explores his Dominican heritage growing up in Paterson, New Jersey. With this list of potential reads, hopefully you can pick one out, and chat up an administrator about it. As for myself, my summer reading book happens to be the same as my spring reading book: Roberto Bolaño’s massive tome “2666,” which clocks in at 912 pages. But even if your chosen summer reading book lacks the girth of “2666,” I would recommend shutting this newspaper and picking it up—unless you want it to turn into your fall reading book.
ou’ve probably seen “Good Will Hunting,” and you’re probably just as much of a sucker for it as I am. Matt Damon is at the pinnacle of his boyish charms, Ben Affleck delivers the only skillful performance of his entire career and Robin Williams waxes melodic when he just calms down and acts. But being typical Hollywood, the movie skims the hard questions of what intellectualism actually means—it’s a heart-warming story, not a philosophical one. Perhaps the most instructive and honest scene in the film comes when therapist Sean (Williams) asks Will (Damon) if he has “a soul mate,” someone who challenges him. Will replies by listing a gang of Great Authors, including Shakespeare, Frost, Nietzsche and, beautifully enough, connor southard Flannery O’Connor. Sean dead poet rolls his eyes and reminds Will that “they’re all dead.” To this, Will parries, “not to me they’re not.” Glib, but interesting: Will doesn’t just read the good stuff, he dialogues with it. Intellectualism, in this case, means interaction, good-humored and open-minded prodding of a set of ideas or an aesthetic. In other words, Will is championing a philosophy that most humanities professors worldwide would give off-the-cuff: you can’t just passively read, you have to learn to talk about, write about, and, mostly, think hard and carefully about the Big Ideas. At first glance, this is a no-brainer; even if your only interaction with the humanities at Duke happens in Writing 20, you’ve seen this model in action. Or have you? Mark Edmundson, a professor of English at the University of Virginia, recently offered up a doubting op-ed on the issue of intellectual dialogue for The Chronicle of Higher Education. In it, the long-time teacher of literary analysis calls for a halt to “readings.” That is, a temporary end to the use of critical essays that read a certain work of literature through the eyes of an analytic system—Marxism, Feminism, Post-Structuralism—that, however clever and interesting they may be in their approach to parsing a work, cannot help but straightjacket it. Edmundson argues that we should be more like Will, and “befriend the texts we choose to teach.” That is, we should get to know them and analyze them as much as possible with our brains, not those of Karl Marx or Jacques Derrida. In Edmundson’s eyes, unfettered dialogue with a great text is best. What relevance does Edmundson have to anyone who is not majoring in English or Literature, you ask? Let’s extend Edmundson’s argument so that a “reading” is now any analysis which branches off from an original idea that we might say is “big,” or at least influential—from neoclassical economics to Marxism—and uses that perspective to judge and evaluate. A reading might be a psychology experiment on sibling rivalry or a comparison of the political philosophies of Thatcher and Blair. What’s needed is an occasional return to the fundamental concepts, to keep us grounded and open-minded so that we don’t lose the forest in the trees. Interacting with the minds that spawned the source material for x, y or z Big Idea means a step back and a reengaging with the significance of... anything. Evolutionary biologists can remind themselves of the efficacy of their work by reading “The Origin of Species,” and econ majors can revisit the occasional beauty of their dismal science by reading the more cogent bits of “The Wealth of Nations.” If you’re pub pol, read John Maynard Keynes. If you’re keen on environmental science, Henry David Thoreau has a few words for you. It won’t solve your problems, but it should be a way of thoughtfully interacting with the foundations of your interests, and in the process bringing it all to life. It sounds like I’m prescribing a didactic Great Books education, but I’m no Alan Bloom; I don’t want to have to put together the list of what you should read, and no one with a modicum of humility wants to, either. But don’t let too much of the nitty gritty—from critical readings of Blake to economic case studies on oil production—get between you and the source material. The “Great Books” are a tricky matter, always shifting and evolving without settled definition of what they are. They are here and there badly written, etc. But, at the very least, we shouldn’t treat the “good stuff” as if it were just there for post-mortem prodding; it needn’t be dead to us.
Nathan Freeman is a Trinity senior. His column will run every other Thursday during the summer.
Connor Southard is a Trinity sophomore. His column will run on Thursdays during the summer.
Benjamin Cooke, Mathematics Ph.D. graduate
Don’t read this column, read a book
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May 14th, 2009 issue of the Duke Chronicle