The Odds Are Good, But The Goods Are Odd

So this weekend I had my most official, genuine, welcome-to-Duke experience: Graduate student campout. Let me explain: This is the weekend where graduate students have a weekend-long party (in tents, RVs and the back of Uhaul trucks), they drink till they can drink no more (and then they do), they run and get in line at the check-point at all hours of the night (aka, can’t sleep all day or night for two days and nights), and at the end of this fun (misery?) they get their name in a lotto in which they have about 30% chance of getting their name drawn. The prize? The motivation? The reason for the madness???

Yep. Season. Basketball. Tickets.

Well, I won’t get into the details, but I did NOT come away from the weekend with season tickets. Sad story. Don’t worry my Duke-fanatic-since-I-was-in-the-crib-self will find another way into games. But, I did have an awesome time with two of my great new friends, Nirupama and Tulsi. And I also learned A LOT about Duke students. One of my favorite sayings so far that I’ve heard here is this:

“The odds are good but the goods are odd: Dating a Statistician.”

This was a headline on the front of the EpiGrad Today magazine that our Epidemiology professor showed us in lecture (And suggested we subscribe to). It made us all laugh, but I think that this quote hits a little too close to home for most Dukies. At Campout this weekend I met some ODD folks. I know they say students at Duke are smart (they say that right?) but let me tell you, I have seen them at their best. And now, I have seen them at their worst. So without further ado, a glimpse into the “oddness” that is Duke Graduate School:

Number One: A conversation with a Duke Business School (Fuqua) student who saw us studying under our tree at campout:

Intoxicated Fuqua boy: “Hey, are you girls STUDYING? At campout??”
[Side note: It really says something about you when you get made fun of for studying too much, at Duke, from a Duke student...]
Me: Yeah, we are studying for our epidemiology midterm this week…”
IFB: “Epidemiology…isn’t that the study of like, what’s, uh, under the skin?”
Me: “Um, noooot exactly.(Or at all) It’s the study of the causes and patterns of disease.”
IFB: “Oh, well once I met someone with Cholera, that’s a disease right?”
Me: Well, yes. Cholera is a disease…It’s usually transmitted through drinking water contaminated by feces and causes severe diarrhea.”
IFB: (Very confused look. His eyes are asking, Wait, why are we talking about diarehea? I thought we were talking about skin, or what’s under it…or something?) “Well, I have a friend who went to medical school. He’s an alcoholic now.”

Thank you Fuqua boy, you are dismissed.

Number Two: Conversation with the girl behind me in line for a check. Our line was labeled HARR-JOY (the last names of those who should be in said line)

Girl: “Wait, what line is this for? Harr-Joy?”
Me: “Yep. Sure is.”
Girl: “Well, does that include "I" then???”
Me: “Yes, it includes all the last names H-J. So I is definitely in here. You're in the right place.”
Girl: “Ugghhh, this is so confusing, I just don’t get why they do it this way!!”
(Me, in my head: “What way? Alphabetically? Yeah, you’re right. Confusing.”)

Number Three: Odd, in a good way...
Nirupama, one of my great new friends here is really good at coming up with ways to memorize information for exams. For instance, while we were studying Hill’s Causal Criteria, she shared with us an acronym? that she had created to remember them: S E S. T B P. C E A. Now don’t confuse them. They need to be in THAT order in THESE sets of three. If you can just remember this very logical…order of letters in sets of three, you’re golden. Brilliant right? Hm. Somehow, Tulsi and I fell for it and were chanting S-E-S ,T-B-P, C-E-A all night. When I say all night, I mean aaaaaall night. Because we didn’t sleep. Ugh.

Anyways, true to my not-too-long-so-people-will-read-it rule, I’m going to sign off. But I just want y’all to remember these people this season when you see the Cameron Crazies bouncing around like mad people on TV.
Intimidating the heck out of whatever opponent made the mistake of coming into Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Cheering on their national championship team to a repeat.
The goods may be reeeeal odd, but the odds are good. Go Duke.

Nirupama and Tulsi in our tent.

Our spread that made everyone else jealous: Brie, Wine, Salad, Bread, Chocolate covered almonds...Mmm.

And again I say, Go Duke.


  1. Well I have to say. You may have been bummed about the results, but you managed to write a humorous description of it. GO DUKE!!!

  2. you've done it again! I have blog envy. You are such a great writer and I laughed out loud, several times. See you Sunday!


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