Countdown to Graduation – A Senior’s Blog

Countdown to Graduation
One senior scrambles to cram in all things Carolina before heading out into the real world.

posted 2/12/2009

Duke Memories

People usually laugh when I say I sometimes think I hate Duke more than I love UNC.

But I'm not joking.

This won't be a blog post about how much I hate Duke. Other people have expounded on such matters, and I'm not sure I or anyone else could say it any better than that. But, since most people reading this blog have fond memories of beating Duke, I thought I'd relay some of my mine.

First of all, the best part about hating Duke is being surrounded by thousands of other people who possess that same fiery passion. Walking through campus on Duke game days is comparable to walking through a hall filled with an endless supply of lava fudge cupcakes, or a life where alarm clocks don't exist, or hangovers don't happen, and eating Bojangles three times a week is good for you. In other words, it's like Heaven on Earth.

It doesn't matter what exams you having coming up (and the game is always during midterm time), or what friend you got into a fight with the night before, or even what it feels like to be front row when your team loses their first game of a what-was-before dominating undefeated season, and an ACC game no less (now there is a night I'd love to forget), all is forgotten as you hear the Bell Tower ring "Hark The Sound" and you thank your lucky stars you're at this institution of higher learning instead of the less fortunate kids down the street. The campus is abuzz and there is always something going on: silly dancing and singing in the Pit, once-strict teachers canceling classes and tests so you can watch the game with no guilt, and people you don't even know coming up to talk to you about how we're going to win.

It doesn't matter who you know, everyone wearing the same Carolina blue gear you are is in on the secret. Though the secret is really starting to get out – the Blue Devils can't compare to the Tar Heels in any sort of way and 4-0 at Cameron during my college years is really starting to prove that. I know Tyler and Danny have a big role in that, but I doubt it's all coincidence that we're undefeated since I got here. Sure, it's not my sweat staining those Carolina blue jerseys or my impassioned roars reverberating through Kville, but I put in a lot of work, just like they do.

Take the game last year where my friends and I were heading to the Bahamas at 4 a.m. the next morning for Spring Break, but we still managed to cheer our hearts out as Danny Green dunked on Greg Paulus (my least favorite dookie of all time) resulting in what I consider to be the most sublime image in Carolina basketball history. True, we didn't make it to Franklin St. that night, but we did our part in crowding as many people into my friend Christian's living room, creating what was sure to be a fire hazard, especially with enough electrifying energy in that room to keep Franklin St. lit for days. And though we didn't rush to the streets and party that night, I like to think we did our own part by starting numerous Tar Heel chants in the Bahamas. We'd scream TAR and we'd hear back HEELS from all corners of the beach. If people didn't know of UNC greatness before we got there, they sure knew after we left.

Or take our home game last year where as a lowly junior I didn't manage to get tickets, but my friend Christian (same guy; we have a lot of Duke memories together) and I staked out Goldies (may it rest in peace) hours beforehand for a group of our friends to enjoy the game in front of the best television in the bar. We fought off other fans who tried to take our chairs and managed to be the loudest group there. Some Duke fans decided to drop in and show their support by being generally obnoxious and rude. We handled them in a classy Carolina way by not giving in to their nonsense. We did end up losing that game, but as Carolina fans I think we're always winners.

Not to be biased, but my friends and I do always seem to be the loudest. At an annual "Go to Hell Dook" party freshman year we started cheers and were the literally the last people there screaming "go to hell dook" until we got kicked out. So we left peacefully, but still cheering UNC our whole walk home.

But, the best memory I have of the rivalry and really my best memory at UNC was when we played Duke my freshman year at Cameron Indoor. We packed as many people as we could in my friend Dave's apartment in Chapel Ridge. It didn't matter how we knew you, if you loved UNC you were welcome. The details of the game are now dim in my mind. I remember what I was wearing (a Carolina girls, best in the world t-shirt), I remember a lot of yelling, but most importantly I remember the tears on J.J. Reddick's (my second least favorite dookie) face as a team led by freshman Tyler Hansbrough beat him on his senior night.

After hugging every single person in the room we raced to the bus stop so we could rush Franklin St. It was at that time our friend Ryan swooped in to save the day by picking up a crew of us, so we didn't have to wait for the bus that may or may not have ever come. He'd just got in from out of town and had been listening to the game on the radio. He drove us to Franklin as fast as he could (while still abiding all Chapel Hill laws, no worries) and parked somewhere haphazardly while we were all racing to get out of the car while it was still moving. We hit the wall of people and pushed our way to the middle so we could be in the thick of all the madness. There was no fear of getting burnt from the fires or trampled by the people. We were all one, and everyone looked out for each other. After taking countless pictures and jumping over fires and basking in the general merriment, I headed back to my dorm. That was the first time I felt the glory of what it really feels like to be a Tar Heel, and I've kept that feeling with me ever since.

posted 2/11/2009

An Introduction 

Hi, I'm Beth and I have no idea what I'm doing after I graduate. And in no way do I feel like I'm presumptuous answering that question before its asked. "What are you doing next year" – the six words I've grown to hate.  It doesn't stop people from asking, so instead of sulking I've decided to embrace it. That's where the blog comes in. A senior on quest to find out where she'll be, but making sure to have the time of her life before she gets there.

An introduction seems appropriate – 

I'm a journalism major at the best college in the country (do expect some bias from this girl who bleeds Carolina blue.) I'm not one of those students who stress about picking the wrong major. My love for journalism (more specifically, but not limited to, sports journalism) is so intense, it can even border on obsession. It's not just the writing I enjoy, it's the nuts and bolts of how the media industry works. While some kids grow up dreaming of the bright lights of New York or L.A., I dream of hunched shoulders over a computer racing deadline or the camaraderie of a press box. Journalists are celebrities to me. Tony Kornheiser and Gary Williams are my Brad Pitt and George Clooney. While at a bar in China, I got more excited about seeing Craig Sager and Jay Mariotti than Evander Holyfield and gold medalist winning Olympians (I was also excited about the free beer, but that's another story for another post.)

At any rate, spending my days in Carroll Hall was nothing short of amazing in my opinion. Now, I'm done with my major and am taking 3 classes just to quench some other interests. Ultimate Frisbee, Politics of Sexuality, and Film and Culture round out the class schedule. If that doesn't sound like the ultimate senior load, I don't know what is.

But, believe me I find other ways to keep busy than my 8 hours of class a week (if you could actually consider playing my favorite sport for two hours a week class). I'm what some might call a work-a-holic. If there is free time in my schedule, I'm going to fill it with something. Call it an appetite for a paycheck, voracity to move ahead, or an ambition to fill up my resume. Whatever it is, I like to keep busy.

Job 1 is a part-time staffer at Tarheel Bookstore (and yes, that is how we spell Tarheel there). I spend my time in the textbook department of this off campus bookstore filing books and helping customers. Sounds glamorous, huh? It is great to catch some time to read books when I'm not stacking them. But usually I'm playing a real-life game of Jenga with heavy Chemistry books and I always end up losing (my poor toes!)

Job 2 is a dishwasher at University Baptist Church. This is the job I'm most proud of finding because it really has to be the greatest job of all time. (My friends think it's a little strange that I work at a church since I'm Jewish, but then I tell them the benefits and they understand.) Every Wednesday night I wash dishes for their Fellowship Dinner. I get to hang out with the nicest men and women of the kitchen committee and get a delicious dinner between scrubbing. Besides the paycheck, I get a pass for the best parking spot in town on the corner of Columbia and Franklin. It's come in handy many times when walking to that 8 a.m. class just doesn't seem doable. And the best part? Roy Williams used to have the same job. I think we're on the same career path – next stop for me is beloved basketball coach, I can just see it.

Job 3 is as a copy-editor for the sports page of the Chapel Hill News. Every Monday night and Saturday morning I come in the office read and edit sports stories and every now and then I get to do my favorite thing – write about sports. It's been great experience and honed my writing for sure, but the only downside is the 8:30 a.m. wake up calls on Saturday mornings. But, going to bed a little earlier than usual on Friday nights has been worth it.

And finally, Job 4, my latest job and the job that brings me to you is as an Editorial Intern at the Carolina Alumni Review. 10 hours a week I get to work in the nicest office I've ever worked in by far and write stories for the bi-monthly magazine. So far I've written a story about an impressive group of student-entrepreneurs who started their own record label, a profile of a man who spends his free time helping kids in the roughest neighborhoods of Durham and am now working on a piece about sea turtles. I love the diversity of my assignments, but mostly I love working to promote how amazing of a university UNC is and what sort of brilliant minds it produces.

So, that's a little bit about myself. I plan to update this blog 3 or 4 times a week with tidbits about how I'm keeping involved in the Carolina campus life (the UNC/Duke game is always an exciting time) and maybe I'll finally figure out the answer to the question of what I'm doing next year.

Do come back and feel free to comment.

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