Thursday, July 24, 2014

Taylor: "DUKEEngage"

“I was a little worried when I saw she had delegated the task to an intern, but then I saw you go to Duke and I thought, ‘she knows what she’s doing.’”

Seven weeks have gone by, and almost everywhere we go Duke follows us. We are introduced as the “Duke Interns”, and “Where are you from?” is answered with “We all go to Duke but are from all over.” WE CAN’T ESCAPE IT.

When I was applying to college I wanted to go to a school people would know. I wanted to be able to say the name and have people go, “Oh (Enter College Name Here), nice.” Maybe it was my desire to have people know that I worked hard, maybe it was to please my mom, maybe it was my competitive side getting the best of me; who knows. All I know is that it landed me at Duke.  

But now I wish people didn’t like the sound of my university so much.

Being a part of DukeEngage has been amazing, truly, but I just wish the Duke part wasn’t as prominent as it has been. Don’t get me wrong I love my school and generally love being associated with Duke but throughout this trip I have realized that sometimes people present me, build me, and think of me only as Duke.

Again it isn’t that I don’t enjoy being associated with Duke because through Duke I have met some amazing people this summer (shouts out to all our awesome speakers and my fellow DukeEngagers), but I don’t like that people assumptions people make about me just because I go to Duke (Don’t assume things because it makes an ass out of you and me.).

My ability to answer phones in a professional manner or fill out a spreadsheet that requires I call a few people for clarification was not bestowed upon me thanks to Duke (sorry to break it to you Duke). Yes, Duke has taught me many things but I also have quite a few skills that I wouldn’t credit to Duke (sorry not sorry).

I guess what I am trying to say is that last summer no one really cared that I went to Duke it didn’t really matter, it wasn’t who I was. But this summer Duke has replaced me as me. People look at me (us) and see Duke or DukeEngage. Duke sent us here, Duke got these internships, Duke this, Duke that. And I am torn because I am so thankful for this opportunity but at the same time my identity has been stolen.

This post is not meant to trash Duke or bash the program, but rather to draw attention to how much the name Duke has influenced my trip here and how it has, in some way, maybe taken a bit of the trip away from me.

Over and Out,


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