As I sit here writing this, I am sitting on the American Airlines aeroplane (US airplane) at Heathrow waiting to take off. I’ve had all week to write this but I kept putting it off, despite my mum constantly pestering me: “You really should post on the blog. Even Michael’s done it!”
So here we go.
Tenting has been so amazing with everyone in the Fortress bonding and becoming great friends. I’ve loved every minute of it (even through the hard times when I would fail to get to sleep despite overdosing on Nyquil). Personal checks night/nights was/were so much fun. Despite the abundance of students who clearly didn’t know their alcohol limit, the Fortress once again dominated, as we mingled with other RUF and Cru students and line monitors alike.
Then the best thing happened.
Not just the K-Ville hoodies which I don’t think any of us actually managed to get (I wrestled with a small Asian boy for one of the last ones but clearly my rugby skills didn’t come into play as I walked away empty-handed). But we don’t mind. Because ours are SO COOL. I love all the photos of us wearing them, and I would say we will now be known on campus as hardcore tenters. Oh yes. When we have our regular fortress reunions (WHICH WILL HAPPEN), we all have to wear them. No excuses.
And then… Saturday arrived. The day of the game. College Gameday was fun, if not tiring, but I continued to hoard free stuff as though my life depended on it. I have no need for a hole-ridden hat, shaped like an upside-down basketball net, but hey, I have one. After tiring ourselves out, the freshman fortress girls, Robert, and the wonderful Elyn went to Super Target and Party City to finalize costumes/paint for the big day. After specifically buying aviators for the purpose of taking pictures in our jackets,
we completed our mission and stopped at Whole Foods on the way home. An hour or so later we met in K-Ville. Then, the PAINTING COMMENCED. We painted ourselves all-blue. It was epic. Really epic. My Thesaurus says it was Herculean. People took photos; someone even interviewed Robert on behalf of the Fortress – result!
We got in the queue (US line) and helped two brave venturers crowd surf (it would be good practice for when Dick Vitale would choose the Fortress as the safest pair of hands to carry him into the Crazies).
Then they began to let us in and we got great front row spots. It was slightly ruined by my CIA-like spying on Jay Bilas in front of me, texting a colleague a somewhat rude remark about the “blue bodies” behind him. But whatever. We’re the Fortress. So yeah. Deal with it.
In the game, we DOMINATED.
I thought at first it was bittersweet because there was not as much suspense because it was fairly apparent we were going to win. But then I was really happy because Coach K gave the players on the bench (who don’t usually get to play) a chance to play in the UNC rivalry game. That was really nice, and you could see how much it meant to the players so I was pleased about that. Après le game, we burnt the benches before showering. As I scrubbed off the last vestiges of the paint off my skin, it dawned on me that my Cameron Craziness for this year had ended. It was a sad time.
(Interim – I’m still waiting for my plane to take off though I’ve been sitting here for a really long time. This is what you get in Heathrow. Sigh. International airports. I think we’re moving towards the runway. I hope. I want to see the Fortress again! The woman next to me is doing a crossword. She hasn’t done much. I bet I could finish it. She’s rubbish (US bad). Ok that was quite rude. I apologize. Anyway, WHY WON’T MY PLANE LEAVE!?!! Now we have stopped. I see a Qantas plane next to us. I don’t know why I’m documenting every detail of this. I’m bored. Oh yes. Oh yes. Moving again. On the runway. Aaaaaand……. Take off. That was a really rough takeoff actually. The plane made/is making strange noises. You wouldn’t get that with a British Airways pilot (sorry American Airlines…). I’m now shooting like a star across the Atlantic (well, significantly slower) back to Duke (I’m actually still over a farm in England or something but you get the idea.)
Anyway, back to the Fortress. Dismantling the Fortress was a painful experience, with the only hope being the new plant shoots that emerged from under our tarp. It was a sign that one day we will all meet again and paint ourselves.
Overall, tenting with you guys has been my best experience at Duke so far. I cannot express with mere words how fun it has been as the memories will live on. I will, however, list certain memories that I share with each of you:
l Hannah – for surprising us all with your Pokemon talents (that story was AMAZING), for being a smiley person, for being mocked alongside me by Michael and Tim in the Youtube video for being women, for your blossoming romance with Tim being cut short by my ominous Love Calculator and it’s prediction of 0% between you and Tim, and for our amazing Target trip and our aviator posing/the weird chair in Whole Foods which you fell/sank into.
l Laura – again for ALWAYS smiling/laughing, enlisting the help of the lovely Blackwell girls and their baking efforts, for being a machine despite getting pinkeye (sad times L ), for watching ‘The Bachelor’ in the tent with Tim and then discussing it, for defending the Fortress’ honour (US honor) against D’Onofrio and his troupe of randos and again for posing with me and Hannah outside target as though we ruled the world J (We do.)
l Esther – FOR TAKING EVERYONE’S SHIFT! Esther you were a tenting beast, always offering to help others when they couldn’t be there! Also, for always doing maths (US math) problem sets and then incorporating it into the blog in an amusing way, in fact, generally your blog posts, and for being one of the greatest and most fearless first time skiers I have EVER seen at Winterplace, namely “bombing” a.k.a. going straight down a black diamond at Winterplace because you would rather “wipe out once at the end than fall lots of times going slowly down”. Amazing.
l Tim – For pants on the ground, for basically BEING General Larry Platt, for your amazing half split which I am jealous of, for living in K-Ville all the time for no reason, for having the most ridiculous blog posts/setting up the blog in the first place, for Shaphriqua (? I’m not sure of the spelling…), for letting Robert paint you like a cat, and for not believing in the existence of women meaning that in your version of the Fortress there are only 8 male members.
l Robert – for staging all of the Fortress photographs, especially on Target day, so we looked amazing, for your obsession with all things Harry Potter, for you saying things like ‘Lumos!’ and genuinely hoping that the overhead light in the Fortress would turn on, for introducing the ever-amusing out-of-context quotes section to the blog, for Dillo Mondays, and for you joining me and Jonathan in our horror film (US movie) triumvirate. Also for telling us roommate stories. Hahaha.
l Lewis – for being a fellow European in Europe’s great secret plan to bring down the US from the inside, for acting like a real Russian on personal checks night!, for your furry Russian hat, for staying up late with me regularly for no reason except complaining about the problems in our lives, for celebrating International Women’s Day, for being my EOS 11 buddy and not really paying attention/finding us partners because I don’t like talking to people I don’t know, and for “pisat-nado”-ing ALL THE TIME!
l Jonathan – for being one of the most amusingly sketchy people I have ever met, for watching the Ring with me in the library and laughing, for the Blair Witch project incident and the ensuing hilarity regarding the infamous blog post and death threats to Robert Ryan, for going on the ski trip and some of us watching your spectacular skis-off fall but admiring you for taking on that black diamond, for amusing toasts on personal checks night, for generally being random...
l Michael – for your infamous wink and pinch combination that Justin Bieber stole from you, for finding the blog too weird to write on, for wearing sunglasses and most specifically aviators in the game, for being the brains behind the Fortress when you and Cameron raided Home Depot and getting help from random people to make the Fortress what it is today, for putting on a British accent and referring to me as ‘Cluuh’, for noticing that I have started saying ‘rUUUde’ all the time, for being one of the original “sneak-date”-ers and inspiring the likes of Gavin and Brandon to begin the same..
l Nick – for being our captain (!), for climbing buildings all the time, for being able to help anyone with anything at pretty much anytime, for joke fighting with me over electronic communication i.e. the blog about crème eggs,
(Interim – on the plane I just spilt my can of Pepsi all over myself – AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH)
l Nick (cont.), for being invincible so that your would never spill Pepsi on yourself, for organizing the ski trip despite having a million things to do, for forming the BodSquad, and for sneaking the mini-Bods into the game, and for making your car laugh on the way back from West Virginia for telling us about the Eddie saga.
l Brandon – for your obsession with lemurs and making me potentially want to visit the lemur centre (US center), for us both liking going to sleep early/with no noise but NEVER being in the tent at the same time!, for you implying that I should have gone to the Duke Chapel in my pyjamas (US pajamas) one Sunday after over-sleeping in K-Ville, for loving Wicked like me and singing along to songs like ‘Popular’ in Chris D’Angelo’s car and putting on two different girls voices for the two female leads.
l Cameron – for saying ‘Whammy!’ all the time, for knowing who John Terry is and discussing him with me, for our soon-to-be intense football (US soccer) rivalry in South Africa this summer (sorry, England will dominate), for having one of the funniest British accents I know as you speak in a slightly higher tone and use the word ‘bloody’ intermittently, for finding the phrase ‘throw a spanner in the works’ amusing, and for having a wig so cool that Dick Vitale would choose the Fortress for photo ops and crowd surfing!
There are 100s more memories that come to mind as I write this but I can’t write them all. To use an American expression: Guys, it’s been a blast. May we dominate K-Ville next year as well.
Long live the Fortress! GTHC! (not really… well, kind of…)
Duke – 82 UNC - 50