Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's All That...And More

As I sat at home, in hot, sunny Alabama, and thought back to the memories of shivering in a tent in Kville, I realized I had not yet contributed a final blog post. I think I was reluctant to because I didn't really want to acknowledge it was over. Going back home has shown me how much tenting and The Fortress impacted my second semester and left me with incredible memories. I keep having Fortress memories pop up at the craziest times.
At a sleepover with high school friends we had 3 people ready to crash on the floor, and I watched in surprise as my friend brought out not one, not 2, but 3 air mattresses to sleep on. I had to remind myself that in the real world people don't always sleep 4 to a mattress.
Trying to explain things to friends has been pretty fun as well, but it's made me realize how difficult it is to put such a wonderful experience into words. Numerous times I've been asked, "So, what was this tenting thing" (oh, let me tell ya...) or "So you slept outside for HOW MANY weeks?" (six) "And this was for season tickets?" (nope, just one game) "So you don't get tickets if you don't tent for this long?" (no, we could have gotten tickets if we got in line a few days ahead of time. but we got front row this way) "There were a lot of pictures on facebook where you were blue" (not a question, but yes, why yes we were) "You were in a tent the whole time?" (actually, we had to be in a tarp the first week, and we really liked it, so we stayed in it) "And it snowed?" (yep, it was winter) "What about rain?" (our tarp was constructed really well. It held up in a tornado) "This sounds miserable. why?" Why? Why?? How do you even begin to explain. It's so much more than basketball tickets--although our seats were amazing no doubt. So much more than press coverage--but seriously, Yahoo, USA Today, Fox, ESPN, and the majority of the local papers ain't bad. It's more than stalking the players--even though we all got our fair share of that; more than toughing the elements--although no tent or tarp held up as well as the beloved Fortress. More than checking the blog the second you got back from class to see if anyone had updated recently, more than waking up at 2 am for a tent check, more than finding out that the only way all twelve of us could fit under one tarp was if everyone turned on their right shoulder. More than staying up late at night singing Disney songs at the top of our lungs or finding out little known facts about each other. More than saying you were black tenting and getting a look of instant appreciation or saying you were in the Fortress and hearing, "Oh, you're THAT tent?!" More than lining up in perfect alphabetical order for tent checks, or getting grace for ultimate frisbee or special talents, or finding out how many people COULD fit in Nick's car to go back to East at 3 am. The Fortress was the smiles, the laughter, the unity, the memories, and, well, the craziness. And so much more.
Laura Ezell
PS--If anyone has figured out how to say, "Well, my friends and I had the most extreme, intense, epic, awesome tent in all of Duke, and our basketball team was pretty much the greatest ever, National Champions in fact" modestly, would you please let me know?