Aug 03

DYWC Hosts Foreign Students

DYWC Camp Host to Foreign Students

by Adhya Khare and Lisha Li

Aug. 2, 2017


DURHAM – Duke University East Campus is home to many summer programs for students who are looking to further their education. The Duke Young Writers’ Camp is just one of these programs.


This year, the camp has been host to students from not only all over the United States, but also the world. People who love writing are all gathered together and getting inspired by each other. The camp is open to day-campers, who are at the camp from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and residential campers, who stay at Duke University for the 12 days of camp (including the weekends).


There are four major sections no matter which type of camper you are. The morning class, lunch, afternoon class, and reader’s forum. The morning classes of about a dozen students are split between grade levels (middle school or high school) and genre interests (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, etc.). Lunch is a joint activity for all campers. Afternoon classes are similar to morning classes as they appeal to the student’s interests in what they want to learn. Lastly, readers’ forum is a time allotted for participants to share their writing pieces in front of an attentive audience.


Katharina Schnedl, a high-school day-camper from Austria, had found out about the camp by herself and looked forward to being in a crowd of like-minded people. In Austria, she had been a counselor at a swimming camp. The experience and structure were much different than how it is at Duke, so she didn’t really know what to expect before she came to camp. She simply looked forward to improving her use of the English language, write her college essay, and make many international friends.


At Duke Young Writers’ Camp, Schnedl took Wordsmithery in the morning and college essay writing class in the afternoon.


“It is a very creative class, challenging my knowledge of the language and their sayings as well as making me think outside of the box, ” Schnedl said of her morning class.


Another student, Greta Morgenstern, a high-school residential camper from Japan, chose to come here because she wanted to participate in a camp based on writing. Other summer courses she had been to had not been dorm or college based. She liked how the camp imitates the college experience very well.


“I expected a good writing space where I could focus and practice writing,” said Morgenstern. The courses she takes have definitely supplemented that need.


Like Schnedl, Morgenstern took Wordsmithery in the morning. She liked how the class taught her how to play with time and a linear narrative. In the afternoon, Morgenstern further enhanced her writing through her multi-genre writing class.


A special part of Duke Young Writers’ Camp is the afternoon readers’ forum. Standing in front of a crowd is never easy and only gets harder when you aren’t in a place of familiarity. The first time, Schnedl was standing on the stage of the White Hall during the forum, she read her piece “I Ain’t Dead Yet.”  Everyone in the auditorium started snapping and cheering. She stepped off the stage with a beaming smile on her face. Her newfound confidence in her voice twinkled in her eyes.


“It is definitely astonishment,” said Schnedl, “because after just five days at camp my creativity boomed and being surrounded by so many talented people brings so much inspiration and motivation that I was surprised how much I wrote in just five days.”


Morgenstern could be seen laughing joyously with her friends at lunch. A broad smile of comfort adorns her face. She talks vivaciously and listens attentively.


On the first meeting of Duke Young Writers’ Camp, Mitch Cox, the DYWC academic director, said that in this camp there are people from all over the world. Schnedl and Morgenstern are a few of them. They are both “inspired, creative and proud” to be a part of session three of Duke Young Writers’ Camp.

Aug 02

Guest Poet and Singer Kim Arrington Shares Advice and Inspiration at DYWC

Kim Arrington addresses Session III campers at DYWC. (Mitchell Cox photo)



Guest Poet and Singer Kim Arrington Shares Advice and Inspiration at DYWC


By Adhya Khare, Caroline Smith, Jade Simpson

August 1, 2017


“I went searching for life in places my mother warned against. I am a sidewinder.”

— Kim Arrington


DURHAM – A lovely voice echoes on the panels in White Lecture Hall. The words were lyrical and held meaning. In the audience, everyone sits spellbound, ready to listen.


Kim Arrington, a poet and veteran instructor at Duke Young Writers’ Camp, was a guest speaker at White Lecture Hall on Duke University West Campus, on Thursday, July 27. She was there to give advice and inspire the crowd of future writers.


“Occasionally we’ve had big name authors who just don’t relate to kids,” said Mitch Cox, academic director for Duke Young Writers’ Camp, “but Kim is definitely a published author who knows how to relate to kids.”


During her speech, Arrington focused on being specific in writing. She expressed the point that inspiration can be found from anything and everything, and she highlighted the use of imagery.


“The building block to a poem is an image,” Arrington said, adding that descriptive language brings a poem to life.


Arrington read her own poetry as well as poems from Yusef Komunyakaa, Lucille Clifton and Pablo Neruda. She led an exercise called the “shopping cart” where students write down as many objects as they can that might help them get inspired. She then asked them to write a poem using those images. Throughout the audience, you could see students hard at work on their poems about various objects such as an orange or salt.


Many students found this exercise to be very helpful.


“I hadn’t been thinking of poetry as images,” said Adjoa Baidoo, a 15-year-old DYWC camper from Maryland. “It really helped me relate that to my own writing.”


Other students found Arrington’s poetry and spirit motivating. According to Alanna Wilson-Patrick, a DYWC high school student, she would love to have Arrington’s infinite inspiration.


Arrington relayed the importance of what writers should not use. She did not like cliches and proceeded to tell the students never to use the phrases “Her eyes filled with tears” or “She/He is beautiful” as a description.


“I want to know how, how are they beautiful?” she stated.


Currently, Arrington is working on a new album named Make Your Luck. Using inspiration from anything and everything, she has been going to her “creative place” to produce another beautiful album.


“I hate making records,” Arrington said. “I love singing songs. I hate making records. It’s an all-consuming process, you can’t think about anything else.”


Arrington has been singing since she was 4 years old. When she first got onto the stage, she was surprised by how people responded to her voice. When she got her first record, she was excited by how she could hear the same song over and over again and get a different experience each time.


“I think to be a good writer you need to be a good reader or experience life,” Arrington stated.  




Albums and Publications from Kim Arrington:

Getting II Yes – 2013

First Love note of Kim Arrington – 2008

The lapis dwellers – 2004



Aug 02

Wordsmithery class creates new words for Duke Young Writers’ Camp, Session III

Aug 02

Local Audience Treated to ADF Finale Dance Performance

ADF dancers showcase new choreography at Brodie Gym at Duke University, July 28. (photo by Clara Richards)


Local Audience Treated to ADF Finale Dance Performance

By Allie Hunter, Michaela Wang, Clara Richards, Caroline Smith, Lisha Li

August 1, 2017


DURHAM–Imagine an ocean of dancers dressed in black, gliding across the stage, their graceful limbs moving in fluid, calm motions.


The American Dance Festival wrapped up a six-week residency on the morning of July 28; several dance companies presented their work. It culminated in several performances in front of a large, bustling audience of about 100 people at the Brodie Recreation Center at Duke University’s East Campus.


“I love [ADF] because of the wide range of teachers, dancers and performers,” said Elizabeth Corbett, an ADF dance teacher for Forsythe Ballet. According to Corbett, the students create their own choreography while also learning from their instructors.


The unique performances incorporated percussive movements, vocal expression of both comic and tragic drama, and many ballet variations between jumps and turns.


In one performance, about a dozen dancers jogged in a ring around the stage. One girl broke from the circle and flashed a large grin at the crowd before shouting, “America runs on Dunkin!” She made one more lap, while the other dancers dispersed off stage, before returning and adds, “But, I run on Starbucks!”


During the dance, she seemed to represent a 21st Century teenage girl posing for selfies, dancing to Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” and winking at the audience with her hair twirling around her finger. At the end of her solo, the music died and she slowly collapsed to the floor, grabbing at her head. Three dancers run on stage, making a smooth transition into the next performance.


Another evocative dance, performed by Brooke Rucker, spoke about the story behind the choreography which she performed with her peers later on in the show. Her dance was inspired by Antarctica; her character was trying to discover the South Pole but wasn’t able to find it and died from hypothermia.


Rucker started her dancing career at the age of 3. She really liked the American Dance Festival because of the uniqueness of it.


“I can express myself like I want to without other people’s expectations,” Rucker said. She loved the peculiarity that she can just be herself while participating in the festival.


Meredith McCann is a student who is trying to find her own artistic voice. She is not a professional dancer, but majors in art.


“Composition gives you so much freedom,” McCann said, and this is the exact reason that she came to the American Dance Festival.


According to its website, the mission of the American Dance Festival is to encourage and support the creation and presentation of new modern dance work by both established and emerging choreographers.


ADF Fast Facts:

  • based in Durham, NC
  • began in 1934
  • More than 26,000 people see performances by more than 20 companies each season.
  • The festival has commissioned 418 works and premiered 681 pieces.
  • Each summer at ADF, more than 420 students from some 20 countries and 40 states study with ADF’s 70 faculty members.
  • Beyond the summer, ADF maintains year-round dance studios offering movement classes to over 770 participants, provides over 190 free classes to more than 3,200 local dancers, and offers choreographic residencies providing artists with the necessary space and time to create.

Aug 01

Runners Come to Al Buehler Trail for Summer Training

Runners Come to Al Buehler Trail for Summer Training

By Andrew Clegg

DURHAM—The Al Buehler Trail snakes through a hilly and dense forest located near Duke University. Hikers, couples, families, and runners find this place both relaxing and inspiring. It’s also a place where would-be running champions working on building their competitive season.

The three miles of gravel trail wrapping around Washington Inn & Duke Golf Course is named after a former Duke University track coach and 6-time Atlantic Coast Conference champion.

Brendan Murray, the cross country coach for Jordan High School in Durham, is a frequent visitor of this trail.

“My dad was a runner and got me interested,” said Murray, “The competition and the team camaraderie fueled my desire to get better. [I’m] aiming for 500- plus total summer miles. Individually I want to break three hours in the marathon.”

This year, he wants to see consistent improvement from his team, win the city-county championship, and compete to make N.C.’s state high school cross country finals.

“We run here because the hills here will build up our endurance,” Murray explained.

Tyler Dunston, a Jordan High School cross country runner, agrees.

“My dad ran Carolina Godiva,” Dunston said, “so I started running too. I get about 60 miles per week. My goals are to go sub 17 [minutes, for a 5k race], hopefully 16:40, and for the team to make it to states, and I like running here because its good for distance.”

John Brandenburg, a Jordan High School cross country runner, started running because he wanted to be athletic and remained on the team for the team spirit.

“Without teammates I would have quit,” Brandenburg said. “This summer I expect to do 350 miles. My goal now is to be race ready since I’m injured. This season I hope to go sub 17:30, and I like running this trail because its building my base for the season.-

The trail’s address is 3001 Cameron Blvd, Durham, NC 27705 at Duke University.

Aug 01

Why DYWC Session III Is the Place to Be

Why Session III of DYWC is the Place to Be


By Allie Hunter and Allegra Colonna

July 29, 2017


DURHAM—Session III of Duke Young Writers’ Camp is inspiring young minds and creating new friendships. But why is Session III such a hit?


“There’s this really great element about Session III,” said India Dixon, a senior camper at DYWC. She continued to reminisce about her first year when she’d look up to talented, older campers who read at reader’s forum, and now, she realizes, she has become that person for the younger campers this year. “Filling their shoes this year and aging out and being that person – that has been such an amazing thing, and I want that to keep happening, you know? Like the lowers [middle school-aged campers] I see that read at forum, I want them to come in and fill those shoes a few years from now.”


Though the majority of campers have been here for one or two years, there are some who have been returning for four, five, and even six years. With each class or activity hosted by the camp, everyone is able to learn more about themselves and reach their full writing potential, whether it comes to poetry, fantasy writing, argumentative writing, or journalism. Seventeen-year-old Maye McPhail, a fifth-year camper at Duke Young Writers’, said she discovered her love of poetry again since coming to this camp, and so it’s really helped her explore genres in a way that she wouldn’t have if she’d not been here.


Many DYWC would agree these young writers are woven into a caring, accepting, close-knit community where people feel free to be themselves without being judged.


“My favorite thing about camp is the little family that gets built here,” McPhail said. “These [people] are like nowhere else, and it feels like unconditional support.”


DYWC is also praised for its accepting, encouraging, and supportive environment.


“I love that all different types of people can come here and can just experience the same things and be with each other and support each other,” said Kevin Zimmerman, a 16-year-old camper from Lincolnton, NC. “That’s probably why I love this camp so much, and I think that’s why a lot of people like it and come back every year.”


Often times, teenagers feel free to be who they are without any fear of getting judged.


At the end of the day, campers are taken into White Lecture Hall to attend readers’ forum, a common favorite among the campers. At forum, young writers sign up to perform their writing on stage in front of their peers and counselors.


“I’m so honored to have different perspectives given to me on that in the form of poetry,” Zimmerman said, “and I’m so glad I’ve been able to have a sit-down time allotted to me every single day where I’m allowed to listen to other people, and it just humbles you.”

Aug 01

S’well bottles with a sweltering price: Is it worth it?

Duke Young Writers’ counselors frequently emphasize hydration, and one constantly sees campers filling up fancy S’well water bottles.

S’well bottles with a sweltering price:  Is it worth it?



By Michaela Wang


DURHAM—Duke Young Writers’ Camp counselors frequently emphasize hydration during the hot summer days of camp, and one constantly sees campers filling up fancy S’well water bottles.


At Duke University and many other college campuses, S’well bottles have been the buzz. These colorful thermoses, which resemble the form of milk jugs, have been stacking up on the shelves of the trendiest stores, having their own collection called “Sip” at Target. They’ve also been plastered on fashion magazines in the form of product recommendations, and even paired with designer furniture in the collection John Robshaw x S’well.


Annie Ma, an upper camper at Duke Young Writers’ Camp is a proud S’well user.


“They keep my drinks really cold and really hot for 24 hours,” she said. “They have really nice patterns.”


You may have seen some bottles lying around the nearest quad or the dining hall, and there’s a high chance that half of the campers own at least one.


So how did this bottle become so popular?


Sarah Kauss, the CEO and founder of S’well, was set to pursue a career in entrepreneurship and went to Harvard Business School, but she shifted gears and ended up in real estate and consulting. In 2009, on a hike in Arizona, Kauss had a cheap metal water bottle that had warmed up in the sun. The water in it had an awful taste. She suddenly thought, why not create a more attractive and reusable bottle that would keep beverages cool? Kauss hired a designer and worked with manufacturers in China. Within months, she had a double-insulated, stainless-steel prototype in a single color, ocean blue.


Harvard Business School was her first big customer, purchasing bottles to give to students. Later, O, the Oprah Magazine, wanted to put S’well bottles on a recommended products list, so Kauss scrambled up a few more bottle colors. Soon, more and more retail stores, like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and coffee shops such as Starbucks came calling. Numerous celebrities fell in love with S’well, posting photos all over social media. This year, the company expects to sell more than 200 million bottles.


According to S’well’s website, the company’s a mission is to stop the use of plastic bottles. All this generated waste is negatively effecting the ocean and human environments. S’well gives a portion of its profits towards charities like American Forests, Drink Up, and UNICEF. In fact, S’well recently introduced a new collection called (RED) x S’well. One hundred percent of all proceeds go directly to The Global Fund, which distributes the money to African countries to help people with HIV/AIDS.


The prices of S’well bottles may not be as gracious as the company; one bottle can range from $25 to $50, depending on size.


Alanna Sabine Wilson-Patrick, a high school camper with Duke Young Writers’ Camp, remarked, “They are pretty cool, I guess, but they are kind of impractical. You have to unscrew the top. I can buy a plastic bottle filled with water for 99 cents. I’m not going to spend $45 dollars on a water bottle.”


So why is the product so expensive? S’well aims to sell bottles that can keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, while still creating a unique piece of artwork. The bottles are composed of non-toxic, BPA-free, stainless steel that’s double walled, which makes it unbreakable, and very durable.


Allie Hunter, another camper at Duke Young Writers’, explained, “My water tastes good all day. If plastic bottles stay under the sun all day, it gets this weird, really bad, plastic taste to it. With my S’well bottle, it tastes fresh, just like it did in the beginning.”


The stainless steel in the bottle ensures that the water won’t have a foul, chlorinated-taste that’s found in aluminum bottles.


So as the hot summer continues, expect Duke Young Writers’ campers and others at Duke University to carry their bottles, but staying cool might also mean paying a higher price for comfort.


Jul 31

Superheroes Can Be Awkward and Still Save the Day

Superheroes Can Be Awkward and Still Save the Day

By Jade Simpson


Spider-Man: Homecoming, starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker, gives a fresh new take on a 15-year-old with superhero powers in the Marvel Studios blockbuster directed by Jon Watts.


The heartwarming, hilarious story opens at the end of Captain America: Civil War, with a funny “self-movie” by Peter Parker. It follows Parker as he tries to make a place for himself as a team member of the Avengers.


Holland nails the role, previously played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, capturing the awkward years that teens go through in high school. He channels the recklessness of teens trying to prove themselves to those around them. Peter Parker tends to make outlandish decisions throughout the movie, which is a much more accurate depiction of a teenager than most movies portray.


Holland is only 20 years old, a young actor playing a teenager in Hollywood. Not only does his acting create a believable teenager but his age does too. He is just coming out of those awkward years and understands what high school can be like.


There’s a scene in the movie where Holland is swinging from building to building practicing his abilities and ends up face-planting onto a rooftop. He stands up and shouts to no one in particular, “I’m okay!”


By the end of the movie, Spider-Man’s true grit and courage emerge, and he begins to make more mature decisions, creating a more believable character.


This movie features upstart Holland, as well as familiar actors like Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May) and Michael Keaton (Vulture, the antagonist). It’s interesting to think that Keaton, who once played in Tim Burton’s Batman, now gets the role of a dark villain on the other side of justice.


Another strength of this movie is the diverse set of actors and actresses. Many of the characters were not white, which is a very big step in Hollywood, considering many summer blockbusters feature Caucasian actors, like recent movies Superman and Doctor Strange. Perhaps this is Hollywood’s way of beginning to correct its diversity problem.


Spider-Man: Homecoming is a sensational movie with a diverse set of characters and remarkable portrayals of beloved characters comic fans have grown to love.



Jul 31

Colorful Words Come Alive at Duke University’s Free Expression Tunnel

Colorful Words Come Alive at Duke University’s Free Expression Tunnel

By Caroline Smith


DURHAM—The wind tosses my hair. The gray, cloudy sky fades away as I stroll through the free expression tunnel on the Duke University’s East Campus.


I stand on the right side of the road, surrounded by two walls of artwork. I can’t help but focus on the collection of art on the walls around me. Not a sound can be heard, except the occasional passing of a car or the fast footsteps of a runner.


First, I notice mostly dark blue and white paint and what appears to be a painting of logos, perhaps a few sports teams and sororities showing some school pride. As I cruise farther through the tunnel, I notice artwork in all colors, from vibrant red to metallic gold. Some pieces are as simple as someone’s name or a year. Some are much more detailed and intricate such as a painting of a green eye or a painting of two crows staring at each other in a blue and lavender sky. Some of the pieces have been painted over or edited.


There are many quotes on the wall. “Gay, but not as in happy” in florescent pink. “Dump Trump” in bright red. “A woman’s place is in the oval office.” “Where is the love?” “Art is Dead,” in metallic gold.


I look down at the sidewalk, which is also covered in art, quotes from poetry books, band logos, or book references such as the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows symbol. Marked with political opinions, humor, quotes, school pride images, and other graffiti masterpieces, the free expression tunnel fills you with a sense of community. In all of its colors, languages, origins and meanings, everyone comes here with the same purpose:  to show or create art for anyone who is willing to see it.



Jul 20

Duke Youth Programs Talent Show a Big Ole Cup o’ Noodles

By Journalism Staff

On the evening of July 20th, 2017, campers from Duke Youth Programs gathered in White Lecture Hall to share their talents, be they singing, dancing, Bop It!, or playing ukelele. There were many acts, ranging between the beautiful, the intriguing, and the just plain weird. The program began with a heartfelt lip-sync rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody by the counselors of both Young Writers Camp and S.M.I.L.E.S. This performance, a whopping six minutes in length, received a standing ovation by all of the campers and the staff. This would’ve been tough to follow, if not for the fantastic talents of the residents of the camps.

One of the highlights of the night, was Madison, a S.M.I.L.E.S counselor. She did a wonderful “Evolution of Dance” act. The songs varied from “You Ain’t Nothing But A Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley to “Watch Me ” by Silento. She danced her heart out, and was so much fun to watch. The crowd cheered louder with each song, and by the end, Madison received a standing ovation.  

Another interesting act was a piano performance by DYWC camper Sofia Bajwa. Sofia played a short song on the keyboard – upside down. Sofia lay with her back against a rolling chair and her head underneath the keyboard. Her hands were crossed on top of the keys. The performance impressed the majority of the campers.

The audience was wowed by Keenan, a SMILES camper, whose performance consisted entirely of eating a Cup O’Noodles.from the SMILES camp. He slowly strode up onto the stage, the audience watching with a mixture of confusion and interest. Kenan sat down in front of the microphone, pulled out a cup of ramen noodles, and began to eat it. The next few minutes were spent in almost complete silence, save for the chewing sounds broadcast by the microphone around the auditorium. He finished his noodles, belched, and then walked back to his seat, leaving all those in the audience to ponder if they had just witnessed the worst act ever, or the best.  Keenan ate the noodles theatrically, with a microphone in front of his mouth to project the sounds he was making. The audience often cried out in disgust or appreciation in reaction to the performance. Most campers, albeit confused by the nature of the act, enjoyed the performance immensely.

The final act of the show was one of the most impressive. Tessa Mccormick, a S.M.I.L.E.S camper, stunned the audience with beautiful performance of Disneyland. Tessa acted like a true star, by continuing through her song, despite a small technical difficulty. Overall the entire audience was stunned by Tessa’s amazing voice and at the end she received a standing ovation.

From singing and ukelele playing to two minute handstands, from dance routines to Melodica performances, there was certainly no shortage of variety and entertainment at the talent show last Wednesday night. All of the campers and staff  who performed did a great job and made the evening a wonderful event for everyone. Many campers were wracked with nerves, while some were more subdued, simply waiting for the show to start. Daniel Roginski was patiently awaiting for “Ryan Gosling to send him a poem to read,” while Chase Miller struggled to finish the song he’d decided to write only minutes before he was supposed to sing it. He found the words, wowed the audience, and exemplified the passion and guts of all the performers at this year’s talent show. Bravo!