Flying Fish

What a Storm Can Do
by Nicole Carlozo -- September 4th, 2011

My blog comes to you this year not from Durham, but from the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC. I stumbled into Beaufort this week on the heel of a storm, only to find the town as quaint and beautiful as ever. Although the water poured down upon her, it did not wash her away.

Despite preparing ever so carefully for my end-of-summer plans, the month of August didn’t quite turn out as expected. Yes, I finished up my internship. Yes, I visited friends in Milwaukee. And yes, I arrived in Beaufort for the start of school.

But no, I didn’t finish as much of my internship project as I had planned. No, I didn’t attend the EMCES conference I had planned to volunteer at in Baltimore. And no, I didn’t arrive in Beaufort a week before classes to settle into my new home. In fact, I arrived just in time to attend the end portion of Orientation on very little sleep.

With my boxes still unpacked and the house a mess, I started the school year on Wednesday with as much energy as I could muster. After all, I waited a long year in Durham in order to get to this point. My Durham roommate often commented on how eager I was to leave Durham behind. But I always assured her that it wasn’t the people I wanted to get away from. It was more the water that I missed. It’s true that from the time I applied to the MEM program, my sights were always set on the Duke Marine Lab and the coast. Ironically, the stress and bustle of my arrival were caused by water (and lots of it) in the form of a coastal storm. All of this disorder and trouble because of a Hurricane named Irene.

But I regress, because although the storm destroyed my end-of-August plans, it did not destroy Beaufort or the Marine Lab. My home was not flooded, and my belongings were untouched. In fact, I think the impacts of Irene will fade in just a few weeks. By that time, I will probably have forgotten her as I immerse myself in classes, work, and my Masters Project (more on that later). But when I emerge from the library or the lab, I have the water to keep me sane and keep me going.

View of downtown Beaufort from the Marine Lab

View of downtown Beaufort from the Marine Lab

But this past weekend, many Durhamites saw Beaufort for themselves. The 11th annual Neuse Riverkeeper Triathlon was hosted by Duke’s student chapter of The Coastal Society. Residents were invited to participate in a 2.5-mile run, 800-meter swim, and 6-mile bike ride around Beaufort in order to raise funds for the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation. The beauty of Beaufort and the fun of Durham merged this weekend as colleagues, students, and friends made their way to the coast.

And another school year begins…

Standing near a weather tower off Lake Michigan pre-hurricane. Unbeknownst to me, my summer plans were about to change course.

Standing near a weather tower off Lake Michigan pre-hurricane. Unbeknownst to me, my summer plans were about to change course.

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