Flying Fish

What the Spring Weather Brings
by Nicole Carlozo -- February 19th, 2011

Fencing on the Green?! And here I thought basketball was the only sport on campus.

Fridays on campus always feel different from every other day of the week. It’s not that I have less to do (in fact, my Fridays are usually quite busy), but I tend to take my time as I move from one activity to the next. Yesterday began with a 9am GIS/stats review, where I attempted to master the basics of Bayesian General Linear Models. My early morning stats lesson was followed by two classes, a trip to my assistantship, about four more hours in the GIS lab. But amidst the normalcy, I found myself surrounded by none other than a group of fencers.

Let me set the scene. It was about 2:30pm when I decided to grab some lunch at the campus Subway. This led me out of the Old Chem building and past the library, bus stop, and chapel. The sun was up and the campus was teeming with students attempting to get some sun. Spring in February is a new concept to me, but I nevertheless jumped on board.

I took the time to wonder at the drastic difference in student apparel. Some students hadn’t quite gotten the message that winter was fading, and I witnessed more than a few heavy coats and winter boots. Others had gone a little overboard in their excitement at the 70 degree weather – sporting shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops. The confused mix was amusing. But fashion faux pas aside, the weather had definitely brought a renewed energy to campus.

As I passed by the chapel, my eyes were drawn to about 15 or so students holding foils and posing on the green. This was my first encounter with fencers on campus, and I immediately began texting my college friends. Many of us fenced in college, but our opportunities to practice diminished after graduation.

It was then that I realized something was wrong. Not one person was wearing protective equipment, and no one was truly lunging, parrying, or reposting. I noticed a camerawoman nearby and wondered if they were doing a photo shoot. Determined to find out who these people were, I found myself approaching the nearest group. And what did I find out?

They were a theater class…

My face dropped as I glanced down and noticed the fake dagger in the student’s other hand. In my excitement, I had focused solely on the foils and had neglected the other “props” scattered across the green. So much for my observation skills…

And so I continued my day, noting that you never truly know what good weather will draw onto the green.


Although I wasn’t able to snap a photo of the “fake fencing,” I did take a few of the lovely Duke Gardens. Enjoy!


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