Jan 28 2009, Written by Jacob Wolff in Backpages,Jacob Wolff, 1 Comments
Well my fellow Duke University students, congratulations! We did it, we’re finally ranked #1. For all of us juniors, this is especially momentous, as it’s the first time we hit #1 since we enrolled. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was starting to give up on Duke, wondering if I had brought with me a never ending string of bad luck when I first stepped onto East.
Some had chalked up our poor performance in the rankings to “Duke hating,” some claimed it was because we had missed out on a few big name recruits, some even argued Duke wasn’t the powerhouse it once was. But it doesn’t matter anymore, because finally, we’re back on top! Dissenters, go back to hiding somewhere in the depths of Perkins, because Duke is back and we’re not going anywhere.
Yes, that’s right; Duke is now ranked #1 by the U.S. News and World Report Best Graduate Schools for our Literary Criticism and Theory program. It’s a good day to be a Dukie, but an even better day to be a literary critic!
After my first couple of years, I found myself no longer following the rankings. It was tough to see our Literary Criticism and Theory program not get the love it rightfully deserved. But for some reason, this past Monday, Duke being ranked #1 was all over the news!?! I was surprised as I hadn’t been following the program closely, so when I was reading the news and saw the headlines: “Duke Moves to #1,” I stopped right after ‘#1′ and scrambled over to the List of Duke University Rankings Wikipedia page, hoping beyond hope that the day had finally come…. I scrolled down the page and my heart nearly exploded upon seeing our #1 rank. It was a feeling comparable to time I got a Malibu Barbie on Christmas Day (elation), I’ll tell stories about this day to my grandchildren for years to come.
I must say though it was a little odd for the media to be making such a big hoopla about it now… why didn’t they cover it when it first surfaced last year? Well, I’m not going to complain, Duke is finally getting the credit it deserves.
For some reason, all of the articles about it quoted Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski a lot. I didn’t know he was involved in the Literary Criticism and Theory program, but he is a celebrity, so I see why they included him. I think he put it pretty well when he said: “Any level of high success, even though it’s not permanent with a No. 1 ranking, it’s a good benchmark.” So true, Coach K, so true. But with any luck, the Literary Criticism and Theory program is here to stay!
I think junior basketball player John Scheyer put it pretty well when he said, speaking after Duke’s last game: “Watching Duke when I was in high school, it did seem like they were No. 1 a lot,” the junior said. “I feel like this is where we belong.” I’m surprised he took the time to comment on the Literary Criticism and Theory program right after their big win over Maryland, but I think it just goes to show how proud we all are about the Lit program.
Still, I was somewhat confused. A lot of the articles talk about our lack of post presence (the program definitely has a lot of poster boards up in the halls), our occasional lack of hustle (have you seen that grad student Steve speed walk on campus?!? That’s hustle!) and made a lot of allusions to Duke basketball. Oh well, probably just needed to hit a certain word count I guess. As for Duke basketball, I stopped following those rankings a long time ago, what’s our team up to these days?
(Note: My apologies to the Literary Criticism and Theory program, you were singled out because you are in fact the only Duke program ranked #1, and that’s a good thing! A hearty congratulations to the both that program as well as the Men’s Basketball team, of course).
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