Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Duke Basketball Campout: The coolest thing

Last weekend was the most fun I have ever had in my whole of 2-odd months that I have been here. All the graduate and professional school students of the Duke University converged at a giant parking lot in the campus to spend the 2 days of weekend. The reason? Basketball.

Many of you might know how BIG Basketball is in Duke, but in case you don't know, it is big (even I don't quite know yet how big, but there is aweful lot of fuss about it at Fuqua). So anyway, campout is a way for graduate students to buy season tickets to the games. The price? Forget the money, you pay a bigger price! You book big UHaul or Budget trucks, RVs (Recreation Vehicles, full with toilets and what not!) and camp there because the organizers keep blowing the whistles and you have to go and stand in a line and 'check in' every time. The whistles are blown, of course, at random and throughout the day and night. Check in is a way to prove that you are still camping out for the tickets.

The campout starts at 7 PM on Friday with the first whistle and then its just a thread of whistles throughout the two days. You can't afford to sleep coz. you might miss the whistle. If you tell a buddy, well, he might sleep off too and you don't want to miss the chance to buy cheap season tickets to the game that defines Duke! So essentially, what campout turns out to be is a big huge Woodstock-like party! You drink and drink and drink and party and party and party! The atmosphere is like a carnival to say the least and you have very innovative beer games being played all around the area. You spend the nights dancing like a mad man or a mad woman, but just enough so you don't fall asleep... Or pass out.

I think there were about 20-25 whistles blown between 7 PM on Friday and 7 AM on Sunday, which is when the campout ended. The whistle frequency increased as the night got thicker and we had people running in the drunken, sleepy stupor at 3 AM and barely standing in the line, enough to remember and announce their names and numbers assigned to them at the check-in counter!

And if you think doing all this guarantees a ticket, thing again! If you manage to check in all the time (you are allowed one miss), your name merely goes into a lot! So out of around 1700-2000 people at campout, I am guessing maybe 13-1500 qualify for a lottery and I think around 25-30% of them get tickets. I will post the correct numbers if they give it to us, but suffice it to say that the chances are quite slim!

But who cares anyway! I am sure some do, but a lot of us just went there to party. And party we did! Two nights and one day of nothing to do, but drink and dance and drink some more! The whistles can get pretty irritating for some people, especially, when you are half-asleep in a chair out in the cold (so you don't get too cosy and miss your check in) in a drunken stupor, tired of all the dancing around and playing stupid beer pongs and flip-cups. Oh did I say irritating earlier!! :-) Nahhh....

Here is a partial list of things you typically do in camout; drinking, dancing, playing beer-pong or flip-cup, basketball or football, sleeping, flirting, walking, studying, talking, reading, watching movie or sports, and ahem... networking (man, how can I forget that, and yes, people were found studying, that too someone from Fuqua, and I am not proud of that! :-)). And finally, you hear the whistle blow and you find yourself running to the check-in counters. You don't quite know why you are running (you will check in anyway), but everyone is, so you do too! I wish I had more tools than just this stupid keyboard to give you a feel of campout, but I will upload some pics I guess. Campout is the most fun I have had, not just here at Fuqua, but just anywhere and after a long, long time!


Anonymous said...

Whoa! What a blast!!!
Just one important question - are you sure you're there to STUDY??? :))

And some other general ones...
So, did you make every single check in?
Who did you hang out with - your team?
Are you gonna write a story about this for your magazine?

Glad to know you totally freaked out :)

Shivesh said...

It so happens that we had our stats quiz immediately after the campout, but that did not deter many people. I did surprisingly well in the quiz. I gave a total of about 1-2 hours for the studies and am expecting quite a good result!! Whadya say to that... ;-)

I made every single check in, but unfortunately, did not get the ticket. Here is how it goes. People form groups so they have a better chance at getting the ticket. For example, if you are in a group of 11 people and let's say 10 check in fine, there is a chance that 3 might get the tickets. The 10 people then decide which games they would like to go. So using a season ticket, you can go to a third of the games, which works out well! :-) Smart, eh?

So my group consisted of 11 people and 10 made all the check-ins and 3 got the tickets. We are now meeting up to decide who goes for which game in the next season. Oh BTW, my group happened (just happened) to have the most and the maximum number of cute women!! :-) I didn't even know who I was going with, until Jenny, my ILE team mate invited me to join her group! It just so happens that her other friends are some of the girls that guys most like in FY Fuqua... :-) I swear I didn't have anything to do with it. :-) So I hung out with a great group and enjoyed watching other guys getting envious... What fun!! :-)

Anonymous said...

LOL - Great snaps! Expect a huge traffic now.. I have listed you in my blog!! :-)