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  • Ken Ilgunas

Last week at Duke

This afternoon, I drove the van to Duke for the last time.

In a couple days, I’ll have my liberal studies “exit meeting” in which my advisor, department chair and I get together to discuss whether my book will cut it as my final project.

Since I was spending the outrageous gasoline costs to get here ($3.75 a gallon), I decided to stick around for a week because there are a whole bunch of MRI and research study opportunities. I signed up for seven studies in nine days, so hopefully I’ll leave here with a solid $150-$200 in my pocket.

I renewed my gym membership, got the van ready for vandwelling, and asked David to cut my hair, which was getting a little feral as you can see below.

As usual, I’ll be doing everything I can to stretch every dollar as far as it will go. Apart from rummaging for uneaten food, eating the rest of my vandwelling victuals–noodles, rice, beans, powdered milk–I also have a whole bunch of chocolate my mother sent me for Easter–an event that was never a small deal in the Ilgunas household. (If my memory serves me right, I was hunting down easter baskets my mother hid into my early twenties.)

Unfortunately, I totally forgot that the chocolate would melt in this ungodly North Carolina heat (86 degrees F today). My beloved Cadbury Eggs can now be ingested with a straw.

Speaking of eggs, I had trouble saying goodbye to my two new yet-to-be-named roommates, who think of me as their mama.

They’ve cooed me to sleep for the past two weeks. I proposed to David that we ration their food so that they stop growing and forever remain chicks. It’s a crime that they’ll one day have to look like this….


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