There’s a moment we’ve all experienced. It’s the moment we fall completely head over heels in love with this University. Mine happened in the seventh grade. We were supposed to write a page-long report on a historical figure. Ever the thoughtful scholar, I had narrowed the choices for my topic down to Gandhi and Dean Smith. And I chose Dean.
Seniors, let’s talk. Soon (I refuse to acknowledge exactly how soon — that’s how deep in denial I am), we’re going to be dressed in Carolina blue caps and gowns, sitting in Kenan Stadium, surrounded by our friends as our last moments as official UNC undergraduates tick away.
After my last column ran, I got an email from Nicholas Didow, a professor at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He invited me along to shadow a class of second-year MBA students he was working with who would be traveling down to Eastern North Carolina.
Confession One: I’m not sure if this makes me an egomaniac or just a glutton for punishment, but I do read what online commenters say about my columns on The Daily Tar Heel’s website.
Too often, it seems to me, negativity carries the day. Our existence is filled with exposure to dire messages, usually designed to incite us to take action against something — a candidate, a policy, a status quo. The many people devoting themselves to positive change are often lost in this negativity.
At midnight on New Year’s Eve this year, Thom Tillis, the speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives — and a man who is rumored to be eyeing a U.S. Senate seat — found himself standing in the middle of an outdoor stage in a gas station parking lot.
Tiffany Hensley was valedictorian of the class of 2008 at Mountain Heritage High School in Burnsville. She ran cross-country, volunteered for the Special Olympics, was co-editor of the yearbook and served as secretary of her school’s student government. In her senior year, she was rewarded for her efforts with an acceptance letter from UNC. But you won’t see her on campus today because Tiffany is a senior at East Tennessee State University.
I’m from the mountains. In my almost four years at UNC, that phrase has earned me more knowing smiles and high-fives over the exchanging of area code 828 phone numbers than I can count.