Walking my beat

Sep 29, 2010

One of the joys of my new job is the ability to get out and walk across campus. Before, I was in the Erwin Square Tower off campus, in a spacious ninth-floor office with a great view of northern Durham County — and the blue exterior wall of Locopops.

Now, I’m in the heart of the Duke Hospital, just steps from the cafeteria, and minutes from the main quads.

I eat my bag lunch at my desk while working, and around 2 each day I head out of the hospital, walking along the temporary walkway and through the first-phase concourse, watching with boyish wonder as I pass the clanging construction of the new Duke Medicine Pavilion and Duke Cancer Center, which are rising in a jumble of concrete pylons, I beams and steel scaffolding. See the construction cam.

Through the Duke Clinic (also called Duke South by many) and into the Davison Building, historic home of the School of Medicine (although a new high-tech medical learning center might be next on the building block). I watch for new posters displayed on easels, and flyers taped to doors, and puzzled patients or family members who need a little help getting to their appointment or back to the parking garage. I might run into a colleague, and a quick hallway conversation will provide just the answer or link or recommendation I was in search of earlier in the day.

Out the doors of Davison, past huge magnolia trees, and into the heart of campus. I usually make it no further than the Perk, the coffee bar in the von der Heyden Pavilion, an atrium connected to Perkins Library. I buy a chocolate chip cookie, plop down in a cushioned chair, and soak in the youthful energy and focused scholarship of the students all around.

I retrace my steps, all the way reveling in my fortune of being able to work in a world-class university.

Anton Zuiker

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