I remember O-Week. I remember awkwardly shaking the hands of my future classmates as I tried to make myself look as normal as I could, despite everything that my FAC told me about being myself. I don’t remember much other than that. But what I do remember was walking into the Griffith Theatre, and watching some student group performing a skit about “Duke Superheroes.”

Presidents of multiple clubs, 4.0 GPA,  always overloading, and the “got so much money that they put the FLEX in FLEX points” kids were all brought down to reality. They were stressed, tired, and lonely. They were put into perspective. The moral of the story was that everyone experiences struggle and success in their own ways. I believed that too. It gave me comfort. I finally felt like I could belong in a class of perfectionists.

But one man subverted this equal system for me.

And his name is James.

Some say James is the Chuck Norris of Duke, but he’s not. Chuck Norris is the “James of Shitty Western TV Commercials.”

I didn’t know about him until I saw him outside of Twinnie’s – Holy Shit –  this guy was dripping swag. And even though he is the type to work by himself, he’s extroverted and manages to start up a conversation easily with anyone. Meanwhile, I struggle to get off my bed and talk to people at Marketplace, while donning the free Duke sweatshirt I got from the Financial Aid office during O-Week.

He is smart beyond belief. He is all the Ps at once: Pratt, Pre-Med, Pre-Law, and Pretentious. I met James in person during Compsci 201 discussion, and let’s just say that all greens appeared on his screen every time he was coding for APTs. Meanwhile, Big Ola was busy trying to explain trees and how to use Stack Overflow to the rest of the children. I’m not a Pratt student (because I value my own life), but his work from EGR 101 is from another dimension. His team created a device that stimulates the nerves of those with nerve pain, so they can properly move, which they named the Genetic Nerve Operator Causing Comfort, Healing, and Improvement (GNOCCHI).

And don’t get me started about party life. SLG Rush was a breeze for him, he essentially knew everyone before showing up to the parties. He did a keg stand for 75 seconds.

I don’t know what James is doing now, but rumor has it that he’s working on his new proprietary invention: Rider Augmented (by) Mutually Exclusive Nodes (RAMEN). It’s a better version of Rider. The absolute genius. I don’t know why he names his inventions on noodle dishes, but no one at Duke is complaining.

I don’t know how he does it. I don’t know whether or not to be in fear or in awe of him. He is the quintessential Duke dream, someone that comes in and wins at everything,  aces every assignment with ease, and somehow has much more fun than you do at all times. He is the Urban Dictionary definition for “finesse.”

How is this kid real?

The author wishes to dedicate this post to the Duke Memes page for inspiring him to make all of his pitches for this month related to “James,” which annoyed the hell out of the dept of. staff.

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