Pop Quiz: November-December 2002

Compiled by Patrick Adams


1876. Alexander Graham Bell gives us a perfectly good telephone--and look what happens. We asked the new wireless generation: What is your official position on the cell phone?

Mixed, it seems. In first-year Nicholas School student Maria Wise, you could sense some hostility. "I have no use for them! They annoy me like.... Oh! I hate the cell phone!" Sonja Chuang, a Trinity senior, looked up from her laptop in the Bryan Center cafÈ: "Well, I just got one. Yeah, I like it a lot. I don't think I'm even going to get a landline now."

Others, like junior Jake Ramey, were conflicted, damning the cell phone's existence while checking messages. "Personally, I think--hold on a sec...I think it sucks how everyone is so caught up with what Eighties pop hit their ringer can mimic that they don't remember how much more serene life was without them," he moans. "But unfortunately, you can't get away with not having one. You don't want to be that guy standing at George's while everyone else is at the Joyce," referring to the restaurant bar versus the Irish pub.

Paola Florez, a second-year graduate student in molecular genetics, was torn: "I do love cell phones--it's nice to catch up with people in the car on the way to here and there." But she has a bad connection with at least one of the companies providing service around Duke, saying, "You can always tell who has [it] because they are in odd positions on the quad trying to get reception."

Graeme Waitzkin B.S.E. '01, while revisiting the campus, volunteered a lamentation. "I think they are making us dumber. Because of speed dial, I don't know any of my friends' phone numbers any more. If I were to get stranded, I would have no idea who to call."

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