DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke fencing team travels to Easton, Pa., to compete in NCAA Regionals Saturday, March 9. Recently, GoDuke.com sat down with senior Josiah Brown to learn more about the Portland, Ore., native.
GoDuke.com: What has been your proudest moment at Duke? Josiah Brown: My proudest moment at Duke, it's a tough one. I had a really great moment this year at our Temple Meet with the Epee squad; we really had good team energy together. We were really focused and everybody started fencing really well. It was a great day and I was just really proud of the way people were fencing.
GoDuke.com: What is the most misunderstood thing about Fencing? JB: Whenever I tell someone I fence, they come up to me and do this arm shaking thing, so I think people have a bit of a misconception about how it is different from actual sword fighting. It is a sport that has evolved over a long period of time, so it's really nothing like, well I hate to say it but I don't think I'd be any better than a regular person in a sword fight, so I don't think people understand how different it is from actual combat.
GoDuke.com: What's your favorite part about being a Duke student-athlete? JB: I think Duke takes really good care of its athletes. I look at a lot of other schools and I don't see the same level of dedication to their academics and their athletics. We have fantastic facilities here, and I have just been really happy with it.
GoDuke.com: What's been your favorite class at Duke? JB: I really enjoyed my engineering 20 class my freshman year. The way engineering works is you have a little bit of design, then a bunch of theory the next two years, then a little bit of design at the end. That first design course gave me a lot of the skills I used in an internship I had later that summer. It was by far one of the most worthwhile classes I have taken even though it was just basic design, I used every thing I learned in that class that next summer.
GoDuke.com: What's been your most challenging class? JB: Organic chemistry was a little tough. I liked the material, but it's tough to get your mind around the concepts.
GoDuke.com: Talk about the first time you started fencing. JB: I first started fencing when I was 12, which was quite a while ago actually. I went through a lot of other sports, I played lacrosse for two years, I tried soccer, a little bit of hockey, baseball, but I took a free fencing class back home in Oregon and just got hooked on it. It's fun to play around with a sword with your friends. It's such a unique sport.
GoDuke.com: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? JB: I wanted to be some sort of engineer. I really wanted to build a bridge or work at NASA or something, but definitely some kind of mechanical engineer. Maybe some type of motorcycle designer. I ride motorcycles back home and I love them.
GoDuke.com: What do you want to do now? JB: A physician. I applied and got accepted to medical school, so I will be going there for the next four years.
GoDuke.com: Any particular chore that you absolutely hate doing? JB: I always hated doing poop duty, for the dog. That one I never really liked. I guess dishes aren't that much fun either.
GoDuke.com: Who's been the biggest influence on your life? JB: I'd have to say my grandmother. She is a fantastic woman. She turns 90 this year and she still water skis, nine miles around the lake. I try to do it and it is really tough to get all the way around, but she still does it. It is amazing. Her energy, her enjoyment of life has really been a big influence on me throughout my entire life.
GoDuke.com: If you couldn't fence, what other sport would you play? JB: I started rock climbing when I got to Duke, and that's another one of those weird sports, but it's so much fun. I am a very 'outdoorsy' person, so being able to go outside and climb a rock wall and get 100 feet up with your friends, it's a fantastic experience. I have been very involved with the Duke Outing Club, I lead rock climbing trip with them. This summer, I got my mom and my sister into rock climbing so we are going to go to eastern Oregon to go climbing with them.
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