MAPH’s Colloquium Magazine: We Tell You Some Things About It And Why It Is Wonderful

April 2nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

editors-note-issue-1-chicagoWhat is Colloquium?

The short answer? It’s MAPH’s online magazine of awesome stuff.

The longer answer? Well, that takes a bit of explaining…

I remember looking around Social Sciences 122, the grand room that marked my first weeks of lecture* at University of Chicago. I swooned at the elaborate wood-paneled walls, the layered chalkboards sliding up and down, the archaic light fixtures. I remember Professor Wray reciting the Big Names who had lectured in SS122, from Hannah Arendt to Slavoj Žižek. I looked around at a room full of strangers, and I wondered if there was an Arendt or a Žižek among us. Toward the end of my MAPH year, I knew the answer to that question….

*also called Colloquium, leading to frequent casual confusion

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In Which I Share Some Secret Tips For Successful Navigation of the Library Now That You Will Need a Bunch of Books All the Time

February 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Britain_Book_Maze_08def-1At the peak of my MAPH workload last year, I had 82 library books piled in my study. They were carefully organized: there was That Pile Over There, The Books That Fell Down By The Closet, and The Books The Dog Kept Trying To Chew. I freely admit that there was no reason to have the volume of books I had. I just couldn’t get over the fact that I could get books on anything I was interested in. I had the might of the UChicago library system behind me.

But just as I did, you will inevitably run into one of these horrifying situations…

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Colloquium takes UChicago by storm!

January 10th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

MAPH’s new journal, Colloquium,  is captivating the University’s intellectual and creative imagination. First, we made the UChicago Alumni news. Then UChicago Arts picked up the story. And why not? It’s fricking amazing.

From the story:

With so much to read, what is your niche?

Chaz Oreshkov: The work being done in MAPH interacts with real-world problems but at the same time retains a critical academic attitude. Colloquium succeeds because it’s both a lowbrow academic journal and a highbrow general reader’s magazine.

So you’re trying to be lowbrow.

[Laughter]

Bill Hutchison: Lowbrow in the sense that we all get together in the great tavern of the mind to have amazing conversations, but feel tremendous joy about the kind of conversations we can have.

That’s MAPH, baby. Get on board.

Some Thoughts on Managing Your Stress at Quarter’s End (and in Coming Quarters, Such as the Winter Quarter, Which is a Particularly Onerous One if You Don’t Have Good Stress Management Techniques)

December 10th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

MAPH Central has banded together herein to offer you some of our favorite stress management techniques! Heed them well, for they are marked with the psychic scar tissue of those who have endured the Coming Winter.

Get Out of Hyde Park (and off of Facebook) by Chrissy “McKnuckles” McKeon

Chrissy’s Humpty Dumpty Thesis

I cannot stress enough how important this was to my sanity. I made a commitment to myself to venture out of this UChicago infused bubble at least once a week. And if I felt like I didn’t have enough time, I did it anyway. I packed up my school bag and toted my laptop and school books around Wicker Park and Logan Square, settled into coffee shops (and yes, sometimes bars) to do my work. I just found it easier to work in places that were decidedly lacking in the brand of stress that on-campus study spaces were always teeming with. I found that commuting somewhere to do schoolwork actually made me more productive. When I was so far away from home, I was less likely to call it quits before I had gotten something substantial done. See that picture of my thesis draft cut into teeny tiny pieces? Yea, I did that at a little coffee shop called The Wormhole. In public. People must have thought I was nuts. I know it seems strange to say that I destressed by doing work, but finding a way to do productive work – a way that worked for my particular learning style – ensured that I was able to find time to do other things besides schoolwork. Leaving Hyde Park also meant that I made friends outside of MAPH – A.K.A. people who weren’t always talking about class and work, even when we were at The Cove.

Speaking of people who are always talking about class and work, get off of Facebook, for the love of some-non-denominational-higher-being. As I have mentioned, this was important for me. Some people deal with stress by blabbing about it on the Internet, and for me, this was majorly anxiety-producing. My newsfeed became a constant source of stress, especially when people started posting about classes, papers and deadlines (or worse, bragging about the 20 pages of their thesis that they had written. On a Saturday night. Three months before our theses were due). So, I just deactivated my account for awhile. It was unbelievably liberating. You should try it sometime.

Do Something Crafty by Sarah “Ernesto” Smith

Near the end of the quarter when you are spending so much time in your head, you might consider doing something with your hands! I find knitting and crocheting to be especially soothing. The repetitive motion of the clicking needles helps clear my head when it gets too full of The Academy. You might also appreciate the physicalness of textile creation during a time when you are spending mammoth amounts of mental and emotional energy on a (at times terrifyingly insubstantial) electronic document. Creating something with your hands brings you closer to your labor – Marx approved – and also makes lovely, cheap holiday presents.

Read for Pleasure and Take a Walk by Bill “Bobaggins” Hutchison

You don’t have time to read for pleasure, right? Or to take a walk? But I promise that if you set aside some nominal amount of time every day – ten minutes, say – for pleasure reading, you will be so much better for it. There are some crucial rules, however. Don’t read something because it might also be useful for your class/thesis/school related thing. Don’t engage in self-deception by saying, “But reading Zizek is pleasure reading for me!” We’re all nerds, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t love reading this stuff. But you and I both know what true pleasure reading is. It’s snuggle-up-with-a-good-book reading. You know exactly what I mean.

And for the love of all things, go outside and move your body a little! I often need a reminder that my body is more than a transport system for my brain. A walk outside when your brain is overfilled with names, dates, notions, theories, and competing philosophies will do you good. Look! A happy squirrel! And over there, a crow dropping stones on undergraduates! Yes, it’s cold. Yes, there will soon be snow. But as you see your breath puffing out before you and hear your feet crunch-crunch-crunch along the salted sidewalk, you will remember that you are a sensate, embodied being, and that sometimes that feels unbelievably good.

Everything You Need To Know About Choosing an Advisor: Fall Quarter Edition

November 14th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

This is how I felt at University of Chicago for most of MAPH.

This is the point in the quarter when I was confused and a little cranky during my MAPH year. I felt like I was being told to think about my thesis idea and maybe start talking to possible advisors, but not to talk to any of those people about being my advisor.

While this seemed paradoxical at the time, I now recognize the wisdom of that advice. I wasn’t ready to talk about my thesis idea yet, but horrifyingly, I didn’t know that I wasn’t ready.

Take it from someone who only learns things the hard way: don’t learn this one the hard way.

So if you’re supposed to go talk to professors without talking about your thesis, what are you supposed to talk to them about?

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Thoughts on Your First Week –or– Read this if you are feeling concerns of any kind because it is really going to be okay.

October 2nd, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

It was a big moment, that first week of classes at University of Chicago. I’d made my way through the first baby deer-like steps of Colloquium, and was now ready to romp through the fields of academe unaided and unattended, happy as the springtime. I hope you’re gleefully romping, too, though some Bambi-stumbles are still par for the course and nothing to worry about. In order to maintain your inner springtime in the face of a Chicago autumn, please find herein some thoughts on navigating Week One of Quarter One of Year One of the Rest of Your Life. » Read the rest of this entry «

FAQ: Several things that I wish someone had told me (or that I had listened to when they did) before I started MAPH.

September 11th, 2012 § 4 comments § permalink

Halloo, MAPH!

MAPH Central has been abuzz with new students, and it has been heartwarming to see the bonds of friendship being forged.

We have entertained and overheard a number of questions from you, and herein we will endeavor to answer those questions, as well as several questions we will save you the difficulty of having to ask. Let us begin! (Don’t forget the official FAQ, too!)

• I’d like to email/talk to Professor So-and-So. How should I go about that?

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If you are already in town, you should hang out with us on Thursday afternoon.

September 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

MAPH student using UChicago's Reindeer Info-Transfer System.

Your MAPH year is almost upon you. For nine months, our collective destinies will be bound up together in a whirlwind of intellectual discovery, psychological transformation, and cubes of Friday cheese. Throughout the whirlwind, your life will be lifted and eased by your friends. Start collecting them now!

 

To that end, the Second and Final Pre-MAPH Meet-Up is Thursday, September 6. Join us at Z&H on 57th from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.

We know that the extroverts and social butterflies among you are already working out their networking strategies and ironing their pocket squares. But for you introverts, wallflowers, and quiet types, the thought of coming to such an event fills you with social anxiety. Please find herein Three Good Reasons to come to Thursday’s meet-up.

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Five Things You Probably Don’t Need to Know But Which Still Bear Mentioning

August 23rd, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

5. GARGOYLES AND OTHER CARVE-Y THINGS

The squirrel-goyle is always watching.

While the temptation to walk around campus hunched over a book, a smartphone, or an existential crisis is strong, raise your eyes to the walls and parapets! History is chiseled into the walls at UChicago. Many chunks of stone have been transformed into gargoyles, thinkers and scholars of ages past, and a variety of adorable/creepy animals.

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Teaser: ASK A SQUIRREL

July 31st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink