Pushing Through, Looking Ahead

February 28th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Dear MAPH,

Spring—It's Coming!

It’s coming!

It’s nearly impossible to believe, but you are nearing the end of Winter quarter—the hardest quarter of your MAPH year. If you are a typical MAPH student, you have three classes worth of papers coming due, your thesis is in that wonderful, horrifying stage of gestation when it refuses to come out coherently on paper despite your preceptor’s gentle and well-meaning insistence, and this Chicago winter is still actively trying to murder you.

But take heart—we in the office are here to help you get through. Next week, we have reserved Classics 110 for three mini write-ins to help you get your end-of-quarter work done. Come to Classics 110 from 9-12 on Tuesday and Wednesday, and from 2-5 on Friday for a quiet place to work and a unhealthy supply of coffee. This will be a space just for MAPH students to read and write and push through the rest of this quarter in studious solidarity.

We are planning a fantastic Spring quarter for you, unimaginably far away though it may seem now. More announcements through MAPHCentral and the blog are forthcoming.

Best,

The MAPH Office

Taming the Beast Called Winter Break (so it can help you slay the beast called Your Thesis Reading)

December 9th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

books_and_snow4_by_justkirav1_largeWhen I went home last December, it was the first time I’d been back to my hometown since August. The plan was to spend a couple of days seeing friends, playing video games, and petting my stunningly decrepit old cat, then hit the books with great intensity and seriously get the jump on my thesis. That didn’t really happen. At all. The glorious wallowing lasted several days past its planned expiration date, and by the time I got up the courage even to look at my reading list, the break was already close to 1/3 of the way over. As a result, I had to do the bulk of my reading here instead of knocking it out while I was here. So the first thing you might want to consider as you head off for winter break is:

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Everything You Need to Know (for now) About Conquering Your Thesis: Preliminary Edition

November 18th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Slenderman___An_Autumn_Wind_by_Hyperactive_Nutcase

Every year around mid-November, as the wind whirls among the fallen leaves, it whispers the name of a dormant dread: “theeessssssiiissss… theeeEEEEEeeessiiIIIIiiisss…” To MAPHers, this change in the air can bring both excitement and apprehension – both of which are entirely appropriate responses to the slow ramping-up of the thesis-writing process.

FEAR NOT! Well, ok, fear a little bit…but just a little! We mentors have put together a field guide to the preliminary stages of writing a MAPH thesis. Hopefully it will answer some of your more pressing questions.

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How to Navigate the Secrets and Mysteries of the UChicago Libraries

October 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

A guest post by Bill Hutchison (MAPH ’12), an enthusiastic library patron, one of last year’s mentors, and a current PhD candidate in English at UChicago.  Bill will also talking with Matti Bunzl at today’s The Work of a Humanist: A Conversation with Matti Bunzl (PhD ’98).

stacks

Go towards the light!!

 

“Libraries raised me.”
—Isaac Asimov

The UChicago library system is—as it should be—a labyrinthine construct with countless treasures, secrets, and codes. Discovering what it holds and how to access it can be one of the great pleasures of graduate school. If you, like me, take tremendous joy from learning how to wield your library to your own wild, intellectual ends, take note: herein I will share with you some of my discoveries. » Read the rest of this entry «

First Weeks – Difficult, But, No, It’s Not the Apocalypse

September 26th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

You want me to do what?!

You want me to do what?!

Maybe it’s just because I’m reading Delaney’s Dhalgren, but all I can think about is the idea of a never-ending (post?-)apocalyptic time in which everything is confusing, chaotic, and hazy. Which sounds a bit like how MAPH felt during my first few weeks here.

As you’ve completed (and perhaps struggled through) your first analytic exposition writing assignment  and you feel overwhelmed with meeting 100+ people, you too might feel that you are in the midst of Dhalgren’s Bellona, lost and alone, but take heart! For starters, unlike the protagonist of Delaney’s novel, you (most likely) remember your own name and where you come from. You’re also probably receiving some regular nourishment, provided you are attending even a few MAPH events. And it helps that (hopefully) nothing is on fire.

Bellona, city from Dhalgren

Bellona, city from Dhalgren. Not MAPH.

 

If you are feeling as though you’ve entered a completely new world in which the rules are illegible, take a deep breath (or three) and read on for some helpful advice. It’s all going to be okay. » Read the rest of this entry «

Colloquium Features MAPH 2013 Thesis Awards!

September 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 9.38.36 AMWell, MAPH 2014, here’s your first chance to look at some excellent thesis work done by members of last year’s class. From the editors of Colloquium:

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On Creative Writing as a MAPH

August 22nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

barton-fink-26

The MAPH website has a lot of useful information about the Creative Writing Option, including a list of requirements and video discussions with CRWR faculty. However, I know I had a lot of questions about the Option—and creative writing at UChicago in general—around this time last year, so I’ve tried to compile a list of useful information for those of you considering doing some creative writing this year (whether or not you do the track): » Read the rest of this entry «

Getting Your Student ID

August 14th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

the reg

Now that you’ve gotten your CNet ID and email all set up, the next step in official student-dom is getting your ID card. Your student ID (called a UChicago card here) gives you access to the following fabulous prizes:

  • Library access
  • riding for free on campus buses (171, 172, 173)
  • making copies in the Regenstein
  • gym access
  • and MORE

» Read the rest of this entry «

Best of the Blog: a MAPHtastic Variety Show

August 6th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

comp

This blog of ours has layers. Generations of mentors have compiled their wisdom here, and the result is actually pretty impressive: it can teach you almost anything you could want to know about the program, the neighborhood, the academic process, or the mundane details of life in MAPH. So, as we all wait for the program to begin in mid-September, we thought we’d bring a few choice posts from the last few years to your attention. Of course, you can always use the search bar or the word cloud on the right to dig up whatever information you’re looking for, or you can get in touch with us by email. » Read the rest of this entry «

Trust me, I’m a Doctor(al student)

April 30th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

grad-school

This woman is HIGHLY ambitious.

We know it might seem like we’ve been withholding information about applying to PhD programs. For a little while, that was indeed the case. There are certain ways in which MAPH needs to be done for MAPH’s sake, and it’s important to explore other career options outside of “THE ACADEMY.” But by now, many of you are still probably on the PhD bandwagon (or at least very seriously considering hitching a ride) and the time to start thinking about your next steps is now. So, throughout the rest of the quarter, we have a series of PhD application and academic professionalization events that we think you should go to. (Oh, and read this article – it’s distressing and refreshing all at the same time, and does a good job of outlining the types of questions you want to ask yourself as you weigh this decision.)  » Read the rest of this entry «