[You] Want to Ride [A] Bicycle

July 17th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

chicago-cyclist

Those of you who have already arrived in Chicago have probably noticed a preponderance of bikers. While there are plenty of other transportation methods available, many Chicagoans find that the easiest and fastest way to get around the city is on two wheels.  Here are some resources that I’ve found useful while living here: » Read the rest of this entry «

7 Reasons to Apply for Externships

April 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

externships obviously

Your brain on externships.

Next Tuesday, April 30th, we will be holding an Information Session for Externships at 12pm in Classics 110. It will only be 30 minutes and packed with valuable information, so you should definitely attend if at all possible!

In the hopes of getting you interested, here are 7 great reasons I just came up with to apply for externships this summer:

» Read the rest of this entry «

Campus Days ’13: What to Do if You Get Here Early

March 25th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

In town for Campus Days with time to fill? Don’t trust Yelp (We totally get it.) to guide you to a good meal and tasty beverages? Never fear. We in the MAPH office spend a lot of time in Hyde Park and we have plenty of suggestions (read: ironclad opinions) for where to go and what to do, whether you are on campus or roaming around the neighborhood. This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a good one.

 On Campus

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First things first, just wander around. The campus is rarely prettier than it is in the spring; if the weather is good, a leisurely stroll through the arches and  across the quads really can’t be beat. If walking around aimlessly is not your thing, or if you have exhausted your aimless walking possibilities and you want a specific destination, we are partial to the Oriental Institute. The collection is fantastic (and really, really old), the building is beautiful, and admission is free (although the museum suggests a donation).

Also worth checking out is the Mansueto Library,a giant glass and steel ellipsoid on 57th Street that contains fancy robots that brings you books by request from deep inside the earth. It’s really cool.

Off Campus

Go to the lake. More specifically, go to Promontory Point. (It’s a short walk from campus and well worth it.) Or go to the DuSable Museum. Or browse in one of the excellent bookstores that Hyde Park is home to: Powell’s, tons of used books at great prices (1501 E 57th St, Chicago, IL); 57th St Books, a great general interest bookstore in which to wile away the hours (1301 E 57th St  Chicago, IL 60637); The Seminary Co-op, one of the best books stores in the whole wide world (5751 South Woodlawn Avenue).

Food/Coffee/Strong Drink

coffeeZ&H (1323 E. 57th St) has tasty, tasty sandwiches and good coffee. Bonjour Bakery (1550 East Hyde Park Blvd) makes a mean croque monsieur and really good croissants. Rajun Cajun (1459 E. 53rd St) Despite its misleading name, this place has tasty Indian food. Oh, the samosas! Valois (1518 E. 53rd St) is a classic cafeteria and a Hyde Park institution.

Robust (63rd and Woodlawn), The Sip (5301 S Hyde Park Blvd), the aforementioned Z&H, and Café 57 (1520 E. 57th St) all serve pretty good coffee (Z&H is the best, in our opinion.)

There are a couple of good bars in Hyde Park (they are dive-y in a pleasant way). The Cove (1750 E 55th St) has a fun jukebox and darts and foosball. Jimmy’s (Woodlawn Tap) (1172 E 55th St) is just a few blocks from campus and has cheap burgers and fries. It’s a classic college-town bar.

If you want still more suggestions, just email us. We will be happy to point you in the best direction.

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…

» Read the rest of this entry «

Ways to Stay Sane (and Warm!) During Winter Quarter

January 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

LakeShore

Yes, this is a thing that happened on Lake Shore Drive in 2011. But, much to our amusement, this photo accompanies an article entitled “Abandoned on LSD.”
WHICH SOUNDS TERRIFYING.

Alright, so you’ve heard us all griping about how difficult and harrowing Winter Quarter is. And as we’re sure you know, now that you’re in the midst of it, it sure is. But before you start to feel like this, we wanted to intervene to let you know that there are plenty of things to do to manage Winter Quarter stress. And some ways in which, maybe, you might even learn to enjoy the UChicago quarter that is almost mythically scary. 

1) Pace yourself. Plan ahead. Resign yourself to the fact that you won’t be able to read everything for every one of your classes. Prioritize your workload so that things feel manageable. Try to settle on final paper topics by Week 5 so that you are not struggling to pick up the pieces at the last minute. You will really thank yourself by the time the quarter is winding down. Try to find interesting ways to put your classes into conversation with one another (or with your thesis). It will make your work feel more meaningful, creative and comprehensive – and it also might help you narrow down your reading lists when it comes to approaching final papers and projects. » Read the rest of this entry «

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?

» Read the rest of this entry «

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?

» Read the rest of this entry «

Identify yourself (or just get your university ID)

August 16th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Behold!

You can now get your university ID card! It’s easy, safe, and fun!

If you have spent any time wandering around campus, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the imposing bulk of the Regenstein Library (often referred to in the Uof C vernacular as “The Reg”).  You know, the enormous blocks of stacked concrete beside the much better looking glass spheroid building on 57th.  Appearances notwithstanding, the Regenstein Library is a wonderful place, and it is where you go to obtain your university ID card.

» Read the rest of this entry «