Career Quiz! What Kind of Career would YOU Enjoy? (Alumni Panel 11/6 at 5:30)

October 30th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

I’m lost! What do I do with my degree in the Humanities? (Actually, a lot of different things.)

Remember that post that was all like “professionalization is important y’all!!”? Well, it’s already time for another one! In other words, in case you thought it was time to take a break from thinking about your future (besides, you know, the future that includes thesis reading and reading), the Alumni Panel is right around the corner!

The Alumni Panel is a great opportunity to actually think about what you might enjoy doing with your life, beyond just thinking about jobs/careers/please-let’s-not-call-them-[gap]-years/funding a PhD/your general happiness.

Be sure to come to

the ALUMNI CAREER PANEL next Wednesday, November 6th, at 5:30 pm

(here at MAPH Central)

it’s the perfect opportunity to:

meet alumni - ask about different career paths - and get

a taste for what kinds of jobs might (surprisingly!) suit you.

Not sure which panels to attend? Check out our helpful Career Quiz below! (It’s not really a quiz. Just a guide to things you like. Certifiably thesis-free.) » Read the rest of this entry «

Stress Relief can be Ridiculously Convenient: Or, Tea & Pipes Etc

October 2nd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Inside Rockefeller Chapel.

You’ve probably heard the MAPH advice (rant) on the importance of taking breaks, being healthy, and leaving Hyde Park at least once by now. But you may be wondering: how can you possible fit in a luxurious escape from Hyde Park to dinner/a movie/shopping/escapades when you live off of student loans and have an endless number of impending papers? Sometimes, you just can’t. But that doesn’t mean you can stop taking breaks!

Fact: It is possible to get some stress relief in with very little time and absolutely no money, with no more than about a hundred yards of walking. Where is this mysterious place, you ask? Rockefeller Chapel, but a few brief steps from the MAPH office.

Here are a few of their excellent, brief, and relaxing programs:

» Read the rest of this entry «

Volunteer! The Chicago Humanities Festival

August 27th, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

CHF's awesome visual for this year's theme.

CHF’s awesome visual for this year’s theme.

As you may already know, the Chicago Humanities Festival recently announced its Fall Festival schedule. This year’s theme is ANIMAL, and the line-up looks super exciting.

Interested in attending events, but feeling the strain of the imminent tuition bill? Want to get involved with a great humanities-oriented non-profit early in the year? Consider volunteering at the festival!  Volunteering is a savvy way to make connections, get to know an organization, and gain experience (woah, professionalization!).

We are going to have several different volunteering and service opportunities throughout the year–get excited about Service Core, Service Events, and more–but for now, if you want to get going on your volunteerism/humanities activities/exploration of Chicago, check out CHF. At least one of your Mentors will be doing it, so if you have questions, you know where to find us (and if you don’t, scroll all the way down this page).

 

I’m personal hoping there will be some reflections on the following. An event on cuteness? I think yes. Maybe MAPH will have to pick that one up, though. Also, here’s your daily dose of adorable animal, normally to be found at the MAPH Nest:

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Free or Cheap Summer Activities in Chicago

June 7th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

It is somehow always the case that one can have time or money but never both at the same time. So now that you do not have to read 1000 pages every week what are you going to do in Chicago that doesn’t cost much money? Well the lakefront, the parks and biking are all great options, but below are a few more you might have missed.

Museum free days

Most of the museums in Chicago have free or discounted days or offer student discounts

You can still use your Artspass, check the link for the discounts and partner institutions.

The Museum of Science and Industry is free for Illinois residents on June  7, 8, 11.

Field Museum check back here for discount days. They list them throughout the summer.

Adler Planetarium has discount days on June 7th and 8th perfect if your family is arriving early for convocation.

The Shedd Aquarium has Illinois resident discount days on  June 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.  If you bank with Bank of America you get discounts on July 7-8 and Aug. 4-5 by showing your bank card.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is $7 with your Student ID.

While you are in that neighborhood you could visit the City Gallery at the Water Tower which is always free.

The Chicago Cultural Center has free exhibits, concerts and gallery talks all year round.

Students get into the Art Institute of Chicago for $12 any day and the first and second Wednesday of every month are free for Illinois residents.

On Navy Pier there is actually a free Stained Glass Museum which has great works and is not as populated as the rest of the pier.  You could stay for the free fireworks if you are braving a day on the tourist-y pier.

Also did you know that if you have a Chicago Public Library card you can check out museum passes from any branch?  Just make sure you get to the library early. The passes go quickly. The library also has lectures, readings and performances so check their calendar.

Outdoor events after the jump . . .

» Read the rest of this entry «

Nature in Chicago?

September 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The city motto is after all "urbus en horto" so make sure to find the best of this city in a garden.

So many of you who have not been working or living in a big city may find yourself missing nature trails and places to hike or walk or generally not see other people. While (alas) no mountains are ever going to be around Chicago there are a number of easy ways to get a bit of a nature fix right in the city. As a Western girl I have found many places to see a bit of nature in the city and have some recommendations after the jump.

 

 

» Read the rest of this entry «

Art. Institutions. Discuss.

September 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Here’s a guest post from indispensible preceptor Anna Lee, who will be your virtual guide to the Art Institute and art institutions in Chicago in general. We’ll be visiting the Art Institute as a MAPH horde on Thursday evening (meet at MAPHCentral at 4:15 PM or at the Modern Wing entrance at 5:00 PM). Anna’s intro gives you a great overview of some of the museum’s highlights–and of other places you’ll want to check out around town.

Although the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection is strong in various areas, the Impressionist holdings tend to be particularly popular. In the last few years, the newly-opened Modern Wing has also been a major draw. But since you’ll have the entire year to explore the museum, here are a few of the most “famous” members of the collection to start you off. It’s great to view these in person, no matter how many reproductions you’ve already seen, and it’s nice to know where they are when relatives visit. The links below will take you to each work’s official AIC description, which includes an image as well as its location in the museum:

GEORGES SEURAT, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte:

Seurat, "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte." Just like Promontory Point, n'est ce pas?

More Art to dazzle your senses after the jump » Read the rest of this entry «

Free (or cheap) Autumn Entertainment

August 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

So it seemed like it was time to update the blog with a new batch of free or cheap ways to entertain yourself as a graduate student.  Courses haven’t started so there is no excuse for not trying out a few of these options before you are drowning in reading.

First for incoming students it is great to know that your University of Chicago ID serves as your arts pass to get you in free or discounted to many area museums and theaters.

The Chicago Cultural Center

Ceiling at the Chicago Cultural Center

Festivals and Lectures

There will be many fantastic lectures on campus. However, the Chicago Humanities Festival hosts events all over the city in October and November. Most of them free or very cheap for students there is no excuse not to go see Steven Sondheim, Laurie Anderson or Jonathan Franzen speak.

Many Chicago street festivals are still happening in September and October.

Check out the Renegade Craft Fair September 10-11, Oktoberfest, September 23-24 or the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, September 24-25. A full list is here. Don’t miss free concerts in Millenium Park or Grant Park.

Theater

Discounted theater tickets are available the week of performances at hottix It is always worth asking for a student rate or checking your arts pass discount at most theaters.

Be sure to check out my guide to Chicago theaters here.  There are over 200 small theaters in Chicago covering ever style, taste and price range, many small companies still have industry nights, or pay-what-you-can nights.

More free things after the jump . . .

» Read the rest of this entry «

Get your Classical Music On.

August 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

French horns are for girls.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra is located a quick Metra ride from Hyde Park (get off at Van Buren Street) on Michigan Avenue. Supposedly Ricardo Muti, who was hired as Musical Director after epic, NFL Lockout-like negotiations last year, went on to spend nearly the entire season convalescing (17th Century Style) in the Alps for what seems to have been a mysterious illness (post-contract fatigue. See also ADAM DUNN but HOLY GOD Don’t get me started). Get student rush tickets after the jump… » Read the rest of this entry «

Winter Breaks

November 30th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

So you are finally done with all your papers and want a cheap way to reward yourself before heading home, or you planned your winter travel badly and have a week to kill before you go home. Either way, it is a great opportunity to bundle up and see some of Chicago’s winter sights.

Ice skating

Ice Skating in Millennium Park

See the full list after the jump. . . » Read the rest of this entry «

An Interview With Our Own Kealey – Writer for PAGODA RED

April 14th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Kealey is studying East Asian Art History, with a focus on Chinese Painting. Her MA thesis addresses methods and authenticity of Ni Zan’s brushwork in his later works. Upon graduating she will study at Tsinghua University in Beijing in a two-month intensive language program.

Please describe what you were doing before you enrolled in MAPH?

I am a more ‘seasoned’ student in MAPH, graduating college in 2001. I attended the University of Chicago, concentrating in Economics.  Around the end of my second year, I realized I loved my Chinese Art History classes, performed well in them, and had great relationships with my professors.  However, I was acquiring a tremendous amount of debt while in school and thought the most rational idea was to continue forward with a career in finance, which I also enjoyed, just not as much. After about eight years on Wall Street, I enjoyed my job less and less and realized my role would not dramatically change in the future.  By this time I had paid off my debt and saved the money to return to school.   After submitting my application to Chicago, I was laid off in the fourth round of cuts at my job. Although it gave me that last push off the cliff I needed, two weeks after the program started in September 2009 I was asked if I wanted to return to my old seat.   I confidently turned down the offer.   Talking with so many interesting people, their research, and the endless resources of the University, I had been bit and could not turn back.

Why Chicago? Why MAPH?

I needed to be retrained on how to research and write like an art historian at a graduate level. I also had several gaps in my resume that need filling, such as language. Finally, I needed to see if I would sink or swim, and if a Phd was in my future.  I knew from my undergraduate work that Chicago is a fantastic institution, with the best professors & resources.  It would challenge me like no other place.

What opportunities, expected or unexpected, have presented themselves this year?

The Humanities definitely proved to be a more difficult discipline than finance when navigating the job market.  There is no recruiting season, personalities vary dramatically, and job descriptions can be vague sometimes.  It was a real challenge to figure out what people were looking for and if I was seeing every possible opportunity. However, during Fall quarter finals week I received a mass email from the MAPH email distribution about a writing position for a Chicago-based Asian art dealer. I sent in the usual materials, letter, resume, and writing sample. About a month later I was called in for an interview. A couple days later I was asked to do a ‘test’ writing piece based on a topic the gallery selected. I was hired shortly after that, and now I write 1-3 articles a month based on their collection. The articles are posted on their website and blog. I would never imagine in my life that someone would pay me to write, especially write about what I want to write about!  Additionally, I can do all the work remotely on campus. No commute!

What are some of the topics you have written about in this position?

Demystifying the swastika, Chinese New Years folk art, painting traditions, and recently I wrote a piece about Chinese Erotica. I am currently working on Blue and White ceramics with Middle Eastern influences.

What are the positives and negatives of writing for a company?

I had become comfortable with the academic format of writing.  When receiving a topic from a course there is a certain amount of freedom of topics under the broader assignment. There usually is a ton of time to think about the topic, research, write and rewrite. With a company, I usually have about 48 hours to research and write an article. The article is a representation of the company, so when posted online it is not attributed to me. Many times I will address the topic and once the gallery sees the result they will realize what they told me to write was not exactly what they wanted, in which case I will have to edit or toss the work done and start over. Also the company has editing freedom, so often there are unexpected changes in the final version.  Like most employers, they want what they want when they want it, no extensions, no excuses, and a little mind reading is definitely helpful. However, something I love is I can continue the work when I study at Tsinghua University this summer, and when I return and continue my job search.   Also, something that isn’t often addressed in academia is interacting with art that falls into the art market between dealers and collectors. I think its great to see the work that is not necessarily deemed important by a museum. The pieces I work with and write about are part of a long Chinese tradition of collecting. Sometimes these objects and their dealers create markets where there were none.  I guess that appeals to the art historian and economist in me.

What skills and experiences will you take away from this year?

Working in the Humanities takes a lot of personal risk and a lot of confidence in your abilities and your ability to sell those skills. I also saw that I really got out of the program as much as I put in. I went to every workshop that would have me, every informational interview that would make the time, audited any class that would allow it, and persistently addressed and readdressed challenges, feedback and shortcomings in my work.  I found professors, advisors, and students really responded to that diligence.  MAPH gave me the tools and platform to take away what I wanted from the year.