The Parents are Coming! The Parents are Coming!

June 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

FPJHow do you spend an entire weekend entertaining the people who spawned you?? … Have them take you out to fancy dinners, of course! What else are parents for?! (Oh, you know, besides emotional support, practical advice and general life-promoting things…) Here at MAPHCentral, we’ve compiled a few things we think parents and family will go gaga over – when they’re not going gaga over YOU IN YOUR FANCY CAP AND GOWN WITH THE ULTRA-PRACTICAL WING-BAT SLEEVES! » Read the rest of this entry «

What You Need to Know About Convocation ’13

May 28th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

keep calm and just graduate

(This post is for those MAPHers graduating this quarter. For those of you taking more time—carry on!)

Alright, so you’ve turned in your thesis. Congratu-freaking-lations! I don’t need to tell you just how big of a deal that is. But now your eyes are naturally turning towards graduation (despite those two pesky finals you have left). Here’s everything you need to know:

If you haven’t already, you should be heading over to the bookstore (at 58th and Ellis—not the Seminary Co-op) to purchase your caps and gowns. At U of C, only PhD students are hooded—Masters students are distinguished by the long sleeves on their robes. And yes, caps and gowns are required to walk!

All convocation events are on Saturday, June 15th. Tickets are not required for any of the events. The schedule is:

convocation uchicago 18949:15am College Convocation, Main Quadrangle

This is a massive ceremony for all undergraduates and graduates in every division. No names are called and no diplomas are handed out—it’s more of a formal ceremony, an extra for those of you who want to attend. It certainly isn’t mandatory, but you’re more than welcome to go (it was a little too early for yours truly during her MAPH year). (Pictured right: a photo from my MAPH year.)

11:30am Lunch, Bartlett Commons and Bartlett Quadrangle

Lunch is provided for all Humanities Division graduates and their guests. As MAPHers constitute the majority of each year’s Humanities graduates, we will be making a large showing! The Director and Deputy Directors will likely say a few kind words, and you will bask in kinship while surreptitiously examining people’s families for funny resemblances.

mandel hall graduation1:45pm Diploma and Hooding Ceremony, Mandel Hall

After the lunch, the mentors will lead everyone in a large group over to Mandel Hall. MAPH graduates line up in one of the rooms outside of Mandel prior to the ceremony about half an hour before it begins. If you are skipping the lunch and meeting us at Mandel, just look out for MAPHers and/or mentors in their gowns.

At 1:45 you will process into Mandel Hall amidst a fanfare of bagpipes. Names will be called, diplomas will be given out, noisy embarrassing tears will be shed by your Program Coordinator and maybe one of the mentors. You know which one.

2:45pm Post-Ceremony Toast, Bartlett Quadrangle

Just a celebratory toast to the graduates with families, friends and faculty! Not mandatory, but will be nice.

And that’s it all the information I have for you. Hopefully I’ll see you around before (and after!) convocation—don’t be a stranger now, y’hear?

Eeek…my parents are coming!

June 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Very soon your parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, lovers, etc. will be descending on Chicago like a swarm of buzzards, ready to spend the last weekend of your MAPH career asking you about job searches, moving plans, and your love life. Even those of you who are secretly (or outwardly) excited to have your parents here in a few days might just be clamoring for them to leave by the end of the weekend, especially if you don’t plan ahead. Chicago is a bustling city and it’s going to be even more bustling this weekend with the huge annual Blues Festival and the CPAC conference (which is why we were bugging you to book hotels so early).

So, our advice is to start thinking now about how to entertain your guests this weekend during the actually extensive downtime between convocation events. Oh, and right off the bat, if you haven’t made reservations for dinner Friday or Saturday yet, DO IT NOW. We put some restaurant recommendations in the Convocation timeline post, but come see us if you’re still deciding.

In the meantime, here are some helpful ideas for actual places to go and things to do (not restaurants) around town with your folks this weekend:

1. Chicago Blues Festival: The festival runs from June 8th-10th in Grant Park and is phenomenal for so many reasons. First, it’s FREE. You can wander into Grant Park pretty much anytime between 10:00AM and 9:00PM any day of the festival, pop-a-squat on a plot of grass and listen to some high quality blues music. Or, if you do feel like spending some money, you can buy some food tickets to get Robinson’s Ribs (Remember that delicious food we served you during the Opening BBQ last summer? Yeah. That was Robinson’s.), complete with corn on the cob and mac and cheese. Yum. Or, go classy and bring a blanket and a little cooler with a bottle of wine, some brie, and some baguette for your very own “outdoor mini-Social Hour” with your folks. They’ll be so impressed.

2. Green City Market: Hands down one of the best farmer’s markets in the area. It runs on Saturdays from 7:00AM-1:00PM and it located at the south end of Lincoln Park (approximately 1790 N. Clark if you want to map it). Seriously the best thing about the market is the location because there are so many other great things to do in the Lincoln Park area. Go to the market and grab a crepe or some pizza bread, maybe some fresh, local strawberries (just out as of last week) then sit and listen to the little jazz band that plays in the late morning. Then, you can wander over to the Lincoln Park Zoo or the little shops that line Armitage in Lincoln Park (Francesca’s, Paper Source, Art Effect, just to name a few). Oh, and if you’re stopping at Art Effect on Armitage, you HAVE to go to Annette’s right across the way. They have peanut better cup cookie dough ice cream. Yes, it’s all one flavor.

3. The Lichtenstein Exhibit at the Art Institute: You really can’t beat the Art Institute in terms of impressing your parents. It’s in the heart of downtown Chicago, right by Millennium Park and the building alone is worth a 15-minute ogle. Add the fact that they currently have an amazing Roy Lichtenstein retrospective up right now and you can get in for free with your UChicago ID. Your parents will marvel at their little cultured, frugal child. And, if you want the icing on the cake, hit the Chicago Architecture Foundation gift shop afterwards (right across the street on Michigan Ave.) for some early holiday shopping. Yes, I think about Christmas all the time.

4. Old Town Art Fair: This is one of the better summer art shows that comes through Chicago. First, it’s pretty huge (as in over 260 artists). Second, it’s in one of the cute, ritzy, old Chicago neighborhoods so it’s fun just to wander and look at the architecture, even if you’re not shopping for art. The main entrance is at the intersection of Lincoln and Wisconsin and it runs both Saturday and Sunday of this coming weekend.

Hopefully these suggestions will give you a jump start on plans this weekend. Don’t forget that Chicago is also home to a ton of amazing museums and a fantastic theater scene, so we’re always happy to give you more ideas if you need them!

Convocation and You

May 24th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

It’s hard to believe that just 9 months ago we were writing the “Welcome to MAPH” blog post for you guys. And now, here we are, 9 insane months later, writing the “MAPH Convocation” post. I know you’re all busy and still have lots to finish before convocation actually happens, but just take the time right now to congratulate yourself on ALL that you have accomplished over the past 9 months. You have likely written over 200 pages of academic writing, read over 1,000 pages of fiction, theory, criticism, and/or philosophy, met a bunch of new and interesting people that will hopefully be a major support system for you as you move on to your next adventure, and expanded your mind in ways that only graduate school at the University of Chicago allows you to do.

The really exciting thing is that in three short weeks (yes, three weeks from Saturday), all of the insane stress of this program will be behind you and you can focus on the amazing journey and the benefits that you’ve gained from it. Plus your family will be in town so you’ll probably get a least one swanky, free dinner. So, let’s cut the sap and get down to business. Here’s what you need to know about convocation weekend:

Friday night from 4:00PM to 6:00PM is the Parent Reception (location: Classics 110), and it is just that: a reception for you and your parents (also friends, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.). Please don’t let them be nervous about dressing up or anything. MAPHCentral will be slightly dressed up so we look nice to meet your families, but we’d rather you and your guests be comfortable. It’s not a sit-down dinner–more like a social hour but with better food and drink. Why do we do this? Well, because we blow most of our end-of-the-year budget on prom AND it gives you the chance to go to not one, but TWO fabulous Chicago restaurants while your parents are in town (Friday and Saturday night).

Note about the restaurants: make reservations NOW. If you’re looking for good, family-friendly (i.e., not Jimmy’s) places to bring your parents and show off the city, here are some suggestions: Shaw’s, Piccolo Sogno, The FarmhousePhil Stefani’s, or La Madia. If you just want a yummy dessert after snacking at the reception, maybe try: Hot Chocolate, La Creperie, or The Purple Pig (surprisingly Italian). Trust me, MAPHCentral can recommend Chicago restaurants for hours, so come by if you still need a place and don’t like any of these options.

(Saturday’s Events…after the jump)

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