Category Archives: Free Stuff!


Spring Break Write-In

Planning on writing during Spring Break? Looking for something to keep you motivated?

Regardless of whether you have a thesis, seminar paper, or other project to work on, Spring Break can a good moment to catch up, even while you’re taking a deep breath. At the same time, it can feel Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 9.45.46 AMdifficult to get motivated and isolating to work–especially when it seems like no one is on campus, and there’s no class to attend. From March 21-25, join master’s students from across programs for three hours (9AM-1PM in Classics 110) of intensive writing each day.

UChicagoGRAD will provide coffee and breakfast on Day One, and lunch every day. Lunch is from 12-1. You’re free to keep writing after, until 1:45. Put your money where your mouth is: put down a deposit of $50. If you attend every day throughout the week, you get your money back, no questions asked! Space is limited as this is annually a popular event. Bring your Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 9.46.02 AMdeposit to Levi Hall 224. Questions? Contact Kalee Ludeks ( To register, follow this link!

This much-loved event is not to be missed!

If you have any questions about this event or maintaining winter-quarter momentum over Spring Break, do come see the mentors.

All the best,

The Mentors


Managing Winter Quarter Stress Part Two: Wellness

Investing your time in relaxing activities and involving yourself in the greater Chicago community are both things that you can do to greatly improve your outlook and overall winter-quarter experience. Below you’ll find a quick list of activities that are a must try for combating winter stress.

Wellness & Relaxation
Drop in on one of these events once, twice or weekly.

Tea & Pipes – Wednesday at 4:30-5 pm (but tea is served as early as 4!)

Let your brain turn off for a half hour and relax to the sound of gentle, relaxing pipe music. Then, refreshed and well caffeinated, return to the library to finish studying, guilt-free. Most people, myself included, would spend the same amount of time mindlessly browsing the internet.
Continue reading

How to Do MAPH on a Budget: Part 2

MAPHletes! You are sprinting towards mid-quarter and keeping up a great pace! You’re starting to feel a bit of chill in the air, and it can be easy to just hole up in the Regenstein and study. (Note: studying is good and generally encouraged.) But while it’s still livable outside you might also want to explore more of Hyde Park and clear your mind. What better way to do so than with free stuff? To point you in that direction, here’s the second installment of Morgan Podraza’s “How to Do MAPH on a Budget.”  Enjoy!

10 Free Things to Do in Hyde Park:

blogpicAIf you live in Hyde Park, it’s going to be difficult to get out of Hyde Park during MAPH. For me, I was always thinking things like: “but that hour that I spend traveling back-and-forth could be spent in an attempt to understand what Lauren Berlant means by a slow death.” Don’t worry! There are plenty of great things to do in HP between paragraphs of LB.

The Smart Museum of Art (5550 S. Greenwood Ave.)

This museum is located on campus and collaborates with scholars to “establish itself as a driving force for creative thinking through the arts at the University of Chicago.” The exhibits include Asian art, contemporary art, something referred to as “old master” European art, and modern art/ design.

The Oriental Institute (1155 E. 58th Street)


This museum is located on campus between the Quad and the Booth school. Not only does the Oriental Institute have amazing artifacts of the ancient Near East, including a statue of King Tut, but the museum also offers free programs and events throughout the year. An orientation week event, for example, is “Bulls and Buns:” get some of Anne Sather’s famous cinnamon rolls while you check out collections from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Israel!

Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Drive)

The Museum of Science and Industry is a great building with an interesting history, but it is also HUGE. The bottom level has an entire WWII German U-505 submarine. While the museum can be expensive to visit most days, there are a bunch of FREE DAYS. Just bring your student ID, and you can spend the entire day learning about everything from robots to humpback whales.

Promontory Point


Promontory Point (known also as The Point) has an incredible view of the city and is a lovely place to lay in the sun, or under the trees, and relax. The Point also has a few fire pits, which are the perfect places to eat s’mores and enjoy the company of other MAPHers, but you will need to either get there early to reserve a pit or potentially hang out with some other Pointers.


57th Street Beach (57th street and Lake Shore Drive)

As a New Mexican, I was so excited to live next to an actual body of water with an actual beach. 57th Street Beach is a lovely beach and a short walk from Promontory Point. Bring something cold to drink and a book to read (perhaps Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1) for a warm day in the sand.  (Editor’s note: our warm days might be behind us… But the Point and beach are looking beautiful in their autumnal dressings!)

Osaka Japanese Garden (6401 S. Stony Island Ave.)

blogpic3The Osaka Japanese Garden is a zen-like refuge from the fast-pace of Chicago and MAPH. While the Garden closed for renovations this past spring, I believe that it should be re-opened this upcoming spring.



The Arts Incubator (301 E. Garfield Blvd.)

The Arts Incubator fosters the relationship between public life and art through arts education, community events, exhibitions, performances, and talks. One of the weekly events that I enjoyed was Committed Knitters, where you can bring your coffee and current knitting project to meet other knitters and learn new techniques!

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (915 East 60th Street)

blogpic4The Logan Center is that crazy grey, glass building that stands across the Midway—my favorite building on campus. There is always something free to enjoy in the Logan Center: the Cabaret Series happens every other week and includes everything from string quartets to slam poets; every Sunday you can listen to music from the Sunday Song Styles performances in the café; and there are always exhibitions of contemporary art throughout the building.

The Experimental Station (6100 S. Blackstone Ave.)

The Experimental Station is located south of the Midway and hosts a variety of artistic and cultural events, including music, theater, art exhibitions, workshops, and lectures. It is also the home of the 61st Street Farmers Market, which happens every Saturday from 9AM-2PM throughout the year (even in the winter!).

University of Chicago Events

blogpicTake advantage of all of the amazing, free events that the University of Chicago offers students! There are so many events to enjoy on campus: the student circus, yoga classes, tea & pipes at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, lectures by world-renowned faculty, the Blessing of the Animals, Pet Love (the University brings therapy dogs onto campus, and you just pet them!), and more. To keep track of all the events and happenings, download the University of Chicago app.

Two Dos, Two Don’ts: Ta Da

Things To Do

The Personal Edition


Last week we posted a more practical To Do List, with things like IDs and immunization forms. Hopefully we can intersperse those activities with some of the more enjoyable aspects of living in Chicago. Read below for ideas of how to spend the last couple of weeks of summer and hopefully relax a bit before we dive into Colloquium on the 14th!

1. Read about Chicago! This is a great time to find out about events here and to pick a news source for the year. Check out Chicago Reader, Time Out Chicago, or New City. There are also the long-standing Chicago newspapers, The Tribune and Sun-Times.

Continue reading

Chicagoland of the Free

In a past post we covered Chicago Transit- here is another chance to put it to use, with  free or inexpensive summer activities here in Chicago. Go forth and explore without breaking the bank!


Botanical Garden’s Employee of the Month


Chicago Botanic Garden:

Admission to the garden is free daily, though parking costs $25 dollars. So it is completely free if you bike. They also host concerts and other evening events. Continue reading

2014 Convocation Events & Information

It’s coming! Yes, you may have like .5 more papers to write, but the end is near. Read on for information regarding impending Convocation-related events.

If you are not graduating next week, please do come to all of these things! It is very fun to celebrate the end of Spring quarter with the entire cohort. 

** UPDATE: The Kennedy Expressway will be closed from 10 pm on Friday, June 13 until Monday, June 16 at 5 am. This means that anyone traveling to Hyde Park from the north by car will experience long delays/lots of disruption. Please help your family and friends plan ahead! For more information on closings and alternate routes, check here .**



This is what master’s robes look like. Original artwork by Sarah E. Smith.

Cap & Gown Pick-Up: Now.

Master’s attire costs $47 and can be purchased at the University Bookstore (Ellis & 58th — not the Co-op!). UChicago does not do hoods for master’s students, but you will have some wacky sleeves. If you don’t have your gear yet, hurry! You can get a cap and gown up to the 13th, but you run the risk of confronting a limited range of sizes if you wait too long.

Family & Friends Reception: Friday, June 13 – 3:00-5:00 PM, Classics 110

Your first chance to gawk at each other’s kin and marvel at how it all makes sense now!!! Join us for a parent-friendly Social Hour (read: nice food, nice beer & wine, a Febreze-ed/aired-out room) the evening before Convocation. This is timed so that you can enjoy some hors d’oeuvres and introduce your guests to your MAPH colleagues, your preceptor, MAPHCentral, etc. before dinner. If you need a recommendation for the location of said dinner, check out these suggestions. Continue reading

3 Essential Reasons to Apply for Externships (Due May 18)

Thinking about the future can be scary. Externships are here to help!

I know, I know: you literally just finished those internship and mentor applications, and you’re busy at work putting the finishing touches on your thesis thanks to adviser feedback. In the midst of all that busyness, applying for Externships, 1-5 day job shadowing opportunities during Summer 2014, probably doesn’t seem like the most important thing. However, spending a small amount of time and energy now (or at least, before May 18th at midnight when they are due) writing those applications will serve you well later. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Make connections to awesome organizations! The main reason people get jobs is because they know the people doing hiring. So it’s that sad truth that if you have no connection to an organization you want to work for, your odds go way down. Luckily, Externships provide the perfect opportunity to learn more about organizations without having to commit to anything long-term or high-energy.

This years externships (which you can find here – choose the Jobs tab, and then Show Me –> Externships) include organizations like Cambridge University Press, Gallup Consulting, Google, the MCA, Purgatory Pie Press, Scrappers Film Group, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School, U of C Alumni Relations, and the Hyde Park Art Center.  Continue reading

Greetings From Los Angeles (Sweets, Solidarity, and Wisdom from Robyn Johnson, ’13)

photo (4)MAPHCentral received a sweet surprise in the form of homemade chocolate walnut cookies (yes, time to go to the office and grab some and finish reading this later) from Robyn Johnson, MAPH ’13.

photo (3) She also included this sweet, knowing note (emphasis by the office): Continue reading