Eat, Sleep, Read: Part II (On Sleep)

Eat, Sleep, Read is a three-part series on wellness in grad school. MAPH is a challenging year in a lot of ways, but you can make it way easier physically, mentally, and eatprayloveemotionally by taking care of yourself and managing your workload. For Part II, we’ll cover some tips that may help you get better, more restful sleep during your time in MAPH.


“Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more!” – Grad Students (or Shakespeare, I guess)


Sleep and grad school don’t always mix well. Between classes, writing, reading, and other demands, there aren’t enough hours in the day, and it will inevitably seem like there aren’t enough hours to get a full night’s sleep. But keeping a regular, healthy sleep schedule in grad school will make you so, so much happier. As someone who pulled all-nighters all through undergrad, I can attest that the best life change I implemented during my MAPH year was committing to being better about sleep (I only pulled one all-nighter during MAPH, by accident—long story). Below find some tips that might help you get more restful sleep on a more regular basis!

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Harnessing the Power of the Internet

Last year, I felt torn between a need to be productive and a need to take breaks from studying. We all need breaks, especially coffee breaks.  But then there can be this sense of guilt or concern of “Oh no! I am not doing my homework!” or other similar exclamations. This often connects to the conflict that, while courses are the first priority for the next 8 months, soon finding a job will also be competing for your attention.

Thus, I want to suggest a way for you to both be productive and to take a break from that book you’ve been staring at all week.

These are three small things that you can do and work on that are 1. not all about school and 2. productive for life in and after Maph.

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Chicago Humanities Festival

Do you live in Chicago? Are you interested in the Humanities? Possibly even to the point of studying them for an entire year?

Boy, do we have the event for you!  The Chicago Humanities Festival.

This year, the Chicago Humanities Festival theme is Journeys and they have a truly incredible line up. Through their site, you can search for events and speaker, or search by your own interests. You can even download the program and look through the entire line-up. (I, for one, am excited about the Mark Bittman event as well as the Future of Higher Ed.) There are also musical performances, the CHF Parlor, and workshops.  Continue reading

Yes, And

This is a guest post by the very awesome, much-beloved Evan Stoner, discussing his experience in MAPH, pursuing the Creative Writing Option. (I also recommend that you check out his related post on AWP here.)

Yes, And: Evan Stoner (’14) on Pursuing the Creative (Writing) Option

freeadvicecryingFor anyone considering MAPH’s creative option, even for a fleeting moment, this post is for you!

One of the great things about MAPH is that all of you have so many options, and I strongly encourage you to think about all of them. The creative option is unique, because even though my thesis ended up being a creative writing project, there are lots of other possibilities.

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Stacks on Stacks on Stacks: A Guest Post on the UChicago Libraries

Dear MAPHers: below, you will find a guest post from Bill Hutchison (MAPH ’12, Mentor ’13), who is a current PhD in the English Department and an avid patron of the UChicago library system. We’re happy to present this MAPHtastic classic, as it is full of sage wisdom about how to navigate the vast troves of knowledge in the Reg, Mansueto, and beyond. Enjoy!



“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. Continue reading

Eat, Sleep, Read: A Wellness Series (Part I, Eating Healthy)

Eat, Sleep, Read is a three-part series on wellness in grad school. MAPH is a challenging year in a lot of ways, but you can make it easier physically, mentally, and emotionally by taking care of yourself and managing your workload. For Part I, we’ll look at the best ways to eat well during grad school.

eatprayloveEating well in grad school can be tough. It often seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to plan out, cook, and actually eat a balanced diet. But even some small efforts in this area of your life can pay huge dividends when it comes to keeping you happy and energized throughout the year. Here are a few tips on how to fit a healthy, frugal diet into your life:

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The Gif that Keeps on Giving


You are well into Fall Quarter- Congrats! Although you have hopefully grown more accustomed to the campus, to sitting in very smalls chairs, and to the heaviest of doors, I know it can still be difficult to picture the year ahead. So, in the interest of both fun and visual information distribution, I have mapped out a MAPH year in gif form. Take it as a reflection of my own MAPH year or as a glimpse into the future…

You show up in September, ready to go: Continue reading

CAS Workshops


The very first CAS workshop.

As the quarter gets underway, you’ll notice a ton of emails in your inbox from the various CAS workshops on campus. You may have heard a bit about these interdisciplinary working groups from preceptors and professors so far, but to recap briefly, workshops are seminar-style meetings of informal research groups sponsored by the Council on Advanced Studies. These meetings (which are usually once every two weeks) offer a venue for professors and graduate students to convene in an informal setting where they share, discuss, and critique each other’s work. (Also, there is usually nice cheese involved…)

Right now, there are over 70 different workshops ranging from Poetry and Poetics to Mass Culture to Gender and Sexuality (see the full list here). I guarantee you will find at least one—and probably several—that pique your interest. And when you do, go to their webpage and sign up for the listserv. Then you’ll get updates on when/where they are and what to read in advance. Signing up does not commit you to going all (or any) of the workshop sessions—you can attend as many or as few as your schedule allows.


Last year, I joined the Theater and Performance Studies Workshop early in fall, and it became one of the best parts of my MAPH year. The workshops are a big part of graduate student life on campus, and if you like to learn more about them, GSA will be hosting a Master’s Monday “Introduction to CAS Workshops” on October 13th at 9:30 am. I am a firm believer that there are some very concrete benefits to getting involved with a workshop during this year. For instance…

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