At 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…
MAPH’s new journal, Colloquium, is captivating the University’s intellectual and creative imagination. First, we made the UChicago Alumni news. Then UChicago Arts picked up the story. And why not? It’s fricking amazing.
From the story:
With so much to read, what is your niche?
Chaz Oreshkov: The work being done in MAPH interacts with real-world problems but at the same time retains a critical academic attitude. Colloquium succeeds because it’s both a lowbrow academic journal and a highbrow general reader’s magazine.
So you’re trying to be lowbrow.
Bill Hutchison: Lowbrow in the sense that we all get together in the great tavern of the mind to have amazing conversations, but feel tremendous joy about the kind of conversations we can have.
For those of you who have decamped to Hyde Park from parts far-flung, or for those of you soon to do so, or for those of you residing elsewhere in Chicago and wanting a green place near your new school in which to recreate, we present a trio of splendid parks in Hyde Park.
It’s huge and great. In fact, according to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, Washington park is the biggest park of the “four Chicago Park District parks named after persons surnamed Washington.” It’s a good place to run, ride, walk dogs, play frisbee, and do other stuff. Some people fish in the pond. Washington Park is also home to the DuSable Museum of African American History (which is excellent) and a tremendous sculpture called “The Fountain of Time.”
While the temptation to walk around campus hunched over a book, a smartphone, or an existential crisis is strong, raise your eyes to the walls and parapets! History is chiseled into the walls at UChicago. Many chunks of stone have been transformed into gargoyles, thinkers and scholars of ages past, and a variety of adorable/creepy animals.
We know you’re out there. You’re the ones checking the blog and waiting for the Colloquium syllabus. The ones who have already decamped to Hyde Park. The ones who hear the carillon bells and quaver with anticipation. MAPH Central herein offers various and sundry tips for your pre-MAPH run-up.
• The Listserv. Any email you send to firstname.lastname@example.org goes to everyone in MAPH. Feel free to use the MAPH listserv for meet-ups, get-downs, furniture swaps, or whatever else you need everyone in MAPH to see.
• Thing Theory. UChicago has its own mini-Craigslist of sorts: Marketplace. Find apartments, sell cars, buy…fondue pots? Sure.
• Cheap(er) Books. You either are or will soon be wondering if it’s worth it to get a membership at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore. Yes, it is. A membership costs $30, gives you a 10% discount (you will be buying many books very soon), and you can cash out after six months. And don’t forget about the Newberry Book Fair!
• Grounds of Being. The coffee shop in the basement of the Divinity School (Swift Hall) is the cheapest place on campus for coffee. It’s student-run, accepts only cash, and proudly bears the motto, “Where God Drinks Coffee.” MAPH Central will give you directions to one of UChicago’s best open secrets. [Note: MAPH Central always has free coffee and tea, though we do not recall seeing God ever drinking our coffee. —Eds.]
• Shots. You’ll need to provide records of various immunizations as part of enrolling at UChicago. It’s best to have that box ticked off before you arrive. It’s a pain to scramble around begging someone to stick you in the arm with dead microbes while you are rapidly revving up for Mr. MAPH’s Wild Ride.
• Food Trucks. Right around lunch time, a flock of food trucks land on campus. I’m particularly fond of Bridgeport Pasty‘s veggie pasty and the steamed buns from Wow Bao. For a relatively thorough run-down of the food trucks and where they are on any given day, check out the uchiNOMgo Twitter feed.
• Seymour. I’m embarrassed to tell you how long it took me to figure out what everyone was talking about. cMore is your student info portal. Check it out. Sign up for alerts, make sure your info is up to date, be aware of its ongoing existence.
• Squirrels. They are everywhere. They are my favorite.
We eagerly await your collective arrival, MAPH-zukunft!
I’ve been hounding you all about this for two months. Friday is Game Day (and by Game Day I mean, obviously, and yes kind of lamely, GradUCon). One hundred of you (roughly) have signed up to attend the full day of professional development events, panel discussions, networking conversations, and free food eating sessions.
With MAPH starting in a few weeks and the colloquium reading assignments just around the corner, I don’t think we’ve stressed enough how important it is to get out of Hyde Park while you still have the time to do it. Last year, my plan was to explore a different area or attraction of Chicago every weekend during the program but, even with the best intentions, it gets harder and harder to make the trek into the city once you have papers and thesis topic proposals looming over you. Needless to say, I’m now having fun, post-MAPH exploring Chicago because of my poorly executed plan. So, those of you who are here now…take advantage of this time!
A-J already posted his important annual exhortation stressing the need to get out of Hyde Park, but you still might be wondering how you actually go about doing that. There are a plethora of options to get into the city and up north from Hyde Park, but there are really only three viable ones if you want to get there within a reasonable time frame and feel safe doing it. (More on the three options after the jump…)
If there’s one major character trait that all MAPHer’s tend to have in common, it’s a borderline nerd-level appreciation for books (and, perhaps, booze…but that’s a post for another day). Thankfully, you now (or soon will) live in a city that is chock-full of fantastic book stores ready to cater to your every-reading need. And, thankfully, you have three mentors who share this trait and are happy to impart our knowledge on to you.
So, take a break from Core prep reading (syllabus coming soon) and mosey on down to one or two (or all) of these gems to pick up some books that should really be on your summer reading list (see A-J’s post on non-required summer reading for several suggestions). And, be sure to share any good title recommendations with us at MAPH Central (see where to go after the jump)… Continue reading →
Instead of flying home last year I had Thanksgiving dinner with my friend and her family, just outside of Chicago. When people asked me how I was enjoying graduate school, they seemed generally confused by the nature of the program, and my use of MAPH-specific terms that apparently don’t get much exercise outside of U of C. I was barraged with question after question. “So…it’s a one-year program?” “You can DO a one year masters?” “What’s your major?” “It’s a masters in the Humanities? Well, that’s pretty BROAD, isn’t it?”
It really does look like this in Hyde Park right now
We at MAPHCentral are hard at work preparing for the arrival of all 119 new shining faces in less than four weeks. In the meantime, we know that the stress of (let’s just say for argument’s sake) packing up one’s things in Washington, DC, cramming them in a UHaul and driving cross country with one’s Mom (who loves the Beach Boys and only the Beach Boys) can weigh heavily on one’s leisure time in August.
On that ride, you’ll have plenty of time to think of questions. Here are some that typically come up this time of year, as pre-students get (understandably) excited about starting….
“Do I need to sign up for classes yet?” The more intrepid of you, without a doubt, will have already located the University Time Schedules. That’s a great place to start drooling over the academic cornucopia set before you on the table of plenty at the University of Chicago. BUT. Don’t fret about registration. All of that will take place DURING COLLOQUIUMafter your arrival in September. (Good news: there are more things you don’t need to worry about after the jump…) Continue reading →