This is it—you’re in the final stretch! Your thesis is due on Friday. To some of you I know that still sounds like a death sentence. You don’t feel ready at all to give up working on this thing that has been such a huge part of your life for the past months. It isn’t ready! This past weekend you thought of something that should really be an entire section of your thesis, but at this point you only have time to shoehorn it in the last few sentences, or just ignore it. You can think of about seventeen ways in which it could be so much better. Well guess what. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, because my preceptor said it to me—when it comes to the thesis, done is better than good. Perfect is the enemy of the great. Or, as my mother would tell me, it is time to put your thesis in a lockbox and send it to Jesus. Take your pick, I have lots of folksy advice for you guys. Continue reading
We know it might seem like we’ve been withholding information about applying to PhD programs. For a little while, that was indeed the case. There are certain ways in which MAPH needs to be done for MAPH’s sake, and it’s important to explore other career options outside of “THE ACADEMY.” But by now, many of you are still probably on the PhD bandwagon (or at least very seriously considering hitching a ride) and the time to start thinking about your next steps is now. So, throughout the rest of the quarter, we have a series of PhD application and academic professionalization events that we think you should go to. (Oh, and read this article – it’s distressing and refreshing all at the same time, and does a good job of outlining the types of questions you want to ask yourself as you weigh this decision.) Continue reading
On April 7th and 8th, the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) will be holding Campus Days for newly admitted students. Our goal is to show you as much of MAPH as we possibly can in two action-packed days, to help you decide whether or not this program is right for you. Campus Days is not mandatory for admitted students, but we highly encourage it! If you will be able to make it this year, here is an idea of what you will have to look forward to, and some advice as to how to make the best of it.
BEFORE YOU COME:
MAPH reimburses up to $200 of travel expenses for prospective students attending Campus Days! So make sure you keep track of your receipts. Check this page for more information and to make sure your trip will be eligible.
If you’re coming in from out of town, you’ll obviously need to figure out where to stay. I recommend staying with a current MAPH student if possible; it’s a great way to get insider information on the program, and to experience the kind of life you might lead in Hyde Park. Contact us for more information about this, as our students will have limited space! Otherwise there are several great places to stay in Hyde Park and downtown. Check this page for more details to help plan your stay.
WHILE YOU’RE HERE:
The first event (Sunday at 2:30pm) will be the preview of the second issue of Colloquium, MAPH’s new student-run journal. Colloquium showcases the critical and creative work of MAPH students and alumni in a snappy web publication. Check out the first issue now, and be sure to come by the preview event to hear about the work current students are doing, as well as get any information on how to submit work or serve on the editorial board during your MAPH year.
Following the preview is the official welcome for Campus Days at 4:30pm! Dean of Humanities Martha Roth, Director of MAPH David Wray, and Deputy Directors of MAPH Ben Callard and Hilary Strang will give a short talk about the program and an official welcome. We will then screen Jacques Tati’s 1967 film, Playtime, with a faculty panel on the film to follow on Monday morning.
After the film, there will be a current student panel at 6:00pm. Current students from diverse fields will be in attendance, ready to take any and all questions about life in MAPH. Then after an hour or so, everyone will walk over to the new Logan and Reva Center for the Arts for the MAPH Welcome Dinner around 7:00pm. Come enjoy delicious catered food and mingle with other prospectives, current MAPH students, faculty and staff!
Breakfast will be served buffet style in the Classics Building from 8:30-10:00am, for any early birds among you! Then at 10:00am, there will be a faculty panel on Playtime. It should be an insightful event, and an opportunity to hear from some of the faculty you may be interacting with throughout your year in MAPH—maybe even a future advisor! Specific panel members will be listed on the Campus Days Schedule as we know them.
After the faculty panel, we will hold a MAPH alumni panel at 11:15. The panel will consist of MAPH alumni from diverse fields such as cultural policy, journalism, education, museum and art curation, as well as current PhD students. They will provide their perspectives on the program as former students, and illustrate how their experiences here have translated to their respective careers and life trajectories.
Everyone will be going their own way from 12-4. Lunch is independent, but we will provide a handout upon your arrival that should help you figure out where to eat at any of Hyde Park’s delicious restaurants. How you spend the next few hours is entirely up to you. Options include sitting in on a class, attending faculty office hours, going on campus tours, visiting departments and more! And if you are seeking travel reimbursement, don’t forget to square that with us during this time! Detailed information about participating in all of these options will be made available on your arrival to campus, and we will be updating the website as details come in, so check back often.
Finally, on Monday from 4-6 we will hold the MAPH Campus Days closing reception. We will have dinner with prospectives, current students, MAPH faculty and staff to bid you all farewell—but hopefully will see you soon again!
Well, that’s all the information I have for you now. I hope to see you there!
You may still be in the midst of finishing papers for various courses but it is not too soon to start thinking about how to manage the holidays and think about what you might do to prepare for winter quarter.
It is important to take time to get rest, see friends or family, and generally recuperate. If you want to start thinking about the thesis or reading ahead this is a great time to get some reading done. Just set yourself a schedule and devote an hour or two each day or set a study date with friends either in Hyde Park or wherever you land to go to a coffee shop and get some work done.
Be sure to stay connected. If you are spending part of the holiday in Hyde Park you may find campus a little quiet. Stop by the MAPH office and check in with us. We’ll post the days the office is closed or hours are shortened. Be sure to check the library schedule as the hours may be different. Find other MAPHers who are in town to venture out and see some sights or just sit in a coffee shop and quietly read together.
Now for the fun part. . .
In search of some healthy recreation after spending hours inside writing?
More holiday and anti-holiday events after the jump. . .
For those of you spending the holiday in the city it is wise to make sure that you spend at least one or two days not doing coursework. Sure meet up with other MAPHers and make a feast, but if you are looking for some diversions here are a few options.
If you don’t want to drive to the suburbs and participate in early morning black Friday pillaging there are other options for being in a mass of people.
Thanksgiving Parade on State Street. On November 24th you can head downtown. This is not quite Macy’s Parade in New York but there are floats and balloons and bands and your usual parade festivities. From 8:00-11:00 am on State street between Randolph and Congress.
The Christkindl Market in Daley Plaza lets you feel like you are visiting Germany over the holiday. A traditional style German market offers candied nuts in paper packets, gluwein, potato pancakes and bratwurst. There are also traditional blown glass ornaments, cuckoo clocks and other crafts. The market opens November 23rd. They light the tree at 4:30 on the 24th.
If you are already downtown you might as well check out the Macy’s windows (not as good as when in was still Marshall Field’s). You can then drop in on ice skating at Millennium Park or stop into the Art Institute to check out some art. Also they will be putting wreaths on the lions at 10:00 am on November 26th.
A little further north, The Lincoln Park Zoo starts Zoolights on November 25th. More mulled wine and hot pretzels are available as you take in the light display and see some zoo animals. Don’t forget to pick up some plastic mold-a-rama animals. They make great stocking-stuffers or Hanukkah presents . . .
Crowds are not your thing?
You can still get out of Hyde Park and enjoy time outside. The weather is supposed to be warm. Visit the lakefront. In fact, there are groups that meet up just to go for walks. The Museum of Science and Industry has their Christmas trees from around the world up and the Muppets (okay those will be croweded) but avoid the crowds and look a the U-boat exhibit instead. (MSI has mold-A-Rama machines too, who knew holiday shopping would be so cheap and easy.) See a movie or go see live theater. There are often cheap theater tickets the weekend after Thanksgiving or use your Artspass.
This handy guide features a variety of charities in Chicago who are taking volunteers over the holiday weekend. University of Chicago has group service days on the 24th and 26th. Check out the calendar for details.
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.
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.
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 . . .