Goodbye Duquesne
05.09.10, 9:20 am
Filed under: Bloggers, BrittanyK, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

I’ve been waiting to post my finals blog until after graduation so I could report on the festivities, plus I’ve been super busy!

Finals weren’t too bad. I have two final papers, two presentations, and four exams, but I made it through! I still think one of the best feelings in the world is selling books back and recycling old notes. I am still checking DORI constantly because only half of my final grades have been posted. I picked up a free yearbook during my last day on campus, and it has been fun to look through and this years pictures and events.

The graduation ceremony for the whole University was on Friday at 5 p.m. There was a baccalaureate service earlier in the afternoon, but my family and I didn’t go. The whole school graduation was nice, and big! It was in the Palumbo Center and the students sat on the floor arranged by school. There was a speaker, we sang the Alma Mater, and the doctoral students were hooded by their advisors. After the ceremony, I went out to eat with my family and friends who had attended the event. It was a nice night, and we were glad we took part.

The Liberal Arts graduation was early Saturday morning. The event started at 9 a.m. and students were supposed to arrive early to get checked in, get their note card with their name on it, and arrange in alphabetical order. It wasn’t as chaotic as you’d think, and it was actually nice to see so many familiar faces of students and professors. I realized how many people I’ve come to either befriend or at least know from classes over the years, and how many different Liberal Arts professors I’ve come to know.

The Liberal Arts graduation went quickly, considering each graduate was called up on stage and given their (fake) diploma individually. (Our real diplomas get mailed to us after all final grades are submitted.) My family enjoyed seeing my walk across the stage! There was a reception following the ceremony, but we decided to skip because it was pretty cold outside!

My family planned a nice graduation dinner for my last night with friends and family. They wouldn’t tell me where we were going, they just told me to dress up! After driving through downtown passing every restaurant that I had guessed, we ended up at the Georgetowne Inn on Mt. Washington. I had been up to Mt. Washington a few times to take pictures, but never to eat! Before our reservation, we rode the Duquesne Incline down and back up for the great views and memories.

Then we ate right next to the window at the Georgetowne Inn, which was an amazing view! It was an awesome dinner and a great way to celebrate my graduation and moving on to the next phase. It was fireworks night at the Pirate game, so we got to end the night by watching fireworks on the river!

Overall, it was a great weekend. I am exhausted and a little stressed about the amount of packing I have to do in the next week, but the graduation ceremonies were a good way to celebrate my accomplishment. I’ve added some graduation pictures to the Liberal Arts facebook page, so take a look!

Thanks for sticking with me over the past two years, through tests, stress, jobs, applying to schools, and graduation. I’ve really enjoyed blogging and getting a chance to share my views and experiences with Duquesne and the College of Liberal Arts. Have a good summer, Duquesne students, and enjoy the years to have left on the Bluff.

-Brittany



Post from last year: Don’t let finals get you down!
04.28.10, 8:37 am
Filed under: Bloggers, BrittanyK, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Here is a blog post I wrote last year during finals week:

During finals week, it would be tough to find a single student who would not describe his or her mood as stressed. Whether it is the final papers, all-nighters in the library, packing to move home for the summer, or the final exams stacked up one after the other, finals week has a way of getting under every student’s skin.
During a week jam-packed with stressful events, avoiding excessive pressure may be hard to do. It’s hard to believe, but there is a reason for stress in our lives. Stress is something that evolved over time to help up cope with difficult situations.
Students get stressed about the amount of work they have during finals week, the fact that it is all crammed into one week, and because of the important of the work on their final grades. What stresses me out the most about finals week is that the studying seems never ending! As soon as I have conquered one final, it seems there are always more looming.
Many universities plan events for students to get their minds off of work during finals week. The University of Wisconsin hosts “Stress Free Zone” which offers snacks, games, and stress free activities for students to participate in. Other colleges, like New York University and St. Leo University in Florida, host midnight breakfasts for students who plan on spending the night awake and studying.
The Gumberg Library at Duquesne is hosting a study break for students on Wednesday, April 28, at 3 p.m., sponsored by the Student Government Association. Refreshments will be served in the Popular Reading Area on the 4th floor of the Gumberg Library. This gives students a break from their studies on the Reading Day, a day off before finals for students to have time to study.
Maybe Duquesne should try something new on this year’s Reading Day. Each year before finals, Northwestern University students participate in a longstanding tradition. According to the Associated Press, “They stand outside in the cold the night before exams, wearing jeans and sweats or just PJs. They scrEAAAAAMMMMMMMM!!!” This activity is often called the “primal scream,” and gives students a chance to vent their frustrations during a stressful time in school. After sharing the in the tradition, Andrew Walker, a junior and resident adviser at a Northwestern University dorm said, “It hurt my vocal cords a little bit,” while holding his throat and smiling widely. “But I liked it!”
So if the stress of finals has got you down, stop by the Gumberg Library on Wednesday for a well deserved break. Or, take a lesson from students at Northwestern, and just SCREAM!

-Brittany



Something you should know
04.23.10, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Bloggers, BrittanyK, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

My mind was wandering today, and I somehow got to thinking about what people in Georgia will think about the fact that I went to Duquesne University. My next thought was: what is someone asks where that weird name came from? I don’t even know what/who Duquesne is named after! You’d think that would be something I would know! Pennsylvania = Penn’s woods. Duquesne = who knows?!

I found a good answer online and thought I should share. This is something we should all know! Now if someone asks “Who was Duquesne?” you don’t have to say “Um… I donnno.”

Who was Duquesne, and why was Duquesne University named after him?
— Josh Foster, South Side

Maybe it’s not surprising that so many bright young people leave Pittsburgh after attending college here. After all, one of our universities is itself named after a man who never actually set foot here, and the people who first introduced the name to Pittsburgh – like many college students today – stuck around four years, trashed the place and left.

Marquis Duquesne, the first Duquesne Duke

In 1754, the Marquis Duquesne, governor-general of New France (or, as we know it today, Canada) sought to curtail the westward advance of the hated English. So in April, he sent 500 French troops down the Allegheny to the Point, where an English garrison manned a tiny fort named Fort Prince George, after the heir to the English throne.

According to Laura L. Frey’s history The Land in the Fork, when the French arrived the English commander was on an expedition, and the second-in-command was too busy operating a trading post to worry about military matters. The only officer minding the fort was a young ensign named Edward Ward. As Frey tells it, with only 40-odd troops surrounded by hundreds of French, “Ward chose the least line of resistance” – outright surrender. In a gesture both symbolic and practical, the French tore town the English fort and used the wood to build their own, which they named after the Marquis Duquesne. From Montreal, a pleased Duquesne boasted, “the English have withdrawn, looking foolish, and in less than an hour’s time [we] have become master of the battlefield.”

By 1758, however, the troops at Fort Duquesne had lost many of their Native American allies and were nearly starving. When English forces led by General John Forbes arrived at their doorstep, the French gave up the Point the way they’d taken it: without a shot. They burned down Fort Duquesne and fled into the night, gone but not forgotten.

In fact, considering the short time the French were here, Pittsburgh has kept the Duquesne name alive a long time. In his book The Spirit that Gives Life: The History of Duquesne University, Joseph Rishel notes that a local song once noted, “No one knows the reason, no one can explain; but everything you look at is named Duquesne.”

In its first incarnation — the Pittsburgh Catholic College of the Holy Ghost — Duquesne University was founded in 1878 by a clerical order known as the Holy Ghost Fathers. In 1911 it became a full-fledged university chartered as the “University of the Holy Ghost.” But according to Rishel, some faculty feared “the vulgarity … of associating, especially in newspaper language, the sacred name of the ‘Holy Ghost'” with the mundane world. One can understand the fathers shying from headlines like “Holy Ghost to seek additional funding.” Even worse would be sports headlines; Christians mindful of their early history would likely be disheartened at news stating, “Nittany Lions maul Holy Ghost.”

Concerned collegians circulated a petition seeking a “more distinctive name which will … indicate the locality in which

Marquis should be proud!

the [school] is situated,” and the school was renamed just two months after being chartered. The petition recommended the Duquesne name on the erroneous basis that it was “the name of the first settlement made on … the present City of Pittsburgh and was derived from the name of the Catholic governor of the Province of Canada at the time.” But the school didn’t give up the ghost entirely; its full name became “Duquesne University of the Holy Ghost.”

As Rishel points out, the Duquesne name was already well established. There was the Duquesne Club, which borrowed not only the French aristocracy’s names but also its let-’em-eat-cake insouciance. There was the Duquesne Incline, Duquesne Brewing, and the Duquesne Works, a steel mill located in the Mon Valley town of Duquesne.

Still, it’s a mystery why the name should be so common. Perhaps it’s because French words suggest Old World sophistication — you know, the kind we exhibit whenever we pronounce “North Versailles.”

— Chris Potter (http://incline.pghfree.net/N-Duquesne.html)


Now you know!

-Brittany



Facebook official
04.22.10, 7:48 pm
Filed under: Bloggers, BrittanyK, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Nothing’s official until its “Facebook Official”, right?

Admit it, it’s true. You aren’t really his girlfriend until your relationship status says so (with his name, of course). Someone isn’t a true friend if you haven’t friended them on Facebook. Even Urban Dictionary has an entry for “Facebook Official”: “When an event has happened and it only really counts if it has been put on Facebook for everyone to see. Example: ‘So I heard that Jess has a boyfriend now, I’m not sure though because it hasn’t been made Facebook Official yet.'”

It’s Facebook official: I’m going to grad school at Emory!

Ok, that might be old news, but it’s Facebook official. Nevermind the deposit’s been paid, the lease has been signed and I already own an Emory hoodie. Once I joined the Emory network, there was no turning back. (kind of)

I got my Emory e-mail address today, and couldn’t resist joining the Emory network asap. (Don’t judge, you’d do it too.) I remember when I got my Duquesne e-mail address before freshman year and was so excited to join the Duquesne network. (Actually, that was back when only college students could have Facebook. Those were the days!)

No turning back now; it’s Facebook Official.

-Brittany



Places to study

Here are a few places to set up camp in the next weeks when your trying to cram or write a final paper:

Library– This is the obvious study spot, but it can resemble a war-zone during finals. If you plan to brave the library crowd, find some friends to share a table with, get there early to claim your spot, and please KEEP QUIET!

Study rooms in the dorms– Most of the dorms on campus having study rooms, at least my freshman floor in St. Martin did. These rooms are a good alternative to the library, and have enough plugs, tables and study carols.

Empty classrooms– If a class isn’t using it, take advantage of the desks and the quiet!

 Union Ballroom on April 29 and 30: Tau Kappa Epsilon is opening the 4th Floor Union Ballroom for more study area on April 29th and 30th. The Ballroom is open from 6 PM until 2AM, and coffee and cookies will be provided, thanks to Aramark. 

Your room/apartment/house– If you have enough willpower to avoid napping in your bed, wasting time on Facebook, or just plopping on the couch and watching tv, your own room/apartment/house is a good, private place to study. Just make the extra effort to stay focused.

Off campus Panera or Starbucks– When trying to manage the stress of school and finals, sometimes getting off campus is a welcome break. Find a local coffee shop and use the WiFi and tables to get some studying done. Sometimes a change of venue is all you need to get refocused!

-Brittany



How I am making it through

This is an all-around stressful time for students: finishing up the semester, trying not to blow months of hard work, preparing for a quick transition to summer, along with everything else! Now that the weather is improving, all I want to do it go to lunch with friends and run outside. One of my friends commented that she wishes we had a few days on campus without school before the end of the summer to hang out and catch up without having to worry about tests and papers. I’ve been making it though these stressful weeks by keeping my calendar straight, doing yoga, and thinking about the bigger picture.

Keeping my calendar straight isn’t a new priority for me, but it takes on a new importance this time of year. Between final paper due dates, extra credit events to attending, and buying 6 tri-fold posters for my job, I need my calendar now more than ever. If you don’t usually use a calendar, I recommend using one for the next few weeks. At the very least, you may need a calendar to keep track of your final exams. (Here is the final exam schedule: http://www.duq.edu/registrar/_pdf/SP2010_Final_Exam_Schedule.pdf)

Secondly, I am doing yoga. This is not only because I have been tense and stressed, but because I am trying to take advantage of the free group fitness classes at Duquesne. (Here is the schedule: http://www.duq.edu/recreation/_pdf/spring2010groupfitnessfinal.pdf) Emory has fitness centers, but the group fitness classes are extra money, which I don’t plan on spending. Because of that, I am trying to make time each week to attend one or two classes at the Power Center, usually yoga. Yoga helps me stretch out from running and relax.

Finally, I keep myself focused on the bigger picture. Realistically these tests are not the end of the world. I have worked hard all semester and I’m sure I’ll be fine. Stop freaking out.

-Brittany