Enjoy the Weather! by michaelminnock

I’ll be the first person to tell you if you don’t already know Pittsburgh can have some harsh winters. That’s why I’m hoping you are all taking full advantage of the warm weather while you still have the opportunity. Going to class and then going straight back to your dorm room is not very healthy. Take the chance to sit outside, walk around campus, go for a run, or just enjoy the sun. Once November hits you’re really going to miss the sun. I’m not saying it’s horrible when it gets cold, but enjoy each season. That’s another great thing about Pittsburgh that it’s a four season city. Enjoy the little things that make Pittsburgh/Duquesne special, whether it’s the warm air, the first color change on trees, the first snowfall, or the first feeling of a spring breeze. These are all things that take us away from the occasional stress of school. Life is about enjoying the little things. College will keep you busy, so time goes by pretty quick. Make sure you don’t forget the little things that make you happy.



Summer Transition to School by michaelminnock
09.09.10, 12:24 am
Filed under: Class of 2013, Mike | Tags: , , ,


The transition from summer to school can be a difficult one. The first couple weeks back can be exciting with the start of a new year, seeing old friends, and meeting new ones. Eventually you realize school work is picking up, but you’re not ready to switch to school mode. Most of us tend to have a summer mode and school mode. The summer mode is a lot more difficult to turn off. The best way to switch to school mode is finding that routine. A routine does not mean being boring and not having fun, but it brings about more stability and organization into your college life. Organization is an important trait to have in college. Life in college can be a hectic time if you don’t organize yourself. College life becomes a lot easier when you find that routine that fits you best. Finding that comfortable routine takes longer for some, but just remember a routine is not a bad thing. Make sure you take full advantage of everything Duquesne offers and have a good start to the year!



Master Port Authority by afederoff

I know, that same old woe, Duquesne University students do not get to use their student IDs as bus passes while Pitt and CMU students experience that luxury. Over the years, I have seen students try to show their DU IDs to bus drivers, protests signed and the like, yet no action has been taken for reasons I am not educated on.

Though it is not free, I feel the Port Authority bus system in Pittsburgh is a must for students in the city. Because many of us do not have cars and though campus is beautiful, the bus system offers a great opportunity for students to get to know the city and take advantage of what Pittsburgh truly has to offer. However, a tricky question arises… how does it work?

No, I am not a master of the Port Authority bus system but I may be able to help clear a few things up.

  • The most basic thing to understand is the difference between Forbes and Fifth. These are both one-way streets; this much I am sure you know. However, here’s an easy way to know which street to pick up a bus on: if you’re going INto the city (a.k.a. downtown, a.k.a. Duquesne) you want to pick up a bus on Fifth because it has an ‘I’ in it for “in.” If you want to head OUT of town to Oakland, Squirrel Hill, the Waterfront etc. you want to pick it up on Forbes because it has an ‘O’ in it for “out.”
  • To get back to school from Oakland, the Waterfront or Squirrel Hill, the easiest thing to remember is the ones. Any 61 or 71 will drop you off at Fifth and Stevenson, with just a 3-minute trek up the hill to the residence area of campus. You can also pick up a 500, which will drop you off in the same location. I would steer clear of just hopping on a bus that reads “Downtown” because there is many areas it may drop you off, but if you are in desperate need of a bus it is usually a safe bet.
  • Try a transfer. Because, as Duquesne students, we do have to pay for the bus (just a small disadvantage in a universe of opportunities) this is a trick that many freshmen still haven’t figured out. Most bus trips cost $2.00 each way. However, you can get a transfer ($.75) and use this as a ticket for your return trip. While there is a time frame involved, in most cases a transfer gives you more than enough time for your trip.
  • If you are waiting for the bus at a popular stop, you may notice an orange sign under the usual blue “bus stop” sign. This is a great feature the city has for planning your ride. Simply text the name on the sign to the number 25252, and the system will return a text message with all the upcoming buses and departure times. This can be extremely useful for obvious reasons. If you’re feeling really ambitious, save the number and the name of the stop and you can wait for a bus without even leaving your room.

Remember, if you are traveling on a weekend, try the Loop Bus.

Good luck,

Alyssa

P.S. feel free to leave individual questions in comments.



Move In Day by afederoff
08.22.10, 6:10 pm
Filed under: AlyssaF, Bloggers, Class of 2013, Duquesne News | Tags: ,

Though it is my second year on campus, I once again got to experience move-in from a freshmen’s perspective. I was all ready for St. Ann’s move in day on Tuesday, nervous and excited, very much like last year. However, I already had my stuff unpacked and situated in my room on the first floor… let me explain. As I mentioned last semester, I have been granted the privilege to be a Resident Assistant (a.k.a. RA) for this upcoming school year.

So, after a week and a half of intensive training, move-in day was our big day. We all reported to the lobby about 11:00 A.M. in our matching maroon polos, exhausted yet excited. Our GA assigned jobs hourly for the entire day, quite intimidating. The jobs varied between checking people in, handing out room keys, and just “floating” around the building, looking for anyone who needed help. As I circulated the building, I popped my head into a room just to check in. When I introduced myself, I was welcomed warmly into the good-humored family by a jest, “Hey, it’s the sheriff.”

Though I was in no way insulted by this comment, it is the perfect opportunity to dispel such rumors. While part of being an RA does involve duty and enforcing dormitory rules, it is not nearly the only aspect of the job. Instead, RAs design bulletin boards, facilitate floor programs and truly care about the well being of their residents. Bulletin boards take a lot of time and effort, as well as planning. (It truly is a slap in the face when the letters are rearranged or ripped off totally.) Similarly, floor programs take a lot of effort and can be very rewarding. With topics ranging from faculty to service, they can offer a fun and fresh way to meet new people. So, my first floor social will be bracelet making and ice cream. However, this is just an example of the variety of activities you can do at floor programs.

Value your RA, they can be a great resource and supply of insight.

Alyssa



Summer Update! by x3erica1037

Hope everyone’s having an amazing summer so far!  These hot days have been flying by and it’s already July so I figured it was about time for a quick post now that there’s an entire new class of Duquesne freshmen and transfer students.

If you’re new to the blog, you should know that my name is Erica, I’m an upcoming sophomore in the McAnulty College, and I write for this blog to share my experiences at Duquesne with anyone whose interested.  Right now I’m just offering a chance to get questions answered or clear up any confusions about McAnulty, Duquesne, move-in…pretty much anything Duquesne related.  If I don’t know the answer off-hand I’ll do everything I can to figure it out so everyone has as smooth of a transition as possible. Get ready everyone, because you’re gonna love the Bluff! 🙂

Please feel free to submit any questions or comments to this post and hopefully I’ll be able to get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.  So ask away!

-Erica



Goodbye Duquesne by katzb
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



Gettin’ paid, getting’ paid – Job hunting advice! by Matt Kasznel
05.07.10, 9:45 am
Filed under: MattK, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

For those of you who are interested, I survived junior year. I’m officially a senior at Duquesne University. You may hold your applause until the end of the blog post.

But before I get to the the thrill of graduation, the agony of senior thesis, and the human drama of secondary education (props to anyone who gets that reference), another four-month task stands in my way: the temporary workforce.

In my flurry of schoolwork, school newspaper work, work study job, and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life, I had little chance to search for a job or internship most of the semester.  The job I had last summer – “warehouse associate” of a company that made aluminum insulator pipes – can’t give me hours, and while my hands are very happy that they won’t be bleeding as much this summer, my wallet is not as happy.

Even internships are difficult to come by.  Journalism internships are rough because most don’t pay well, if at all.  And banks aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to give out internships with this whole “we’-re having a financial crisis and it’s all the banks’ fault” thing going on.  This means I’m doing what I’ve done for the last two summers: searching for random full and part time labor to get me through until August.

However, my suffering can be to your benefit, readers.  Frantically searching for employment has made me somewhat well-versed in the art of the summer job search.

First off, the Internet is a beautiful thing, especially if you don’t live in the area you go to school in (i.e. you go to Duquesne but live in Philadelphia like me).  Not only are online job search sites great for simply looking for jobs, but most offer a “common application,” meaning you fill out your core application once and submit that to each employer, with a couple additional questions to answer for each individual job.  This saves you an incredible amount of time; in the time it would take you to drive around town and fill out three or four applications, you can apply for twenty-five different positions online.

For jobs or internships that are related to your major in college, you need to be looking starting in January.  They’re valuable, competitive, and fill up very quickly.  A site like JobsOnline or Monster that specializes in long-term “career”-type employment would be a good place to look for these jobs.

For regular summer jobs, such as working in retail or landscaping, you can usually apply later in the semester, even up until late April, and still be okay.  SnagAJob.com is a great site for this.  You may think that online applications get lost in the mess of millions of applicants, but I received two phone calls just two days after applying for jobs on SnagAJob.

Second, if you’ve applied for online jobs and haven’t heard back in about a week, drive around to the different places you applied and see what’s going on.  You can call and do this as well, but it’s much harder for someone to deny you or claim they “don’t do job applications” in person than over the phone.  Plus, while some might seem annoyed that you’re “harassing” them, most will appreciate your hustle.

Day camps are always fun too.  If you’re good with children and don’t mind (or love) being outside, being a day camp counselor is a great job, although the pay is not always the greatest.

Lastly, there’s always College Pro Painter.  A painting and window-cleaning company, College Pro Painter has been hiring exclusively college students for summer work for nearly forty years.  You’ll spend the summer “cold-calling” potential customers for estimates, painting houses, and basically working hard, but they have a very good hire rate.  Always consider them, unless you’re not a fan of manual labor or pass out at the scent of acrylic paint.

That’s the end of my guided tour of summer employment.  We hope you’ll come again soon.  The gift shop is to your right–please buy something.  As I’ve mentioned before, I could certainly use the cash.

-Matt