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.

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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



Time Flies! by liberalartsduq
05.05.10, 12:15 am
Filed under: Class of 2013, Mike, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Time really does fly. Yesterday seriously feels like the first day of high school and I’m already done with my freshman year in college. Of course I’m excited for the summer, but there is a bit of bitter sweet feelings in the air. All the work is over, but another year in gone in my life. As corny as this sounds when you stop and think, you realize how fast time really goes. Most people go through life not truly appreciating every day. People are too busy with school, work, jobs, and feel too stressed out to enjoy each and every day. They wish for weekends, summers, vacations without appreciating every day. Everyone is looking to live in the future, but the present is where we should be living. Time is too valuable to throw away. Confucius once said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” There are obviously going to be bad days at times you can’t wait for a new day, but make sure it does not become a pattern. The future is an exciting time especially since college is setting us up for a successful future, but just remember to take one day at a time. College is meant to be some of the most exciting years of our life, so don’t waste them. Have a GREAT SUMMER!



Major Decisions and More by afederoff

After twenty-four full hours of totems, charisma (as in “deep truth revealed by cosmic order, recognized by social adherence”), and modernity, I thought I would officially commence the summer with one last blog as a freshman at Duquesne University. Finals sucked, I’m not going to lie. Luckily, I only had four finals (instead of the dreaded five) and I think I did well on all of them. My classes were awesome, my professors helpful, and my experience wonderful!

Let me tie up some odds and ends:

I think I’ve finally decided on a major… sort of. I entered Duquesne as a journalism major, enrolled in the Narratio learning community. Although I have decided to not pursue a career in the journalism field, I could not be happier with the path I took. Besides the obvious elements (such as making great friends, having awesome professors, and fun opportunities…like blogging!), I have found many of the classes I have taken this past year will be helpful in building my future curriculum. For example, Media and Society has been a great stepping-stone to future classes I will be taking. So, without further ado, I have decided to make my own major. The liberal arts college offers this incredible program in which a student literally makes a major of their own. With the help of my adviser, I decided this was the best path for me because of my future goals (to go to NYU and get a MSW/JD). If you have your heart set on Duquesne, but the liberal arts college does not have the exact major you are looking for, I would suggest looking into the program. In order to do this, I must compose my curriculum plan to our dean along with my reasoning for this course of study (major summer project). What do I plan on studying exactly? I like to call it a degree in feminism… it will be a unique combination of media studies, sociology, women studies, and conflict resolution.

That brings me to my next point: you’re never too new to get involved. Though countless advisors, interviewers, and peers have told me I am way ahead of the game, I think I am just trying to stay on the right path, following my passions. So, as my summer plans shape up, I will be working for an OB/GYN Monday through Thursday, and Fridays and Saturdays will be devoted to my internship, the first exciting leap into my career path. I briefly mentioned it before, but since it began in January, I have hardly had the time to blog about it. Anyway, I will be an intern for Ms. Courtney Martin, feminist activist and author. The Women’s Center Therapy Institute, in NYC, has asked to be the frontrunner for their international campaign against distorters of body image. The campaign, entitled Endangered Species: Preserving the Female Body, is scheduled to occur in March of 2011 and I am ecstatic to announce that I have currently been working on the guest list!

In terms of getting involved on campus and in Pittsburgh, I would encourage new freshmen to step out of the comfort zone and just try everything. Organizations I have become heavily involved with are CONTACT Pittsburgh, Strong Women Strong Girls, the Liberal Art blog, and Residence Life, as well as Phi Eta Sigma (the freshmen honors fraternity) and Lambda Sigma (the sophomore honors fraternity). Becoming involved was one of the best decisions I have made all year. Sure, it took guts to attend all those initial meetings, but luckily I have them. J If you don’t, please, please take me up on this offer: email me, comment me, ask me questions etc. Being involved is key, especially as a Duquesne student!

Thinking back to high school, I still don’t enjoy being a freshman a.k.a. “fresh meat” and the like. But at Duquesne, faculty and peer leaders somehow manage to make it less scary then James Caldwell High School did. In fact, it’s not the kind of scary where you want to go home or eat lunch in the bathroom; it’s more like scary before a performance, a date, or a speech. Oh wait… I think the word for that is excitement.

Happy summer, see you all in August!

Alyssa