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.



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.



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



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



New photos of campus by liberalartsduq
04.08.10, 12:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Check out some new pictures from around campus Power Center Click here to see the full set



Freshmen Involvement Update: Overload by afederoff

I happen to know for a fact that my RA is on duty on Tuesday nights. (Yet, this is to be expected after doing rounds with her.) So, last Tuesday, right before Easter Break, I had a bunch of floor mates over to hang out before we all headed to our respective homes. When Hailey, my RA, knocked on the door to do her post freshmen involvement forms, I was surprised by what I heard.

As she went around the room asking each of my friends what they had become involved with, I was impressed by how these girls manage their time. Every person in the room had become involved with any programs, clubs, or sororities Duquesne has offered. As time goes on, I am finding this is not uncommon for the Duquesne University student. Many organizations are very welcoming to freshmen, and our students seem to want to be involved.

However, as I listed all the things I have planned for next year, I became increasingly overwhelmed. Here is the list I spewed out to Hailey:

Strong Women Strong Girls: I’m sure everyone knows my now I am a mentor for Strong Women Strong Girls and I love it! This is an awesome organization to be a part of, especially if you plan on going into education, gender studies, or PR. The sense of community established among Duquesne mentors is welcoming, but because the organization is in many cities, the feeling of being part of a tri-city volunteer organization is very powerful.

Resident Assistant: I was accepted to be a resident assistant. Of course, there are many benefits to this job, but I hear it is very time consuming. Nonetheless, I am very excited for all aspects of the job. In fact, I find out where I will be living next year tonight.

Phi Eta Sigma: This is a freshmen honors society. I think about 250 freshmen students are members. Commitments include bi-weekly meetings.

Lambda Sigma: This is a sophomore honors society. Only 50 students are accepted into this fraternity, which fosters leadership, scholarship, fellowship and the spirit of service. I am very excited to be a member of this organization. Requirements are weekly meetings and 13 hours of community service a semester.

CONTACT Pittsburgh: Contact is an incredible organization: it is a 24-hour crisis hotline. After many hours of training (50+!), I am now a volunteer. This is not a very big time commitment (after training, that is) but it is a cause that I wholeheartedly support. It very rewarding work, and while challenging at times, I am very happy to be involved.

Gwen’s Girls: Gwen’s Girl is a group home for girls ages 8 to 18 who are underprivileged. There are many different opportunities to get involved in this organization – I had planned on tutoring after school and peer mentoring. The only downfall to volunteering at Gwen’s Girls is the location: it is difficult and dangerous to get to without a car.

Internship: I have mentioned before I will be working for Courtney E. Martin, author and activist, through out the next year. We are working on an international campaign against the distortion of body image, the thing I am most passionate about! This is a great opportunity and I am hoping it will provide an irreplaceable learning experience and also open future doors. I would highly advice anyone and everyone to look for an internship

…And of course, blogging!

With such a long list, it is hard to believe in August, I entered the Duquesne community, completely uninvolved and a little lost. Therefore, if anyone is interested or unsure about in getting involved, whether it is in any of these organizations or other organizations on campus, please, please feel free to talk to me. Also, any questions on time management… I’m your girl!

Alyssa



Don’t Be Afraid of the Learning Communities!!!! by afederoff

Just about this time last year, I was attempting to choose a learning community for my freshmen year. I know I was a little unsure of how much weight this held, how it would mold my year, and how to decide. Let me try to remedy that:

First and foremost, let me say that Duquesne’s Liberal Arts learning communities are awesome! They all really help integrate students into the Duquesne community instead a blunt transition. For this reason, you are “safe” picking any learning community offered. Basically, being a member of this community entails a couple things – you will have four core classes with these students (three first semester and one second), you will work on a service project with them through out these semesters, and you will live on the same floor as these people. Each community features different classes and a unique service project. These range from organizing organ/blood donation to publishing a book for senior citizens of Pittsburgh.

There are several ways you can choose your learning community.

  • By Location: Each community lives on a specific floor in a specific building. I know there are many rumors about the two buildings, Martin’s and Ann’s, and some students pick their learning community based on these locations. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS because it is not guaranteed the community will reside in the same location.
  • By Professor/Director: If you have met a compelling professor featured in a specific learning community, you may be interested in joining that community. Before picking this community, however, speak with the professor about the community: they will have a lot of great insight to offer you!
  • By Curriculum: While I would not solely choose your learning community based on curriculum, it is important to look at the classes each community requires: in reality, this is where a large amount of your time will be spent. I would encourage you to venture out of your comfort zone if there is a class you have never taken or do not fully understand, but if one class appears totally boring to you, that is something to consider.
  • By Goal: Each learning community features several nouns and a catchphrase summarizing what will be achieved in this community. For example, as a member of Narratio, my phrase is “Create a story about your community”. This is what appealed to me, and as I continued to read about the courses and Dr. Sora on ratemyprofessors.com, I realized this was the right community for me.
  • By Others: I know that some people are afraid of not knowing anyone in their learning community and band together with friends or acquaintances in order to prevent this. I would highly advise against this – first, there is no need to worry about being alone; chances are most people will be in the same place as you. Second, the curriculum and service project will take up a majority of your time. If you are not particularly interested in these requirements, the learning community experience will not be as fun and beneficial!

Here is a quick synopsis of each learning community (you can find more information here: http://www.duq.edu/liberalarts/undergraduate/learning-communities/index.cfm)

RATIO (RAH’-TEE-OH)
reckoning, reason, judgment, method

Improve your analytical thinking skills.

Director: Dr. Michael Irwin, Department of Sociology

POPULUS (POE’-POO-LOOS)
people, crowd, multitude

Explore the dynamics of cultures and societies, masses and movements.

Director: Dr. Charles Hanna

PERSONAE (PER-SOH’-NYE)
parts, roles, characters, personalities

Consider how individuals and groups shape one another.

Director: Dr. Leswin Laubscher, Department of Psychology

ORBIS (OR’-BESE)
circle, the world, the earth

Study other lands, cultures, and states.

Director: Dr. Mark Frisch, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

NARRATIO (NAH-RAH’-TEE-OH)
telling relating, narrative, story

Create a story about your community.

Director: Dr. Joseph Sora, Department of Journalism and Multimedia Arts

LITTERAE (LEE’-TER-AYE)
letters, literature

Explore literature and society.

Director: Dr. Stuart Kurland, Department of English

JUDICIUM (YOU-DEE’KEE-OOM)
trial, legal investigation, judgment, decision

Search for truth and justice through evidence in the public sphere.

Director: Dr. Ronald Arnett, Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies

FIDES (FEE’-DES)
trust, confidence, belief, faith

Challenge and strengthen your most important beliefs.

Director: Dr. Jotham Parsons, Department of History

FIDES (FEE’-DES)
trust, confidence, belief, faith

Challenge and strengthen your most important beliefs.

Director: Dr. Jotham Parsons, Department of History

CIVITAS (KEE’-WEE-TOSS)
state, citizenship, city-state

Prepare to make a difference in community and governance.

Director: Dr. Tsekani Browne, Department of History

Good luck,

Alyssa