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.

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The last hurrah by Matt Kasznel
01.19.10, 7:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

If you ask academic advisors, professors, your parents, or anyone concerned with your academic well-being under the age of 25, they would probably explain to you the value of a fast start to the semester.  Take notes from the get-go.  Get a head-start on long-term assignments.  Spend “syllabus week” getting ahead of the game.  You know, the usual buzzwords and company lines.

I’m not any of those people.  I’m a junior in college.  And while I can’t reduce the value of a fast start to the semester, I’ll also let you guys in on a little secret: the first weekend or two of the semester is the closest thing you’re going to have to a break there is in college.

I’m not telling you to eschew work entirely during your first two weeks of classes.  Obviously if you have smaller homework assignments, hammer them out during the week.  But your first two weekends are schoolwork-free zones. Allow me to explain.

Yes, you want to get a start on your bigger long-term assignments somewhat early. But for the most part, professors are already accounting for the fact that students aren’t in full-on scholastic mode until after two weeks or so.  After that brief grace period, though, it’s game time.  And from that point on, your weekends will be split amongst your school priorities and activities, with whatever leftover time you have usually spent on those tiny issues like sleeping and eating.

Spring break or thanksgiving break? Yeah, you’ll be at home, but many college students spend that time either working at home or dreading the day they return to school. And once you do get back, it’s all about the home-stretch to finals.

But each semester’s first two weekends are truly glorious. The first comes right after Syllabus Week, so the time is generally wide open. The second is almost always a three day weekend. In the fall, Labor Day usually comes during the second weekend of classes, and in the spring semester, you can thank Martin Luther King Jr. for his contributions to the Civil Rights movement as well as granting you a three day weekend.

Remember, it’s still possible to have a great, straight-A semester even if you spend the first few weekends relaxing, partying, or doing whatever you like to do during vacations. But if you plan on spending those first few weekends hard at work expecting to take a random weekend during the semester for yourself, you’re going to be quite disappointed.  So heed my advice, friends, and enjoy take advantage of your easy time while you’ve still got it.

-Matt



Happy Halloween! :) by x3erica1037
10.30.09, 1:16 am
Filed under: Bloggers, EricaT | Tags: , , ,

Two days till Halloween!!

While a lot of us claim to be mature adults here, I think I can speak for a lot of people, including myself, when I say we still get excited for the holidays. The university seems to recognize this and offers us the Masquerade Ball on Friday night so we can get dressed up, too. Personally, I always get excited for the costume parties, candy, and scary movies that come every October and it’s no different this year.

The excitement began when I saw the hallways of St. Anne’s transform into creepy pathways filled with decorations and window paint, and it continued as my floormates began carving pumpkins and starting Halloween countdowns on their doors.

Later, I went shopping and felt a little guilty about spending money on a costume, (we all know the money issues of being a college student) but I think it’s okay to have some fun every once in a while. That’s why it’s a holiday right?

So whether you decide to go to a Halloween party, pass out candy to Trick-or-Treaters, or stay in and watch horror flicks, don’t think you’re too old to get in on some of this season’s fun!!

-Erica



Freshmen Parents Weekend by afederoff
10.21.09, 12:58 am
Filed under: AlyssaF, Bloggers, Class of 2013 | Tags: , , ,

It was beginning to feel like I had not seen my mom in forever; I was endlessly craving exotic meals and having my laundry done for me. (However, this past week, midterm week, I discovered all the washers are free at 4:00 A.M.). In reality, it had been since early September; nonetheless, I was super excited to see her.

Unfortunately, only my mom and sister were able to make it out to Duquesne this past weekend to attend the Freshmen Parent weekend. I was still happy to have the company (and my winter jacket that I absent mindedly left at home) and we ended up sending about half our time at Duquesne, and the other half exploring the city. We participated in a few of the activities set up specifically for parents weekend; my mom really liked this idea, even though I just wanted to show her around.  We attended the lunch hosted by Father Hogan, and the brunch the following day, among other things, but we also spent some time in my room. It was nice to have my mom around again; she folded my clothes and cleaned up a smashed banana I had been ignoring.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not from the Pittsburgh area, and this was only my mom’s second trip to the city. So, of course, we also did the tourist thing and spent a large chunk of the day at the Pittsburgh Zoo. I explained the layout of the city to my mom several times, before she actually understood the Pitt/Oakland difference and that Downtown acts as a proper noun. Both my mom and sister loved the city. Actually, at the end of the trip, my sister, who is eight years old, purchased a Duquesne t-shirt and decided she would enjoy going to college here in ten years.

I don’t mind it either.

Alyssa



Should I stay or should I go? by x3erica1037
09.21.09, 4:01 am
Filed under: Bloggers, EricaT | Tags: , , , ,

As you undoubtedly know from Brittany’s post and from talking to almost any Pittsburgher over the last few weeks, the G-20 Summit is coming to Pittsburgh. We at Duquesne have the decision of whether to stay on campus or to go home for our days off. The summit is expected to bring thousands of people to the city, so there will be a lot of traffic, and businesses will be closing down for the weekend as well. It will be interesting to see how the media portrays Pittsburgh and the summit.

Since I live only about a half an hour from campus, I’ve decided to go home during the break. I’m hoping to catch up on sleep and homework, and also make time to visit some friends at another university. I think it will be a nice break to help me get re-energized for the rest of the semester, but it will also be kind of sad to see my new group of friends split up and go home for the week.

While I think it’s pretty special that Pittsburgh was chosen to hold this conference, it also makes me a little nervous as thousands of people are expected to be arriving soon. The city is taking tons of precautions to keep residents and buildings safe, but there’s always the chance that something could get out of hand.

Don’t worry, though—those of you who decide to stay on campus will be just fine. Like I mentioned, the city is being sure to keep everyone safe, and the school is taking even more care to keep the students safe and happy over the break. There will be stricter rules in the Living Learning Centers as a safety measure, and many offices will be closed so employees don’t have to brave the traffic. Just make sure to be careful and be smart if you decide to venture into town for an up close view of the weekends festivities.

So thank you for this break, Duquesne! It should be a relaxing few days for everyone and a nice chance to finish things we’ve been putting off for the last few weeks.

-Erica



Weekends have a whole new meaning during school by katzb
08.30.09, 12:05 am
Filed under: Bloggers, BrittanyK | Tags: , , ,

ready_for_the_weekend-1995This weekend, I have given myself one goal: finish everything on my To Do List. I guess thats more like 20 goals. My To Do list has grown enormously since school started, and now includes all the things I didn’t have time to accomplish during my busy week. Some of what I hope to finish this weekend include reading British Literature, thinking of discussion questions, completing German exercises, as well as mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, and painting my nails.

Everyone uses their weekends differently. Some students choose to work on their two days off, while others spend the weekend on the South Side or in bed. However you choose to spend your precious two days off, make sure you squeeze in some time for yourself. It is easy to get wrapped up in school work, clubs, and projects during the week, but the weekend is time for you!

There a lot of things to do at Duquesne on the weekends, besides going to the South Side. There are intramural sports, activities at the NiteSpot, and Late Night movies each weeken at the NiteSpot. For example, this Saturday night, “The Proposal” is being played in the Union NiteSpot at 10 pm, and there is even free popcorn and beverages! The Power Center even offers a few classes on Saturdays, for those of you who are motivated! Check out the group fitness schedule here.

This past week was full of new classes, new faces, and lots of work. At least we know that after five days of hectic school work, there are always two days to catch up, on sleep, work, or both!

-Brittany