For those who enjoy large, bustling cities, Chicago is only a short drive away. On a recent trip to the windy city, only over three hours drive from Bloomington, I enjoyed a dinner, theatre, shopping, and cultural! Firstly, I enjoyed dinner at Russian Tea Time before laughing out of my seat watching The Book of Morman at the Bank of America Theatre around the corner. After a wonderful night of music and food, Chicago’s Magnificent Mile has all the shopping to offer plus the Christmas spirit at the ice-skating rink in Millennium Park. Thank goodness the weather wasn’t too cold, windy, or snowy … Chicago can be brutal with all three. My day was also accompanied with culture with a dim sum lunch in Chinatown and tacos in La Villita. With only a short drive from Bloomington, Chicago offers a change of pace to students who are looking for a weekend away. Don’t forget to stop by near by Indianapolis along the way!
The combination of mentoring and the lack of classes has made me look into being a PI (primary investigator AKA a professor at a university) with a different light. I have made the switch in my career interests and I’m very happy about it. It means a few different things as far as what I have to do in the future but its OK because I love what I do and I’m sure I’ll love that too. It is never too late to change your mind on what you will be doing for the rest of your life. Do what you would do for free, but get paid for it. Happy holidays
This past week I spent the week in Las Vegas for the annual conference for the Association for the Study of Higher Education or ASHE. I had the honor and privilege to present to a room full of my colleagues, got great feedback, and had a ton of fun. Here are some photos from my time in Las VegASHE! Enjoy.
Hey cyberspace friends. It’s me J.T. and today I want to tell you all a little bit about my summer. Last year I spent it working with the Upward Bound program and doing an internship at Texas Christian University (go Frogs!). This summer was a lot more laid back. I took one summer class and traveled around the Midwest. For the first time I visited Louisville. I took in the sights, by far my favorite place was the Muhammad Ali museum. I was unaware that the greatest boxer that ever lived was from Louisville. The museum is by far the best museum I’ve ever been to. The Muhammad Ali paradoxically both mythologizes and humanizes one of the most fascinating public. SO my FTOD (Free Tip of the Day) is obvious. If you are ever in Louisville visit the Ali museum. Much love! Peace.
Below are more photos of my Louisville vacay. Enjoy!
Spring break is drawing to a close here in Bloomington. Yesterday a friend at work asked me, “If you could go on vacation anywhere right now, where would you go?” My automatic response was “Here!” Okay, and maybe Greece. But in all honesty, I’ve been enjoying the awesome weather we’re having here in Bloomington. Everything is blooming, and there’s really no reason to complain about staying put for spring break when your surroundings are this lovely.
For a lot of graduate students, spring break is a time to catch up on work. I’d say that most of us aren’t able to forget our responsibilities and run off to Cancun. But it’s also not all work and no play. Aside from photographing flowers…
I’ve also been riding my bike, grilling out with friends, eating ice cream at the Chocolate Moose…
…and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere that comes to Bloomington when a few thousand of its residents take off on vacation elsewhere.
Hope you had a great spring break, wherever you went!
As you begin your graduate program, and as you fully grasp your reality of being in Bloomington for a while–expect a minimum of five years–you will have to determine what it means for you to make a home in this small—but lively—Midwestern town. For some this means buying a home, for others it means planting a garden, but for some it means adopting a companion animal. Considering bringing a dog or cat into your family is a complicated issue; graduate school for most comes with financial strain, and getting a graduate degree almost guarantees a few years of instability after graduation. On the other hand, an animal’s companionship can help to offset the isolation of advanced studies. What to do?
I should note that I have consulted a cat-loving friend of mine to help think through the pros and cons of adopting a pet as a graduate student. We came up with a few tips that, as always, are based on a limited set of perspectives. Feel free to add your own pearls of wisdom in the comments section! More than anything, it is important to remember that adopting impulsively puts your own and your pet’s quality of life at risk. Here are some things you may think about.
- Consider finances. Would a pet fit into your budget for this year, next year, and the next five (or longer)?
- Consider travel and pet care. Are you planning on spending a year or two overseas for research? If you anticipate attending conferences, do you know two or three people who could provide quality pet care within your means? I knew from the beginning of graduate school that pets were out of the question due to my doctoral research.
- Consider time. Do you have the space in your schedule to give a companion animal attention? Remember that they will not only need food, but also play time!
- Finally, weigh the benefits with the losses (financial and other). My friend-turned-consultant feels that although her cats have added to her financial strain, they offset the isolation of a research and writing lifestyle. For her, then, the benefits far outweighed the costs (or at least that’s the story she’s sticking to)…
Pets can provide much needed companionship to many young scholars, but we encourage you to think carefully about what you have to give to an animal. And remember: even if you can’t adopt, you can always volunteer at a local shelter!
(here’s a fun picture of one of her (two) cats…)
It’s the holiday that so many love to hate! Here’s some Ph.D. Comics to get you in the mood…
There’s nothing like a little humor to get you through grad school OR the holidays. And in case you don’t have plans for tonight yet, Rachael’s Cafe is having an Anti-Valentine’s Day Celebration this evening from 7-10 pm, along with speed dating!
Maybe it’s a little early in the semester to be talking about rewards, but we all need some motivation to keep us plowing through the readings/papers/meetings/deadlines that are our daily routine. Even the most serious-minded student needs to take a break sometimes, and if you plan little “gifts” for when you get through certain tough spots you’ll be able to have an academic life and a life-life too. Don’t miss out on the sweet things – use them as motivation to keep yourself productive. One thing I never miss out on is enjoying Indiana in the fall – going hiking, picking apples, taking pictures. It’s absolutely lovely here during autumn, and getting outside to experience it boosts my mood. And there are always those other incidental benefits too…
Okay, well maybe it’s not foraging per se, but it’s fun and outdoorsy and you can do it at Anderson Orchards in nearby Mooresville.
P.S. If I seem too carefree it’s because I JUST FINISHED MY QUALIFYING EXAMS! Hooray! I’ll share some more serious advice on quals in an upcoming post.