Hello everybody! Today is the first day of spring! As a southerner, and person who believes in minimum 45 degree weather, I am thrilled that winter is coming to a close. I personally prefer Bloomington in the spring and fall. Mother Nature puts on a show with an array of flowers, colors, sweet smells, and sunshine. However, I can live without the bugs…but I guess we need them for pollination…oh well.
If you are interested in coming and visiting Bloomington, the perfect time is right around the corner. Come up, make some new friends, and enjoy what the city has to offer. My favorite activities are the Farmer’s Market, Taste of Bloomington (a summer event, but start deciding which restaurants you want to try now), an IU Softball game, or you can just take a walk around campus.
That’s all for me folks….Have a springy day!
Get a loan.
Unless you’ve worked full-time and stored up a considerable amount of savings, then you will more than likely need a loan to supplement your graduate assistantship. Some positions pay better than others. My assistantship as a ten month associate instructor is pretty common for doctoral students. The assistantship allows for a 97% fee remission for up to 12 credit hours in the Fall, 12 credit hours for the Spring, and 6 hours for the summer. Thus, 3% of the fees is still mine to cover. To help pay for that portion of tuition fees and help with living costs, I get a stipend that covers, just barely, the rent, food, and personal bills. During the Fall and Spring, the stipend is enough for just living, but not exactly enough for books and going out; moreover, it is no help at all in the summer. In which case, graduate students do a scramble every summer to find work for the two months we’re unemployed. It can be difficult, but doable. To survive the summer, I teach math for Upward Bound high school students and serve as a counselor for any other summer program I can find on campus. Additionally, I room with two other graduate students to keep the cost of living low. To avoid such hardships, most other graduate students get loans and live comfortably.
Now that everything is submitted, it is now time to wait for responses. It is important to keep in mind that rejection letters are inevitable. Don’t let them get you down. There are many options out there, and it is not the end of the world.
However, you should still be proactive in the meantime while you are waiting. Do you yet know your list of preferred schools and why you want to attend them? Have you visited them? Visiting an institution and getting the “feel” to what it is like to be there will help you make a decision and not regret it later. Each institution is different. The campus life, environment, and structure can be a huge impact on how you will enjoy spending years there. Do you like big cities? Small college towns? A scenic campus to walk through? Visit, visit, visit! Visit IU by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org! I hope to meet you at IU! GO HOOSIERS!
I have a young daughter. Being in Bloomington has afforded me the opportunity to start her life in a fairly safe, comfortable place. There are so many activities for parents and children. Here are a few to consider:
There are many parks in take children to especially when the weather is in your favor! My favor is Bryant Park because there are three different play grounds, a walking area that is .8 miles for me to exercise, and wonderful landscaping for picnics and friends. For more information about parks in Bloomington visit: http://bloomington.in.gov/sections/viewSection.php?section_id=8
This is a small gem in this town! Wonderlab is an interactive science lab/museum for children as young as 1 year old to 100. Honestly, it is one of my favorite places to visit as an adult. WonderLab encourages children to interact with the world around them using various elements, equipment, and creativity. For more information, please visit: http://www.wonderlab.org/
I love Black History Month! It is a great time of the year to reflect on the achievements and contributions of African Americans to American society. I will refrain of getting on my soap box, but I’d encourage you to reflect on the achievements of African Americans during February but year round. I’m just sayin’. Anyway here are some pictures from BGSA’s event the State of Black History at IU. Enjoy!
So you have started to hear back from your chosen schools. Some said yes, some said no. No worries because you have chosen a variety of good schools, all of which you would gladly continue your education at. Let’s say you have two schools from the same tier that have both sent you an offer. How do you choose? Well if you haven’t visited the campuses yet, now would be the perfect time to go. Every brochure is going to show you the best the area has to offer but sometimes the parts you don’t see can make or break the deal. Depending on your budget and number of choices, you may be looking to make a number of trips. I suggest trying to narrow down your options as much as you can before buying plane tickets. Aim to get down to 2 schools and if you can’t choose between them then visit them both. You can inform the department you are coming or maybe they have an open house. You will either have a structured or unstructured visit. There are pros and cons to both but at the end of the day when you leave the visit you will have a gut feeling of if you could spend the next half of a decade at that school and not only be happy but prosper both academically, professionally and socially.
This past week I attended a future faculty conference at Virginia Tech. It was lots of fun. I got to meet other grad students and post docs from around the nation. I figured I share the pictures with you all. Check it out! If you are able to participate in future faculty programs I’d strongly encourage it, IU has one in the spring click here for more info.
After nearly four years living in Bloomington, I’ve been very fortunate to find individuals who I connected with not only on an intellectual level, but bonded by one of our most basic needs: food. Some eat to live, we live to eat. And thus the first of many “Foodies’ Alert” begins.
Growing up in the Bay Area, the culture of supporting mom-n-pop establishments is ingrained into the fabric of our food souls. I am not just taking about small businesses. Thinking about a lackluster exterior that has seen better days with an eclectic medley of furniture forming the interior, yet the irresistible aroma of food and chattering of excited patrons in lines snaking around the small establishment fills the air. Such pure and soulful dwellings of culinary excellence must be recognized. In need of a Chinese fast-food fix? Look no further, Lucky Express is the answer to those cravings.
It has been hailed “The best Chinese fast-food in Indiana,” the place is owned and operated by a very nice Chinese family whose likeness I will challenge you to get acquainted with. If you are a capsaicin fiend, this place will be absolute heaven. If not, they have alternative that will still blow your minds. My girlfriend and I recommend the eggplant w/ garlic sauce (not spicy) and double pork w/ dried tofu and jalapenos (spicy). Have fun and have a wonderful new year!
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!