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Sep 20 / Andrew Moser

First time at the DIA

By Brandon Brown

Recently, I was given the task of exploring the various galleries of the Detroit Institute of the Arts. It was for the class Introduction to Film, and it gave me an excuse to finally learn what DIA stands for. (I’m an out-of state student; I came 700 miles from city known as Memphis, TN.) Although I was told the DIA was behind the school, the thought never crossed my mind about exactly where that was. About 10 minutes of searching (and finding the public library instead), I get the bright idea to walk towards Woodward and traveled to the one building with a beautiful fountain and marble staircase. This was the DIA.

Walking inside the museum, I was greeted politely by the volunteers. Back home, museum volunteers were mostly of the older generation, so I was intrigued to find that there was diversity in the staff there. The galleries themselves left little to be desired. I found myself lost in thought as I traversed through the contemporary art section; I couldn’t help but wonder why would someone would spend time making a praying mantis statue out of iron. An extreme nice volunteer was willing to explain the story of the mantis to me, and after a nice chat, escorted me to a room full of bones (shout out to Miss Judy!).

All in all, the DIA was a fun experience to have; I can understand why people recommended me to go to it. Thanks, Alyssa for the suggestion, and thanks (I guess) to Intro to Film for giving me a reason (forcing) me to go.

Sep 19 / Andrew Moser

Getting to know your professors

By Ashton Lewandowski

Often, students will ask “Why should I get to know my professors?” When it comes down to it, there are several benefits that come with being on good terms with your professors. They may offer insight into their class or research opportunities, often have connections within their department, and generally have the same interests as their students. Despite all of these benefits, students will often feel intimidated and reluctant to make the effort. It is not a difficult process, and in fact only requires students to do one thing.

JUST TALK TO THEM

Go up and introduce yourself to your professor. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first or last class. Just look them in the eyes and say hello. Congratulations! You now have done something that 80% of your class has not. You put in the effort and your professor will remember it.

Of course that is not the only step. If you want to actually develop a connection you will need to talk to them. Stop by office hours every once in a while. These hours will help you to learn more about your course and professors. The more you go to office hours and talk, the more likely it is that you will be seen favorably.

Once your course ends and you move on to your next semester or next stage in life, feel free to send a quick email to your professor. It doesn’t hurt anything and could even land you a letter of recommendation that could be the deciding factor of whether or not you get into the professional school of your dreams. And all it takes to build that bond is just having a conversation.

Sep 18 / Andrew Moser

Survival Tips!

School can get pretty busy and stressful pretty quickly. I added on a second degree during my second year with the aim of still graduating in just 4 years. One thing that has come from that though is my schedule has gotten pretty busy. I also have a few jobs on top of that so I have learned some pretty helpful things in order to keep up my grades without getting too stressed out about everything

  • Make sure you have a planner, especially if you also have multiple jobs. In this planner mark down all important days for your classes like due dates of assignments, exams, and big projects along with any important work days. Mark all of the dates down for the whole semester that way when scheduling things with your other jobs or plans with friends you can look ahead and make sure you are not double booking your days. It is also helpful to see that if you have many exams all at the same time maybe ask ahead at work for less hours during that time so you have more hours to study, or just don’t book many planned events then.
  • Keep up with your readings. This is definitely something I did not do my first two years. My first two years I would just cram for every test, but when I added on another major that well was just not an option. If you do a scheduled reading before it is spoken about in class, the class will just help you better understand the material. It also means you can ask specific questions in class about something that you really don’t understand in the readings because you know before the week of your test that you don’t understand something. It also means you spend less time cramming for your final. Instead of trying to read the whole book the week before the test you can just focus on the material that was difficult for you.
  • Plan some time with friends. This may sound like a backwards idea at first, but in my personal opinion whenever I get stressed for an exam and have spent hours studying there comes a point where I am just not grasping the information and staring at the book is pointless. I usually will hang out with a friend during this time to get my mind off the stress I am feeling. The day after I am usually much more motivated to do my work and I can get it done better and faster because I cleared my mind up a little bit. Now I’m not saying to spend all your time with friends and ignore your studying. But don’t spend all your time studying and forget to hang out with your friends.

These are just some of my most valued tips in my school survival guide!

Sep 14 / Andrew Moser

Where to Grab Coffee Around Campus

By Rachel Hackett

If you’re anything like me, the only way you survive a full day of classes and work is through several cups of coffee. If you’re sick of the Student Center Starbucks, here are a few places that are close to campus that are a little bit more unique.

 

The Bottom Line

Located down Anthony Wayne just past Forest, The Bottom Line is a unique little coffee shop that is open until 9pm on most days. There are nice big tables for studying, and some outdoor seating if you’re there to grab a coffee with a friend. Also, they frequently have open mic nights where you can go to enjoy some music or poetry readings, or maybe do some performing yourself. They recently got a new menu, and I am a fan of their chai tea latte.

Address: 4474 3rd Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

Closing Time: 6 PM

http://thebottomlinecoffeehouse.com/

Fourteen East

Fourteen East is a combination coffee shop and art gallery in the Park Shelton Building, which is right next to the DIA. Every month or so, the walls display a different artist’s work. They have several different methods of coffee preparation, but their hot chocolate and mochas are unique because they are each made with truffles: you have a choice of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, cayenne chocolate, or raspberry chocolate. They also have really good sandwiches and pastries. My favorite thing that they offer is yerba mate, which is a tea-like beverage served chilled and that has a lot of caffeine. Yerba mate comes in several different flavors, but my favorite is the berry flavor.

Address: 15 E Kirby St, Detroit, MI 48202

Closing Time: 7 PM

http://www.14eastcafe.com/

Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company

Great Lakes Coffee is down Woodward, close to Whole Foods. They have a lot of seating and a large menu of coffee, tea, food and alcoholic beverages. I love their lavender lattes and their bagels. Since they also serve alcohol, on most days they are open pretty late, so if you need to get some late night studying done, it is a great place to go.

Address: 3965 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

Closing Time: 11 PM

https://greatlakescoffee.com/

Le Petit Zinc

Le Petit Zinc is not really a coffee shop—it’s technically a full restaurant—but they do serve coffee and espresso. They used to be located in Corktown, but they recently reopened in Midtown, right near Great Lakes Coffee. The restaurant is on the smaller side, but they serve amazing crepes and other French food. It is a great place for breakfast or brunch too. I love their hot chocolate because it is so big that it comes in a bowl instead of a cup or mug, and they put real whipped cream on top.

Address: 70 W Alexandrine St, Detroit, MI 48201

Closing Time: 4 PM

http://www.lepetitzincdetroit.com/

Avalon

Avalon is a bakery and café on Willis, near Treat Dreams and Sy Thai. They carry all the usual coffee beverages, but they usually have a special coffee beverage that they change up periodically. I love getting a simple latte and some monkey bread or a croissant from Avalon. The one disadvantage is that it can get very crowded at peak times, and there is no wifi, so go there if you need to disconnect from the internet to get some reading done.

Address: 422 W Willis St, Detroit, MI 48201

Closing Time: 6 PM (Closed on Tuesdays)

http://www.avalonbreads.net/

Red Hook

Red Hook is not close enough to campus to be a walkable distance, but if you don’t mind a short drive, it is an amazing place for coffee. Red Hook is located in West Village, which is somewhat near Belle Isle. They have lavender lattes and a nice food menu for pastries and breakfast sandwiches. I love their cherry almond tarts. They also have outdoor seating, which is nice if you want to get some studying done before snow comes!

Address: 8025 Agnes St, Detroit, MI 48214

Closing Time: 6 PM

https://theredhookcoffee.com/

Kresge Court inside the DIA

Kresge Court is a beautiful place to get coffee and study. It is inside the DIA in the basement, and there is a skylight that provides natural light, so it feels like you are in a courtyard. If you go there to study, either take a smaller bag with you, or be prepared to leave your backpack at the coat room because they will not let you bring in a backpack. They also serve food there, so it is a good spot to grab a fancier lunch if you feel like treating yourself.

Address: 5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202

Closing Time: 4 PM

https://www.dia.org/visit/dining-shopping

Socra Tea Detroit

Socratea is located off of Woodward, on Garfield (just past Walgreens) and as the name suggests, they mostly serve tea, but they do have a few lattes. I love their strawberry scones! They have large tables where you can easily spread out your stuff to study, and it is usually pretty quiet, so it is a good place to study if you need to concentrate. They have every flavor of tea you can imagine, and they serve it to you in your own personal tea pot, which is very cute.

Address: 71 Garfield St Suite 50, Detroit, MI 48201

Closing Time: 7 PM

https://www.socrateadetroit.com/

Germack Roasting Company

Germack is located in Eastern Market, and my favorite drink from there is their iced soy matcha latte. Germack roasts their own coffee on location, and they sell their beans so you can make it at home also. If you need a place to study, I would not recommend going there on a Saturday because it gets very busy, but during the week, it is a great place to study.

These coffee shops are just a few of the ones I’ve been to, plus there are many that I have not been to around the city—I have heard rumors that Shinola has really good coffee, but I haven’t tried it yet. If you have any suggestions for coffee around campus or even just in Detroit, let me know in the comments!

Address: 2517 Russell St, Detroit, MI 48207

Closing Time: 4:30 PM

https://www.germack.com/

Aug 28 / Andrew Moser

How to get involved around campus and in Detroit

By Hira Majeed

Your college experience will be shaped by the people you meet over these four plus years. Similarly, understanding the city you are studying in is also vital to this experience. One way to learn about Detroit is through organizations. There are multiple organizations in the city that have been doing great work since day one. These are your grassroots organizations, your cultural hubs, your favorite local businesses, and more. To mention just a few, we have the Detroit Equity Action Lab that is working on issues pertinent to Detroiters such as water shutoffs, equitable development, and more. DEAL works from Wayne State’s law school, specifically the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. Getting to know organizations like DEAL not only contribute to your self-growth, but also to the growth of the community. Educating yourself on issues that are important in Detroit can greatly shape your view of the city, state, and even the world.  

Winter 2018 schedule for Detroiters Speak

Another way to engage with the city is through conversation. There are community conversations that take place all around the city. The Shrine of the Black Madonna Number One in Detroit is one of these places. Just recently, they held a conversation regarding the #MeToo movement and how it pertains to Detroit. Another location for community conversation is Cass Corridor Commons (4605 Cass Ave).  As the flyer to the right shows, different partner organizations working in Detroit facilitate these conversations. These topics range from economic development in the city to the different narratives regarding Detroit found in the media.   

Lastly, I would like to mention the different clubs that work directly on campus. These clubs can serve as a bridge between the university and the city. Joining various clubs, attending meetings, and exploring different events with these clubs all contribute to your college experience. Clubs can reveal your true passions, help foster your growth, and also surround you with a community of people that can offer you much needed support. 

By connecting with organizations, the community, and clubs, you can transcend what it means to be a college student. You can become more cognizant of the city and places around you, thus allowing for yourself to become a more critical and engaged person. My experiences of doing so have greatly shaped my time at Wayne. I encourage you to also take the steps to critically engage yourself with the city, learning every step of the way.  

Aug 27 / Andrew Moser

Living on Campus

By Ashton Lewandowski

Move-in day is rapidly approaching and while living on campus is a fun experience, there are several different aspects that new students need to be aware of.

Parking

Parking around Wayne State can be confusing at first. Most students choose to park in Structure 2, because it is located across the street from the residence halls and because of its 24/7 access. Because of the construction going on in the Anthony Wayne Apartments though, access to the structure may seem difficult. If you choose to park there, be sure to know where the entrances and exits are so that you are prepared for moving in, class, and when you decide to go out!

Rules

Be sure to read your Community Living Guide. This guidebook is given to you during move in and helps to show you the rules and restrictions that are upheld by your resident advisors. It contains information on quiet hours, study spots, prohibited items, and even laundry. If for some reason your questions about on-campus living are not answered, please refer to your RA or Community Directors for help.

Dining

Your meal plan includes access to Gold ‘n Greens and Towers Café, and often are paired with Warrior Dollars. If you are looking for a traditional cafeteria then Towers Café and Gold ‘n Greens are readily accessible throughout the day. If you would rather have fast food, check out the options provided in the student center and around campus. Don’t forget to check out the local restaurants either! Harmony Garden is a hidden gem.

Classes

Just go to class. You’ll thank me later.

Extracurriculars

Living on campus gives you an advantage that most students don’t have. By being located in the city of Detroit, you have access to many resources, clubs, and organizations that are difficult to locate otherwise. If you are looking for any specific clubs or organizations, go to Festifall! Being a part of these organizations is a fun experience and should not be overlooked.

Aug 15 / Andrew Moser

Ways to get around Detroit

By Sarosh Irani

Not every student has access to a car while they stay on campus. Here are a few options for students who would like to get out and explore the city:

DDOT Buses

DDOT bus

The DDOT bus system is great for accessing locations within the City of Detroit. DDOT operates 42 routes within Detroit. The Woodward Route 4 runs past the DIA and the Detroit Public Library, and connects Wayne State to New Center and Downtown Detroit. The Dexter Route 16 runs along Cass Avenue and also reaches New Center and Downtown. DDOT also runs routes to and from Eastern Market on Saturdays. Fare is only $1.50, making it the cheapest option to get around! Visit their website at www.ridedetroittransit.com to get schedules, maps, and more information regarding the system!

 

SMART Buses

SMART buses

While the DDOT bus system generally runs within Detroit, the SMART bus system helps connect Detroit to the surrounding suburbs. Recently, they have added three FAST routes along Gratiot, Woodward, and Michigan Avenues. The FAST Woodward Route (461/462) runs near Wayne State and can be used to get downtown quickly, or north to Royal Oak, Ferndale, and Birmingham. The FAST Michigan (261) connects Downtown Detroit to Corktown, Dearborn, and eventually Detroit Metro Airport (DTW). It’s a great option to get to the airport without paying for an Uber/Lyft or without paying to park your car. All SMART routes cost $2, no matter how long you ride the bus. Check them out at www.smartbus.org to get more information!

 

The QLine

Q-Line

The QLine is a streetcar that runs for 3.3 miles along Woodward Avenue, connecting Wayne State’s campus to New Center and Downtown Detroit. There are stations at Ferry Street and Warren Avenue, with the latter located directly across from the Welcome Center and near the new Woodward and Warren park. The QLine is a great bet for getting to any sports game, as it runs near Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park, and Ford Field. It is also great for attending concerts at LCA, the Fox Theatre, or the Fillmore. It also costs only $1.50 for a 3 hour pass, or $3 for a 24 hour period. Download the QLine Detroit app to pay online!

 

MoGo Detroit Bike Share

MoGo Detroit Bike Share

MoGo is a popular, fun, and flexible way to get around Detroit! There are 43 stations and 430 bikes located throughout ten neighborhoods in Detroit, along with three stations right on Wayne State’s campus! A daily pass for MoGo costs $8, and allows unlimited 30 minute trips for a 24 hour period. MoGo can help connect you to Downtown, and can be used to get to Eastern Market, down the Dequindre Cut Greenway, or along the Riverfront! If you are trying to get Downtown from Wayne State, Cass Avenue has some new protected bike lanes that can make your trip a fun and stress-free one. Their website, www.mogodetroit.org, provides more information about pricing and opportunities to get involved! Every summer and fall, MoGo hosts street skills classes that can help you learn how to bike safely in the city. If you have any other questions about the service, or are interested in buying a discounted MoGo annual pass, feel free to reach out to Sarosh Irani, your local Honors and MoGo ambassador, at sarosh.irani@wayne.edu !

 

The Transit App

The Transit App

The best source of all transit information in metro Detroit is the Transit App! Transit can be used wherever and provides real time information on DDOT, SMART, the QLine, and MoGo! It also allows you to buy a MoGo pass and unlock a bike right from the app itself.

Aug 8 / Andrew Moser

Three tips for your first day of classes!

By Elyssa Mathy

Honors Senior Lecturer Kamara Ewing giving a presentation in Honors 2145

Here are three tips to help you get your semester started off on the right note:

  1. Walk out your schedule the day before so you know where all your classes are. Also if you only have 10-15 minutes in between classes its good to know how long that walk will actually take you so you know if you need walk fast to get to your next class or if you have sometime to talk to a friend.
  2. Actually go the first day of classes! Its very important to attend as many classes as possible, but its especially important to go the first day. Attendance is taken by the university the first two weeks and you must be marked as present in order to maintain your scholarships. Also the first day a lot of important information is given out, like the syllabus which will lay out your whole semester for you. Your professor may also give some advice for the class like how to get cheaper books or the best way to get in contact with them.
  3. Make at least one friend in the class and get their cell number or school email. This can be helpful for a couple reasons. One if you get sick or have to miss class for some reason you can get notes from them or any other helpful information you missed during the class. They can also be very helpful when you are working on assignments if you don’t understand something they can help you out with it. Finally, during exam time, you can have a study group with them!

These are just three small but very important tips for the first day of class. One to prep for your class, one thing to do during the class, and finally one that can help you outside of the classroom.

Aug 1 / Andrew Moser

How to Decide If You Should Study Abroad

By Rachel Hackett

As some of you may know, I spent a semester studying abroad in Tours, France in Fall 2017. While I was there, I took classes in written French, oral French, French culture, and I wrote my Honors English thesis, which compared The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath to a French novel called Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan. For me, studying abroad was something that I always wanted to do, especially since I am studying French, and being immersed in language is the best way to learn it. It was also convenient for me because I was able to get three of my French classes out of the way in one semester. For me, studying abroad was a great opportunity and it made sense for me to do because it did not delay my graduation.

Rachel standing by flowers in the French countryside

Rachel while studying abroad in France

However, if you are on the fence about whether or not to study abroad, here are some things to consider to help you make the decision:

Finances

Studying abroad is expensive. In addition to paying for classes and any program fees, you will also have living expenses, plane ticket costs, and potentially visa and other travel expenses. I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship through the English department, and an honors college private scholarship in addition to my Presidential scholarship, which helped a LOT with my expenses. My dad also paid for my plane ticket, and I had another family member give me some money too. Before you study abroad, you should consider scholarship opportunities, both through the study abroad department at Wayne State and your major’s department. There may also be funding/scholarship opportunities through the school that you study at while abroad. Another possibility for funding is research grants: my friend Zoe, who traveled to France with me, got a grant through UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program).  Zoe worked with a professor to propose a grant to study the National Front in France, and her grant helped her with some of her travel expenses. If you have something specific that you want to research while abroad, this could be a fantastic opportunity. Any of your professors, especially those professors for whom you have worked on research projects with, would be great sources to get more information as well. The study abroad department can help you find some of these opportunities, but ultimately it will be up to you to do the work of applying.

Students sitting in French dorm room

Rachel and Zoe in Zoe’s French dorm

Program

Before you decide to study abroad, you should make sure that the place that you want to study abroad has the program that you want. Wayne State has study abroad relationships with universities on almost every continent, but not necessarily for all majors. Even if Wayne State doesn’t have a program already set up for your major, this does not mean that you can’t study abroad. It is possible for you to do a study abroad program through another school, or for you to apply directly to a foreign university. It is also possible that you could get credit for general education requirements while studying abroad, but the best thing to do is to talk to your advisor to make sure that you can get credit for the classes you take while abroad. At the very least, you could get elective credit for the classes you take, even if it doesn’t fulfill a specific requirement for your degree, but it is best to know this before you go so that it doesn’t delay your graduation.

 

Rachel eating dinner by candlelight at a Parisian Michelin star restaurant

Rachel at a Parisian Michelin star restauranLength

Length

How long do you want to study abroad? Wayne State has study abroad programs that last for a week, a summer, a semester, or a year. You should talk to the study abroad office and your advisors to see what makes the most sense for you. You should also consider how the length of your stay abroad will affect you personally: are you someone that gets homesick easily? In my case, I wasn’t too homesick, even though it was the longest I had ever been away from home before. However, it was sad to miss Wayne State events like Festifall and move-in day at the beginning of the year. I also missed holidays like Thanksgiving with my family, because France does not celebrate Thanksgiving.

If studying abroad still sounds like something you would like to do, the first thing that I would do is to go to the Wayne State Study Abroad website to learn more about the offered programs. I would also make an appointment to meet with one of the study abroad advisers to ask more questions. It can be helpful to bring your parents to meet the adviser, especially if your parents are worried about you travelling abroad. If you want to hear from a student who has studied abroad, the study abroad office can put you in contact with an alumna of the program you want to do. You could also ask me any questions that you have—I would be happy to help!

 

Rachel standing outside the French consulate in Chicago obtaining her visa

Rachel at the French consulate in Chicago, getting her visa.

Useful links

My study abroad blog: https://rachelinfrancesite.wordpress.com/

WSU study abroad site:  https://studyabroad.wayne.edu/

UROP information: https://urop.wayne.edu/

Jan 26 / Andrew Moser

HalfWay Improv! A Creation by some Creative Warriors.

Creative Warriors are constantly doing amazing things here at Wayne. On MLK day there was a great show of the creative innovations of Wayne State Warriors. Halfway improv was created and run by Wayne State students based on other models of improv competitions. In this event Wayne State theatre students created groups with each other to put together an improv team. On Saturday, January 13 they met in Old main with the planners of the event to get to know the rules of the competition. The groups would have a little over 48 hours to create an improv skit that included 3 surprise elements presented at the meeting on the 13th. The three elements were a prop, an event, and a line that had to be used in their improv skit. Other than that it was up to the groups to create their own unscripted story.

What ensued on MLK day was an amazing event filled with five wonderful and unique performances from five different groups. The first performance was a duo scene whose name was Derushias. They combined the elements into a dramatic piece with bits of comic relief sprinkled throughout. The second piece was performed by a group of five students call The Misfits and it was a hilarious comedy about some pretty unique super heroes and villains. The last piece before the intermission was another comedic skit this time done by a group of first years students called First Year Thunder! This was a fun play on a meet the parent’s story, because the parents were aliens and their daughter dating a human.

Intermission was filled with delicious snacks and drinks that the audience could enjoy free of charge while they waited for the next performance. When we came back from intermission we were again greeted with another round of hilarity from the group Comic Sans. We were told the secret of some spies trying to steal an artifact from the Smithsonian, what we thought would be pretty simple story had a surprise twist at the end. The final piece of the night brought to us by the Black Thespians depicted some of the more serious aspects of life. It presented the audience with a piece of what it was like to be African American in the performance industry, showing just how difficult and unjust it can be.

The night was not yet over however. The judges had to decide the top three performances based on the use of the three surprise elements, their creativity, and other aspects. The winning group was First Year Thunder, with their hilarious family comedy. In second place was The Misfits, with thier superhero scene. And in third place was Comic Sans, with their spy thriller. Everyone however performed amazingly and it was fantastic to see the creativity that Wayne State students have to offer. Hopefully, the success of this event will create more participation and excitement of future events of its kind.