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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.

Jan 10 / Andrew Moser

France Study Abroad 2017

Before heading home, Rachel takes a detour over to London to visit her cousin Chelsea.

I see London, I see France…

Dec 4 / Andrew Moser

Study Abroad France 2017

Rachel visits the city of Chenonceau, the home of Diane de Piotier’s (mistress of Henry II) castle.

Chenonceau

 

Dec 1 / Andrew Moser

Tips on Writing Your Honors Thesis

By Nushrat Rahman

I’m currently in the process of writing my Honors Thesis, as a senior set to graduate next semester. My project is an interdisciplinary endeavor meshing my English major and Sociology minor. It’s a joint effort—combining my humanities and social sciences training thus far—to explore topics of gender, immigration, and urban space in my very own community in Detroit. In many ways, this project has taken a lot of initiative, self-motivation, and dedication. It’s been a tough journey, but I’m lucky enough to have chosen a research topic that I’m passionate about and to be working with a supportive professor. I have the help of instructors, advisors, librarians, and other mentors who are just one email away. Although I’m nowhere near finishing my project and am very much so in the beginning phases of research and writing, I’ve learned a few pointers as I journey through this oftentimes arduous and nerve-wracking process:

  • Identify a topic/faculty member early

I can’t stress how important it is to know your topic of interest in advance! I would go so far as to say that thinking about your research interest as a sophomore, and especially as a junior, is a wise decision. My topic was informed by my background as an English major and Sociology minor. It was also impacted by the community organizing work that I do outside of school and a desire to understand my immediate environment. Do a bit of digging and identify where your mind wants to take you! Next, make sure you’re establishing relationships with faculty members and professors. Choose who you’d like to work with on your project and let them know well in advance.

  • Make a schedule and pace yourself

All of these tips are important but this one has special precedence because, as I’ve learned, research requires discipline and a schedule facilitates a sense of accountability. I researched writing schedules and mapped mine out based on my own preferences and needs. Set time aside each week to research and write. I think it’s important to have time to regularly dedicate brain energy and mental space to your thesis. Also give the professor who you’re working with an ample amount of time to give you feedback on your progress; schedule this in. Just as how you’d plug in essay due dates and final exams into your planner, make sure to do the same with your thesis. It keeps you accountable! But also don’t forget to give yourself breathing room because you don’t want to set an unrealistic and unmanageable standard for yourself.

  • Get research assistance

Research is an invaluable component of your thesis. It’s important to do individual research but I find that it’s so easy to get lost. The best tip I have is to meet with your professor, but also to meet with a librarian. They know everything. The help you’ll get from just 10-15 minutes with a librarian is astounding, and I would say, incredibly instrumental. Have an idea about why you want to meet with them and some questions you have, fill out this form, and you’re good to go! The Ask A Librarian website is an excellent resource for you in this journey.

Nov 30 / Andrew Moser

Hollidazed

By Ashton Lewandowski

Every student looks forward to the holiday breaks. It’s a time where you can unwind, spend time with friends and family, and there is no school to keep you busy. Unfortunately though, we have several weeks left of classes. Now is the time to buckle down, study, ace exams, and persevere. Make sure to pay attention to library hours, exam schedules, and professor’s office hours.

Nov 28 / Andrew Moser

Study Abroad France 2017

This week Rachel shows us what it is like to grocery shop in France.

Life in Tours: Grocery Shopping

Nov 27 / Andrew Moser

Working at Wayne State

By Elyssa Mathy

Trying to pay for college can be tough, so its been important for me to find a job. I however do not have a car on campus so I am limited to the jobs that I can work. Luckily, Wayne State offers a lot of different jobs and opportunities for its students that can provide a wide range of skills. The first job I got on campus was as a peer mentor for the CFPCA’s (College of Fine Performing Communication Arts) Living Learning Community. For this job I lived in the same wing as the community and I created activities, lead study groups, and got to know first year students living on campus who were part of the CFPCA. This year, I am starting a job as a Desk Assistant in some of the buildings on campus, which will allow me to get to know students on campus, work in a customer service style position, and  gather some office skills.

Jobs on campus not only provide you with a way to earn money to pay for college, but they are great experiences. You get to learn many different skills that can be valuable once you leave Wayne. You also get to form better relationships with faculty at Wayne State. The jobs are very flexible around your school schedule and they are on campus. So if you live on campus and don’t have a car these jobs are a great opportunity. You get to meet and work with a lot of students that you might not have meet because they are not in your major. Finding a job is always important to get an income, experience, and create working relationships. Wayne State has a lot of opportunities to find jobs in a lot of different fields. If you have opportunity to work at Wayne state I suggest that you try to.