September 5, 2010

Let's talk about me... no, seriously

Right now I am at home (my parents' house) stuck in the tortuous academic limbo between high school graduation and freshman year of college. Because University of Chicago is on the quarter system, I don't even need to be at school for orientation until the absurdly late date of September 19. My friends, who go to normal schools with normal academic calendars, have been gone for over two weeks. For the past fortnight, I've been a lone wolf, scavenging in the suburban wilderness for half-finished Starbucks' lattes, salvageable Bugaboo strollers, and any shred of activity that could be used as a means of staving off boredom. Okay, the first two are lies... but the third is true. I am bored out of my mind.

Here are some things you might be interested in regarding my life and the life of this blog:
  • In 11 days I will be relocating from Philadelphia to Chicago, a city I've visited exactly once. If you live in/near Chicago and know of any cool events or places I should check out, please let me know in the comments or via Facebook. Building a social life from the ground up in a new city is really intimidating....
  • Lately I've been off the blogging wagon a little, in favor of a non-internet-based writing project about which I am not at liberty to say much more. What I can say, however, is that, as a literate human, you may want to allocate an approximately 5.5 x 8.5 x 1.5 inch space on your nightstand within the next twelve or so months for storing this project. Unless you have a Kindle.
  • I'm planning on "live-blogging" my Orientation Week (along with it's corresponding alcohol safety lectures/parental goodbyes/PARTIES!!!1!) on here beginning on September 19. With pictures and stuff. Interest?
  • Going to try to get some fun, experiment-type stuff up before I leave.
I also have plenty of time to chat with people, in the event that you are bored and looking for a young mind to mold/corrupt. Feel free to talk to me on Twitter, or shoot questions and unsolicited advice at me via my Tumblr Ask page. Oh, and Facebook still exists, so you can still like me, even if you don't. I am bored and willing to engage verbal sparring from any/all social media outlets.

-Jamie

72 comments:

  1. Erm, any chance your 5.5 x 8.5 x 1.5 inch space - thing will be available in Europe? I'm sure I will like it :D
    I'm bored out of my mind too, it's ridiculous how late universities start their year ...

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  2. I started just with in the last few days, We start actual classes tomorrow. I too was left behind weeks after my friends left for University as well. I found it a good time to work. Since I am a babysitter and everyone else was gone I got all the calls. Made a little money before I left for school.

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  3. Chicago is a fantastic city...until winter hits and hibernation mode sets in :)

    I lived there for six years (now I'm in Ohio), moving from Los Angeles to attend Loyola University Chicago, which is on the opposite end of the city from Hyde Park. Moving to a new city and building a social network from the ground up is both exciting and terrifying. My advice to you is this: Be open. Everyone around you is in the exact same boat! They're all starting over and embarking on a new beginning. Enjoy the diversity that Chicago has to offer. Get out of Hyde Park every so often and explore other neighborhoods. If you can rally some fellow urban adventurers, you're bound to make the most of Chicago.

    Cool places to see:
    The Museum of Contemporary Art
    Smart Museum (on the U of C campus)
    Grant Park in the autumn
    Lots of great cafes, shops, and restaurants in Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Pilsen, and Logan Square

    That's just off the top of my head, but I'm happy to rattle off more.

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  4. I'm very interested in your liveblogging of orientation. I'm just about finishing up orientation at Harvard and it's left me with mixed feelings.

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  5. I go to Northwestern, and I totally know about the quarter system boredom! Great places to visit in Chicago: Millennium Park, the Art Institute (free from 5-8 pm on Thursdays), the Field Museum, Navy Pier... that's actually all that I've visited! We should meet up in Evanston sometime though :)

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  6. Live blogging sounds fun! I think you should do it :)

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  7. I'm interested in your orientation week for the simple reason that I'm from a different country and have no idea what happens in it.

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  8. Really looking forward to your next project! And college blogging sounds great.

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  9. im excited about your book!
    is it fiction or nonfiction?

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  10. Don't forget to check out the whole "month living in a museum" thing at the Museum of Science and Industry. That's late in October and November. There's The Boring Store, which is a secret agent front store that hides a great youth writing center. That's a bit north and west of downtown.

    I don't really know much about Chicago, but if you're interested in doing weekend/spring break and summer type things in the area, I recommend checking out things like the Apostle Islands (northern Wisconsin Lake Superior area for a week-long sort of thing--kayaking, camping, and great artist community stuff), and things like that.

    As for college, congratulations! I graduated from CU Boulder in the spring. It's weird how much having that academic structure really made me more productive in general. Definitely take advantage of ALL free events and other things your campus has to offer, from plays to film screenings and more. If they have programs like Alternative Breaks, where you go on a spring break trip somewhere and do volunteer work, that's a great thing to do.

    I hope your collegiate years are spectacular!

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  11. Way to go Jamie! Can't wait to see what you're working on.
    Definitely interested in your perspective on college orientation. I had mine over 5 years ago, and all I remember is it being an absurdly awkward experience, complete with trust falls and "ice breaker" exercises. It turned out to be nothing like actual college, so there's that. Best of luck.

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  12. It can be hard to find nightlife in Chicago when you're under 21, other than parties or small get-togethers at someone's apartment, or restaurants. There are some options for comedy and improv clubs, coffee shops, and other shows/performances that don't require you to be 21 to get in. However, in my experience, stay away from any nightclubs that are 18 to get in/21 to drink. They are kind of shady and usually in neighborhoods you don't want to go to if you're not familiar with them. Also, I don't know what it's like at U of C, but where I went (Loyola ... a few years ago) many students got fake IDs so they could go out. I'm not advocating that I'm just putting out there as something that's done, obviously not by everyone though. It's hard to be underage in a city that doesn't have to cater to those that are underage, unlike most college towns where most of their revenue sources are under 21.

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  13. LIVEBLOG ORIENTATION YES!
    okay true i am your friend irl (no offense to your online friends) so i am genuinely curious about this for actual friend reasons. but it would still be cool, yo.

    hang in there.

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  14. I'm stuck in that limbo too; luckily I found your Seventeen magazine project and spent a worthwhile part of my limbo reading it!

    While I'm technically not a teenager anymore I remember constantly being frustrated by ageism when I was. I guess I still feel frustrated by it as a 20 year old living in Canada, these days 25 years old seems to be the new "adult" age. It's great to see someone who is obviously responsible and level headed blogging about teenage issues. =)

    I promise life will pick up once college starts. Building up a social life in a new city will seem a lot less intimidating once you meet lots of incoming students and see they're looking to build a social life too. And that shouldn't be too hard through events during orientation week, regardless of whether the activities are great or not. Good luck!

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  15. Hello!

    I've never commented before but I really like your blog, and mostly I wanted to say welcome to the UofC and I hope you enjoy your first year! I'm a fourth year. :)

    Places to go and things to do:
    RSO fair (usually the first Friday of the quarter)
    Midnight Madness (Saturday the 24th), on 57th street--all the stores have sales and it's a lot of fun.
    Medici's on 57th for pizza and their bakery, Powell's for the books
    The Oriental Institute and the Smart Museum
    The Indiana Dunes (although preferably in the spring)

    If you have questions or anything, you can email me (emilyjacob [at] uchicago [dot] edu)--you absolutely don't have to, but there were times when I was getting ready to go when I would have liked to have someone to ask questions of.

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  16. Hmm... Allocating space on my nightstand right now :)

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  17. I completely understand the quarter thing, but luckily I get to start on the 10th and not the 19th. Still while you're waiting you can always teach yourself to juggle (or something equally mundane and trivial). It doesn't serve much purpose, but it's at least temporarily diverting.

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  18. Good luck with you're book and school!

    We're friends on FaceBook. Drop me a line if you ever want to talk about random personal stuff with a stranger.

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  19. Girlfraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand.

    This post has so much relate-ability for me.
    P.S. you're kind of very swell!

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  20. wait i don't get it... is this a blog about your life, pictures of your life, "live blogs" of your every move, etc.? or is this a blog about sociological exploration and commentary?

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  21. It's her blog, she can feature what she wants. I think it's obvious that readers have an interest in what she has to say so knowing a bit about her might be of interest to them as well. So to answer your question... yes it's a blog about her, her life, her experiences, her analysis of things around her, things she finds interesting, sociological exploration, commentary... Is this a problem. I'd be interested in what other readers have to say.

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  22. Go see Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (a show put on by the Neo-Futurists):

    http://www.neofuturists.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=45

    It won't disappoint.

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  23. Try university in the UK, where my lectures begin on ... 7th October! I do get to spend a few days before that wandering round in an academic gown doing mysterious-sounding things like 'matriculation ceremonies' and 'staircase meals' though. No jokes, I have been given an 'official guide to college slang'. Thought starting uni couldn't get any more confusing? Try heading to the plodge to check your pidge before hitting the FML with some natscis.
    Good luck getting around Chicago while I worry about the difference between Formal Hall and Small Hall (small hall is more formal ... and neither of them are actually halls.) and the rules of pennying (some kind of archaic drinking game).
    Thank god I'm staying in my hometown!

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  24. As a UChicago alum, I wish you all the best with your Chicago experience. I loved it, and wouldn't trade it for anything.

    I absolutely second the recommendation for Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind! The Neo-Futurists do great stuff. (And I got to do a class with their founder!) Keep an eye on the stuff that University Theater does; it's sometimes awesome and it's always cheap and you can't beat the location. Professional theaters around the city are good, and the big ones do student rush tickets for reasonable prices. (Can you tell I'm a theater person?)

    Fun neighborhoods are all around town. One of the standards is Belmont (has its own stop on the Red Line train), which has vintage stores and funky little shops and Clarke's Diner.

    And I'll give a quick plug for Open Produce, a Hyde Park grocery store run by a friend of mine. Besides standard good stuff at good prices, they carry some stuff that's harder to come by.

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  25. Yay for Chicago! I third the suggestion for Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. Anything by the Neofuturists is great. Also, Andersonville is an amazing neighborhood, and you must must must go to Women and Children First- Chicago's ONLY feminist, women's bookstore. They're amazing and get amazing authors and speakers to come in (maybe you'll be speaking there in the not so-distant future!)

    Hyde Park is great, and so is Logan Square. Oh! And check out The Vic Brew & View- they do double feature second run movies that are great.

    Museum of Contemporary Art is my favorite, and free on Mondays (or Tuesdays? I can't remember). Lots of Farmer's Markets- I'd suggest the main City Market in Lincoln Park, for sure.

    Oh! And Decibelle, an amazing women's music festival is right around the corner (Oct 10-14)- http://www.decibelle.org/2007/main.php

    Some great womens orgs to check out:

    Chicago Abortion Fund
    Chicago chapter of NOW
    Young Women's Empowerment Project
    Chicago Women's Health Center
    Girls Rock! Chicago

    Good luck at school!!

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  26. wow, you're awesome. i love your blog, but you've got issues with apostrophes.

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