viam sapientiae monstrabo tibi

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Or, "I will show you the way of wisdom." Not the theme of this post, just DePaul's motto...which is fitting because I have finally been spending some time on campus! I know, right, about time, since that's the whole reason I'm up here and all.

Throughout this week I've been out and about, spending a lot of time on campus, firstly getting a feel for everything and also taking care of important and boring things like shot records, ID cards, tuition, etc. 

I like to walk different routes, even though campus is literally about 5 minutes from my door. Since moving here and having some potentially scary stranger-danger encounters, I have this new paranoid mindset of not having a pattern for walking home and switching it up in case some creep is stalking me. You laugh, but it's a valid strategy!! Along the way I've been spotting some interesting houses (and yes, I am about to post pics of houses near-ish my place after just admitting my fear of being stalked).

Cute, right?? Funny story - as I was taking this picture, the family and kids were arriving home and walking in. One of the little boys stared at me for a good fifteen seconds before I hurriedly stashed my camera away in fear of looking like a total creep. Didn't help that I had dark sunglasses on.

Modern house sandwiched between a lot of old houses.

I dedicated my whole day earlier this week to touring DePaul. I should've taken my Aggie glasses off, in hindsight, because the campus (one of two in the city I believe, and several throughout the Chicagoland area) is MICROSCOPIC compared to A&M. It's pretty funny - I would walk out of one building, have to be in another one, and it would on the same block. Everything is just right there! I keep forgetting that it's a private, religious school versus a huge public Texas university, where you could dedicate forty minutes to walking to class. Anyway.

A poor shot of the Ray Meyer, the recreation center. 

This place is pretty great! It's three stories with a 1/7 mile running track on the top floor with great views of the campus and skyline. Tons of cardio machines and weights, and a fantasic little smoothie/food bar. It has tons of secure lockers, too. I've also been told that R. Kelly and Rod Blagojevich like this place, which is...sort of disappointing haha. The quarterly rate for grad students isn't bad compared to the other gyms (which are apparently of far less calibre) in the area. Still expensive in my opinion, like most aspects of the city, but at least that's more motivation for frequent use on my part!

St. Vincent de Paul Parish, located centrally on campus.

Just to give you a little Wikipedia-assisted history/info on DePaul, it is a private Roman Catholic church founded by Vincentians in 1898. It's the largest Catholic university in the country with about 16,000 undergrad and 9,000 grad/law students - still tiny compared to A&M! 

It was founded on those Vincentian ideals of significant community outreach, helping those in need, and both inspiring and leading through the love of God. Its initial purpose was to serve as a school for Roman Catholic immigrant children. It's interesting to see how those principles have manifested throughout DePaul's history, as it now boasts the most diverse student population in the country (for 2008 rankings, I believe). Whether you're religious or not, it's still cool to know the university was created for such reasons.

All from the parish.

This is Monsignor John Egan, a 20th century priest. He's standing outside the student center, and his inscription reads, "What are you doing for justice?". Just a lil history on this cool guy - he was a social activist and big proponent for racial integration. He even marched with MLK in the famous march from Selma to Montgomery. He's also really big in person.

Shot of the Liberal Arts and Sciences building.

This, my friends, is my new home. This is the brand spanking new (finished at the end of last year) Arts and Letters building where all my classes will be. Just my luck, right? It's really nice inside, and if you're interested in seeing much better shots of it you can visit this convenient link.

Outside one of the libraries.

More statues, outside the library. Hope this guy didn't mind but I thought it was a really nice photo op.

Overall impressions of the campus - it's very nice, small, and urban-feeling. Naturally. One day earlier this week, I was reading inside one of the buildings and I watched students chat with and offer cigarettes to a homeless man on campus. Everyone I see looks like every college student that ever existed, so that is comforting in a strange way. Lot of hipsters, smokers. Typical freshman on the (small, but very green) quad. Sorority girls talking loudly on cell phones, Midwestern accents going on about "c-ahll-ege" and "d-ah-g parks" and "pr-ah-bably going to J-ah-n's party". 

I'm a big, fat, honking Aggie that bleeds maroon non-ironically and will forever be very proud of my school. I probably don't need to tell you that I loved A&M and still do. Hell, don't even get me started on Texas - I've already been asked and have gladly been informing people of guns and real football. Someone mentioned a really good Mexican restaurant, and I just shook my head and probably said, "Tsk, tsk". 

I know I don't have to adopt everything about DePaul since I'm only here for grad school, but it is fun to sort of "go to college" again, you know? I probably won't go to a sporting event, even though the Blue Demons are a good basketball team. Big East Conference...never thought I'd see the day. Of course I never thought I'd see the day when A&M went to the SEC, but I digress.

Side note about the Blue Demons also - the mascot is kind of terrifying. Seriously, I've gone from this:


Seriously??? Sure, maybe Reveille has bitten a few people throughout the years, and Ol' Sarge looks like he only calls people 'maggot' and makes them drop and give him 50, but at least they won't potentially possess me in my sleep and require yearly exorcisms of the students.

When I first looked up DePaul's mascot my reaction was something like, "Um, I know this is a Roman Catholic". Further research made me feel slightly more at ease - the mascot "Blue Demon" stems from the school's early days, when the men's basketball team's jerseys simply had a "D" on them. Hence, people called them "D-Men". And from that, "Demons". Ha, ha, quite tongue-in-cheek of us for a religious school, ha, ha, not nightmare-inducing whatsoever.

Gig 'em? This was done

So, overall, I like DePaul. There's of course a lot more to the campus than the pictures I provided offer, but in this urban setting it's hard to get large views of the campus, let alone pictures of anything other than standard academic buildings. It's small, and basic, with the added bonus of beautiful old buildings and tree-lined streets that are characteristic of Lincoln Park. 

By the way, this is one of only two shirts I'm allowing myself to buy. I'm not going to pull an A&M and obtain thirty or so items of clothing/general apparel. But then again, I think it's an Aggie requirement to own at least twenty maroon shirts. 

Until next time! <3 <3 <3

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