Tag Archives: Living in Boston

Parents weekend

There’s Parents Weekend in grad school? What to do with your out-of-town guests in Boston

By Ali Parisi
MS Public Relations ’16
BU College of Communication

Even though it feels like the semester just got started, Parents Weekend is right around the corner (October 17-19)! New to Boston and wondering where in the world you are going to take your parents? Allow this BU veteran to help.

By now, most of us grad students have had our fair share of parents weekends.  Like most schools, BU has plenty of scheduled events and seminars throughout the weekend; but in general, they cater to the undergraduate crowd – such as the “Parenting Panel: Parenting During the College Years.  However, there will be an art exhibition at the College of Fine Arts’ Stone Gallery, a Movie Walking Tour of campus, and several other free events fit for graduate students and their parents.  See the full schedule of events here.

Looking for a little more action? See our Men’s Hockey team take on the U.S. National Under-18 team on Saturday at 7 p.m. in an exhibition match.  Just be sure to get your tickets in advance here.

Once you’ve had your fill of activities around campus, be sure to give your parents a solid snapshot of your new Boston home.

Fenway is both close to home and a Boston classic.  Just across the bridge from Kenmore, Fenway offers a glimpse at one of America’s most famous baseball institutions.  Not to mention the surrounding bars and restaurants.  My recommendations include Bar Louie for amazing appetizers, Landsdowne Pub for the atmosphere and Sweet Cheeks for barbecue.

Newbury Street is an absolute must if your family is even slightly interested in shopping and good food.  Newbury has stores for everyone, starting at Massachusetts Avenue with stores like Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, stretching all the way down to the Commons with high-end retailers such as Diane von Furstenberg.  Peppered along the way are all types of restaurants, including Joe’s American Bar and Grill, Stephanie’s and The Cafeteria.  You really can’t go wrong.  Once you reach the end of Newbury, be sure to enjoy the scenery at the Boston Commons and Public Gardens.  This is the best time of year to do so, while the leaves are turning and it’s not too terribly cold yet.

Want to take the tourist route? Walk your parents along the Freedom Trail and see the historical Faneuil Hall to get a taste of the rich history Boston has to offer. If you get hungry, grab a lobster roll from Quincy Market and check out even more shops and restaurants along the way.  And, if there’s time, get in line at Giacomo’s in the famous North End before 4 p.m. to experience some of the best authentic Italian food that Boston has to offer.  And don’t forget to stop by Modern Pastry for dessert.

What are your plans for Parents Weekend? Have any other recommendations or questions on how to entertain your out-of-town guests? Let us know in the comments section!

 

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Classmates and competition in grad school

By Keiko Talley
MS Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication

One of the greatest aspects of grad school is the friends you make during your time. Instantly, you find a group of people that are going through the same thing as you, so you befriend them. The people around you offer to review your work and let you know what you need to add or take out before submitting it. Everyone is in the same-pressured situation as you, so it’s easy to quickly form a bond that continues to grow stronger, like a family.

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I met some of the greatest friends my first month here at Boston University, and for that, I could not be more thankful. When one of us is down, the others are always there to pick us up. When we all have the same project to do, it turns into a night with dinner and homework, spent laughing way more than students should be while doing homework. Everyone within the program is more than willing to help each other out; they’re the ones I call to go out with on the weekends, and the same ones I ask to reread my work.

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But then you go home and think about why you’re in grad school and the job you want in a year or so. Suddenly, you can see your competition; she’s the girl sitting across from you in class with the nice outfit and perfect makeup. She is also the same girl you just went to the bar with last weekend. You look to your left, and you see more of your competition. He is Mr. Personality with great hair that everyone loves. He is also one of the guys you had lunch with yesterday. The friends you make in the classroom are also the competition you face in the field. “Look around, these people are going to be your friends. But these people are also your competition,” my TA said on the first day of class.

When I first heard her say that, I chuckled, as I found it hard to believe we would one: all become good friends and two: compete with each other. Sadly, it’s the truth. Mr. Personality may be one of the funniest friends I have here at BU, but he is also the one that’s going to apply to that position at the Boston Globe when you apply too.

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Although at the end of the day, this unique friendship-phenomenon has its advantages. That competitiveness we find within grad school, subconsciously motivates us to better ourselves; run faster, swim harder, speak better, smile bigger. Grad school gives you a sense of healthy competition. You’re competitive with your friends because you want to do better, but you are also friends with your competition. You’re able to learn from each other and grow together as a unit, which will bring you one step closer to that dream job after graduation.

If you’re a graduate student here at COM, I would love to hear any of your stories or thoughts on befriending your competition! Not a graduate student, but interested in becoming part of our COM family here at BU? Learn more about our graduate programs by visiting our website.

Boston bucket list for grad students

By Ali Parisi
MS Public Relations ’16
BU College of Communication

It’s no secret that grad school is a pricey venture.  But here’s the thing about going to grad school in Boston: you’re in Boston.  And this sports-crazed, historical goldmine is full of numerous adventures that aren’t as expensive as you may think.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a car (or rather, unfortunate enough to have to worry about parking in the city), apple picking is a must-try.  I have to admit, apple picking was foreign to me when I was back home on the West Coast.  But after venturing out to Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, Mass. (50 minute drive), I felt fully prepared for New England fall.  Pumpkins, flowers and over 20 kinds of apples are just some of the treats you can grab at Parlee, not to mention homemade pumpkin butter and fresh apple cider donuts that are to die for.  Oh, and did I mention there’s no entrance fee? Just don’t forget cash to buy yourself some delicious treats.

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However, if you don’t feel like sticking around and exploring the city we live before venturing out into the suburbs, hop on a Hubway bike and see Boston on your own terms. Unlike pricey guided tours, Hubway allows you to rent a bicycle from over 100 stations sprinkled throughout the city.  Any ride under 30 minutes is free, and a 24-hour pass is only $6.  Worried about Boston’s infamously scary drivers?  Stick to the Charles River Reservation Bike loop to avoid the honking and see the river.  And be sure to take advantage of the Hubway bikes soon, before Mother Nature gives Boston the cold shoulder.

Maybe you need a break from studying, and biking just isn’t your thing.  No worries. Just head to Samuel Adams Brewery in Jamaica Plain (from BU: 20 minutes by car or 50 by train) to taste their OctoberFest.  The brewery holds free tours year-round.  For another beer option, check out the Harpoon Brewery (from BU: 15 minutes by car or 55 by train) where you can get a $5 beer tasting.

Aside from all these wonderful options, there is one place you simply must visit while living in Boston: the one and only Fenway Park.  Even if you aren’t able to catch a game, tours are offered daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Student tickets are just $12, and since Fenway is practically on BU’s campus (at just a 5 minute walk from the bookstore), there is really no excuse not to.

Need more ideas? Check out this article for more inexpensive ways to explore Boston: http://www.boston.com/travel/things-around-boston-for-under/k7CCC0L1GXcfsnPvVDvMiM/gallery.html

 

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A lot going on at this year’s Sustainability Festival at BU

By Michelle Marino
MS Journalism ’15
BU College of Communication

“I’m just a fancy trash man”, says Adam Mitchell of Save That Stuff, a sustainable waste and recycling service based in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Taken at face value, this might seem an eccentric statement, but at BU’s Sustainability Festival, Mitchell was in good company.

Adam Mitchell, Major Account Representative & Partner of Save That Stuff, delves into the composting process at last Thursday's BU Sustainability Festival.
Adam Mitchell, Major Account Representative & Partner of Save That Stuff, delves into the composting process at last Thursday’s BU Sustainability Festival.

The event, which took place last Thursday, was presented by Sustainability@BU in conjunction with BU’s Bike Safety and Dining Services organizations.  Located at Marsh Plaza, the area was filled with tables, tented booths, students and staff. A generally placid walk past Marsh Chapel was thoroughly reinvented into a vibrant and lively festival, zeroed in on promoting university sustainability. Even our boys in blue, the Boston Police Department, were compelled to make an appearance.

There was something for everyone at the Festival, from bike tune-up’s to local meal kits, oyster shell recycling to fresh farm berries. But let’s just pretend for a minute you needed a bit more of an incentive to attend such an event. Not a problem – the promise of chicken fingers at the Raisin’ Cane’s booth, the thrill of the spin at the bike-inspired prize wheel, or seeing a fleet of Boston PD officers with bikes in tow had you covered. I’m also a sucker for a free water bottle, which were handed out in abundance from Sustainability@BU.

Surprisingly, the largest line of all seemed to be concentrated at the LED challenge station in the middle of the event. In exchange for an incandescent or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulb, you received a free LED bulb in replacement. This is part of a series of ongoing “Join the Challenge” initiatives put on by Sustainability@BU in partnership with an organization called Carbonrally. Each month a different sustainability challenge is highlighted, and Carbonrally provides the platform to keep track of your challenges and progress.

Bike and pedestrian safety was a major component of the event, as was the farmers market and representation of 18 clubs comprising the BU Environmental Coalition. Members of groups such as BU Beekeeping, BU Energy Club and the BU Vegetarian Society were all present. In a discussion with a member of the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center, I learned about BU’s balanced “Sargent Choice” meals, the option to take a one-credit nutrition class, as well as cooking classes and one hour of free counseling available at the Center.

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I also spoke with MassBike, a coalition advocating “Better Bicycling for Massachusetts,” partnering with numerous stakeholders to educate schools and other groups about biking safety. My favorite part of the event came in at the food (shocker). The farmers market boasted an abundance of different offerings and produce, the most impressive of which I found to be Ward’s Berry Farm out of Sharon. Apples, carrots, squash, cauliflower, raspberries and cherry tomatoes all on display in the middle of an urban campus reminded me we’re not all that far from locally sourced food.

The event had a solid turnout, and I learned a few things about sustainability as well as the countless related organizations BU offers. I’m pleased the farmers market will continue to run throughout September and October as well, on Thursdays at the GSU Plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. To find out more about Sustainability@BU, follow them on Facebook at: BUsustainability, or on Twitter: @sustainableBU.

 

 

BU COM celebrates its 100th Anniversary with COM Talks

By Gina Kim
MS Journalism ’16
BU College of Communication

It’s been a great past week for Boston University’s College of Communication (COM). With the celebration of the program’s 100th anniversary, COM hosted a number events that honored its alumni, students, staff and faculty. This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend COM Talks, an event not too different from the ever so influential TED Talks, which have been making such a huge difference in people’s lives. These talks reach millions nationwide, informing them of ideas worth sharing, ranging from “Why a good book is a secret door,” to the controversies of gender violence. At BU, we’ve developed our own, unique style of a Talk event but with the same idea in mind: connecting and communicating the ideas worth sharing.

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At the event, COM featured a superstar panel of experts in their respective fields of mass communication and journalism. Each speaker shared their personal experiences, what their roles in this industry mean to them and how every story we report leaves a mark everywhere and affects the way society functions. Each speaker reminded us of what roles we take on as both the reader and the reporter.  As each speaker shared his/her message, one message remained consistent: Storytelling is the heart of what COM does and it gives every individual an opportunity to connect with audiences. This event brought the best alumni and faculty to demonstrate the craft of true storytelling.

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This is a candid photo that my friend and fellow blogger Keiko Talley took while I was waiting in line to meet the Senior Vice President of HBO, Jay Roewe, a BU alumnus and producer of many major hit shows such as “The Newsroom” and the show that’s taken the entire world by force, “Game of Thrones”. Needless to say, I was absolutely stoked. Not to mention, absolutely star struck. I don’t usually get too fangirly but, GAME OF THRONES?! Come ON!

He was just one of the few amazing people we got to meet and listen at COM Talks. It was definitely a panel of rock stars in the industry; from New York Times best-selling authors, to legal prosecutors, to those who worked for Good Morning America and my very own Media Law professor Dick Lehr, whose investigative reporting on the case of Whitey Bulger for the Boston Globe got turned into a Hollywood movie starring Johnny Depp, Sienna Miller, and Benedict Cumberbatch. This group of superb individuals that came to speak at the event were so impressive, and they all reiterated the same message reminding us why we chose journalism, and what we can do to utilize it as an important facet of society.

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At the end of the event, we were given a small card that forced us to go up to any of these speakers and ask them the questions printed on the card. I had to go up to an alumni and ask what their favorite course was at COM. That part was easy…I was already given something to ask. However, being forced to jump out of my comfort zone and overcome my shyness to reach out to these amazing people was another story. I felt like I wasn’t worthy of being in their presence, but I mustered up all the courage possible and did it. In turn, I had the privilege of meeting with our first COM Talk speaker Travis Roy (COM ’00), author of “Eleven Seconds” and former hockey player for the BU Terriers.

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Besides speaking with Mr. Jay Roewe, meeting with Travis Roy was definitely a personal highlight of the event.  His speech stood out to me for so many reasons. He came to BU in the fall of 1995 with a hockey scholarship, but a few weeks later on October 20th,  his life changed forever. Roy suffered an injury that left him a quadriplegic. On Saturday, Roy said it was at that challenging time in his life when he realized that as often as we may choose our challenges, other times, the challenges choose us. It isn’t about how much gets taken away from us, but rather, how we choose to respond and find what drives us forward, despite our obstacles. The core of Roy’s personal story was definitely emotional; as much as he kept pointing out the simplicity of his message, it was definitely the most profound.

IMG_2475What COM Talks helped me realize that every day we are here, we get more and more inspired and motivated. Whether we find the inspiration in our classes, the lectures or even the events that are put together for students, they all push us forward. Not only are there a lot of impressive individuals at COM worth getting to know, but there is also such a large pool of successful alumni always willing to help current students out. The event reminded me why I’m here, and the endless opportunities that await all of us even long after we leave.

Most of the speakers are all alumni who, at one point in their lives, were in our very shoes, trying to get the word out and deciding on their career paths. They were students just like us, hoping to make a mark on the industry someday. At the end of the day, as COM Talks reminded us, it’s about serving the public’s needs, discussing the truth, and making a difference.