Articles by Blake Stewart

The Quarter System: Advantages and Disadvantages

By Blake Stewart / September 26, 2012 / / Twitter / Facebook /
Unlike most schools, DePaul runs on a quarter system. This means instead of two fifteen week semesters we have four ten week quarters (don't worry you're not required to be in school all year round. The Summer Quarter is optional). Personally, I LOVE the quarter system. But some people are not big fans. Here's why:

The quarter system leaves absolutely NO time to procrastinate, which is very VERY helpful for me (and probably the majority of us) who love to do so. There is no syllabus week, no time where you sit and just do nothing. Now granted, you may get out of class a couple minutes early the first week, but you will not be able to skip the class. The first day you sit down, you go over the syllabus for a few minutes and then jump right into the lesson. Most likely, you probably will have homework due the next class. But don't worry! It's not too hard. In fact, everyone that I talk to loves it.

Now one of the big points about the quarter system is how it affects the class/year schedule. First, there are (with some exceptions like science and foreign language and Discover/Explore classes) NO Friday classes at DePaul. Three day weekends every week is quite the nice bonus to DePaul! Also, we have a six week Winter Break! This gives students time to take additional classes, study abroad, work, or travel. It seems like a long time but it's a great break from the trials and tribulations of the college life.

Another advantage is that if you don't like the class, it's only ten weeks. For example, when it is midterms for us it feels like we just started school! If I were in a class that I absolutely hated, I could be optimistic and say, "Only five more weeks!"

Now, some people complain about the quarter system. Their main argument is that there is not enough time to thoroughly cover all the material for the class. But my counterargument is that it forces professors to get to the point. There's no busy work or time for fluff. We get the education about the course we need and leave. In my opinion, it's a great thing!

With that, I'm going to leave you with not-so-little Maru and his favorite activity - jumping in boxes!

Ray Meyer Fitness Center

By Blake Stewart / January 27, 2012 / / Twitter / Facebook /
To lose those holiday pounds or just to get into a healthier lifestyle, one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions for college students is to go to the gym. Fortunately, DePaul has a state-of-the-art fitness center called the Ray Meyer Fitness Center (The Ray for short). The Ray has literally anything you could ask for from basketball courts, various cardio machines, and free studio classes everyday. If you’re really serious about getting your work out on, The Ray is there for your use.

The Ray Meyer consists of four floors. The first floor holds three full-sized racquetball courts, two locker rooms, ping-pong tables, foosball tables, seating areas, a pool, and the Bean (for sandwiches and smoothies). The second floor holds four studios where they hold free group fitness classes such as yoga, kickboxing, spinning, and zumba (just to name a few). Also, these studios hold special events such as a Lady Gaga dance night where you learn choreography to some of Lady Gaga’s songs. Additionally, the second floor is home to all of the cardio machines and lifting machines. The third floor has three full basketball courts, and the fourth floor has an indoor track that has a view of the beautiful Chicago skyline.

Fortunately, my New Year’s resolution is still going strong. I have been going to the gym almost each day, and I feel myself being a lot more productive and feeling generally better throughout the day. Not to mention the incentive of getting one of the Bean’s great smoothies at The Ray. I feel like going to the gym has helped me in my studies as well as getting me back into shape like I was in my early high school years.