November 26, 2019

What We're Thankful For

It's been a wild 2019. Per tradition, The Maroon gives thanks.

It’s been a wild 2019, with another month to go. Per tradition, here are some things the Maroon Editorial Board is thankful for:

Trader Joe’s arrived to great fanfare on 55th Street—and, with its jam-packed frozen aisles, we’ve barely cooked since. Some other obsessions:

  • Speculoos Cookie Butter
  • Two-Buck Chuck
  • Dried mangoes
  • Mochi
  • Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s

And we can’t forget Jewel-Osco, for finally getting students to go south of 60th Street.

No one asked to attend school in a ski chalet, but if the administration wants to give us bonfires and cocoa on the quad every so often, we’re not complaining!

That one Harper table near the vent that consistently blows scalding air, for being the only reliably warm place on campus this season.

The art installation in Mansueto. Its creepy, looming expressions get students to stay awake as daylight savings ends.

This year’s campus-wide solidarity against restrictions on funding abortion, in support of Medical Center nurses, and especially along graduate workers’ picket lines. We’ve finally seen what it’s like to attend a school with spirit.

On a spiritual note, thanks to the Virgin Mary for keeping students safe from soaring comestibles. Also, we hope the Reynolds Club therapy dogs are happy in a higher place (with Bobo?). Rest in peace, Gerry, Pablo, and Palin.

We asked Career Advancement to emphasize career paths outside finance, but it seems like recent efforts to branch out haven’t been as well-received as the office probably expected. Who could have imagined the CIA or the Daily Mail would be so controversial?

Classics professor Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, whose musings on Twitter never fail to surprise:

UChicago’s ranking may have dropped three places this year, but at least we’re No. 1 in something.

And on that pricey education: The newly live-streamed lectures in Organic Chemistry, forced by classroom overflow, are letting us sleep in.

Harvard (and not UChicago) alum Kenneth C. Griffin is making a valiant effort to dethrone the Pritzker clan as barons of Chicago. We have the Griffin economics department and the Griffin MSI—but where’s our endowed financial aid office, we ask?

Speaking of Harvard alumni, Mayor Pete managed to come to campus more often this year than our own alumni (yes, that’s plural) who are also on the campaign trail.

UChicago alumni Lori Lightfoot (J.D. ’89), now mayor, and Toni Preckwinkle (A.B. ’69, A.M. ’77) dueled for the city’s top office this spring, in a race marked by firsts.

Our own predictive prowess, however, proved limited in the municipal elections. None of The Maroon’s 2019 endorsements did much—all our candidates ultimately lost.

Bretbugs: The Maroon’s own Bret Stephens (A.B. ’95) vigorously defended himself from detractors this summer. May we all develop “genuine courage and intellectual integrity.”

“Building better men”: Our fraternities continue to develop upstanding, well-rounded members of society while upholding their commitment to safety.

Our comments section doesn’t quite rival that of The New York Times, but hey, we’ll get there. Some favorites:


Maroon Staff / The Chicago Maroon


Maroon Staff / The Chicago Maroon

Fall sports had a brilliant run. Some highlights: women’s volleyball made the regional championships for the first time ever, and men’s soccer won their last conference game undefeated and unscored on.

Crerar, once a barren land of silent, empty bookstacks, is now IKEA-like, beautifully homey, and one of the liveliest study spots on campus. And the new Media Arts, Data, and Design Center boasts virtual reality headsets, board games, and 3-D printers.

She’s back: Yerkes Observatory landed on our “In Memoriam” list last year, but in a joyous twist, a local group will take it over from the University. The Yerkes Future Foundation plans to reopen the observatory to the public.

Regarding other departures: Two Hyde Park coffee shops, Fabiana’s and Sanctuary Cafe, left behind troubled legacies. We loved their baked goods. Their payment schedules, not so much.

The still-unfinished Woodlawn Commons, slated to open in September 2020, looms over 61st Street. We’d been wondering when the University would step into Hyde Park’s luxury condominium game.

Does anyone actually use the recently announced Lyft–UChicago partnership? It runs from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m., helping students still stranded in the Reg.

Finally, we’re grateful for our trees year-round, and they’re looking particularly gorgeous now that they’re adorned with winter lights.

Happy Thanksgiving!