Wellness: James G. Kaskey Memorial Park, The Biopond and Biology Greenhouses

Biopond @ James G. Kaskey Memorial Park

The James G. Kaskey Memorial Park is a fitting tribute to the first day of Spring, an unassuming nature oasis tucked away within Penn’s urban campus.

“This green space which we call today the James G. Kaskey Memorial Park, or BioPond, was created during the last decade of the nineteenth century, opening as a research garden in 1897. Although the idea for a garden on University of Pennsylvania campus was first presented by Dr. J.T. Rothrock, then chair of the Department of Botany, it was Professor of Botany, Dr. John M. MacFarlane who finally convinced the Biological Department of the special advantages to be gained by reclaiming the waste ground which surrounded the department. Although the area was a scant five acres, generally considered far too small a space for a Botanical Garden, Professor MacFarlane did succeed in transforming waste hills and hollows of sand and gravel into a garden which fulfilled not only the botanical research needs of members of the department, but was also a graceful addition to the University landscape” (Penn Arts & Sciences).

Over the years, it has been renovated (dredged, relined and realigned) for maintenance and sustainability; however, it has lost some of its original acreage due to campus development around it. Nonetheless, it still stands today as a campus treasure.

If you like the outdoors, there are benches and a few picnic tables where you can take in the sun and read/study. I prefer to go for a nice walk when I need a break from my work, and especially pack my lunch there where I can eat al fresco. You will delight in some of the live species that inhabit the pond, such as fish and turtles, if you observe carefully. Now is the best time to enjoy it, before it gets too hot to be outside in the Summer. But crisp Fall-Winter walks are also unexpectedly enjoyable.

As you set out to walk and meander through the paths, cross over bridges or perch on a bench upon which to find a point of rest, consider an analogy to your academic journey:

  • Which paths have your consciously and unconsciously taken thus far?
    • What have they revealed?
    • What have you learned?
  • What experiences, wins and apparent defeats have served as bridges to where you have arrived or hope to arrive?
    • Who or what has kept you connected and/or motivated?
    • What connections have you made?
    • How have you made sense of your experiences?
  • Where have you found rest and support?
    • What is the value of pause and reflection?
    • How do we plan for and schedule rest points in our schedule, in our paths?
    • How will you support others?

Next time you take a study break or seek an outdoors green space for studying, consider the opportunities that the Kaskey Memorial Park, including the biopond and greenhouses, offer for self-reflection, self-assessment, self-nurture and growth.

By Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Fellow

Study Spots: The ARCH

The ARCH building intersects Arts, Research and Culture:

  • The Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CURF)
  • Ben Franklin Scholars
  • University Scholars
  • Makuu
  • La Casa Latina
  • The Pan Asian American Community House (PAACH)
  • Student Performing Arts

It is designed to be a safe, supportive, inclusive and critically generative space where students can assert their agency, activism and ingenuity with confidence.

“One of the most engaging features of the building is the large amount of carved stone ornamental detail on the exterior.  There are three cross‑gables on the main (east) elevation.  The middle gable is placed adjacent to the southern end gable and is set back, forming a picturesque mass crowned by an elaborate double serpentine chimney.  A one- story entrance portico with Gothic details stands out from the middle gable, and is set below a two story mullioned window.  The south facade is marked by symmetrically placed polygonal bays with ornate stonework panels, battlements, and windows topped by trefoils” (Penn Facilities and Real Estate Services).

Address: 3601 Locust Walk, Philadelphia PA, 19104

Demographic: Undergraduate and graduate students

Noise Level: Bustling with activities

Traffic: Moderate to high

Perks: Gothic Revival Architecture, Performance Arts, Culture Houses, Nourishment, Meeting Rooms Available for Reservation

Accessible from Locust Walk near 36th Street:

Auditorium and meeting rooms that can be reserved:

There are student lounges throughout:

Culture Houses offer their own student lounges:

  • Makuu
  • La Casa Latina
  • PAACH

Tortas Frontera Mexican Dining:

If your academic endeavors invoke the intersection of culture, arts and research, consider making The ARCH a motivating, inspirational and interactional Study Spot!

By Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Fellow

Study Spots: The Wharton School

John M. Hunstman Hall

There’s nothing like getting down to business than carving out a space at the Wharton School to get your studying done:

Address: Jon M. Huntsman Hall, 3730 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Demographic: Undergraduate, MBA, executive and doctoral business students

Noise Level: Business ambience

Traffic: Moderate to high

Perks: Large-Scale, Sophisticated Architecture, Green Spaces, Nourishment, Group Study Rooms Available for Reservation

Accessible through the Levy Lobby from Walnut Street and the Zweig Lobby from Locust Walk, it provides a wide array of spaces, including:

  • Student Lounges throughout
  • The Koo Family Plaza, Terrace and Patio, accessible through 2nd floor:
  • Two Cafes:
    1. Undergraduate Cafe off of Locust Walk and Zweig Lobby
    2. MBA Cafe on the second floor connecting to Koo Family Plaza

Next time you set out to attend to the business of your academic affairs, consider the Wharton School as your preferred Study Spot!

By Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Fellow

Study Spots: Levin Building

Levin Building, Stephen A.

425 S. University Avenue
Philadelphia PA, 19104

If you enjoy urban, contemporary, modern architecture, check out the Stephen A. Levin Building as a study spot. The interdisciplinarity of the commitment its houses intersects studies of the brain with human behavior. Curiously, even “the building’s design reflects its function in the ornate aluminum sunscreen with cutouts on the south façade. The pattern of the sunscreen is designed to convey the branching and network structures found at all scales of biology and to resonate in psychological, linguistic and cognitive models” (Penn Today).

Part of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, it was inaugurated in 2016 as an “expansion of the Lynch Laboratories, this building provides for the collaboration, exchange, and integration of knowledge that characterizes the study of Biology and Psychology at Penn. The Levin Building is attached to the south end of the Leidy Laboratories Building and houses research laboratories, teaching facilities, and spaces designed for interactions to foster the kind of cross-disciplinary work that increasingly characterizes work in these fields” (Penn Facilities and Real Estate).

If your research question is interdisciplinary in nature, this may be the perfect study spot for you. Let your neuroscientific and neurobehavioral juices flow!

Address: 425 S. University Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104–6220

Demographic: Interdisciplinary Neuroscience students, students from Biology, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences at the School of Arts & Sciences

Noise Level: Calm ambiance

Traffic: Low to moderate

Perks: Cool Architecture, Next to Bio Pond, 2 Group Study Rooms Available for Reservation

THE BIOPOND AND BIOLOGY GREENHOUSES
JAMES G. KASKEY MEMORIAL PARK

The Levin Building is located next to the Penn Bio Pond. Enjoy the close proximity and take a study break, stretch out your legs, take a short walk, take in the beauty of nature and breathe in some fresh air. For more content on the Biopond, check out this Blog.

By Staff Writer: Min Derry, Learning Instructor

Study Spots: David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center

The Spring semester is progressing, and by now you are becoming increasingly aware of your own learning style. You may ask yourself, “How do I learn best, at which pace (or variation thereof), and under what conditions?”

In terms of study spaces – dorms, individual schools, libraries and even neighborhood cafes – are well utilized, and many offer a variety resources, such as lounges, study rooms (reservation required for most), tables, cubicles, cafes, kitchens, and restrooms.

Depending on your preferred study style, you may decide to mix things up a bit and alternate study spaces. For example, some people work best with a little activity and/or background noise around them. When considering alternative study spaces, you may consider factors such as familiarity, convenience, and proximity, including building time efficiencies, and fostering wellness and/or fitness.

If you are a member of the David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, which is conveniently located at 3701 Walnut Street, you may have noticed that there is new furniture in the atrium space, as soon as you pass through the main entrance. For students who prefer to study and exercise right after or vice versa, the Penn fitness center (or your local gym) may provide an ideal alternative study-and-fitness hybrid space. Per Sarah Sarnocinski, Director of Programs, Penn Recreation, students are welcome to utilize the tables, chairs, and leather sofas to study, eat, relax and/or socialize.

 In addition, the Energy Zone café provides healthy nourishment:

Located in the atrium of the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, the Energy Zone features a full selection of smoothies, sports drinks, energy bars, and fresh fruit. Our shakes are 100% natural with no preservatives, no refined sugars, no fat, and completely lactose free. The Energy Zone also sells locks for $5 that can be used with any day use locker at the Pottruck Center (PennRec website).   

In addition to the pre- or post-study fitness options (e.g., fitness machines, rock climbing) available at the Penn fitness center (or your preferred fitness space), there is a multi-purpose room, which is used for other fitness and wellness related functions that students can also take advantage of when available.

What is your favorite alternative study space? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments section!

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Staff Writer: Min Derry

Study Spots: Perry World House

pwh_tableAddress: 3803 Locust Walk

Hours:  Monday-Thursday: 9AM-11PM

Friday: 9AM-9PM

Saturday: 12PM-7PM

Sunday: 12PM-11PM

Noise Level: Low

Perks: New state-of-the-art building, couches, lots of natural light

Perry World House officially opened this fall as a global policy research center. Students, seriosuly-fuckingidashglksadfjw2scholars, and policymakers with international interests frequent the space for classes, workshops, conferences, and lectures. When the space isn’t being used for a special event, the first floor of Perry World House is also an excellent place to study. The World Forum is a bright, open space with lots of natural light. It’s typically set up with a number of round tables. The Study Lounge is a smaller, cozier room with couches that students have been known to nap on. Our favorite study nook in that room is the bay window with the comfy built-in seats. The Classroom features a whiteboard that’s great for working (and re-working!) math and science problems. Perry World House remains fairly undiscovered as a study space so it tends to be rather quiet with only a small handful of students at any given time. As a bonus, it’s right across from 1920 Commons if you need a snack or coffee break!

pwh_couch

Before heading over to Perry World House, it’s worth taking a quick look at their website under “Events” to see if any events are currently scheduled for that day. A monthly calendar of events is in the works and should be live on the website in the near future.

 

If you have used Perry World House as a study space and have any thoughts or feedback or have an idea for another study spot on campus for us to highlight, please leave a comment below.

 

Staff Writer: Julianne Reynolds

Study Spaces: Green Life Cafe

Green Line Café

Address: 28 South 40th StreetPicture1

Hours: 7am-6pm (M-F) 8am-6pm (Sat) 8am-5pm Sunday

Noise Level: Low to moderate

Perks: Wifi, good coffee, friendly staff, ample tea selection and decent food offerings catering to omnivores and vegans alike!

The Green Line Café has a number of locations throughout West Philadelphia and Center City, but the University City location was a regular favorite of mine while I was a graduate student at PennGSE.

Picture2

It is a short 10-minute walk from the main campus, but very close to the PennGSE St. Leonard’s complex. It is also less than a block from the 40th St. SEPTA Blue Line Station. If, like me, you work better in environments with ambient noise, Green Line might just be the study space for you.

Picture3

The 40th St. location has a variety of seating options including tables and couches, which function for both secluded studying and group work. Seating is ample as are accessible floor plugs for laptops or other devices.

Picture4In addition to coffee and tea, Green Line also has a large food menu to fuel your studying including bagels, sandwiches, burritos, and pastries. If you have special or ethical dietary restrictions, they do have some options available including a handful of vegan offerings on their food menu. My personal favorite is the sweet potato burrito. They even have vegan donuts from Dottie’s Donuts, a nearby donut shop.

Staff Writer: Randall Perez