Ten Twin Cities Halloween Celebrations

If sales on economy-sized bags of candy and shamelessly playing dress up sound right down your alley, then Halloween is your holiday. We’ve included a list of the top ten things to do around the Twin Cities region to get you in the Halloween spirit. 

10. Make caramel apples. Simply melt caramel in the microwave, dip an apple, and coat with your favorite candy toppings.

9. Visit a Haunted House. ValleyScare, SCREAM TOWN and Haunted Hayride are a few of many Halloween attractions in the Twin Cities area.

8. Have a bonfire (preferably not if you live in an apartment.) If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a backyard, take advantage of the opportunity to have one last bonfire before the eleven-month winter comes.

7. Carve a pumpkin! Or, if you can’t get your hands on a real pumpkin, carve a pumpkin online (all of the fun, none of the mess.) Instagram your best design at #CEHD for a chance to see your pumpkin featured.

6. Pick one of the costumes off of our list or create an idea of your own. Halloween isn’t Halloween if you don’t dress up! Bonus points if you wear your costume to class Thursday.

5. Halloween is the only acceptable time to listen to songs like Monster Mash and Flying Purple People Eater.

4. Have a movie night and watch all of the classic Disney Channel Halloween movies like Halloweentown and Hocus Pocus.

3. Spend an afternoon at an apple orchard.

2. Dress up, get on a bus, and find a neighborhood to go trick-or-treating in. Trick-or-treating was practically designed as a way for poor college kids to gather food.

1. Hit up the after-Halloween sales on candy. November 1 is the Black Friday of candy sales. Don’t miss out.

For more news and information from the CEHD Undergrad Experience, make sure to follow @CEHDugrad on Instagram and Twitter.

 Photo source: Pumpkins

Time Management (IT’S ACTUALLY POSSIBLE. WE PROMISE!)

In honor of midterm week, the CEHD Undergrad Experience writers have decided to help treat one of the most common ailments suffered by college students: time management. We spoke to several students who have complained of their symptoms, which has led us to bring in one of the nation’s leading specialists on time management, Dr. Late. We turned our column over to the doctor to let him treat some of your most persistent symptoms.

Dear Doctor Late,

I feel like I don’t have any time. I have three midterms coming up, a part-time job, and intramural basketball. I am having a hard time getting all of my assignments done, but the problem is that I don’t have any more time to give myself! I can’t give up my job or basketball, but I still want to manage my homework better. Any help would be appreciated.

-Panicking in Pioneer

Dear Panicky Pioneer,

The trick to mastering time management is to see where all of your time is actually going. Go through an entire day making note of what you are doing each hour. Keeping track of your day shows you what you spend the most time on and where all of your time is going. While you can’t make more hours in a day, you can use the 24 you have in new ways! Try doing homework on the ride to work (only advised if you take a bus– please don’t homework and drive!), waking up a half hour earlier to study, or having your friends quiz you on your psychology flashcards between games. By using your time creatively, you will be able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

Dear Doctor Late,

I AM SO TIRED. I keep falling asleep in class because I am up all night trying to finish my homework. I come home after class and nap all afternoon. I feel like I’m becoming nocturnal, but I can’t fix my sleep schedule.

-Need To Sleep LESS In Seattle

Wake Up, Sleepy!

Do yourself a favor and reset your sleep schedule. You have one afternoon to use caffeine to your benefit– fight the urge to nap your afternoon away by drinking a coffee or chugging a RedBull. Make it to 11 PM and tuck yourself in. Start yourself on a normal sleep schedule and you will find time in places you never expected. Use your afternoon nap time to knock out a few assignments and use your class time to take notes. The main piece of advice I can give you is to do your homework and studying during the day instead of putting it off until the last minute. This will allow you to use your nights for the things they were created for– Netflix marathons and sleeping.

Dear Doctor Late,

I can not prioritize. I never know where to begin on my pile of homework, which makes it really hard for me to get anything done. Everything seems so daunting and I get too overwhelmed to begin.

– The Man Without A Plan

Oh Man,

  1. Lists help. A lot.
  2. Start early. It’s always a struggle to do something right away, especially when you have plenty of time to do it. My advice to you is to start the paper/studying/project before it becomes an emergency. You don’t have to do the entire thing, but writing an outline or making flash cards can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
  3. Contrary to what everybody seems to be telling college students, some days you really CAN’T manage everything. That’s why it is important to prioritize. Decide what is the most important or urgent task and tackle it. Take care of what you can and let the rest fall into place.

Check out these great University of Minnesota sources to help you manage your time and stress better!

  • Find a study space close to you with this handy website!
  • Check out these tips on reducing stress from Boynton Health Services.
  • Find a group fitness class (yoga, anyone?) to help you calm down and refocus.
  • Planners make prioritizing easy and fashionable. Check out the stylin’ Gopher Guide.

Photo source: Clocks

Dining Hall Survival Guide

When you are living in a residence hall, it is hard not to take your meal plan for granted. Unlimited meals seem like a heaven during the first week of the semester, but now that it’s reaching the 8-week marker, the food in the dining hall can start to seem just about as captivating as a stack of midterm study guides. 

If you are living off campus, a trip to a dining hall is the college equivalent to a five-star eatery. There are piles of desserts; fruit that doesn’t cost five bucks a pound; and meat that you don’t have to dedicate half of your day to thawing and preparing. Off-campus students are easy to spot in the dining hall– what regular diner would bring Tupperware to take home leftovers in or shove eighteen bananas into their backpack before leaving?

Whatever situation you fall into, it is useful to have a good understanding of the cuisine options in the dining hall. The following ideas are helpful in spicing up the meal routine of students living in residence halls, as well as in inspiring off-campus students to make the most of the food available.

Cookie Crisp

This versatile ingredient can transform any meal into a delicacy. Sprinkle Cookie Crisp on top of a salad, mix it into your stir-fry– the opportunities to use Cookie Crisp are virtually endless. Here is one of the best.

Cookie Crisp Sundae

You will need:

Ice cream

Ice cream cone

Peanut Butter

Cookie Crisp

Chocolate Chips

Directions: Line the outer rim of your cone or bowl with peanut butter and fill in with your choice of chocolate or vanilla ice cream. Top with Cookie Crisp and chocolate chips for a dessert that is sure to please.

Waffles

When all of the other options look questionable, waffles are a great choice for any meal. Instead of having a plain waffle, make your meal (and twenty-minute wait for a waffle iron) worth it with this delicious idea.

Chocolate Covered Banana Waffle

You will need:

Waffle batter

Banana

Chocolate Chips

Directions: As you stand in line, you will have plenty of time to mash a banana with a fork and mix it with chocolate chips and waffle batter. Once combined, fill the waffle iron with your concoction and cook as normal. Enjoy!

Panini’s

The Panini Maker is the hidden gem of the dining hall. For some reason, smashing the life out of a sandwich makes it taste so much better. There are endless options for creating a delicious sandwich, but some of the best are listed below.

The Toasted PB&J: Just like the name sounds, simply stick a PB&J in the Panini Maker and wait for it to toast into delicious perfection.

The Personal Pizza: Spread spaghetti sauce over two slices of bread. Top with cheese, meat, and other vegetables you find at the salad bar. Maybe throw in some Cookie Crisp. Bake in Panini Maker until delicious.

The Breakfast Yum: Sandwich eggs, bacon, and cheese between your choice of pancakes, waffles, or an English muffin. Cook until crispy. Top with Syrup.

 Other Ideas

  • Make an ice cream sandwich using two cookies and soft serve.
  • Make a burrito bowl by topping white rice with whatever type of meat is being served. Melt cheese on top before adding lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream.
  • Make an easy yogurt parfait by combining yogurt with your choice of fruit, granola, or your favorite cereal.
  • If you show up to the dining hall on a brunch day, there is total access to all of the ingredients needed to make a delicious BLT.
  • Adorn hot chocolate with the whipped cream kept with the waffle toppings.

All of these ideas can be used to make mealtime more exciting. Proceed with caution, however. Although these creations will be delicious, there are no promises about helping you avoid the Freshman 15!

Photo source: Cookie Crisp, meme

Behind The Scenes of Gopher Adventure Race

Friday marks the College of Education and Human Development’s 4th annual Gopher Adventure Race. Since the race began in 2010, it has been a popular event on campus. Last year, President Kaler and his wife participated. This years event is completely sold out. The race, which has taken past winners anywhere from around three to six hours to complete, is organized entirely by undergraduate students in the recreation, parks and leisure studies major.

Race participants, in categories ranging from students, to faculty, staff, and alumni, explore campus by following clues which lead to physical and mental challenges, according to the Gopher Adventure Race website.

RPLS students gain hands-on experience ranging from event planning to risk management, according to race director, Connie Magnuson.

“On race day, we will have about 100 students in lime green shirts operating the event. It is truly an experiential learning opportunity that will help prepare students to work in the recreation industry,” Magnuson said.

Alyssa Kruzel is a senior majoring in recreation, park, and leisure studies with a minor in youth studies. She serves as an assistant race director for the Gopher Adventure Race. She has been working with a team of students to create station challenges and clues for the race. Kruzel said that planning the race has taught her the importance of paying attention to detail. According to Kruzel, each station includes many logistical elements such as how many staff each station needs, what materials are needed, and how long the station is going to be.

“A simple challenge like log rolling from last year actually has many components and details to hash out,” Kruzel said.

Working for the race has given Kruzel a glimpse into her career goal of working with youth.

“Recreation brings the community together and I want to create meaningful spaces and opportunities for the community that I serve,” she said. “I want to provide programs that they want and need and that really benefit them.”

Although the events for this years race are yet to be revealed, competitors can count on an exciting day, judging by past events which have included everything from fencing to rappelling down the Armory. Join CEHD in cheering on participants in the 4th annual adventure race around campus on Friday afternoon!

One Class, One Day: Intimate Relationships

Welcome to One Class, One Day. This is a new feature brought to you by the CEHD Undergraduate Experience. In this project, the CEHD Student Writers will visit various classes offered through the college and report on the findings. This feature will give you an inside look at CEHD classes– without you even having to leave your pajamas and head to lecture.

One Class, One Day will showcase a variety of different classes in the college, but if there is a particular class you are curious to see on this blog, feel free to tweet @CEHDugrad with the hashtag #CEHDocod. The Student Writers look forward to bringing the classroom to you during the One Class, One Day project!

 The Class

Intimate Relationships, in the Department of Family Social Science, is one of the most popular classes offered through the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development. It focuses on the interpersonal dynamics of couples, and addresses topics such as courtship, dating, relationship problems and sexual orientation, through multiple theoretical perspectives. The class is held in an almost retreat-like way by integrating learning with self-reflection, which makes it especially captivating for many students.

The Professor

Tai Mendenhall’s Rate My Professor page is flawless. The word ‘amazing’ appeared eight times on the first page of reviews alone. Students raved that Intimate Relationships changed their lives and that Mendenhall was “by far the best professor” they ever had.

The Discussion

When is the last time you seriously thought about the relationships in your life? When something bad happens and you’re feeling distressed, who do you turn to? Why, out of all of the people who come and go into your life, are you attached to them? These are the kinds of questions students consider in Intimate Relationships.

As students scribbled down the names of family and friends they turn to, it became evident that this class was more personal than most. Mendenhall tailored every abstract concept into an anecdote or thought exercise for a room full of young adults.  Academic theory has never felt more relatable.

The class started on a lighthearted note: babies. As precious as they are, they require a labor of love.

“The only way you’re going to make something that takes this much work survive, is make it cute!” Mendenhall joked.

Responding to crying babies directly relates to how they attach to those around them as they mature.

“What they are doing is learning that in their lives they are worthy of being responded to,” he said.

The class took a more serious tone as Mendenhall shared a sobering story about a little girl faced with unimaginable tragedy.

While camping in a secluded location, a 6-year-old girl bumped into a picnic table and knocked a large container of coffee onto her, burning 60 percent of her skin. By the time she received medical attention, she had to live in a burn unit and have her skin removed to save her life from infection. Yet she didn’t express pain or sorrow. She simply did not say a word. Despite everyone’s best efforts, she kept silent for days while undergoing this excruciating experience. Finally, one day she asked the nurse,“Is it OK to cry?” And so she did, because someone finally showed her that her sadness is worthy of care. She was raised in an environment where crying was not encouraged or met with sympathy.

The lecture hall was silent as students let the impact of Mendenhall’s story sink in. Some even wiped away tears. It was clear everyone was moved. This was not the type of class you dread going to, fall asleep in, or half-pay attention to while you troll the internet.

Mendenhall then began an honest conversation about romantic relationships and how attachment theory plays a role in them. He showed images of happy couples on their wedding day and the mood was lifted. Our experiences attaching to our caregivers teach us something essential and priceless.

“We learn that people are good… That is an extraordinary way to walk through the world.”

To supplement his lecture, Mendenhall showed clips from movies to demonstrate how the theories play out in real life. Many of the topics hit so close to home, making this class one of a kind. It’s not surprising so many undergraduates across the University enroll in it.

Students were again asked to think about some big questions: How do I feel about me? How do I feel about others? Am I generally positive or negative? What do I do in my relationships? What are my patterns? How do I help or sabotage things with my partners?

“I see myself as a good catch. I see you as a good catch. And I see us as extraordinary,” said Mendenhall, explaining this is one of the best feelings in a relationship. “I love you… And more importantly, I love me… And then, I love us… That’s what I want all of us to have.”

The class ended on an inspiring note. He highlighted the special ability some people have to appreciate the good and not dwell on the bad.

 “Maybe the glass isn’t even half empty, maybe the glass is empty. But oh my gosh! I have a glass! How cool is that?”

It was a neat way to conclude a class period that grappled some pretty heavy topics. Many of the students who take the class are undecided, and Mendenhall said that about 25 percent of his typical class either enrolls or switches to the FSoS major.

Mendenhall’s class is a must-take for any student interested in learning more about Family Social Science, relationships, or to understand themselves better. As someone said on Rate My Professor: This class is a life-changer.

Photo by juganue on DeviantArt