A Motivational Makeover

Be it at the U, or on another college campus, one will primarily find 3 types of students. There are your Topangas, your Shawns, and your Corys. Your Topangas are the ones you haven’t heard from in awhile. They’re the ones who have a countdown to finals week and put studying before all else. These are your students that have barely left the confines of their bedrooms as of late. And if they have, it was simply to go to the lib. Your Topangas are the ones who color code their flashcards, and ruin the grading curve for your exams (grrr!). Conversely, your Shawns are the polar opposites of your Topangas. Shawns are infamous for procrastinating and they couldn’t differentiate Moodle from OneStop. When someone asks a Shawn if they have studied for a certain final, he/she will remark something along the lines of, “I stayed up late watching reruns of Cops instead. Yolo!”. In contrast to your Topangas and your Shawns, you will find your Corys. Corys don’t take school quite as seriously as your Topangas, however, they can’t just blow off studying altogether like your Shawns. The Corys of the world don’t really consider the implications of finals week until Sunday night rolls around. Then, they immediately begin to break a sweat. Also, they tend to develop what they like to call a “study grind” during the last week of every semester. This is when they enter a nocturnal phase in order to cram like crazy. At this point in the academic school year, one can typically find a Cory binging on caffeine and skimming chapter summaries on SparkNotes.

If you’re a Topanga, then consider yourself lucky- you go Glen Coco! You have nothing to worry about, and we recommend that you keep up the good work. If you’re a Shawn, we advise you to stop reading this blog post and to start studying. You have a lot to learn, and the clock is ticking. There’s no time for wasting time. And, if you’re a Cory, we’re going to give you the motivation you need to finish out finals week. Yes, finals week may be your enemy, but don’t you dare surrender to it. The following motivational movie clips will help you pull through. They’ll help you to both recharge and refocus. Check ’em out!


Since most professors don’t give inspirational pep talks before handing out a final exam, most of these clips pertain to the world of sports. However, they can still serve to motivate you. Simply substitute the word “exam” in for “game” and that should do the trick. These short video segments should prompt you to stick to studying and to try your best on each and every one of your finals. Undergrads, keep trucking along and finish strong!




Video Sources: Boy Meets World, The Pursuit of Happyness, Miracle, Friday Night Lights, and Coach Carter

Recap of Winning the NIT and Interview with Oto Osenieks

“Alright, first things first… when I got the job, everybody said pick them 10th or 11th in the BIG 10. It’s not their year, it’s a total rebuilding job. They’ve got no experience in the point guard spot, and their frontcourt is weak.  Everyone doubted us, and that’s just a fact. It’s okay though. We ended up with 25 wins and we won a championship. Don’t let anyone tell you that this isn’t a big deal.” – Coach Richard Pitino (Source)


This was Coach Richard Pitino’s first season at the U and honestly, many fans thought that this would be a year centered around “rebuilding” his team. Coach Pitino did establish a resilient bond with the young men on his team during this past year, however, he also did much more than that. He accomplished something that many coaches do not, something that he should indeed be proud of. During his first season with a new team, he brought home a championship title. This year the Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Southern Methodist Mustangs in the National Invitational Tournament with a final score of 65-63. Minnesota wielded an offense ranked in the top 40, while SMU’s defense ranked in the top 20. The Gophers shot 49 percent from the field and worked hard enough to overcome SMU’s tough D (Source). It was a close game that had fans sitting on the edge of their seats, and Goldy crossing his fingers. Winning the NIT championship game is a major feat for Minnesota, it shows that there is a lot in store for next year’s basketball season. Moreover, it exemplifies that the U is very lucky to have hired Coach Pitino, for with his help, the men’s basketball team surpassed fan expectations for the 2013-2014 basketball season. Minnesota’s men’s basketball team did make history this past year and that’s something to celebrate- go Gophs! Likewise, I had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing one of their very own- Oto Osenieks.

Interview with Mr. Oto Osenieks-

Background information- Osenieks was #10 on the court and he measures in at 6 foot 8 inches tall. Originally from Riga, Latvia, Oto Osenieks played as a forward for the U.

1. How do you keep track of everything? What helps you stay organized?

“Well, I normally remember a lot of it- my memory is pretty good. I also write in a daily planner sometimes, and I talk to my tutor. My tutor has a copy of all of my syllabi and that’s really helpful.”

2. How do you manage your time? What do you do to balance school, basketball, and a social life?

“It’s hard to balance these things because we don’t have a weekly schedule for basketball. Normally we find out in the morning what time we will practice later that day, and then I have to plan my day around that. Each day is different. I also have study hall two times a week for an hour and a half each time. School is important to me, and so is basketball. My social life comes third during basketball season, but I am friends with a lot of the guys on my team. We spend a lot of time together during the week, so we’re pretty close. And, I try to spend the weekends with my other friends. I have more free time on the weekends.”

3. What’s your major? What do you like most about it? What type of job are you hoping to get upon graduating?

“I am a Business and Marketing Education major and I am minoring in Sports Management. Some of my CEHD classes are really fun and I like them a lot. Also, I still have access to Carlson classes and I really like that, too. I will graduate this coming May and then I want to go on and continue with schooling. I want to get my Master’s degree in Sports Management. Towards the end of this season, I suffered from a bad knee injury, so I won’t be able to play basketball anymore. But, Coach Pitino has already agreed to let me coach with him next season. During the 2014-2015 basketball season, I will get to help out the team and I’m really excited about that. In the future, I want to coach basketball. And, if that doesn’t work out, I might become an athletic director or maybe even a chef- I love to cook!”

4. Best perk of being a student-athlete?

“Winning (laughs). And, I love the atmosphere on game days!”

5. Favorite memory from the 2013-2014 season?

“My favorite memory from last season is winning the NIT championship. It was an awesome way to end my basketball career, and it’s something that I’ll never forget. I also liked it when we beat Indiana. When the game ended, our fans rushed the court.”

6. Tell me a fun fact about yourself- something most people don’t already know.

“English is not my first language, it’s my third. I speak Latvian, Russian, and English. Oh and it’s funny because watching “Friends” helped me learn how to speak English. I put on English subtitles and then watched all 9 seasons of this show! I moved here five years ago, but before that, I used to wake up and watch U.S. college basketball games. They aired at 4:00 am in Latvia, but I didn’t mind waking up early to watch them. I loved it. I always knew that I wanted to play college basketball. I came here (to the United states) to play college basketball and to earn a degree.”

This is a short video segment which features Coach Pitino giving a S/O to Oto after winning the NIT game against Florida State. Click here to view it-

Osenieks helped lead Minnesota to victory this past year, however, he’s not going to stop there. After wrapping up a legendary basketball season that was filled with 25 wins and five consecutive victories in the NIT tournament, hopes are high for this upcoming year. Both Osenieks and his teammates want to use this NIT championship title as a catalyst to achieve a new, weighty goal during the 2014-2015 bball season. Minnesota wishes to return to the NCAA tournament next year, for that’s what the Gophers did after their previous two NIT championship wins.  After winning the NIT in 1993, Minnesota advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 1994. Additionally, the Gophers won the NIT again in 1998, then went on to compete in the famed NCAA tournament in the year 1999 (Source). People often say that history has a way of repeating itself, and in this case, I hope they’re right. Now that Coach Richard Pitino has a year of experience under his belt, no one knows what this beloved team is capable of. If the Gophers work hard and incessantly strive for success, hopefully they can continue to surpass the expectations of their fans. The future for this sports program looks bright, so The Barn better be ready!  Ski-U-Mah!

Richard Pitino

Photo/Video Sources: Pic taken during championship game, Pic taken with the trophy, Video of Pitino’s Speech, Barn

The Best Study Spots on Campus


In honor of our photo contest, which enters you for a chance to win a $20 Starbucks gift card when you caption a picture of your favorite study space with #CEHDstudyspace, CEHD Undergrad thought we’d share a few of our own favorites. So whether you are looking for quiet, or just somewhere to go to get you out of the house, check out the study spaces below. We’ll even give you the lowdown on their location, noise level, and other important information (like how far they are from caffeinated beverages!) So check out our A+ study spaces for a chance to earn an A+ of your own.

Oh, and don’t forget about the contest!

Continue reading The Best Study Spots on Campus

GEO- Global Experience Opportunity

“We travel not to escape life, but for life to not escape us.” –Anonymous

Do you love to travel? Would you like to see the world and experience divergent cultures? If you find yourself softly muttering, “yes, yes, and yes” right now, then you may be interested in studying abroad through the Global Experience Opportunity program. GEO was recently designed to offer study abroad courses for UMN students led by CEHD faculty and staff. For the 2014-2015 academic school year specifically, there will be 4 programs that students will be able to take part in. Three of these programs will be offered during the course of next year’s winter break (roughly from December 28th, 2014- January 18th, 2015) and one of them will be offered during May Term of next year. The four destinations for studying overseas are as follows: Thailand, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Cape Town, South Africa, and London, England. Pretty cool, huh?

If you’re up for an overload of cultural experience, then this is definitely something to consider. For more info on each of these hot spots, keep reading!  

Continue reading GEO- Global Experience Opportunity

UMN Field Trip: ReUSE Center

Who says that field trips are a thing of the past? In this new feature, CEHD Undergrad explores great campus locations for students to explore.


It’s a Thursday afternoon. You sit at your desk, deeply pained by the idea of taking notes and writing papers. You dream of adventure and wish there was something you could do to take your mind off of the boredom of everyday life. Then you remember.

You spring into action traveling past the Bierman Athletic Field and continuing down 15th Avenue, passing a colorful mural and two sets of stoplights. You find yourself in the Como Neighborhood. You turn right at the Crescent Moon restaurant, which advertises both pizza and kabobs. You don’t let yourself get distracted by the idea of pizza kabob, however. Not now. Not when there is such an important destination within reach. You continue on your journey until you reach 29th Avenue. There you again turn right, running until you can no longer. You collapse at the door of the University of Minnesota Reuse Center.

As soon as you recover from the toil of your journey, you stand and pull the door open. You blink rapidly, the glory in front of you being more than your eyes can handle. In front of you lies a prodigious warehouse filled wall to wall with treasures undiscovered by the common student.

You enter the warehouse, unsure of where to go first. In front of you stands a sign reading the day’s specials, such as buy one chair and get two free. The ReUSE Center is like a giant garage sale of all of the items that the university no longer has a need for. Here you can find everything from textbooks, to podiums, to desks, to trees, to… well, you name it! You let out a deep sigh of relief as you hold a used three-ring binder in your hands. You breathe in the delicious smell of old test tubes and chalkboard dust. You’ve made it.

You wander the aisles, each one filled with an assortment of objects that you can see being lifelong additions to your home.

picsThis hospital bed would be perfect for whenever you sustain a life threatening injury but are too tired to get out of bed and go to the hospital.

This tree would upgrade your bathroom in more ways than you can count.

You could use these weights if you ever have a life or death situation that requires you engage in unnecessary physical activity.

You could hang family photos on this swine directory!

This directory of the Wilson Library basement would complement the color of your kitchen walls.

Have you really been washing your hands if you haven’t gotten your soap from a monogrammed Minnesota dispenser?

As you wander the aisles, you think of what a shame it is that this fine establishment is only open to students on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Sixteen hours a week is not nearly enough time to relish in the beauty of these unique items. As you finish wandering the aisles of the UMN Reuse center, you feel a deep sense of satisfaction. Not only have you found some free printer paper, but you have played a tiny part in making the world a greener place. You remind yourself to keep the ReUSE center in mind whenever you need a new bike or furniture for your house. All in all, your day has gone from a mundane to magnificent, all thanks to the adventure provided by UMN ReUSE.