UNL Student-Athletes’ Writing Marathon Tour of the Student Life Complex

We didn’t get as much writing done as we would have liked, partly because the 100 degree heat drove us back to the classroom.  But we did some grand exploring.  I got to see the places where my students work with their tutors, the various training facilities, and the amazing Heisman Trophy Room (a.k.a the Nebraska Experience Room).  The students even led me on a mock tunnel walk onto the football field of Memorial Stadium.  It’s always fascinating to me what happens when people get to show their places to others on a writing marathon.  It usually helps the “tour guides” re-see the place through newcomers’ eyes and even discover things they had never noticed.  Many thanks to my student guides on this sizzling summer session writing marathon!

Students posing in a lounge-like study room in the “eagle’s nest” area.

11:30 a.m.  Student Life Complex

Beautiful and gleaming, it’s an amazing place, just as tour guide Graham described it in his last essay.  I’m so glad that our athletes are so well looked-after and so-well supported.  After hearing about their tightly-scheduled lives and long hours of training, I understand why they benefit from such structured places to help them achieve academically.  There is an aura of decorum and hard work carefully maintained throughout the complex.  Though the students joked, on entering, about the “no smile” rule, everyone we met seemed cordial (if businesslike).

Stopping for group photo outside the Heisman Room/Experience. Note the Star Trek doors behind us.

12:10 Heisman Trophy Room

When students told me, after the previous writing marathon, that they stopped in the Heisman Trophy room, I had pictured a room with trophies.  Not the multi-media experience it actually is.  Star Trek doors, huge speakers, spotlights, and multiple projectors all work together to showcase three secret panels which swing out, Indiana Jones-style, to reveal the three Heisman Trophies at various points in the video.  It feels like something you might see in Las Vegas or Disneyworld, all dazzling and sleek.

I’m so grateful for this tour and the chance to write about these amazing places.  I come away from this writing marathon with a much more visceral sense of the lives of the student athletes who’ve been in my classes here at UNL.


  1. The “no smile” rule was a funny anecdote! It really helped me to understand exactly how serious of a place it is. Your pictures really help me to understand what everything looks like. I really want to go visit the trophy room now. It sounds like it’s kind of eerie, but really cool all at the same time. Thanks for the post!

  2. Even though, I love my group dearly, I wish I was with you guys for this marathon; it looks so much fun. Your pictures are amazing; very colorful and really makes me understand what the place actually looks like. Yes, being an athlete is more than sports, it is discipline and good grades. I love this blog! 🙂

  3. Was a pleasure taking you through a big part of our daily lives. You did a splendid job at explaining and informing the readers. Love the pictures. Great post!

  4. Its great that other people get to experience this because I am fortunate enough to go through that building every day. It is a positive place to be because there are so many people behind those many doors that care for the well being and progress of the many young men and women that perform their sports in that building.

  5. I remember when I actually had the chance to tour the facility with one of the football players I knew just to see what everything was actually like. I got access to places where only players could go and seeing what they experience everyday was such a blessing it truly was. Nebraska has so much talent and every year our athletic program gets stronger! Can’t wait for this years’ seasons of sports!

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