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VOL 1 ISSUE 8

FEBRUARY/MARCH, 2011

FIRAT EDUCATIONAL JOURNAL The New Educational Journal of Houston When Stress is Hidden Behind Multitasking Activities By Ingrid Furtado

activities; problems outside of school; study for

Sports, volunteering and other extra activities that surrounded teenagers and kids might seem fun and interesting. But behind the shell of all those recreational duties can be hidden a niche of stress and tension between parents and children. Academic pressure is not uncommon and can become problematic in your house.

So,

how

should

the

teenagers

balance school work with extracurricular

admission tests and also enjoy this stage of their lives without being injured by the stress? In order to answer some questions and fears,

Firat

Eduacational

Journal

(FEJ)

interviewed Professor Richard Rende*, PhD, an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown Medical School and Butler Hospital. FEJ- Pressure, competition and stress are

Image courtesy of http://www.educationblogforum.com

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FEBRUARY/MARCH, 2011

VOL 1 ISSUE 8

common components in our life. Years

balance would be in their lives.

ago, the most ordinary worries for kids or teenagers were playing, watching TV and

FEJ - Can you give us some statistics on how

having good grades at school. Extra

much stress an average a high school student

classes, swimming, or other activities were

obtains trying to get into college?

done just for pleasure. Nowadays, those activities are a must-have. Do you think the students are now overscheduled?

Richard Rende- The most recent annual survey conducted by the Higher Education Research Initiative -- called The American Freshman:

Could this influence their behavior at

National Norms Fall 2010 -- has just reported that

school?

29% of incoming college students reported that

Richard

Rende-

There

are

many

they felt overwhelmed their senior year. Again,

suggestions that some students may be

there are many suggestions from educators and

hitting a point where they do not have

parents that this is happening - and there is an

enough free time. Most of the reports

urgent need for more research. What is clear is

come from nonprofit agencies

that the number of applicants to

that have been examining the issue .

For

example

m an y

s ch o o l s

h as

in cre a se d

the

dramatically, and as the chances of

documentary "Race to Nowhere"

getting in decrease, it becomes a

paints a picture of what some of these

kids

are

more arduous and stressful process for

experiencing.

kids.

There are three additional points

FEJ- Do you believe parents live their

to consider though. First, not

lives through their kids to pressure

every student feels this way -

them to go to a better college than

some of them thrive on being busy. Second, we are primarily

they ever did? In other words: Are the parents also a source of stress?( Even

talking about kids who live in

Richard Rende,associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior

higher economic brackets --

at Brown Medical School and

though it happens unconsciously )

kids who do not have much in

Butler Hospital.

the way of economic advantage still suffer from a lack of quality education and

Richard RendeAnytime

you

study

parents

the

most

and

families,

important thing to keep in mind is that they are not all alike. So it's fair to say that some parents

accessible activities. Third, much more

do pressure their kids to go to the best colleges --

research is needed to clarify which kids

I saw that when I was a student myself and I

get stressed out and what the appropriate

observe it with other parents. Some research

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VOL 1 ISSUE 8

FEBRUARY/MARCH, 2011

suggests that this is most prevalent in higher

above, it's important to look for cognitive

economic brackets - Dr. Suniya Luthar at

signs as stress. Are they ruminating about

Teachers College (in New York City) has

things?

done

the

themselves than usual? Do they seem more

from

worried about performances? Do they

fascinating

expectations

on

research kids

who

showing come

wealthy families.

Are

they

being

harder

on

have less enthusiasm talking about things that they enjoy?

FEJ- What are some signs that parents can

FEJ- Nowadays, having fun and rest seems

look for to realize that their children are

almost like a “sin” for multitasking kids. How

having stress?

should

Richard Rende- It may be more subtle at first

competitive world?

than you would think. It's important to be

Richard Rende- Parents are going to need

attuned to minor changes in behavior - for

to step back and think about the bigger

example, being more emotional than usual,

picture and what's best for their kids - not

or more withdrawn than usual. Bigger signs

what their kid needs to do to be the best!

would

with

For example, so many parents wonder

depression and anxiety - changes in sleep,

what the best colleges are - but there are

include

those

associated

eating habits, overt differences in mood. For many parents, it's having a gut feeling that their kid is not themselves. It's important to keep in mind that stress is physical and that adolescents have to deal with pubertal changes that make their bodies react more strongly to stress than when they were younger, so it's important to look for signs of physical discomfort as well (aches and pains).

kids

have

leisure

time

in

this

“ It's important to look for cognitive signs as stress. Are they ruminating about things? Are they being harder on themselves than usual? ” Richard Rende

PhD, and an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown Medical School and Butler Hospital

FEJ- What are some symptoms that a young

teenager

can

have

when

stressed? Richard Rende In addition to those noted

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VOL 1 ISSUE 8

FEBRUARY/MARCH, 2011

so many fine colleges these days they really should be thinking about what the best is

“Just getting into the

college

for

child.

their Would

"best" college does not guarantee anything once you are there (or anywhere), you have to do the work, find out what you are good at

their child do

and what you enjoy.�

Would

Richard Rende

best in a small school which offers

more

individual attention? they

do better in a larger school?

Would they like to be in a city or in a rural setting? By starting to focus on what would make your child happy - rather than think about how they will achieve - you can start to reorient your thinking about your child as a person and get back in touch with what makes them thrive. And as you do that, you can remind yourself that they need to be physically and emotionally healthy, which mean that they have to have time to enjoy themselves. And most importantly, they need appropriate levels of sleep, which many people feel is a primary factor in kid's stress levels these days. FEJ- What is the best way for students, parents, teachers and also tutors handle the busy life of the student without contributing to more anxiety and

apprehension? Richard RendeI think it's really important to understand that there are many pathways to success. The goal isn't just to achieve and do many things, it's for kids to find out what their passions are, and for them to feel the freedom to explore things without worry about whether they are excelling or not. A whole new orientation should be considered in which we refocus on cultivating kids creativity and sense of exploration, and understand that they have a long road ahead of them. We need to give them tools to challenge themselves in a real sense but also to build a sense of confidence that they will find their way. Just getting into the "best" college does not guarantee anything once you are there (or anywhere), you have to do the work, find out what you are good at and what you enjoy. This is what we need to cultivate rather than the sense of anxiety and need to perform.

*Richard Rende received a BA in Psychology from Yale University, an MA in Psychology from Wesleyan University, a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University, and postdoctoral training in Clinical and Genetic Epidemiology at Columbia University.

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VOL 1 ISSUE 8

FEBRUARY/MARCH, 2011

Quick Tips For Spanish Learners

Image courtesy of http://www.spanishbythehour.com

By Deyanira Balboa* Ten Quick Tips: As a Spanish speaking person try-

1)

Do not look for perfection in the learning

ing to learn English, I have realized that

process!

learning a foreign language can be

Do you remember when you rode a bicycle for

challenging, but it can also become a

the first time? Did you ride perfectly from the

fun experience and very rewarding at

moment you sat on the seat? When learning a

the end. It has allowed me to meet new

new language (in this case Spanish), expect mis-

people understand the American culture

takes and don’t be embarrassed by them; just

and be able to communicate in different

keep trying like when you fell off of that bike...

countries as well. Some people plan to

Get up and try again.

learn Spanish or another language in the near future, for career reasons or for trav-

2) Try to develop an “ear” for Spanish!

eling. However, some time along the way

As babies we start mumbling as our first oral

they end up frustrated so I hope that with

communication attempt, and then little by little

the next Ten Quick Tips you will be able

we start making more sense once we start pay-

to accomplish your journey of learning

ing attention to how adults sound. And finally a

Spanish.

written alphabet is introduced to represent the sounds of the language, although it cannot be

Buena Suerte!!!!

Continues on next page

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FEBRUARY/MARCH, 2011

VOL 1 ISSUE 8

expected to capture every nuance of

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sound and intonation we will start making sense with daily practice. With this in mind, try to practice on developing a "good ear" for Spanish; for example the easiest way is by listening to Spanish music, or watching Spanish movies. Mumble what you hear until sounds become clear and once you recognize the word repeat it over and over and then put it into practice. Best of luck to anybody learning a language for whatever purpose, just remember to put your heart into it and it will be an enriching experience. I hope you cannot wait to see Tips 3-4. Gracias !

*Deyanira

Balboa was born in Salamanca, Great. Mexico. She graduated from Texas Southern University with a Bachelors Degree in Science. Deya has been tutoring Spanish with FIRAT for almost 2 years now. Besides that, she works for an Engineering Company and teaches Tennis when she is not in the office. In her spare time she plays Tennis and watches chick flicks. Deya also enjoys going to m u s e um s , p l a ys , spending time wi t h friends, participating in outdoor activities.

There were, according to Ethnologue, 358 million people speaking Spanish as a native language and a total of 417 million speakers worldwide, in 1999. Spanish is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Argentina is one of the countries where Spanish is the first language. Tango (photo) is the most popular dance in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital.

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our.com

FEBRUARY/MARCH, 2011

VOL 1 ISSUE 8

Vision in Action

11. Determine and commit to no more than 3 baby steps in the next 90 days

By Roberto Noce* I believe that we do know that we are compromising our vision of happiness and fulfillment or settling for less than what our passions and desires are attached to. Here’s an exercise to help you get a

Go for it! As you implement your changes, keep these points in mind: -

Take stock of your progress. -

ly is about YOU.

better grasp on where you are and where you want to be:

Remember it is not about others, it realI leave you with some recent words of

wisdom from Noble Energy's Chairman and

Think of a project or other outcome in your current life that you want to accomplish

Chief

Executive

Officer

Charles

Davidson:

"Today's reality is yesterday's impossibility. Our willingness to take on the 'impossible' has led to immense change and success. Believing that

1. Articulate a vision and outcome

anything is possible is critical to that success."

2. Ask yourself: What is it that you really want? Or if you had it how would you

PIVOTAL CHANGES ~

know? 3. Identify your current situation.

LIFE AND BUSINESS COACHING

4. Assess what supports or is helpful in creating the vision or outcome.

WHEN THE STATUS QUO IS NOT AN OPTION

5. Assess what inhibits the creation of that vision or outcome. 6. Focus on current reality and your vision and outcome. 7. Do not compromise the vision (do not settle for less than you really want) 8. Do not avoid the truth about current reality (deny, minimize, explain). 9. List baby steps. 10. Generate possible next steps.

*Roberto Noce holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and two masters degree. He chose coaching as a means to share his insight and expertise and help others live their passions He has also completed extensive continuing education on coaching and excutive development. roberto.noce@pivotalchanges.com 713-505-5576

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FEBRUARY/MARCH, 2011

Educational Headlines

VOL 1 ISSUE 8

The following are headlines found in international, national, and local newspapers and magazines concerning education in today’s world. Seeking Integration, Whatever the Path by The New York Times Polemic: Proposed Handgun Law Allowing guns on Campus By Dallas News.com Does African-American Literature Exist? by The Chronicle of Higher Education

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