Monthly Archives: May 2010

"This book is the missing link… the Rosetta Stone."

missing-link At a book discussion and signing at Borders in Pleasanton, CA, a seasoned teacher perused the book and said, “This book is the missing link. It’s the Rosetta Stone.”  This is a big complement coming from a person with years of experience working with under-served students, helping them to succeed on tests.

The teacher, Steve Shramko, works at the Eastside Adult Education Program in San Jose, and has, over the years, recognized the need for material– “a curriculum” — that addresses the test taker, not just the test content.  “This is exactly what we need,”  Steve said, referring to the book.

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Stop putting yourself down: how to deal with your negative inner voice

All of us, at some time or other, struggle with an inner voice that is critical, negative and even harsh. In its milder forms it sounds like this: “I can’t handle this,” “I’m not good enough,” “I don’t have what it takes.” In its more extreme form it’s judgmental and critical: “I’m stupid,” “I’m a loser,” “I’ll never succeed.”

What do you do when this negativity surfaces? You may try to ignore it or hide it. You don’t want others to know you feel “less than”– after all, everyone else seems to be doing so well. So you’re humiliated, thinking there’s something wrong with you. Stop. Let’s start right here. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re having a confidence crisis. No more. No less.

“Confidence” is made up of two root words: “con” which means “with” and “fidence” which comes from the Latin that means faith, loyalty, fidelity, belief in, trust. When we lack confidence we don’t believe in ourselves.

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3 legged stool: a fresh look at test results

A well-respected instructor in a prestigious health care training program. stopped me in the stairwell. “I want to tell you how I used the 3 legged stool last week,” he said. He proceeded to tell me about a recent incident in which a competent student did poorly on a performance test. After the procedure the teacher found out that the student had just suffered a death in his family and was planning to leave immediately after the test for the funeral. But the student hadn’t told anyone about the tragic event or his plans. He was determined to barrel through and take off.

Things didn’t work out the way he planned.  Uncharacteristically, his test performance was sub-par. He barely got through.  This was a smart,

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When the stress level rises: pay attention to your body

Stop pulling your hair out!

Stop pulling your hair out!

Here’s a quick and vital tip:  when you are feeling stressed pay attention to your body.

Much of what we think of as stress is exactly that, thinking.  We start worrying about something that hasn’t yet happened (like an upcoming test) or fretting over something that has already passed (like the answers we put on the test this morning– Did I circle a or b?!).  As soon as this kind of thinking kicks in we start amping up.  We begin feeling anxious.

So here’s the tip:  the feeling is just that, a feeling, something that’s going on in our bodies. Yes, it might be

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