January 26, 2007
Stress Management Resource
I would like to recommend a resource for those of you who want more information on stress management. Walt Schafer (a retired professor of sociology and acting dean at California State University, Chico) has written a book titled Stress Management for Wellness which is published by Thomson - Wadsworth. Although I have owned several editions of this title, the current edition is the Fourth Edition, 2000.
This book is often used as a college textbook for physical education and health-related courses. At 488 pages of text, it includes more than you can imagine about this topic. The text is in a very readable style and packed with references to studies from a number of fields. Personal assessment instruments, application exercises, and more are included. Although I have not seen it, there is apparently an Instructor's Manual/Test Bank as well as the text.
Amazon indicates that there is a companion 175-page Student Workbook with the same main title that is co-authored with Sharrie A. Herbold and published by Harcourt (July 1999). Again, I have not actually reviewed this additional volume. (alj)
January 23, 2007
An Important Conference Coming in March
Assisting Law Students with Disabilities in the 21st Century: Brass Tacks
Thursday, March 8, 2007
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016
Sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs
To Register: www.wcl.american.edu/secle
And Click On Registration
Cutting-edge technology, court decisions, resource allocations, and individual perceptions each have the ability to affect the education of a law student with a disability. For student, career, and disability support professionals, for university counsels, faculty, and students themselves, knowledge of rights and responsibilities can be critical to academic achievement. Federal and state laws may help frame the issues, but they do not always assist with the day-to-day application and support we provide our students. This conference will address the major disability issues in the academic arena and identify the best practices for assisting law students with disabilities. The conference will also include vendor exhibits displaying the latest in assistive technology. (dbw)
January 21, 2007
See the Forest, Grasshopper
In a posting a few days ago, I discussed briefly the problem many students have seeing the forest for the trees. In talking with one of my students about that problem – one he had observed in himself and had overcome – I asked what he does to step back from the individual trees in the casebook and see the larger forest.
He told me that he takes each section of his outline and writes a prose explanation of the entire section, as if he were explaining it to someone else. He says, in effect, "Here's how defamation works." He then explains the basic concept: its rules, exceptions, defenses, competing minority and majority views, its underlying logic and its roots in public policy, etc.
He said that studying a linear outline does not pull those relationships together for him. Until he converts his outline into a coherent prose explanation, it is simply a list of concepts, not something he understands deeply and can manipulate to analyze a new set of facts.
Each prose explanation, on the other hand, becomes what he calls "the filter I pour the facts through." It his guide for sifting the facts to see where the questions lie and how the law might answer them. He does not use it, by the way, as a prewritten exam answer, a mechanical regurgitation of concepts into which he can sprinkle facts; he truly uses it as an analytical tool for attacking fact patterns and resolving the questions they raise.
What he has discovered is the power of learning by explaining. By forcing himself to explain the law to himself in writing, he necessarily comes to understand it more deeply and completely.
We who teach understand the dynamic he has discovered because we see it in our own work every day. Every teacher admits that she came to truly understand her subject when she had to make it clear to her students. My student simply applies that lesson to his own learning and makes himself teacher and student in the same moment. (dbw)