Archive for the ‘student’ Category

THE BIG TWEET: Twitter, Facebook, Oprah, “Women, Food and God”

Maxing out your joy and minimizing the impact of upsets are learned skills. My blog is based on the belief we can learn from the experts, each other, and our own experiences. Circumstances may differ, but they often reflect common basic truths. Happiness is a Habit…we can learn how, practice, and have fun! Post your questions and comments, and I’ll try to show you how to be happy if…

THE BIG TWEET: Twitter, Facebook, Oprah, “Women, Food and God”

I’ve been reading Oprah Winfrey’s’ web interview with Geneen Roth, author of Women, Food and God ( featured in O Magazine). Geneen and Oprah (who finished the book in one gulp) believe that food addiction is an attempt to fill an emotional emptiness.

“Oprah: I think this book could have been called “Women, Shopping and God, or Women, Meth and God, or Women, Gambling and God,” since food is just one of the things we use to deny our own worthiness—for love, for godliness, for peace.”

Whoa!  That’s a lot of addiction! From chocolate to Jimmy Choo shoes! From pizza to Prada – from Meth clinics to online gaming sites!

So I started to wonder – am I an addict?

I have all the symptoms – dark circles under my eyes, disconnect from reality, trembling hands, the obsessive hunt  for a hit.

It’s true. I am addicted to… Facebook!

At first, I was in denial. I told myself I was a social user.  But the truth hit me in at 2 am – the dark night of the soul.

There I was, clicking away in the wee small hours of a Manhattan morning,  adding Facebook friends with all the frenzy of the cyber-friendless. Then I hit a snag. I spotted a tiny photo of a middle-aged (okay, my age) woman and clicked “Add as Friend.”

Soon after that, I read her response on my Facebook wall: “Do I know you?”

Now, I was not ready for this heavy-duty conversation. I mean,  does anyone really know anyone?…not only in the philosophical sense, but more importantly, in the Facebook sense.

I don’t like to waste my Facebook time on unrequited friendship, but I thought I’d give her another shot.

Her Facebook page said she lived in Florida, so I shot back.  “Maybe you know my sister. She lives in Florida.”

I thought that was fair and specific. I mean, Florida is just a state and has what – a  measly 18  million people? Facebook has 350 million registered users!  That’s a country! A big one! With a stable government!  I mean, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is president for life – and look at the trouble Obama is having!

But that Florida woman would have none of it.  Politely, but persistently, she kept trying to find out if we knew each other.  I wanted to say, “Know each other? In the Biblical sense?”  But this was Facebook, where (like the Holy Book) every remark is recorded for eternity.  So I bit my tongue  (or rather, clenched my typing fingers) and politely suggested that she might feel more comfortable being friends with people she knows. “Knows” means she has actually met them.

Not that I cared about actually meeting anyone.  By now I was deep in addiction.

And Facebook was only the gateway drug.  After a brief spell of weak-willed resistance, I joined Twitter.

Soon I was tweeting away – and thrilled to discover I could accumulate followers!  Followers? On Facebook all I got was friends. On Twitter I had followers!  Like I was some kind of guru!  Like Gandhi! But, of course, better dressed – and fed.  I mean, later for the loincloth and protest fasts!  As Oprah and Geneen remind me, it’s “Women, Food (or Shopping) and God” – not Women, Self-Denial, and God.

Oprah says that what women are really hungry for is not food – but “love, godliness, and peace, divine connection.”

Now I totally get this.  Why else would 350 million plus people be up at all hours of the night – clicking and tweeting away unless they were hungry for unconditional love and peace – the kind you can only get with cyber-friends – who don’t know you, don’t want to – and don’t make demands?

What about the hunger for godliness?

Twitter allows only 140 characters. That’s less than a blog, less than what’s on most Facebook walls – and way less than the average sermon.  No wonder more people visit Twitter than attend church!

Twitter asks only one question – “What are you doing?”  Now that’s marketing genius!   Unlike “Do I know you?” everybody can answer that question, because, well,  you’re always doing something!

Plus, Twitter inclines toward a refreshing frankness and lack of pretense. Ashton Kutcher, Top Tweeter on Twitter (5000 followers)  – says in his bio, “Actually I make up stuff, stories mostly, collaborations of thoughts, dreams, and actions. That’s me.”

In today’s techno world, we want our gurus to make stuff up, get to the point, and be doing something.

And gurus are certainly godly – at least to their followers.

People are hungry to twitter – to be each other’s gurus.

If you tell me what people hunger for, I’ll tell you what they worship .

Right now it looks like what people worship is — the BIG TWEET!

Can we find godliness, a.k.a. compassion, connection and inspiration in each other?

That’s what this blog is all about – helping each other learn how to be happy – based on our own real experiences.

But enough of these 2am thoughts.

A few hours later, I gulped coffee and headed for my English class.  I have admit that while I was teaching my students English grammar and poetic techniques, I was mentally obsessing about my Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

As I made my students turn off their cell phones,  I was counting the seconds till I get back to social networking.

I felt guilty but what could I do?  My addiction was out of hand. What was worse, I was coming down with a cold from lack of sleep.

So now I’m in rehab.

I make myself turn off my computer an hour before I go to sleep.  I’m exercising my body – not just my typing fingers. And I’m reminding myself that a real friend offers face time not just cyber-space time.

How can this help us be happy?

Happiness Habits

  • Face your addictions – that’s any habit that 1. you can’t control  2. interferes with your ability to lead a healthy, productive, enjoyable life
  • Find positive alternatives to addiction – like exercise, friends, and family.
  • If you get caught up in fantasy connections – to gorgeous celebrities, to cyberfriends, followers, and romances – take it for what it is – an exciting illusion. Your feelings may be intense – but they may not have much to do with what the other person is really like.
  • Enjoy your life – in and out of cyberspace!

“No matter what the music, learn how to dance!”
Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue
Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter “CD: Dr. Sue “Keys of Love” , Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres etc.) “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry) “Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF”
copyright 2010 Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue)

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PROFESSOR AMY BISHOP / RateMyProfessors.com

Maxing out your joy and minimizing the impact of upsets are learned skills. My blog is based on the belief we can learn from the experts, each other, and our own experiences. Circumstances may differ, but they often reflect common basic truths. Happiness is a Habit…we can learn how, practice, and have fun! Post your questions and comments, and I’ll try to show you how to be happy if…

Professor Amy Bishop / RateMyProfessors.com:

How to Be Happy If People Are Rude

First off – rudeness is in the eye of the beholder – yours, mine, and Professor Amy Bishop’s.

Professor Bishop – who walked into her U. of Alabama department meeting and shot the senior professors who refused to give her tenure,  would be considered rude (to say the least)  by most standards  – but not by hers.

As an adjunct professor who didn’t get promoted (just like Prof. Bishop), I have also considered direct action. However, unlike Amy Bishop, I’m a poor shot. I’m also practical. After Amy’s revenge on the people who didn’t promote her, my first thought was, “Well, she won’t get tenure now!”

How true that is – you can’t get tenure (or a man*) with a gun!  You can get a moose (and a Republican nomination)  – two good reasons Sarah Palin owns one.   But since academic ambitions don’t usually call for firearms (except in Amy’s fevered imagination) and there are no moose in Manhattan,  I don’t own a gun.  (I do own a mini Swiss army knife, which I use for cutting apples. I did this in front of my 8 am English classes – which woke them up – “Whoa! Professor! You got a knife?”)

Anyway, when I didn’t get my own promotion, I went to talk to my Department Chair.  I have the usual defects (I’m well past my 20’s so I can’t be counted on for a long life in harness to the needs of the department) – plus some special ones (My Ph.D. is in Theatre, and I’m in the English Department – which means I crossed turfs – a no-no in academia).  However, my Department Chair did give me some advice: “Be collegial.”

Collegial?  Must have something to do with being non-rude. I think of myself as a friendly, polite person.  What could he mean? I asked a friend who had spent many years in the halls of academe.

My friend said: “Collegial means – kissing A**.”

But whose A**?  My students? I do spend 90% of my time with them. Does that count?

RatemyProfessors.com  is a student run internet site that ranks professors on a scale of 1 to 5 based on set criteria: easiness, clarity, and the reviewer’s interest in the subject matter.  Students also award professors chili pepper icons (for hot looks).

I haven’t actually checked my rating on RateMyProfessors.com. Being well acquainted with my own vanity, I would probably count chili peppers. But I think I’m okay because I regularly get Emails from students who are friends of former students and want to be in my classes. I hope this is also because they are learning the subject matter. (Actually, I know they are – and not by my grades alone, which, according to RateMyProfessors.com could be suspect. My 095 remedial classes are entirely made up of students who failed the college writing exam – which I do not grade.  By the end of our semester, they retake the exam. Many pass – several with scores that leapfrog the passing grade into higher numbers.)

But enough about me – what about Professor Amy Bishop? Was she rude to her students?

I checked out Amy Bishop on RateMyProfessors.com,  and came up with….Zero!  Nothing! However, on another search, she seemed to get reasonably favorable ratings.  Why the discrepancy? Could this be a cover up?

The news is full of articles about the carelessness – or cover up – that wiped out her history of violence (beginning with shooting her own brother, when she was 19, and continued with her alleged link (with her husband) to a pipe bomb aimed at a Harvard professor who ticked her off, and included a stop at IHOP, where she bitch-slapped a fellow patron for not giving up a booster seat to Amy’s child. (Amy is currently in custody. But police detonated a suspicious PVC pipe found inside the Huntsville home she occupied with husband Jim Anderson, who is still running around free!

Okay – I know I just slid into paranoia-land – where my colleagues are likely to include Amy and hubby Jim-who, I am mindful, is on the loose.  But apart from the presence of  loose screwballs, there is something to be said for rating one’s professors.

Why is student opinion irrelevant to keeping academic jobs or getting promotions?

Aren’t the students the ones we serve?

Maybe RateMyProfessors.com has some silly standards. But that could be updated and include more educational criteria.  Contrary to cynical opinion, most students want to learn – not waste their time.

They also want to be treated with compassion, caring, respect and responsibility – not rudeness. As do we all.

Amy Bishop is at the far end of a spectrum of poor anger management (and probably mentally unbalanced).  But she is certainly human.

Her belief that her own needs (like getting tenure and booster seats) completely override the rights of others is at the core of rude behavior.

That driver who cuts you off on the highway – endangering your safety; that person who curses into a cell phone on the elevator -polluting your ears; that date or appointment who stands you up – wasting your time and chipping away at your self-esteem – all little bits of Amy.

And, since this blog is titled, “How To Be Happy If …, how can thinking about the meaning of rudeness help us be happy?

Happiness Habits

  • Don’t take it personally. When someone is rude, it’s usually not about you -and it doesn’t demand confrontation.
  • Don’t escalate the argument. It’s usually counter-productive – the most angry, rude person wins (if you can call it winning).
  • Do take signs of an explosive temper seriously. Major abuse begins with little tests – if you go along with it, you enable it.
  • Do protect yourself and others – speak to authorities, file a report
  • If you’re the one with anger issues – get help – before it gets out of hand.
  • Do what you love – tenure or not, I love teaching – and for that I am very grateful.

(* “You Can’t Get a Man with a Gun” is a song by Irving Berlin from the great musical Annie Get Your Gun. Popular songs have taught me a lot – besides, they make me happy.)

“No matter what the music, learn how to dance”

Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue

Dr. Sue Horowitz is a Motivational, Entertaining Speaker, Singer-Songwriter, Professor, Author of “Queens of Comedy” (interviews with Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, Joy Behar, etc.),  “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Poetry)

Web: http://www.drsue.com

Keys of Love” –  positive songs on CD Baby – http://www.cdbaby.com/drsueDr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter “CD: Dr. Sue “Keys of Love” , Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres etc.) “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry) Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF (https://drsue3.wordpress.com)

copyright 2010 Susan “Dr. Sue” Horowitz

husband Jim Anderson.

TIME MANAGEMENT: De-Stress Your Life!

Dr. Sue's CD "Keys of Love"Maxing out your joy and minimizing the impact of upsets are learned skills. My blog is based on the belief we can learn from the experts, our experience, and each other. Circumstances may differ, but they often reflect common basic truths. Happiness is a Habit…we can learn how, practice, and have fun! Post your questions and comments, and I’ll try to show you how you be happy if…

“Time is a Vast Ocean of Opportunity – Learn to Sail!” – Dr. Sue

TIME MANAGEMENT: De-Stress Your Life!

Have you ever thought about how much stress comes from lack of time?  Feeling time pressured makes us impatient, accident-prone, irritable, a pain to others – and ourselves.  We make hasty, poor decisions, misplace and lose things, miss opportunities, and don’t enjoy the luxury of the time we do – or can have.  Here are a few tips to manage our time – and have a happier life.

“Last grain in an hourglass – more precious than gold!” – Dr. Sue Happiness Habit: Time Management

Prioritize what needs to be done – your deadlines – and do that first. “Do what you have to do so you can do what you get to do.” – a wise father’s advice from the film The Great Debaters

Make a Goals/Task List: Write down your Goals. Under each goal, write the tasks you need to do in order to accomplish it – your To-Do list.  If you don’t do it immediately, write it someplace that you will check or where there is a pop up reminder.  That way it won’t prey on your mind while it’s waiting to get done. When you do each task, check it off, and turn your To-Do into a To-Done. When you get your goal give yourself a treat and celebrate!  To-Do – To-Done – Ta-Dah! – “Mile by mile, it’s hard to smile; yard by yard – still feels feels hard; inch by inch – it’s a cinch! ”

Start Early: Allow extra time for you and everyone else to make mistakes. Things can go wrong – and will! Technical glitches, traffic jams, stalling trains, not being able to find your keys or glasses, accidents – expect the unexpected – and allow extra time so you won’t get stressed. If you finish early, you can always do something else while you’re waiting, or just relax and enjoy a treat.  Booking early allows you to take advantage of early bird deadlines and save money. Making your deadlines on time or early endears you to teachers, bosses, clients, and publishers.

Get Your Stuff  Together: What ingredients, clothes,accessories, work materials do you need – to get out the door, keep that appointment, take that trip, and get that job done?  Put the stuff together that goes together – not scattered in unrelated bits – it will be easier to find. Get it all together and lay it out in advance. You’ll find out what you need and what you need to fix – with a whole lot less stress. As the scouts say, “Be prepared!”

The Magic of While.… Set one thing in motion while you accomplish something else. For example, start your laundry before you do something else, when you’re done, it’s done. Mail letters and packages – even Emails, then do something else. Many people love crock pots and slow cookers for this reason – it’s doing its thing – and ready when you are!

Multi-Task: You know that Indian goddess with multiple arms? These days she would be on her cell phone closing a deal, doing a power walk around the coffee table,  zipping up, writing on a Facebook wall, Tweeting, and microwaving a dinner (to be eaten in front of  the computer). If you see yourself in any one of these multi-mirrors, than you’ve already figured out that multi-tasking gets you more bang for your buck, time wise.  The trick is when to turn it off.  That means – no cell phones while driving. (Think about it – do months in the hospital as a result of a traffic accident really save time? Is the guilt and remorse over injuring or killing a driver because you were too distracted to concentrate really worth it?) Also no cell phone in public spaces where other people want to focus on other things – like the performance on stage or screen, the classwork, the view – or the romantic date who wants to look deep in your eyes…and is distracted by the blue tooth in your ear!

Take stuff off your plate – If you don’t need to do it and don’t want to do it – don’t!  This means sometimes saying no to friends, family members, co-workers, social acquaintances, etc.  Set limits without guilt, arguing, blaming, or sighing like a martyr.  Yes, I know it’s a challenge. So ask yourself a few questions – Is this necessary? Is this helpful? Is this really my job? Is this fun?  If not – clean your plate!

None of us manage time perfectly, including me. When you slip – don’t forget to laugh at yourself and at rigid rules about time  (or anything else)  and customize my tips for yourself!

“Punctuality – a Point of View” by Dr. Sue

The early bird get the worm – this I have often heard

The early worm gets eaten  first –  isn’t that absurd?

Is being punctual so wise? It’s all in point of view –

If you’re a bird – yes indeed! If you’re a worm – not true!

Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue
Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter “CD: Dr. Sue “Keys of Love” , Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres etc.) “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry) Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF (https://drsue3.wordpress.com)

copyright 2010 Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue)

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT(Cell Phones/Interactive Learning)

Dr. Sue's CD "Keys of Love"Maxing out your joy and minimizing the impact of upsets are learned skills. This blog is based on the belief we can learn from the experts, our own experience, and each other. Circumstances may differ, but they often reflect common basic truths. Happiness is a Habit…we can learn how, practice, and have fun! Post your questions and comments, and I’ll try to show you how you be happy if…

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Cell Phones

I don’t like cellphones to interfere with the lesson – or my happiness – so I don’t allow them int the classroom – but I don’t like to be a grouch about it.   I teach college so many of my students are adults – which allows for both discipline and banter.   During my last class, a young man was doing his presentation in front of the class when his cell phone went off – twice!  I asked him for the phone, and he gave it to me.  It rang again! I opened the phone and cooed sweetly into it, “Helloooo…”

It turned out there was no one on the phone  – so no trouble for anyone…and no more cell phones rang in that particular class. However, nothing changes overnight…

A few classes later, his cell phone ring again. It turned out he had plugged it into the wall socket to charge, but forgot to turn it off.  He fumbled with the phone, got up to give his presentation to the class – and it rang!  I took the phone away from him and saw there was  message from “Julie.”  As he started his presentation, it rang again!  A new name came up: “Theresa.”   I told him I would hold onto the phone – I was dying to talk to Julie and Theresa!   The student did his presentation – quite well as it turned out.  At the end of class, I gave the phone back but told him to turn it off – unless he wants me to have a chat with Julie and Theresa. His cell phone doesn’t ring anymore – at least not in my class.

I don’t think what I did with the cell phone is taught in an education course. In fact, it might get some teachers in trouble.  Teaching is a communication/art form and depends on personality, rapport, etc. Education takes place in subtle ways. I hope that I taught my students that there are ways to set limits and rules (like no cell phones) without confrontation, anger, or humiliation in a spirit of common educational goals and fun!

Interactive Learning

  • Students Participation is key to learning – they stay alert, learn better with less stress and more enjoyment
  • Find out what they already know and teach them something new
  • Give them a way to review what they know and ask questions to clear up confusion

Here a proven technique  to encourage student participation…

  • Write all the terms students need to know on the blackboard, flip chart, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Ask students to pick out terms they know and define them.  When there is a satisfactory definition, check off the term. Since it is voluntary, no one is embarrassed. If there is confusion, you can correct it on the spot. If there is a term they don’t know, you can teach it with examples. By the end of the class, you have checked off all the terms. They can measure what they have learned and so can you!  More techniques to follow in other blog posts…

Happiness Habits

  • Pay by the rules (no cell phones) …and don’t forget to play!
  • Use Teaching Techniques that are interactive, encourage students to participate and allow shine, and have measurable results
  • Review and check what they already know – and teach them something new.

“No matter what the music, learn how to dance!”
Hugs 2 U Dr. Sue
Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue) is a Motivational Speaker, Media Host, Singer-Songwriter “CD: Dr. Sue “Keys of Love” , Author of “Queens of Comedy” (Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Ellen DeGeneres etc.) “Read with Me” (Children’s Book of the Month Club), “I Am Loved” (Inspirational Poetry) “Blog: HOW TO BE HAPPY IF”
copyright 2010 Dr. Susan Horowitz (aka Dr. Sue)