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Lynch Coaching


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Volunteers Needed

From time to time I receive information on community volunteer activities, and I send information on those activities out to faculty so that those who are interested can participate.  New faculty usually do not know of community volunteer activities in which to participate.  I will be sending out several of these this week.

The Las Vegas Rescue Mission is in need of volunteers to serve at the Mission.  The Mission is a faith-based organization which serves the homeless and hungry in the inner city.  They serve over 300,000 free meals each year, provide over 42,000 beds to the homeless each year, hand out clothing to over 16,000 people a year, and have over 300 residents in a year-long substance abuse recovery program.  The free residential recovery program for men & women helps individuals break addictions and become productive members of society.

Currently, CSN’s DWED serves the Mission by teaching GED courses at the mission.  There are significant opportunities to serve at the mission, and CSN faculty can volunteer to meet any of these needs for those in the recovery program;

1).  They need GED tutors.  DWED provides the GED courses to individuals in the recovery program, but those in the GED course cannot get additional tutoring because they are not permitted to leave the Mission during their recovery program.  Volunteers do not need special training to tutor individuals in the high school subjects for a GED.  CSN faculty can volunteer to tutor for 2 or more hours per week at the Mission.  They estimate that their 10 students need about 20 hours of tutoring total per week.

2).  They need Spanish-speaking GED tutors.  Spanish-fluent faculty can meet this need.

3).  The Mission would like to get an ESL course taught at the Mission for 2 hours per day to teach English to those who are not fluent.  If you teach or have taught an ESL course, you can help here.

4).  They would like to have an ESL GED course at the Mission.  If you teach or have taught an ESL course, you can help here.

5).  They need computer literacy and software (MS Office) training at the Mission.  Most faculty can volunteer for this.

6).  They need to have typing courses taught at the Mission so that those in the recovery program can type on the computers efficiently.  They could also use typing software.  Again, most faculty can teach this.

I volunteer at the Mission by mentoring men in the recovery program, and can it is a worthwhile organization to serve.  You can get more information about the Mission from their web page  All volunteers go through a short orientation program to work at the Mission.  For further information or to volunteer for the Mission, please call Tim Baker at 382-1766 or email him at

- Charles Milne <Charles.Milne@CSN.EDU>

Stage Fright

Speech apprehension is normal and we never really get over it.

The only way to tackle it is to get up there and speak.

There are "tricks" and "suggestions" on-line and in textbooks, but the truth is that the best way is to simply get up and speak, and not worry about what others will think.

Easy for me to say?

Well, there are methods, from breathing exercises to finding only the friendly faces in the audience, to thinking of the reality that you probably will never see these people again. For class the best way to is to cognitively restructure your thoughts and realize the's only a class.

The following is reproduced from a blog (information on how to subscribe is included below) which gives practical advice geared toward business, but can easily be applied in this course. The material is the property of the authors and should be respected as such (see plagiarism).

Additional material can be found elsewhere in this blog (Communication Professors' News and Views), in links provided, in your textbook and by searching the Internet. We also highly recommend visits to the Communication Labs located at each of CSN's main campus locations.

The required textbook this term, to which this blog and materials on Angel are geared, is:

Coopman, S. J. & Lull, J. (2009).  Public speaking: The evolving art. With supplemental materials for the Department of Communication at CSN. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

-Ed. Art Lynch

Click "read more" for advice on dealing with the "butterflies".

Oral Communication Getting Started Advice

Get started by making the choice to remain current on your reading, on assignments, quizes and tests. Attend class, participate in class and do not let fear get the best of you. Use the resources provided with this blog, with Angel or Web CT (depending on class school and section). Use the Content Tab, Resources and Study Material, #1 Getting Started files.
As an instructor I am avalailable through Angel or Web CT  (as a first choice), by your response and questions in this blog (second choice), at select office or lab hours (highly recommended) or by e-mail at

Speech Apprehension and Public Speaking Advice
There is no right or wrong way to do a speech. You need to take into consideration the location, the event, the purpose of the speech, the message of the speech, what type of speech or presentation are you doing, what tools are available for presentation aids, who are your audience, what is their background and most of all your own personality, experience and gifts.
In public speaking research, rehearsal and preparation are keys you need to master. And above all you must see yourself as capable of mastering speech apprehension (fear) and getting up and sharing with an audience.
Hang in there. Students do survive to use what they learn in this course to advance other grades, succeed at their jobs, launch new professions and become more active in their communities.
You can too.



Jobs and Identity (from Scott Simon)

Without A Career, How Do We Know Who We Are?

Are we what we do?
A lot of Americans identify themselves by their work. It's often how we introduce ourselves or describe our friends and parents: "I'm a police officer." "I'm a spot-welder." "My dad was a druggist." "My mom was a teacher." "My wife is a pilot." "My friend is a firefighter." "I sell insurance."
Our work has been a kind of identity stamp, defining us as much as our last name or place of birth. As Studs Terkel wrote in his 1974 classic, Working, "Our jobs give us daily meaning as well as daily bread."
There are a few signs that this might be changing — the way assembly lines replaced so many craftsmen, and that labs and cubicle farms now supplant assembly lines.
Daron Acemoglu, the MIT professor who won the John Bates Clark medal for economics, explains that people typically change jobs in their first 10 years of work. They tend bar while studying to be a teacher, sell clothes or toys during a holiday season, try things, move around, and meet new people. Most soon find something they enjoy enough to try to make a career, and many start families. Commitment and stability — marriage and mortgages — become important.
But the economic crisis may have hastened a change he says was already under way: more people living with a series of short-term jobs, instead of lifetime occupations.
A study by the National Employment Law project released this week found that most of the millions of jobs lost since 2008 paid solid, middle-range wages; most of the new jobs filled have been in the low range.
People who used to make cars may now be stocking shelves; teachers may now be selling shoes — and stocking shelves. How does this change their sense of identity?
The report quotes Ellen Pinney of New Jersey, who lost a manager's job at an electronics company and now holds a series of temporary jobs in a beauty salon and in home health care. She has had to move in with her 86-year-old father and says, "I really can't bear it anymore. From every standpoint — my independence, my sense of purposefulness, my self-esteem, my life planning."
Professor Acemoglu says it is hard to cite a human occupation that might not be replaced in time by highly informed software. Technology has already arrived that could soon lead to driverless cars, pilotless planes and robotic surgeries. Some M.B.A.'s and M.D.'s may feel as vulnerable as millworkers.
So many Americans want not only jobs but steady, lasting work — that lifts them up, makes them proud, gives them a life and helps them look forward to a future.

Smother your baby with love, nurture your children

'Children Succeed' With Character, Not Test Scores

How Children Succeed
How Children Succeed
Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

A child's success can't be measured in IQ scores, standardized tests or vocabulary quizzes, says author Paul Tough. Success, he argues, is about how young people build character. Tough explores this idea in his new book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character.
"For some people, [the] path to college is so easy that they can get out into life and they've never really been challenged," he tells NPR's David Greene. "I think they get into their 20s and 30s and they really feel lost — they feel like they never had those character-building experiences as adolescents, as kids, that really make a difference when they get to adulthood."
That wasn't true for the teenagers Tough met during the time he spent in some of Chicago's roughest neighborhoods. There, he worked with teenagers overcoming unimaginable challenges. One young woman he worked with had been sexually abused by a relative, was getting into fights in school and was on the verge of dropping out. But then she entered an intensive mentoring program that changed her life.
"She made it through high school, overcame a lot of obstacles and now is getting a cosmetology degree," Tough says. "For some people, that wouldn't be a huge success. But for her, she overcame obstacles that won't only set her on a path for material success, but also psychological success."
The difference-maker really depends on the person, Tough says. Mentoring programs that focus on goal-setting can be helpful, and he also says parents should try to help their kids manage stress from a very early age.

Paul Tough is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America.
EnlargeMary McIlvaine Photography
Paul Tough is also the author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America.

Interview Highlights

On stressed-out baby rats, and what they can tell us about stressed-out baby humans
"When baby rats got stressed out — when they were handled by lab technicians, let's say — there were some mother rats who would lick and groom their baby rats and others who would not. And so the scientists got interested in this one particular behavior, and they tried to figure out what kind of difference it made. As they did a series of experiments, they found out it made a huge difference. The rats who as babies were licked and groomed did much better on all sorts of things when they reached adulthood. They were braver, more curious; it had actually changed the shape of certain parts of their brains.
"I think there's a real parallel there for humans — we don't know for sure that our brains work exactly like rat brains, but I think there's a lot of parallels between that and research on attachment. Psychologists who have studied attachment have found that when human kids have that same kind of licking and grooming-style bonding with their parents, especially in the first year of life, it gives them all sorts of psychological strength, confidence [and] character that, when they reach school age and even into adulthood, will make a huge difference in how well they do."
On being a parent, and knowing when to let go
When kids are really young — when they're in their first year or two of life — my sense from the research is you can't be too loving.
"There are two stages [of parenthood] and it's hard to tell where the transition goes from one to the other. When kids are really young — when they're in their first year or two of life — my sense from the research is you can't be too loving. ... What kids need at that point is just support, attention, parents who are really attuned to the child's needs. But at some point somewhere around 1, or 2 or 3, that really starts to change and what kids need is independence and challenge. And certainly as kids get into middle childhood and into adolescence, that's exactly what they need. They need less parenting. ... They need parents to really stand back, let them fall and get back up, let them fight their own battles."
On rethinking predictors of success
"Absolutely, cognitive skill and IQ make a big difference; vocabulary matters. But the scientists, the economists and neuroscientists and psychologists who I've been studying and writing about are really challenging the idea that IQ, that standardized test scores, that those are the most important things in a child's success. I think there's lots of evidence out there now that says that these other strengths, these character strengths, these noncognitive skills, are at least as important in a child's success and quite possibly more important."
On how schools are focused on scores rather than noncognitive skills
"Right now we've got an education system that really doesn't pay attention to [noncognitive] skills at all. ... I think schools just aren't set up right now to try to develop things like grit, and perseverance and curiosity. ... Especially in a world where we are more and more focused on standardized tests that measure a pretty narrow range of cognitive skills, teachers are less incentivized to think about how to develop those skills in kids. So it's a conversation that's really absent I think in a lot of schools, to the detriment of a lot of students."
On raising his own 3-year-old son
"My wife and I had our son just as I was diving into this research, and so I spent a lot of time going back and forth between playing with him on the floor and then reading these neuroscience and developmental psychology papers and trying not to let them influence me too much. But I think I took a couple of things away: One was really that in infancy ... attachment-promoting behavior — that helping him manage stress the way that those mother rats helped their pups manage stress — was a hugely important thing, and that was going to make a big difference in terms of how his brain develops, how his stress response system develops, and that that was going to help him a lot going forward.
"But now I really find myself wrestling with this question of how to make this transition into standing back more, and giving him more challenge and letting him fall down — sometimes quite literally — and skin his knee and not pick him up and let him pick himself up. And definitely what I find, and I know a lot of parents have found before me, is he really likes that. What he wants at this stage of life is to prove that he can do everything, and I think it's the most valuable thing I can do for him right now is to stand back and let him do that."