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Module 5 Discussion: Managing Stress in My Life

There are three parts to this week’s discussion.

Part 1

Visit Mindtools.com, and read the short article on The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.Complete the “Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale” (scored automatically online) at the above site.Record your score.Share your score and the interpretation with the class.

Part 2

Not everyone perceives experiences the same way. Therefore, complete the Perceived Stress Scale, which is on page 5 of the attachment.Compute and interpret your score. You can determine your PSS score by following these directions:First, reverse your scores for questions 4, 5, 7, and 8. On these 4 questions, change the scores like this: 0 = 4, 1 = 3, 2 = 2, 3 = 1, 4 = 0.Now add up your scores for each item to obtain your total score. Individual scores on the PSS can range from 0 to 40, with higher scores indicating higher perceived stress.Interpretations: Scores ranging from 0-13 would be considered low perceived stress.Scores ranging from 14-26 would be considered moderate perceived stress.Scores ranging from 27-40 would be considered high perceived stress.Share your score and the interpretation with the class.

Part 3

Share with the class your reflections on the experience of completing the two scales. Were the results similar or different? If different, which scale do you believe more accurately reflects your level of stress? Why?View the “Stress Management” presentation. There are several stress management techniques listed on the last three slides. Share which ones you are already using and which ones you plan to try. The following Mindtools.com article on Stress Management also provides some good suggestions. As always, if you use outside sources, be sure to provide a proper APA-style in-text citation and reference list entry.

Module 6 Discussion: A New View of Failure and Success

First, read Covey, Matthews, BuzzFeed, McGregor et al., SportsDayDFW.com., and Moore (all articles can be found in the “Module 6 Reading” above). In addition, view the presentation on “A New View of Failure and Success,” and watch the videos with J.K. Rowling.

According to Dr. Charles Manz, “Changing our perspective is often the key to finding success in seeming failure,” and he suggests that we need a paradigm shift to learn to discover opportunities in problems. In this week’s discussion, you are tasked with thinking critically about the content presented on rejection and changing our perspectives on failure and success. Some possible prompts follow. You do not have to address every prompt. Your post should be a minimum of two well-developed paragraphs.

Do you agree with Manz that a change in paradigm shift is necessary? Why or why not?What do you take away from the stories about authors being rejected?What do you take away from the readings about the importance of failure?How does the Covey reading on Think Win/Win relate to the other readings in the module?Do you agree that both failure and success should be viewed differently? Why or why not?

Module 7 Discussion: What Will Your Verse Be?

Before participating in this week’s discussion, read the speech by Kitao and the articles by Anders and Kafka (in the “Module 7 Reading” folder), and watch the two Dead Poet’s Society video clips (“Understanding Poetry” and “What Will Your Verse Be?”) provided above. Then read the quotes below and the prompt.

[At the end of the movie, Rita] has choices to make, and it is her having grown beyond the old forms of life that gives her the freedom to make these choices. This in the end is the essence of her education, and the essence of any liberal education as such: the knowledge-based ability to step back from all forms of life, the capability to deliberate freely, and then to embark on a course of action that does not grow out of established patterns and unexamined impulses, but out of critical reflection and informed decisions. What Rita thanks Frank for at the end, and what has made him a “good teacher” during all her trials, is that he has helped her to get into this position: “You have given me a choice.” Education, in other words, is liberation. It is the emancipation of a person from a state of being a mere extension of a given environment to an active agent who can choose who she or he will be: a potential creator of his or her own world.

-Jorn K. Bramann, Educating Rita and Other Philosophical Movies

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

-John Keating

Feeling like we are in the land of the living, becoming a creator of our own world, having the ability to contribute a verse—these are truly liberating ideas! We also have to think about positioning ourselves for a career too, as Keating suggests, “sustain life.” Fortunately, we don’t have to choose—both ways of thinking are important as we learned in Kafka’s article on the importance of bringing a narrative approach to patient care. Yet, some still question the value of studying the liberal arts.

There are two parts to this week’s discussion.

For the first part, imagine you are at a job interview and the interviewer asks you directly, “I see you earned a degree from a liberal arts-oriented college. How have you changed as a result? How will this organization benefit from the fact that you completed liberal arts courses in addition to core courses in your major?” Provide a well-written paragraph that explains how you would respond to the interviewer.

The second part of this week’s discussion offers you a chance to express yourself creatively. This is an opportunity to answer, at least in part, the question, “What will your verse be?” Think about an experience, a piece of knowledge, an article or discussion response read, or an event or discussion from the course that has been meaningful to you in this term and inspired you.  Perhaps one of Covey’s habits was particularly meaningful. Maybe one of Lewin’s theories of change depicts where you are and where you are going. Or maybe another area of course content was particularly influential. Find a creative way to share this nugget or area of growth. Do you like to draw? Then maybe you could draw a picture that depicts this growth or inspiration. Do you like to write? Then perhaps you could write a poem or a haiku or an acrostic. Do you like puzzles? Then maybe you could create a crossword puzzle or a word find that encapsulates what has been meaningful to you. Provide a well-written paragraph wherein you share with the class what your creative expression is and what it means. Be sure to attach your creative expression so we can see it.

Submit an initial post of at least two well-developed paragraphs (one for each part of the discussion) plus your creative expression (you may attach a file).

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