Workshop series features life improving techniques

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    By BECKY EVANS

    Are you looking to increase your memory? Do you want to learn how to communicate better? At times do you wonder if you could study more effectively?

    The Career and Learning Information Center is offering a series of workshops that focus on these and other things that can help to make students’ lives easier.

    Workshop topics include financial management, overcoming procrastination, test taking skills and time management. The classes are taught by students employed by the center. The teachers have been trained in these areas and offer friendly applicable advice to interested students. Generally, five to 10 students attend each workshop.

    “Workshops offer practical, useful suggestions that can be implemented in students’ lives,” said Kristen Howey, para-professional for the Counseling Department.

    Workshops are informal and friendly. At a recent workshop that dealt with improving interpersonal communication, students shared insights about what can be done to make more communication more effective.

    Students were involved in activities that demonstrated how easy it is to interpret something in a different way than what was intended. Pre-conceived ideas, frame of reference, and biases are all things that cause that problem. One student suggested restating the facts to clarify what has just been said.

    The workshop stressed the importance of sending “I messages.” In an “I message” the speaker will say something like, “I feel upset because you did not do the dishes,” rather than saying, “You are so irresponsible! You didn’t do the dishes.” When an “I message” is sent the receiver of the message will not feel like they are being attacked, and so it is less likely that they will get defensive, Howey said.

    Samantha Rigo, a senior from Aurora, Colo., majoring in journalism, attended the workshop to get some ideas of how to teach a lesson about communication in church. The Career and Learning Center has “qualified teachers and it is a great resource,” Rigo said.

    The Career and Learning Information Center not only offers workshops, but they also have a variety of handouts on topics ranging from proper interview etiquette to a time management worksheet to information about graduate schools and how to best apply for them.

    The time management and stress management courses are some of the most popular classes and are known as the “core workshops for the center,” Howey said.

    Personal counselors are available to students who are experiencing frustrations about what major to choose. Diagnostic tests are also available, which evaluate students’ strengths and weaknesses and match them to majors and careers that best fit their personality type.

    Workshops dealing with cover letters, resumes and career actualization are possibilities for future workshops, Howey said.

    Workshops are held daily in room 151 A SWKT. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays the workshops are at noon. On Tuesdays the workshops are held at 4 p.m. All workshops are sponsored by the Career and Learning Information Center in 149 SWKT. Students are welcome to stop by the center to pick up handouts, set an appointment with a counselor, or to pick up a schedule for the workshops.

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