Managing Your Mind
3975 Waldenwood • Ann Arbor, MI 48105 • tel/fax (734)761-6498 •
Geraldine A. Markel, Ph.D. •
Geri Markel
Managing Your Mind Newsletter
July 2009

Welcome to the Managing Your Mind Newsletter, where you can find information and strategies to help you manage your mind and enhance your work, life, and/or school performance.

Feel free to contact me with your questions, concerns, and suggestions. Previous issues are archived in our Newsletter Archive. Sample checklists and diagrams are archived there under The Geri Checklists.

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You'll find the following sections in this issue:



Upcoming Events

  • Even with high school graduation madness in full swing, families should be looking ahead to the academic and lifestyle changes that their student will face next fall. Geri will be addressing issues related to the transition to a college environment in an upcoming free seminar. She will include special information about students with attention or learning difficulties, and students who are twice exceptional: gifted students with disabilities. This complimentary seminar is open to students and/or their parents. Date, time, and location TBA (see contact information below). The free, introductory session will be followed by several group teleseminar opportunities throughout August and Fall 2009. Individual coaching will also be available coast-to-coast via iChat or Skype. Limited enrollment: to reserve your place, or for more information on individual sessions or coaching programs, contact Geri at (734) 761-6498 or email.
  • Mark those calendars: the University of Michigan's 2009 Event in recognition of National AD/HD Awareness Week is coming! Carol Persad, Ph.D. and Roger E. Lauer, Ph.D. will each address issues of AD/HD and executive functioning (the cognitive control system in the brain that is responsible for processes such as planning, rule acquisition, initiating appropriate actions, and inhibiting inappropriate actions).
    • Dr. Persad is Assistant Professor and Clinical Director of the Neuropsychology Section in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Health System. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University. She then completed an internship at Henry Ford Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Michigan Neuropsychology Section, before becoming a faculty member of that program. Much of her research has focused on executive skills and their impact on daily functioning across the age range.
    • Dr. Lauer is the director of the Center for Neuropsychology, Learning and Development in Ann Arbor, MI. He is formally trained as a clinical neuropsychologist. In addition to being in private practice for over 20 years, he maintains an adjunct faculty appointment within the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Lauer's private practice is focused extensively on neuropsychological assessment and intervention of learning, attention and developmental disorders. He approaches his work from a strength-based model focusing on ‘islands of competence' in all individuals to improve self-esteem around learning.
    The event will take place on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 from Noon to 1:30 pm in the Rackham Graduate School Amphitheatre. It is free and open to the public.  For more information contact Geri.
  • Save the date for the 10th Annual Michael Golds Memorial AD/HD Conference: Friday, October 2, 2009 on the Orchard Ridge Campus of Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, Michigan. This gathering of experts from around the world will include a keynote address by Michael Ginsberg, MD, on his AD/HD success story. Geri will present on "Defeating the Demons of Distraction" for adults and adolescents with AD/HD. The conference will also feature Sari Solden on women's issues, Roger Lauer, Ph.D. and Isabelle Beaulieau, Ph.D. on "Lifestyles of the Hectic and Frenzied," and Denslow Brown on LGBT issues.


Goofs and Glitches

Barbara is getting some shopping in before heading off to a lunch date. At the famous Saks Fifth Avenue department store, she happens on one of those special "50% off of the already 40% off" sales. Barbara calls her friend to alert her to the fabulous savings: "I'm in the department you love, and there's a jacket with your name on it!" Her friend is excited and begins asking for all of the details—but Barbara is out of time. Hastily, she hands her cell phone to a nearby salesclerk. "Here, I have to run; talk to the salesperson so she can tell you the exact price and sizes that are available. I'll call you later. I don't want to be late to lunch." With that, she runs out of the store to hail a cab. Two hours later, she is frantically digging through her handbag for her phone when she suddenly realizes that she left it with the startled store employee. No good deed goes unpunished! Don't get so caught up in thinking about others' needs that you forget to take care of your own—it's too easy to become distracted and lose something or make an error.

Funny or inconvenient, let's share our experiences. If you have one to share, send it to


Strategies for Success:

Are economic difficulties turning your vacation into a stay-cation—or worse yet, no vacation at all—this year? Remember that you're not alone, and that perseverance and patience will eventually bring better days. In the meantime, you may want to consider Tip #62 from Geri's booklet, Defeating the Demons of Distraction: 111 Ways To Increase Work/Life Performance and Decrease Stress: go on a mental vacation by using photographs or mental images to see yourself in a relaxing situation. Travel magazines or videos also help to get away from it all, as does music from other cultures. Any of these techniques can divert your attention from irritating experiences.


"It Worked for Me" - Jane's Story

MYM experienced another in-house success story this month: office assistant Jane followed the advice of College Admissions: From Chaos to Control by Geri, John Boshoven, M.A., M.S.W., and Debbie E. Merion, M.S.W., while taking her daughter on a summer trip to visit college campuses.

Jane relates, "First of all, our daughter invited an easy-going friend along, which made the long hours in the car more enjoyable for her. Secondly, we limited the trip to one school tour per day, four days maximum. That was already plenty to assimilate; the girls recorded their impressions in notebooks and took photos at each campus to remind themselves of important features. Third, we did quite a bit of preparation on the Internet before we left, checking tour times, reserving spots when necessary, and enlisting friends on some campuses to show us around. Since campus tour guides have a variety of majors, the girls often split up for tours and then swapped information later to form a bigger picture. Both of them stopped into various departmental offices to gauge how they were received and to get a better picture of available courses and programs. Many schools were simultaneously conducting new-student orientation fairs, so it was one-stop shopping to talk with members of campus clubs and organizations. The kids came home with a much better feel for the type of college environment that would suit them." If the college admissions process looms for your family, check out College Admissions: From Chaos to Control for strategies to navigate every step along this journey.

Future Hoosiers?
Future Hoosiers?


Student/Parent Corner

When the diplomas have all been handed out and the celebrations have finally ended, families begin to realize what "commencement" really means: a new stage of life for your graduate. Whether the transition is from high school to college or from college to the workforce, your young person will face the challenges of increased independence: making important decisions, building relationships, and weighing lifestyle choices. It may be too late to slip encouraging notes into your child's lunch box, but writer Cindy La Ferle, author of Writing Home: Collected Essays and Newspaper Columns, found an ingenious way to pass along her wisdom when her son left home:

"…To all our local graduates of 2009, I send my very best wishes for your future. Meanwhile, in keeping with tradition, I'm sharing a few nuggets of advice and the ‘survival tips' I packed in my son's suitcase when he left the state for college:

  • Relationships, like cars, need regular upkeep. Maintain the good friendships you've made.
  • Learn from your adversaries. The people who push our buttons tend to reflect qualities we dislike in ourselves.
  • Dress appropriately for every occasion.
  • Encourage others to talk about themselves. You'll make a great first impression and learn something new.
  • If you settle for less, that's exactly what you'll get…"

To read the rest of Cindy's life tips, click here. What insights would you share with your child on his or her new journey? Brainstorm with family friends and older relatives, then find a clever or touching way to show your graduate that you wish them well, be it high tech (a Note on Facebook) or old-fashioned (a card tucked into one of those first care packages).


Featured Resources

For people living with disabilities, the world often seems to be lacking in both understanding and resources. For the parents of a child with disabilities, the hunger for more knowledge and the awesome sense of responsibility can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there is a website dedicated to providing families with the books and Internet links they need to stay informed and inspired. Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D., developer of, has been working with special needs children and their families for over five decades. Dr. Klein co-founded Exceptional Parent Magazine in 1971 and served as editor-in-chief until 1997. A tireless advocate for the disability community, he recently served as co-chair of the Obama '08 Disability Policy Committee. Two recent books that may be of interest to parents are Reflections from a Different Journey: What Adults with Disabilities Want All Parents to Know, edited by Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D. and John D. Kemp and You Will Dream New Dreams: Inspiring Personal Stories by Parents of Children with Disabilities, edited by Stanley D. Klein, Ph.D. and Kim Schive. To explore these and other titles, click here.


  • Geri participated in the Women Business Owners of Southeast Michigan's Annual Showcase on July 14th at the Polo Fields in Ann Arbor, MI. The Showcase is a membership drive for the WBO as well as an avenue of advertisement for current and prospective members. If you're a woman who owns a business or would like to own one--or if you are a supplier or vendor who can help small business owners--and you would like to network with other small business owners, WBO is for you! Visit the National Association of Women Business Owners to find a chapter in your area.
  • Coaching is now only a computer screen away! Using Mac's iChat or Skype, you can have audio and/or video coaching sessions with simultaneous text-based instant messaging. Skype is a free, downloadable service that provides free calls, video calls, and instant messaging over the internet (; for information about iChat, search for your particular model. Moderately priced computer webcams and microphones are readily available. Both domestic and international clients are taking advantage of this convenient and effective way to improve productivity and reduce stress levels. To inquire, contact Geri, or tel. (734) 761-6498.
  • New book! Three experts provide their best college admissions advice in the latest publication from Managing Your Mind: College Admissions: From Chaos to Control by John Boshoven, M.A., M.S.W., Debbie E. Merion, M.S.W., and Geraldine Markel, Ph.D. Decide on the right schools for you, find your unique voice to write a compelling application essay, and score your best on high-stakes tests such as the ACT and SAT. John, Debbie, and Geri help families fit together the pieces of the college admissions process. Available from the authors, email for more information at,, or $12.95, digital download $10.00.
  • Attention! The second edition of Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress has now been published by iUniverse. Copies can be ordered from the publisher's website,, from, and from Books can be special-ordered at Borders and Barnes & Noble, and are on the shelf in Ann Arbor at Nicola's Books. Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction can be purchased in e-book format from iUniverse or as a download through
  • Recognize and reward progress! Are you a speaker, consultant, coach, or business owner? If you need memorable and useful gifts or incentives for your clients, consider the products below. The tips and strategies to help people accomplish more in the New Year are available in several handy formats: paperback, pocket-sized deck of cards, and 16-page concise booklet. Check out all of the "Defeating the Demons of Distraction" products.
Defeating the Demons of Distracton Book Defeating the Demons of Distration Cards Defeating the Demons of Distraction Brochure


Reading: A Positive Distraction

Do you belong to a book club? Are your members having trouble finding the time to finish their monthly selections? What about a meeting to discuss the Demons of Distraction? For book clubs of ten or more members, Geri would be happy to present a session featuring her book, Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress. Learn how to reduce distraction and increase time for reading and other meaningful life activities. Visit to read summaries and reviews of Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Proven Strategies to Increase Productivity and Decrease Stress: click here.

You may be spending more quality time with the children or grandchildren this summer, or perhaps you need to purchase a gift for a baby shower or a child's birthday party. If so, reinforce the importance of reading to children by borrowing or purchasing some of these oldies but goodies for the younger set, all recommended by Barnes & Noble.

  • No Roses for Harry! by Gene Zion
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman
  • Freight Train by Donald Crews
  • Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.

Do you remember some childhood favorites? Have you read something lately that really recharged your batteries? Share it with


Enjoy Your Summer!

Feel free to forward this newsletter to someone else who might be interested.