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 2011

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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please add to your address book so you'll be sure to receive every issue. "Spam" filters may place future editions of this newsletter in your "junk" or "deleted" folder unless it is a recognized address.

You'll find the following sections in this issue:



Office Space!

Geri is now meeting clients and conducting "Managing Your Academic Mind" seminars at 304 1/2 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. (Enter next to Ben & Jerry's and take the stairs to the second floor, near Dascola Barber.) This location will allow for small group instruction in the following areas:

  • Boot camp for high school students to prepare their college applications. In addition, classes about making college selections and writing college essays.
  • Taking college admissions and other tests (How to Deal with Test Stress, Advanced Test Taking Skills).
  • Advanced reading and study skills (How to Read Tons of Material, How to Organize and Write Papers).
  • For adults in the workplace: Time Management and Reducing Distractibility at the Office.

Call (734) 761-6498) or email if you are interested in small group services.



Geri's "Demons of Distraction" blog is up and running! The blog focuses on Barriers to Productivity, particularly those that affect career and work/life balance. Recent topics include travel safety, tackling distracting clutter, and positive distractions. To access a steady supply of helpful tips and reminders, follow Geri on Twitter, "Like" the "Defeating the 8 Demons" Facebook page and bookmark the blog.

Here in the newsletter, MYM will continue to provide announcements as well as information and tips on memory, time management, and organization. Features will be grouped into two new, expanded sections, the first of which is Managing Your Academic Mind, for students of all ages and their families. There, you'll find resources on education, study skills and academic time management, college and graduate school admissions and testing, and AD/HD concerns. The second section will be Life Management, which includes positive strategies to deal with issues that affect your home and family life, including health and wellness, parenting, caregiving, transitions, and managing finances. And of course, you will still see Goofs & Glitches and Positive Distractions - because we never seem to run out of either!

Questions? Comments? Suggested topics? Click on the links above to Tweet back, write on our Facebook wall, or react to a blog entry. Or, email Share your thoughts and ideas!


Events: Recent/Upcoming

  • Geri presented "The ABC's of Behavior Management" at the Ann Arbor Area ADHD/ADD Parents Support Group meeting, which took place on May 31, 2011, at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District building. This growing resource for local families meets monthly and is organized by Huron Valley Radiology pediatric radiologist Kimberly Garver, M.D., and Christine New. For more information about this group, click here.
  • Each summer for over a decade, the University of Michigan Schools of Dentistry and Medicine have, through federal grants, hosted two summer enrichment programs: Pipeline Program (for underclassmen) and Profile for Success (for upperclassmen). The purpose of these programs is to prepare students from disadvantaged backgrounds to be competitive applicants for dental or medical school by improving their science aptitude and enhancing their academic skills. Geri has provided seminars and individual counseling sessions covering reading, learning, test taking, and general study skills.

    Left to right: Dr. May, Kim Johnson, and Dr. Woolfolk of the UM School of Dentistry, and Geri.
  • Geri will be presenting "Family Balance in an Unbalanced World" to the Huron Valley Parents of Multiples support group on Thurs. Sept. 8, 2011, 7 pm at Peace Lutheran Church, 8260 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor, MI. The group has a membership of approximately 130 families, including families with twins, triplets, and one set of quads. If anyone knows about distraction, it's got to be parents of multiples! For more information about the group, click here .
  • Great news from the University of Michigan: there will be plenty of room for everybody at this year's National AD/HD Awareness Week Event on Wednesday, September 21, 2011.The venue has been moved to spacious Rackham Auditorium, so please plan to attend and bring your friends, family, and colleagues. The 2011 guest speaker will be Kevin Roberts, author of Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap (Hazelden, $14.95 paper, 200p, ISBN 9781592859481).
    • Internet addiction, a growing, international issue, has particularly severe implications for individuals already facing the challenges of AD/HD and other conditions. Kevin, who was our Featured Resource in the June - July 2008 MYM Newsletter, is an AD/HD coach and a mentor to those struggling with online gaming addiction. For more information on Kevin and his book, visit
    • Please help MYM and UM spread the word about this valuable presentation: feel free to print out, post and/or forward the event flyer for locations such as relevant newsletters, event calendars, office locations and bulletin boards. Thank you for helping to spread the word.
  • Ann Arbor area workshop: "Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do" is a FREE, ongoing, two-part series designed to help participants learn to understand, identify and address adolescent alcohol/other drug problems.

    Part 1 is presented on the first Tuesday of each month from October through June, provides information on how to understand and recognize the signs of a teen substance abuse problem, and includes a short video.

    Part 2 is presented on the second Tuesday of each month from October through June, provides information on what should and should not be done when a teen substance abuse problem is recognized, and concludes with an open talk by a teen speaker in recovery. The series is presented by Ronald E. Harrison, and is co-sponsored by Dawn Farm, the Livingston/Washtenaw Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Consortium, and Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Greenbrook Recovery Center. All workshops are free and open to all. The presentations are targeted primarily to parents and caretakers of teens, but are also inclusive of teens, family members, people who work with teens, students, and anyone interested in attending for any reason. Registration is not required. A certificate to document attendance can be provided on request. For information, please contact us at (734) 973-7892 or, or see


Goofs and Glitches

Brooks relates all too well to last month's keys-on-top-of-the-car incident. He tells us, "I was leaving for work on one of the first nice, summer mornings after an unusually cool spring. I went through my usual checklist: wallet? iPhone? Briefcase? Caffeine? I put the briefcase on the back seat of the car, and the iPhone in my shirt pocket. I went to tuck the wallet into the inside pocket of my jacket, and suddenly realized I wasn't wearing one because of the heat. Fumbling around, I finally stuck the wallet on the car roof so I could fit my coffee mug into the cup holder. Already anticipating that first, bracing swig of java, I climbed into the driver's seat and took off for work. I kept having the vague feeling that something wasn't right, but I couldn't put my finger on it.

At noon, I was ready for lunch and sauntered over to Subway for some 'eats.' I ordered my favorite foot-long and reached for my wallet--and felt nothing. You know that flush of fear when you realize that something important is gone? Obviously, no money, no lunch; I rushed to the car and searched everywhere, but the wallet wasn't there. I phoned home and had my wife look around, but she couldn't find it, either. Defeated, I returned to the office, pondering all of the calls I would now have to make to banks, credit card companies, and the DMV. Fortunately, my office phone soon rang: a painter in the nearby town found my wallet sitting in the middle of a busy traffic intersection. Wow, was I ever lucky to have my wallet found by an honest man!"

It only took one small disruption to Brooks' routine to cause him to misplace his wallet. Pay attention to changes in the weather and/or season and adjust your actions accordingly. Above all, never put anything on top of your car, not even for a minute!

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

Things that Don't Belong on Top of Cars


Managing Your Academic Mind

Each summer, thousands of recent graduates begin the journey from high school to college or to the working world. Many will find that it's time to really step up their game in the arena of written communication. High schoolers who think, "What's the big deal?" about red marks on essays may end up with failing grades if they make the same errors at a university. College students who use texting shorthand in their office emails and scoff, "What's the difference?" may have difficulty winning the respect of colleagues and supervisors. In the adult and professional world, accurate writing does make a difference. Mistakes detract from one's academic or professional image. Failing to check and correct a report or an email can erode the trust of others who expect dedication and attention to detail.

Give a graduate the gift of better writing: can you share a particularly helpful dictionary, thesaurus or punctuation and grammar guide? It might be a hard copy, website, software program or application. Geri loves and the book "Word Trippers" by Barbara McNichol. For an amusing look at the ongoing battle to defend proper English, check out this CBS News story of two people devoted to cleaning up the spelling and punctuation errors in public signs across the nation: "Bill Geist of CBS Sunday Morning meets two dedicated Grammarians, Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson, aka the Typo Eradication Advancement League, who are on a mission to rid America of errant apostrophes, misplaced commas, and rampant misspellings."


Life Management

If you are a fan of the musical artist, Sting, you may remember seeing his wife, Trudie Styler, in his music videos and by his side at many red carpet and philanthropic events. What you may not know is that Styler, an actress trained at Britain's Old Vic, deals with dyslexia and ADHD. She was recently interviewed by Dr. Harold Koplowicz about growing up undiagnosed in the British school system; both were attending the ninth annual Adam Jeffrey Katz Memorial Lecture at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College on May 17, 2011. Styler discusses being labeled as "backwards," as well as being bullied by unsympathetic teachers as she made her way through school in the 1960's. Fortunately, her mother helped advocate for her and a few compassionate strangers granted her some life-changing assistance along the way. She also cites faith, music, athletics and her growing interest in the theater as resources that got her through those tough times. Like many, Styler did not realize the source of her difficulties until her children began to be diagnosed. She acknowledges the challenges that ADHD places on marital relationships, but also recognizes the empathy and communication skills she developed as a result of her conditions. Today, she uses yoga, medication, and a personal assistant to help her stay on track. To read the full article, click here.


Featured Resources

One of the best favors you can do for yourself is to better manage your memories: convert those old home movies, videotapes, photos and/or photo negatives to digital formats. Doing so will reduce storage space as well as allow you to more easily share and backup these precious reminders of special times. For example, if you are a member of Costco warehouse stores, their photo department can transfer home movies to DVDs for you. If you keep saying that you'll get around to scanning all of those old photos and negatives but you never do, try a company such as Scan My Photos International, who can get it done for you in bulk.



  • New Book New publication: "365 Secrets of Study Success: A Tip a Day Gets an "A." Geri's amassed a tip a day with motivating quotes for secondary and post secondary students. When students learn how to learn, they can show what they know on tests, papers, projects and presentations. Now available in print or download versions. A perfect gift for the college bound student!
  • 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 edition! Three experts provide their best college admissions advice in Solving the College Admissions Puzzle: a Guide for Students and Families About College Selection, Essay Writing and High-Stakes Testing 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 on the website. $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 is now 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, which was a Finalist for the USA Book News Best Books 2009 Award, 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


Cooking: A Positive Distraction

Cooking can be a positive and creative distraction. If you are one of the many people who find that cooking is relaxing, you may enjoy the recipes that we sometimes feature. If you have a favorite recipe, feel free to send it in to be shared. Here's one you may enjoy.

Gazpacho is a cold, Spanish, tomato-based raw vegetable soup, most popular in the southern part of Spain, in Andalusia. This soup has a long history, with some people attributing it to an Arab soup of stale bread, olive oil, water and garlic that arrived in Spain with the Moors. It is said that when the Spaniards returned from the New World with tomatoes and peppers, the original soup was changed. The addition of vinegar is attributed to the Romans. If you're sweating while working in the garden, you, like the field hands of Spain, may find this soup a way to cool off and a way to use the fresh vegetables you grow and the stale bread that's around.

You can learn more about the history of gazpacho with a simple Google search. For more recipes from Spain and Portugal, refer to "Savoring Spain and Portugal: Recipes and Reflections on Iberian Cooking" by Joyce Goldstein (ISBN 0-7370-2042-3).


  • 4 to 6 peeled chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large chopped Spanish onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 peeled and chopped cucumber
  • 1 minced clove garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Prepare vegetables. Blend liquids and spices. Combine ingredients and chill. Serve in chilled bowls. Top with garlic croutons, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprig of parsley.

Take a photo of your creation and share your success: mail photos and comments to


Savor the pleasures of July, like chasing fireflies and eating freshly cooked corn on the cob!

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