Category: Of Interest

Don’t stress about being stressed!

By , November 18, 2014 11:15 am

relaxingThe first thing I’ll say, just to get it out of the way:  there are, essentially, three weeks left of classes.  There’s the rest of this week, then Thanksgiving break (which isn’t really a break, right?), then two weeks before finals start.

Second thing I’ll say, just to remind you: everyone stresses a little.  It’s normal.  It happens.  But, as they say, a little stress can go a long way.  So, third thing—and most important—it’s possible, even easy, to deal with it before it becomes a major hassle.

Don’t ignore it, though.  When I ignore what’s stressing me, I start doing anything but what I should be doing—and that’s tackling it [the project that’s causing me to stress] head-on.  So I vacuum.  I rearrange furniture or the kitchen cabinets.  On the plus side, my apartment is super-clean around this time of year.  But, knowing that I’m just delaying the inevitable actually makes me more stressed.

Being able to manage my own outlook on stress is probably the most important thing I can do.  Once I figure out what it is I’m ignoring (I mean, I don’t even like to vacuum, so why am I doing it all the time?) I can get down to figuring out why I’m stressed about it and what to do next.

I first make a quick plan for each project looming ahead of me.  Start with the end result—the due date—and work backwards from there.  Hopefully, I’ve been keeping up with the assignments and readings, so all that I really need to do is to get energized and back on track.  Sometimes working on a project for so long leads to apathy or, yes, even loathing towards that project and I just want it to go away.  I have to remember that the only way to get it off my back is to make a focused plan to finish it.

My quick plan turns into a handy outline that I can check-off each step, which is very satisfying.  If I haven’t been keeping up or if I just need more time to finish some of the readings, at least I know my timeframe and can better plan my approach.  Again, keeping the to-do steps small and manageable is immensely helpful when faced with something that looks daunting—that way the long list shrinks quickly!

In addition to getting myself back on track with an outline, I start each day with a workout at Swinney Recreation Center.  The 45 minutes all to myself either in the pool or on the elliptical is invigorating and allows me to think about the day ahead—or I can just not think at all, which is also helpful!  But be sure to schedule these types of breaks throughout your day.  Too often, I start out with a great swim but forget to take a break later, which makes for a long, tiring day.  And the more tired I am, the less I want to work on my projects—you know the cycle!  So take breaks and get plenty of sleep to recharge your body and your mind.  College is all about balance, and that includes making time to take care of yourself and your mental health.

Other quick ways to recharge are easy to do and surprisingly cheap.  Take a walk (bundle up, though!), catch your favorite TV show, enjoy a mid-afternoon fruit smoothie, meditate for a half-hour, meet up with friends for appetizers.  If you need more ideas (I know, not everyone can vacuum as much as I do!), check out some of the online resources available on the Counseling Center’s website.  The MindBody Connection in the Student Success Center can also help you work in some balance and stress relief.  The mission of the MindBody Connection is to help students learn skills to manage academic and personal stressors.  Some of the services they provide include the relaxation station (with massage chair!), eWave by HeartMath, and Wii Hours of the Day.  Playtime is very important to managing stress!

But the key message here is that you, too, can reduce your stress level!   By taking care of yourself–mentally and physically–and looking at all projects and papers as smaller parts of a puzzle, these next few weeks will breeze by and you will be well-rested and focused for those final papers, presentations, and exams.

World War I and the Christmas Truce

By , November 11, 2014 10:41 am

ChristmasTruce“Joyeux Noël,” a film depicting the Christmas Truce during World War I in 1914, will be shown from noon to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Miller Nichols Learning Center, Room 451.

Please register for the event here.

On a freezing Christmas Day in 1914, thousands of exhausted soldiers cautiously climbed out their trenches on the 500-mile long Western Front and entered no man’s land. They buried their dead, shook hands with their enemies, sang carols together, lit each other’s cigarettes, exchanged addresses, swapped family photos and played football.

This unofficial “Christmas truce” only lasted for a few hours and then the first world war resumed — one that would leave 31 million people dead, wounded or missing before fighting ended in November 1918.

Following the film, there will be a panel discussion of the film and the actual events that took place during the Christmas Truce, by a musicologist, historian, and film scholar.

Panel discussion members will include: Andrew Granade, Ph.D., chair of composition,music theory, and musicology and associate professor of musicology;  Lynda Payne, Ph.D., RN, FLS, School of Medicine, Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and professor of history; and Tom Poe, Ph.D., associate professor, department of communication studies.

For more information, contact Tom Burns or or call 816-235-1875.

The sponsors are the UMKC Departments of History, Communication Studies, Conservatory of Music and Dance and UMKC Libraries.

New! University Singers open to all students

By , November 11, 2014 10:34 am

music notesDo you miss singing in a choir?  But you’re not a Conservatory student?  All students are invited to audition for University Singers–anyone can audition and you do not need to take the choir for class credit in order to participate (unless you need the fine arts credit).

University Singers is made up of 60 Men and Women and sings a wide variety of music, performing in some of the most beautiful spaces in Kansas City, including the stunning Kauffman Center for Performing Arts.  Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings, 7-9pm.

Auditions are required:  Wednesday, November 19th from 3-6pm at Grant Hall, room 322.

To sign up for an audition time or for any questions, contact Michael Patch at

Health Care and Big Data–implications for the future

By , November 11, 2014 10:15 am

Mark Hoffman“Health Care and Big Data” a talk by Mark Hoffman Ph.D.
Tuesday, November 18th at 5:30pm on Hospital Hill: Theater B

Electronic health records, genomics and large-scale population level data are all becoming increasingly important in informing health care research and delivery, and each involves the generation and analysis of massive amounts of information.  Dr. Hoffman will share an overview of “Big Data” and some examples of the connection between big data and new technology-based innovations that have the potential to transform health care.

Dr. Mark Hoffman is Director of the Center for Health Insights at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC), where he also serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics and the Department of Pediatrics. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and performed post-doctoral research at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames Iowa. Before joining UMKC, he spent 16 years leading genomics, public health and research initiatives at Cerner Corporation, where he was a Vice President. In addition to his peer-reviewed publications, Mark is an inventor on 16 issued patents.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Library portFOLio Series.

Communiversity Wholistic Health Fair (Nov 9)

By , November 4, 2014 8:51 am

communiversityThe UMKC Communiversity’s Wholistic Health Fair, a bi-annual event since 1999, will take place from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9 at the UMKC Student Union, fourth floor. The fair will host 60 exhibitors and 20 workshops, a silent auction and psychics. You can experience an array of innovative health concepts where alternative-health practitioners share their knowledge, experience and philosophies with the public.

The fair is free-of-charge. Workshops include: Hatha Yoga, Dream Building, the 21 Day Love Challenge, Living Drinking Water and the Missing Link in Modern Medicine. The workshops offer participants a chance to enhance their knowledge and ask questions. You can take three workshops for only $7.

A Silent Auction is included in the fair, featuring hundreds of items, such as coupons for a listing in Evolving Magazine, meditation and yoga sessions. It is open from 11 a.m. – 3:55 p.m.  Items are donated to Communiversity, and all proceeds support the Communiversity program.

For more information call 816-235-1407 or visit the Communiversity website. Remember to pick up a catalog of upcoming classes and the show guide at a local public library.

Current Crisis in the Middle East: Foreign Policy and Domestic Issues

By , November 4, 2014 8:49 am

TurkeyIhsan Yilmaz , Ph.D., will discuss the “Current Crisis in the Middle East: Turkey’s Foreign Policy and Domestic Issues” at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14 at the UMKC School of Law, E.E. (Tom) Thompson Courtroom.

Dr. Yilmaz will talk about the challenges to civil society, press freedom, freedom of speech, and pluralistic democracy in the aftermath of the August presidential elections. Other domestic issues, such as the Kurdish issue and abuses of power against the individuals and civil society, will also be covered.

Dr. Yilmaz is an associate professor of political science at Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey where he also is the director of the Ph.D. Programm in political science and international relations at the university’s Institute of Social Sciences. He worked at the University of Oxford as a Fellow between 1999 and 2001 and taught Turkish government and politics, legal sociology, comparative law and Islamic law at SOAS, University of London between 2001 and 2008.

He is the author of  “Muslim Laws, Politics and Society in Modern Nation States: Dynamic Legal Pluralisms in England, Turkey and Pakistan” (2005). He is the editor of Turkish Journal of Politics (TJP) and a regular columnist of Today’s Zaman, an English language daily published in Turkey.

RSVP at by Nov. 12.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy