Our guest chat host tonight on October 8, 2001, is Dr. Brett Kemker. Dr. Kemker,
an assistant professor at Florida State University teaches the undergraduate audiology and
aural rehabilitation courses and is interested in hearing aid rejection in adults; the effects of
auditory stimulation on cognition, specifically auditory attention; Adult audiologic
rehabilitation; Innovative teaching methodologies, and student advising/counseling. He is the
undergraduate student advisor and has actively helped students plan for graduate school and also
advised graduate students managing stressful course loads and requirements.
Dr. Kemker has published and presented in the areas of innovative teaching methods to
facilitate critical thinking, and conducted workshops on time/stress management for graduate
and undergraduate students. He is on the Florida State University's Council of Informed Advisors
and an appointed undergraduate student advisor for the Dept. of Comm. Dis. At the Florida State
University. He will lead us in a chat about about time/stress management for graduate and
<Robin> Welcome! We will be chatting tonight with Dr. Brett Kemker about
time/stress management for undergrad and grad students
<Robin> Hi Jenny....glad you could chat with us!
<Adrienne> Jenny, I'm a grad student, what year are you?
<Dr. Kemker> hello Robin
<Jenny-C> I'm a first year grad student but i've never chatted before
so bear with me
<Robin> LOL Jenny, after one chat you will be an expert!
<Jenny-C> I'm from Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
<Adrienne> How do you like that so far?
<Jenny-C> I love the science, but the stress load has gotten to me
<Robin> do you find it to be much more difficult than undergrad?
<Jenny-C> we've only been in since may...yikes ;)
<Adrienne> I'm assuming your classes are more medically based? or not?
<Jenny-C> yes, they are medically based
<Jenny-C> and my undergrad was a little easier
<Adrienne> where was that?
<Jenny-C> but I was triple majoring so I hadn't really gotten to the hard stuff when I left
<Adrienne> holy smokes
<Jenny-C> I was at Flagler in St. Augustine doing Deaf Education, English and
<Adrienne> and you decided to go with speech path?
<Jenny-C> it's a mix of English and Science my two favorite things...what more could I
ask for ;)
<Adrienne> sounds like a bonus for you Jenny
<Robin> welcome Amy and 4528, we are going to be starting our chat with Dr. Kemker
about time/stress management
<Robin> Dr. Kemker has published and presented in the areas of innovative teaching
methods to facilitate critical thinking, and conducted workshops on time/stress
management for graduate students
<Anonymous4528> I need some advice for goals with Asperger's children.
<Robin> 4528, we will be having a chat on Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders
on Dec. 10th
<Adrienne> Amy and 4528, what year are you?
<Amy G.> I'm a Sr. at San Jose State University
<Adrienne> Are you planning to go to grad school Amy?
<Amy G.> Yes, I'll continue at SJSU
<Robin> Dr. Kemker, why don't you jump in and give some suggestions to Jenny about
how to reduce the stresses of grad school
<Jenny-C> yeah - that's a great idea !!!
<Anonymous4528> I am a graduate from SJSU, and I recall the stresses!
<Amy G.> Does it seem to get less stressful in grad school, or more so?
<Adrienne> I don't know about you all, but lots of deadlines are causing stress for me
<Jenny-C> I think it depends on the program and the setup
<Adrienne> I have found it to be a different kind of stress...
<Dr. Kemker> Well, Jenny, first you must identify what it is about graduate school that
stresses you. "Identify what is stressing you"
<Jenny-C> right now or over all?
<Jenny-C> short term stress or long term ;)
Dr. Kemker> Good point. Let's look at both. First long term stressors.
<Anonymous4528> Can I contribute to the conversation, since I too have been through
the program. I graduated with my MA in 1990.
<Jenny-C> please do !
<Adrienne> What is a long term stressor? The reason I am stressed is because
everything has to be done NOW, in the very short term
<Anonymous4528> Wow! I stressed a lot, especially in the end of the Bachelor's
program, and at the beginning of the Masters program, but I had a good friend in the
program who rode the waves out with me!
<Anonymous4528> We studied together for finals and got through a lot on chocolate
and strong coffee.
<Anonymous4528> But, ladies, (and gentlemen) it was ALL worth it!
<Jenny-C> I guess being first year I struggle in the back of my mind with being a
<Amy G.> I agree. Almost everything I stress out about is short term. The long term
stuff just seems to fall into place.
<Adrienne> It's interesting how some of my classmates provided great support, while
some were a source of stress themselves
<Robin> Dr. Kemker, what are some good strategies for coping with the stress of grad
<Adrienne> yeah, questioning your effectiveness as a new clinician... how can we deal
<Dr. Kemker> this is a common long term stress of 1st year grads.
<Anonymous4528> I think one of the complicating factors with grad school is your
equally demanding internships!
<Adrienne> Dr. K, how do you suggest we get over our feeling of incompetence?
<Anonymous4528> For me, the hospital internship was far more stressful than the
school site, BUT I liked doing both of them!
<Dr. Kemker> Believe it or not this type of concern is a good sign and indicates to me
that you will be very successful in grad school and as a clinician
<Anonymous4528> Dr. Kemker, I TOTALLY agree!
<Anonymous4528> Caring is an integral part of being a great clinician!
<Anonymous4528> Gang, it breaks down into some basic principals that are often
overlooked in higher education!
<Dr. Kemker> Will I be a good clinician? indicates that you are exercising your critical
<Adrienne> I almost want my supervisor to just tell me what I'm doing wrong so I can
have something specific to work on
<Anonymous4528> Principals like: Caring, Wanting to communicate effectively,
longing to improve the life of another!
<Amy G.> How do you know if you are a good clinician?
<Anonymous4528> Oh, Amy...look into the face of your client!
<Adrienne> but does desire to be a good clinician make you one if you don't feel like
you have all the tools to be one?
<Anonymous4528> The tools will come, I promise! You'll be surprised how much
knowledge you will acquire!
<Adrienne> the face of my client is looking at me like I'm the only person that can help
<Dr. Kemker> Adrienne. you point to a very important subject.
<Amy G.> I think we end up putting more stress on ourselves because we want to be
GREAT at what we do.
<Dr. Kemker> a problem that students have is making the jump from student to
<Anonymous4528> I like to begin my sessions with clients of ALL AGES by inquiring
about their lives...what they feel they're good at and what they enjoy to do in their free
<Anonymous4528> Being interested in the PERSON is the first step to a good clinical
<Adrienne> Explain more about the jump from student to professional, please.
<Amy G.> I agree, we always need to remember that we are working with people, not a
<Anonymous352> I am also having a little trouble thinking of myself as a professional
while I am still a student
<Dr. Kemker> First...you have to believe it. YOU are a professional training in
collaboration. that is what graduate school is.
<Anonymous4528> 352: It will be here before you know it! It does not seem that long
ago that I was a student too! It has been almost 11 years now!
<Anonymous4528> 352: The other thing is that the client, and parents (if applicable)
will see you as the professional...whether you do or not! :)
<Adrienne> but 4528, did you ever just have a moment when you realize, "hey, I guess I
do know what I'm doing"
<Anonymous4528> YES, Adrienne! I did and I do! It is an awesome feeling!
<Anonymous4528> My internships were so incredibly valuable to me...as they will be to
all of you!
<Anonymous4528> It will be the place where you climb the high dive and feel a
physical readiness to jump into the pool of professionalism!
<Adrienne> Dr. K- how can we maximize the training we're getting in grad school?
<Adrienne> I am hanging in there with one client, the internship is still a little scary
<Dr. Kemker> the realization that the most important question is the one that you first
identified. How can I better serve the client?
<Anonymous352> Adrienne I think that you should just keep your eyes open try to take
it all in
<Anonymous352> it will all come together sooner or later - I'd like to believe so
<Adrienne> me too!
<Amy G.> How's the paperwork? I only have one client and I'm already overwhelmed.
<Dr. Kemker> Also, realize that you are collaborating with your supervisor.
<Adrienne> it's sort of like a puzzle... I know all the pieces are here somewhere, I'd just
like to see it all together!
<Tami> Amy G. The paperwork will get easier as you fine tune your skills! Hospitals
and schools are not interested in the kind of reports we wrote in grad school. Docs
want short simple commentaries,
<Tami> and parents want user friendly info!
<Jenny-C> as a clinician, do you find yourself always taking work home in the evening
<Adrienne> I don't know about you all, but I have 2 lousy credit hours for 3 hours of
treatment and gadzooks of planning and report writing
<Amy G.> Yeah, I get 3 units for about 20 hours a week of work/planning.
<Dr. Kemker> I would suggest asking your supervisors what a reasonable amount of
time is to accomplish these reports and then work with your supervisor and second
years to make that happen.
<Dr. Kemker> second year grad students are an untapped wealth of info. Ask them
how long they spend on reports...you will be shocked...
<Adrienne> I know it's less for me now than one month ago
<Tami> I have a few pearls of wisdom that I hope will encourage you grads...
<Tami> First of all, you are in a wonderful field!
<Tami> We can work in the schools, private practice, hospitals, nursing homes, non
public schools, public schools....
<Dana W> as a second year grad student I have to say that the paperwork doesn't take
as long now as it once did
<Adrienne> is that just because of experience?
<Tami> Dana W: That is a very good point!
<Dr. Kemker> thanks for the witness Dana W!!
<Dana W> you just start to develop a style of your own and you know what needs to be
stated and where
<Tami> Adrienne, in the beginning it feels like all you do is write, write and write...but
don't feel any more equipt to be a clinician!
<Tami> Your observations will become invaluable to you, and the tests will help supply
the data you need to be specific!
<Adrienne> more specifically- any more equipt to provide the actual treatment part.
<Tami> I believe that a person can be called to a field of expertise like this, and find
great strength in their ability to observe!
<Tami> The trick to decreasing the stressors is to find the joy in what you do! I know
I'm simplifying, but it's very true!
<Tami> I enjoyed most of my clients if not all over the years.
<Tami> I learned to enjoy the accomplishment of saying what I wanted to get across in
IEP's and family conferences...
<Dr. Kemker> yes Tami I agree. Another way of putting that is that you can't be happy
doing what you're doing if you don't believe in what you're doing. Keep focus on what
brought you to the profession
<Dr. Kemker> Does that help you Adrienne?
<Amy G.> Well, thanks for the great info. It helped me relieve stress to know I'm not the
only stress-case out there.
<Tami> Dr. Kemker, I would also say to grad students, that you almost always must
put in extra hours to be good at something...
<Robin> very true....
<Tami> It is reasonable to set priorities, however, so you have the energy to work!
<Adrienne> yes, the moments of inspiration help a lot
<Dr. Kemker> time is really relative. How many times have we stayed up all night to
talk with friends or finish a good book.
<Tami> Speech Language Pathologists love to talk!
<Dana W> lol
<Adrienne> speaking of priorities...
<Dana W> I think its a prerequisite
<Adrienne> I don't know if anyone else has experienced this... but sometimes I feel like
my priorities are set by the deadlines
<Adrienne> like when I want to do something else, I can't enjoy it b/c the report is
hanging over my head
<Tami> I've worked in every setting over the years, and just worked back up to full
time...I have two children (4 and 8 year old).
<Dr. Kemker> we must re-define ourselves daily. Accomplishing short term goals will
not end with graduate school....
<Adrienne> we're talking about managing stress
<Jenny-C> I tried this weekend to relax because I had three tests the week before and I
<Tami> I found that the variety of settings has broadened my perspective on disorders
so that I have a "bigger picture" with regard to how to improve communication and
<Anonymous82> funny that the subject is time/stress management seeing as how I should be
reading and doing my audiology homework as we speak
<Adrienne> I know 82!!
<Jenny-C> that's ok, I should be reading lang. development
<Jenny-C> if it makes you feel any better ;)
<Robin> 82, do you have any questions for Dr. Kemker?
<Anonymous82> as interesting as this seems, I just wanted to stop in and check this
out....but I do need to go
<Anonymous82> everyone enjoy themselves and happy studies :)
<Robin> thanks for stopping by 82
<Adrienne> thanks 82
<Adrienne> is it possible to have too many short term goals... like I'll need a long-term
to complete them?
<Dr. Kemker> It is just as important to socialize, relax, exercise etc. as it is to study. it's
a healthy balance.
<Jenny-C> that's my problem, I have lost the balance
<Adrienne> it's hard, though, when the consequences of not exercising one day are
much less than the consequences of not studying one day
<Tami> I am really excited for all of you to get out into the field and see how much you
really DO KNOW! You see, in grad school, you are so immersed in LEARNING that
you don't realize how much you've LEARNED!
<Jenny-C> amen to that !
<Adrienne> I can see that
<Dr. Kemker> this is tested to the hilt in graduate school. You are consumed by the
university, it's easy to loose your identity
<Adrienne> I guess you just have to resign to finding a balance so you don't loose your
identity (or your mind) in the long run
<Dr. Kemker> schedule walks or lunch at appropriate times of the day. Work with the
<Dr. Kemker> I still do this...
<Robin> I did that in grad school....met a friend daily during the week for a long run
<Dr. Kemker> I find that taking 15 minutes here and there actually allows me to get
more done during the day.
<Tami> Dr. Kemker, I totally agree with you! A short walk clears the mind!
<Dr. Kemker> yes daily!
<Dr. Kemker> We are physical as well as mental beings.
<Tami> And I would use that walk to look around and listen...and work hard at not
working hard :)
<Dr. Kemker> that's it Tami. You know. The lines between work and play become
non-existent. You just simply have your day...with a variety of activities planned.
<Robin> Taking a break is important....you will be more focussed when you get back to
<Adrienne> I feel like I don't have the liberty of planning those activities of my day
<Tami> Adrienne, do it now before you have the demands of a family and
husband...and pets, or whatever!
<Tami> Adrienne, trust me on this one! At home, you will be the popular one in your
house! Everyone wants a mother's time! (Sorry, Doc).
<Adrienne> thanks for the encouragement, I will try to get outside 15 mintues at least
every other day this week
<Tami> My four year old is language delayed and I feel like I need help with him!
<Tami> However, someone else's child or loved one is much easier!
<Adrienne> that's interesting Tami
<Dana W> Tami I am interested in how you are dealing with your situation
<Tami> Dana, it is difficult when it is your own child or parent who suffers from a
familiar disorder or injury.
<Tami> Perhaps denial.
<Dana W> do you try to do the best you can on your own or do you consult with others
<Tami> Dana, my daughter, who is 8, has mild CP and ADD....which I held off on with
aggressive treatment for years.
<Tami> You want to hear something funny...well, it's not really, but...
<Tami> I found, as I struggled to get my own children's needs met through the
healthcare system and schools...
<Tami> I COULDN'T believe what some folks in healthcare and the schools DIDN'T
<Robin> we could have a whole chat devoted to that Tami
<Tami> So, in a way ladies, you are educated in such a way that you will spot a scam
or a moron right away! :)
<Dana W> lol
<Robin> well folks, it is getting late...any more questions for Dr. Kemker?
<Robin> Dr. Kemker, any last thoughts or suggestions?
<Dana W> no but I must say that this was pretty interesting
<Jenny-C> well, goodnight ladies and gentleman - thanks for the advice!
<Dr. Kemker> It has been a priviledge and an honor. Thank you.
<Robin> Thank you for joining us tonight, Dr. Kemker
<Tami> Thank you Dr. Kemker!
<Dana W> thanks, bye everyone :)
<Robin> thank you to all of our participants! We will be chatting about
Bilingual/Bicultural Issues in Speech Pathology next week
<Dr. Kemker> thank you for having me Robin.
<Tami> It was just great to be a part of this discussion! Thanks speechies! :)