Archive for: January 2016

Getting The Most Out Of Practice: Chapter 4: (Self-Talk & Self-Image)

By Jeff Comas



Our own self-talk influences the shape of our own self-image. Our self-image determines our beliefs about ourselves and what we can or cannot do, and even how we see the world. Our brains automatically tend to try to make true, that which we believe. If we say and/or think something frequently and/or consistently we will start to believe it. Let me give you some examples: If you believe “my job is boring” then you will find the reasons why your job is boring and it will be true. If you believe “I love riding my bike” then you will you will find the reasons why riding your bike is great and you will love riding your bike. Read more →

Conversing With Vejas Liulevicius

By Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.



“My grandfather was an historian,” Vejas Liulevicius tells me over coffee at Panera. “He was also a refugee from Lithuania after World War II to the United States.” Vejas has been a professor in the Department of History at UTK for the past twenty years. He grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a largely Lithuanian American neighborhood. However, he attended school in both Denmark and Germany for many years. These experiences, along with his grandfather’s enthusiasm, led him to earn a Ph.D. in modern German history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994. Read more →

Reading Knoxville: Turning Points In Modern History

Book by Vejas Gabriel, Reviewed by Michael K. Smith, Ph.D.



“This course shows how the decisive turning points of the last 500 years have, in fact, combined to create the modern world as it is today, shaping the condition of modernity as we know it and live it now,” states Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius in the Introduction to his lively and informative series of video lectures Turning Points in Modern History. These videos are produced by The Great Courses (, a company that specializes in courses taught by distinguished professors. “A turning point marks a decisive moment that shapes later developments” with an emphasis on modernity: “a mindset that stresses novelty and breaks with the past.” In discussing his twenty-four turning points, Professor Liulevicius narrates a breathtaking survey of transformations that have defined our modern world. Read more →

Coping With Negative Emotions

By Kathryn Rea Smith, PH.D.


A few weeks ago I received a lengthy text message from my son. He was feeling upset about something that happened at school and decided to write about the experience to see if he could determine why he felt bad. He added, “I’ll let you read this and we can talk tonight after I finish my homework.” Right away, I noticed that by writing about and wanting to talk about his negative feelings, my son, at age 16, had discovered an approach to dealing with emotions that I did not learn until I was a doctoral student in a Counseling Psychology program. In this article, I will elaborate upon the three-step approach demonstrated by my son for effectively coping with and working through distressing emotions. Read more →

The Creature Within

By Vincent Amico, Owner of Mickey’s Travel

Untitled-44The creature is there inside each and every one of you. It is lurking, watching, waiting for the perfect moment to rear its ugly head. The creature takes normal loving parents and turns us into creatures that must get every second that is available for every penny we spent on a Disney vacation. Read more →

A Life-Saving Decision For Animals

By Jeff Ashin, CEO, Young-Williams Animal Center. Photo by: Young-Williams Animal Center



Pet owners face many day-to-day decisions that affect the health and welfare of the animals they love. What kind of food is best? How much food? What kind of exercise will be most beneficial? However, the most important decision pet owners face affects not only the pet, but the community as well. Read more →

Score A “Touchdown” With Your Goal Setting

By Tracey Matthews Wynter, Supervisor of the Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Department

This year, I presented each of the students in Ms. Collins’ fourth grade class at West Hills Elementary School with a set of sticker charts and stickers. With the gift, came a challenge: to set a goal in the upcoming year to do something new, do something differently, or do something better than they had before. They were told to reward themselves with a sticker each day they accomplished their goal. I promised to do the same. Read more →