Transcripts from #TheInSite


Conference: Surviving High School
The following transcript was recorded on

Tuesday, 8/12/97, 3:00 PM PT

with Michael Riera, Ph.D. counselor and author of

"Surviving High School"
"Uncommon Sense for Parents of Teens"!

©1997-2017 Electric Eggplant

KatieCCC: =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

KatieCCC: Hey! #TheInSite needs YOUR help!

KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: We are on the lookout for more fantastic TIS hosts
KatieCCC: and hostesses...ESPECIALLY teens! If you, your son, your
KatieCCC: daughter, or anyone you know would like to apply to host
KatieCCC: for us here at TheInSite, here's all you have to do...
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: Send an email to me, Katie Baker, at
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: [email protected]
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: Make sure the topic line is "TIS Hosting" and you'll get an
KatieCCC: application. So write today!! :-)
KatieCCC: =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

KatieCCC: =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
KatieCCC: Welcome to The InSite!
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: Today we are interviewing Michael Riera, Ph.D.,
KatieCCC: counselor and author of "Surviving High School" and
KatieCCC: "Uncommon Sense for Parents of Teens"!
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: Mike is here to chat about making sure you get the most
KatieCCC: out of these high school years. How do you balance
KatieCCC: school work with your social life? Where do sports fit
KatieCCC: in? How do you make time for friends? What about
KatieCCC: college? Mike's got sensible answers and a great sense
KatieCCC: of humor!
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: We are honored to have Mike here today!
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: If you have a question for Mike, please type a ? into the
KatieCCC: channel and *wait* to be called on.
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: If you have a comment that is relevant, feel free to type
KatieCCC: it in. :-)
KatieCCC: =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

KatieCCC: =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
KatieCCC: I'd like to introduce all of you to another special person...
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: GraTIS! :-)
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: Thank you, GraTIS, for being here today and helping out!
KatieCCC: =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

KatieCCC: Mike, tell us a little bit about yourself and your work!

Mike1: Okay... dean of students at Marin Academy, an independent high school in Northern Cal....
Mike1: I've been a counselor in schools for 15 years...
Mike1: worked with over 20,000 students and parents...
Mike1: will be a regular guest.on the CBS Saturday morning Show.
Mike1: ga

KatieCCC: Oooh a TV Star!!! :-)

KatieCCC: Mike, you have written two books: "Surviving High School" and "Uncommon Sense for Parents of Teens". What are these about? How did you go about writing them?

Mike1: Uncommon Sense is for parents...
Mike1: more than anything a translation of what's happening with teens...
Mike1: A way to understand and strengthen the relationship...
Mike1: keeping teens and parents as allies rather than enemies...
Mike1: Surviving HS is from years of work shops..
Mike1: hearing...
Mike1: the book is "What kids are thinking...." and How they are handling ...
Mike1: ga

KatieCCC: Can you give us a few suggestions on how to balance time in High School?

Mike1: This is a big issue...
Mike1: Hopefully this is what everyone learns by the end of high school.
Mike1: It's like what Mark Twain said...
Mike1: "Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from BAD judgement."
Mike1: I think the easiest place to start is by finding one's passion and working outward from there.
Mike1: ga

KatieCCC: Ahh..such as Science, music, etc?

Mike1: Yes... Katie, science, music, art, academics, sports, community service, religion.
Mike1: ga

Lisa18: I got into a fight, which totally got out of hand, so now I have three crazy girls after me.
Lisa18: what should I do?

Mike1: Tell me more ... what was the fight about?

Lisa18: I got some bad advice, and then they got mad, and they started rumors about me, wrote bad notes about people and signed with it my name

Mike1: Lisa... go to the source...
Mike1: acknowledge that you got some bad advice and acted on some "pre-conceived judgements"...
Mike1: All you can do, Lisa is clean up your part...

Lisa18: okay......but will i be okay at the high scool?

Mike1: Not sure what you mean by "okay"...
Mike1: if you mean "safe", you had better be!...
Mike1: and there better be some people at the school to make sure of that!
Mike1: If you mean socially, well, that's different...
Mike1: hard as it sounds, you have to take the long view...

KatieCCC: Thanks for sharing that with us Lisa!!

minivanner: I want to get back to the pressure of scheduling
minivanner: My son has 2 AP and 4 honors courses
minivanner: also band, sports, church commitments etc
minivanner: oh-and he has a job
minivanner: how does this affect a kid- is this a bad thing?

Mike1: What grade, mini?

minivanner: going to be a junior

Mike1: Wow..

minivanner: he is #6 in his class

Mike1: depends on the kid, mini...
Mike1: how is he handling it?

minivanner: well-ok-I am more worried than he is

Mike1: but is he happy?

minivanner: yes...very!

Mike1: Okay..
Mike1: some kids thrive on this kind of activity...
Mike1: others get crushed by it because it doesn't come from within...
Mike1: Most kids in High school at some point have to learn that they can't do everythingat the same time, they have to learn to set priorities...
Mike1: And this isn't easy.
Mike1: Ga

KatieCCC: mini?

minivanner: I feel this priority issue is bad now
minivanner: kids feel they "must" to get scholarships etc.. are we not inflicting an adult world on them? Do we not want them to have fun?

Mike1: Mini...
Mike1: basically kids have decision making muscles and we need to make sure they get enough and not too much exercise...
Mike1: so when the pressure comes from society to do everything we need to take the focus away from the end results and more on the process involved...
Mike1: That is the joys and struggles that go with learning regardless of the grade or outcome.
Mike1: It is difficult to talk to teens about process, because as a society we're so focused on the outcome.
Mike1: One last thing..
Mike1: for example next time your son has a test don't ask him how he did...
Mike1: ask him if it was a "good" test...
Mike1: did it test his knowledge...
Mike1: did it make him put new ideas together...
Mike1: did he have to dig deeper inside...
Mike1: in fact, if he had to grade the test, what would he give the instructor?

GraTIS: Are freshman initiations common in most high schools and if so how should one handle them?

Mike1: Good question...
Mike1: Not common in most schools, but once they are in a system, they are hard to get rid of...
Mike1: Also, is this a "formal" or "informal" initiation?

GraTIS: Kind of formal, Mike...
GraTIS: Everyone gets up on stage...

Mike1: Mmmm... then talk to the school...
Mike1: find out the exact parameters.

MeeMee: My mom she has this habit of bringing me to school...
MeeMee: She won't let me go by myself
MeeMee: I'll be entering HS next year

Mike1: holw old are you and where does she drop you off?

MeeMee: 13
MeeMee: And in front of the school
MeeMee: Sometimes even inside

Mike1: MeeMee.... I understand...
Mike1: and make a print out of this transcript so you can show it to your mom...
Mike1: driving you to school is great, it shows she cares for your safety and well being..
Mike1: and she needs to give you your space before school begins...
Mike1: you should both drive to the high school together and find a couple of spots one or two blocks away that she can drop you off and pick you up from...
Mike1: that way she can be sure of your well being and safety and you can have your space.
Mike1: it's hard for her to watch you grow up.

Ex-Post: Mike, Do you have a Vision?

Mike1: Okay, expost...
Mike1: teachers and schools are often overlooked resources by both teens and parents alike...
Mike1: teachers, by the nature of their position, can offer both parents and teens a sensible translation of what the other party is saying...
Mike1: at the same time favored teachers are safe adults for teens...
Mike1: that is, they can say things to them that they wouldn't to their parents, which is important for parents to know...
Mike1: Their kids have adults that they do talk to.
Mike1: Next?

KatieCCC: Mike, what do you believe to be the number one most important thing to do in order to fully ENJOY High School?

Mike1: Wow.....
Mike1: As Joseph Campbell said...
Mike1: "Follow your bliss."
Mike1: And as Riera said,
Mike1: "Don't confuse your bliss with immediate gratification."
Mike1: ga

MeeMee: I have this teacher
MeeMee: And well...
MeeMee: She's really mean
MeeMee: then she's nice
MeeMee: And I get really afraid of her sometimes
MeeMee: And I'm afraid I'm gonna get her next year
MeeMee: But the thing that worries me is that in the middle of exams she comes and pinches my cheeks
MeeMee: Should I talk to her about that

Mike1: YES!!

MeeMee: What should I tell her

Mike1: Mee... tell your favorite teacher, what is going on, and ask him/her, to come with you, for support...
Mike1: so you can talk to Ms Cheekpincher, about how it bothers you.
Mike1: for almost anything a teacher does that bothers you.

Ex-Post: Mike, Are you a counsler at High School? If so, Do you have trouble communicating with the kids?

Mike1: I'm a dean of students, and for the most part... no.

Ex-Post: oh. How do you get them to listen?

Mike1: First I listen to them, Ex-Post...
Mike1: They are usually full of ideas, and as the old Zen saying goes...
Mike1: "You can't add tea to a cup that is already full."

KatieCCC: Mike, many people find the work load in high school to be huge! What are your tips on getting all your work done quickly and smoothly?

Mike1: Katie...
Mike1: this is a big question...
Mike1: it is about two things really...
Mike1: learning how to study, and making priorities...
Mike1: it's probably impossible to do everything...
Mike1: but it is possible to do the most important things...
Mike1: Teens wrestle with this throughout the 4 years of high school.

KatieCCC: With all the work in High School, how do you fit in your social life, extracurricular activities, and sports?

Mike1: Katie...
Mike1: oddly, research shows that the teens that are most involved with extra curricular activities do the best in class.

KatieCCC: Wow!!

JazzyEric: One thing I noticed during my HS years was the abundance of cliques
JazzyEric: And telling folks to "just avoid them" doesn't really work....
JazzyEric: What's your advice on that?

Mike1: You're right, Jazzy...
Mike1: acceptance, or rather the avoidance of loneliness, is one of the strongest motivators of behavior in high school.
Mike1: This means people get together in groups of similar people...
Mike1: fortunately, toward the end of sophomore year, and the beginning of junior year, most people get tired of these groups and begin to branch out...
Mike1: now teens look for depth and diversity in friends which is pretty different than what most cliques have to offer.
Mike1: So hang in there.
Mike1: Things will get better.

KatieCCC: Colleges don't JUST look at grades. What are some things you can do at your high school to impress colleges?

Mike1: Good question...
Mike1: Do the things that you really enjoy...
Mike1: if you try to create a resume for a college you'll be unhappy, and it probably won't work...
Mike1: at the same time, take some risks in high school.
Mike1: Try some things outside of your comfort zone...
Mike1: This attitude will impress colleges more than insincere accomplishments.

KatieCCC: Great Mike! I'll keep it in mind

SkyTV: Does having a lot of friends and boyfriends affect my school work?
SkyTV: Cause my grades go down

Mike1: it's possible.
Mike1: Sounds like yes in your case.
Mike1: This is a good example of balance.
Mike1: You had it until you got a boyfriend, then you lost it.
Mike1: Now, you have to figure out how to handle all your other responsibilities and your boyfriend too!
Mike1: Sometimes this will mean studying when you rather be with your boyfriend or going out with friends when you would rather be with your boyfriend.

MIDWEST: If I spend lots of hours on the Internet will me my grades go down?

Mike1: MIDWEST...
Mike1: if you are not careful...
Mike1: YES.
Mike1: Just like if you spend a lot of time on the phone, or working on your car, your grades will probably go down.
Mike1: How many hours a week do you spend, MID?

MIDWEST: umm.....5hrs

Mike1: is that per week or per day? MID

MIDWEST: per day

Mike1: you can't do that during school.
Mike1: MID... you need time for school work, face to face friends, outdoors, and sleep.

KatieCCC: Well everyone....our time is up!!
KatieCCC: +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
KatieCCC: I would like to thank Mike for being here! Please give
KatieCCC: him a hand! :-)
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: Mike, I have learned a lot as I know the rest of us have,
KatieCCC: and I hope you continue the fine work! Thank you so much!
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: Please visit the InSite for more information on surviving
KatieCCC: high school and many other things!
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+

KatieCCC: =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
KatieCCC: Hey! #TheInSite needs YOUR help!
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: We are on the lookout for more fantastic TIS hosts
KatieCCC: and hostesses...ESPECIALLY teens! If you, your son, your
KatieCCC: daughter, or anyone you know would like to apply to host
KatieCCC: for us here at TheInSite, here's alllll you have to do...
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: Send an email to me, Katie Baker, at
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: [email protected]
KatieCCC: .
KatieCCC: Make sure the topic line is "TIS Hosting" and you'll get an
KatieCCC: application. So write today!! :-)
KatieCCC: =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

back to
T R A N S C R I P T   I N D E X   P A G E


Home | Me, Myself, & I | Relationships Unlimited | Justice Now | Spaceship Earth | The Gallery
Hey Terra! | Been There Stories | Solutions In Sight | The Story | Polls & Activities
Discussions | Search | Site Map | About Us | About Annie Fox

©1997-2017 Electric Eggplant
last updated November 19, 2005
This site hosted on