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Archive for Friday, September 11, 1998

FREE STATE STUDENTS AID AUTHOR AT LECTURE

September 11, 1998

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A best-selling author `picks the brains,' of students about self-esteem at a Women's Advocacy Organization meeting at Free State High School.

Women at Free State High School got to tell a best-selling author their thoughts on self-esteem Thursday.

Harriet Lerner, author of ``The Dance of Anger,'' spoke for the Women's Advocacy Organization at Free State High School Thursday afternoon about self-esteem and anger.

More than 70 people, mostly women, crowded into a room to hear Lerner. She ended up asking more questions than she answered.

``It was a delight to pick the brains of these students,'' Lerner said. ``I thought the students were so open, reflective, smart and so sophisticated.''

Lerner is staff psychologist and psychotherapist at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka. She tours the country lecturing and has written several books. She wanted to start her talk with a few questions, but never got to the lecture during the hour meeting.

``Since this is being taped,'' she told the students, ``it may end up in a book or article, but don't let that dissuade you.''

They didn't. The group discussed the elements of self-esteem, from feeling confident to liking one's self. They also discussed self-esteem as something changeable, varying due to a situation or other's input.

``It's not like we have good self-esteem or bad self-esteem,'' Lerner said. ``It's very complicated. It's not like you can rank your self-esteem on a one-to-10 scale, because there are a lot of factors.''

Laura Swan, president of the organization, said the meeting went well -- it got people talking.

``That's the purpose, to get girls thinking,'' she said. The Women's Advocacy Organization, in its second year, is all about building self-esteem, she said.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is fhaynes@ljworld.com.

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