Psyche!
August 28, 2008

Ah, did you like that? I was all…”I’m back!” and then “Oh, but wait…not really.” Anyway. Classes started Monday and I think they’ll go ok. I’m being forced (yes! Forced!) to take a fitness for living class and I’ve just been told by a girl I work with that my instructor in the lab (the part where we actually have to work out!) is a total perv and hits on all the girls. Gross. Why are P.E. teachers always creepy?

I really like my job at the library. Everyone I work with is super nice and the patrons are generally much more pleasant to librarians than customers are to photographers (although I realize many of them are the same people. Seriously, I recongnize them). I have a newfound addiction for craftsy books. I’m serious. I have a problem. I currently have 48 items checked out on my card. I can’t help it though! I see these great books like “how to build your own shelves” and I suddenly feel inspired. Luckily they all look so daunting that I return them the next day before I begin tearing out “those old outdated shelves.” 🙂

I took up knitting (because I just have soooo much extra time on my hands) and have knitted exactly 2 inches of a scarf for either one of my nephews (which, by the way, have not arrived yet). I figure they might have matching blue scarves by the time they’re about 4.

I just found a profoundly depressing and interesting book about psychiatric care in the U.S. around the turn of the century called The Lives They Left Behind: Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic.  Here’s a review: From Publishers Weekly
When New York’s 120-plus-year-old mental institution Willard State Hospital was closed down in 1995, New York Museum curator Craig Williams found a forgotten attic filled with suitcases belonging to former inmates. He informed Penney, co-editor of The Snail’s Pace Review and a leading advocate of patients rights, who recognized the opportunity to salvage the memory of these institutionalized lives. She invited Stastny, a psychiatrist and documentary filmmaker, to help her curate an exhibit on the find and write this book, which they dedicate to “the Willard suitcase owners, and to all others who have lived and died in mental institutions.” What follows are profiles of 10 individual patients whose suitcase contents proved intriguing (there were 427 bags total), referencing their institutional record-including histories and session notes-as well as some on-the-ground research. A typical example is Ethel Smalls, who likely suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of her husband’s abuse; misdiagnosed and institutionalized against her will, she lived at Willard until her death in 1973. While the individual stories are necessarily sketchy, the cumulative effect is a powerful indictment of healthcare for the mentally ill. 25 color and 63 b&w photographs.
I definitely suggest checking it out even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea. You can see the online exibit of the suitcases here.

Another reccomendation: watch Young at Heart. Seriously. It is one of the best movies I have watched in my life. This is the trailer:

Anywho, I’m off to bed! I’m taking 6 classes this semester – 1/2 of which are online and require my attention as of tomorrow morning!