Disability and Invisibility

When I think of the word “disability,” I usually picture disabilities that are visible and physical disabilities, for example, a wheelchair. Donna Reeve’s article “Psycho-emotional Disablism” discusses the idea of the disablism as a form of social oppression. I’ve taken classes that involved discussions about race and social oppression – specifically, I’ve discussed the idea of double consciousness as it pertains to race. I’m intrigued by the idea that stepping outside the social norms can act as a form of resistance as Reeve discusses in her article with the example of Lucy wearing a red wedding dress. I’m curious about how people with invisible disabilities express these forms of resistance when so many forms of resistance, from hair to dress to skin, are often so visible.

Meeting Spaces

Recently, I went to a meeting in a conference room on the 5th floor of the DUC. While I’ve been in several rooms on that floor, from WRME’s studio to the Wheel offices to other conference rooms, I had never been in that particular conference room. Because I was familiar with the 5th floor, I felt comfortable walking into the room. There were several chairs around a small table and a window at the back of the room. However, I became uncomfortable once I realized how small the space was; the meeting was with twenty other people and the room appeared to have space for only ten people. Therefore, once people began walking into the room and it became crowded, I started to feel more and more uncomfortable and crowded. While I’m not claustrophobic, the room was tightly packed and the space started to feel very, very small. If I had not been there with the purpose of having a meeting with several people, I would have felt more comfortable with the size of the space. Because I took up space within an already crowded space, I felt uncomfortable and as though I should be excluded from it.

Lost Memories of Alzheimer’s

Courtesy of Nature

This week, I found an article in The Washington Post called “MIT scientists find evidence that Alzheimer’s ‘lost memories’ may one day be recoverable.” The article describes how a team at MIT used two groups of mice, stimulated Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in one group, then stimulated cells in the hippocampus, and found that the treatment boosted growth of dendrites on neurons. The article provided a link to the study, published in Nature, called “Memory retrieval by activating engram cells in mouse models of early Alzheimer’s disease.” While I found that the article explained the way in which the study was conducted in a clear and concise manner, it left out an important detail: the study only applies to early stages of Alzheimer’s. The article fails to mention exactly how this finding that light stimulates the growth of the neurons works. However, the inclusion of quotes from other experts who were not directly involved with the research in the article was helpful, something that likely strengthens a reader’s understanding of the validity of the study.

Uniquely Human


Humans are unique in our cultures and traditions, our capacity for growth and innovation, and our ability to feel and understand complex emotions. Humans pass down many traditions and beliefs in our various cultures. In high school, I took a world religions class, and our belief in a higher power(s) seems to be unique to humans. While other animals pass down habits and “cultures,” humans have developed a complex system of culture that is passed down through generations. Secondly, I believe that our capacity for innovation and growth is unique. If we simply look to the technology that humans have developed, especially recently, the degree of complexity and innovation is amazing. In discussions with my peers, we’ve talked about how mind-blowing it is that we grew up with the internet while our parents never truly to experience it the same way that we have in our childhoods. Finally, I believe that humans have the unique capacity to feel emotions at an incredibly deep and complex level. While these emotions, at their most basic levels, are shared with other animals at various levels, it seems that humans’ ability to feel these emotions is deeper. We have complex relationships and experience and understand complex emotions.

Case Study

For Jack’s case study, his risk factors are his impulsivity, as he acts out via inappropriate language, becoming angry easily, physically acting out, and refusing to go to bed when he is supposed to. They also include Jack’s living situation – with a single mother and four other children, and his mother relying on the grandmother for social and financial support. Protective factors include the presence and clear concern of his grandmother, the fact that he is going to the clinic at all, a clean toxicology screening, and that he seems to have a solid intelligence level. However, Jack’s familial situation may only stress him out and make him more prone to anger, and his mother and grandmother, having to take care of four other children, may react sharply, creating one of many endless cycles. I would recommend having Jack be recognized and praised when he behaves correctly. I would also recommend the bedtime therapy for Jack, simply correcting his behavior when necessary and ignoring any outbursts that may have previously been interpreted by him as rewarding.

Upset kid


The BPS Model

Many different things can affect predictions of future aggression, and to ignore one or two in favor of others might mean a less informed conclusion.

The biopsychsocial model that we discussed in class can inform the predictions that we make of future aggression in children via allowing for those who diagnose patients to take into account three different factors. With predictions of future agression among children, it is essential that we use this model as to not miss out on any potential contributing factor to a child’s future aggression. Tremblay et al. states that factors for children in terms of predicting future agression include: “hav[ing] mothers who have a history of antisocial behavior during their school years, who start childbearing early, and who smoke during pregnancy and have parents who have low income and serious problems living together.” While having parents who have low income and serious problems living together is a social factor, having mothers who smoke early is a psychological factor. If we ignored either factor in favor of the other, we would potentially miss out on a more specific, concrete diagnosis in terms of predictions of future aggression among children.


My understanding of the term “psychopath” stems mostly from what I’ve seen in media; a psychopath is one who cannot understand others, cannot understand or feel empathy towards others, or feel remorse for his or her actions. This trait can occasionally result in horrible, violent crimes for which the psychopaths feel little or no remorse, as they are unable to empathize with their victims or to comprehend the morality or consequences of their actions. The characters who come to mind when I hear “psychopath” are those from shows like “Criminal Minds.” Most recently, I recall watching an episode where the “unsub” was a female psychopath and murderer. As she engaged with the members of the BAU, she seemed like she was playing a game more than attempting to trap them, holding no remorse whatsoever. At one point, she even threatened to blow up the entire restaurant and surrounding block, something that she mentioned casually, without any signs of emotional distress.

(Photo isn’t uploading, so here’s a link: http://wwwimage.cbsstatic.com/thumbnails/photos/files/asset/10/00/23/89/aubrey_plaza_primary.jpg)


The curation of “Akroterion with Winged Female Deity” is subtle; a visitor will likely only notice this piece after walking into the first room of the museum and turning around. Placing it high above the doorway gives this object height, symbolizing flight and wings. As this piece may represent Victory, according to its panel, it only seems natural for it to be high above the majority of the other pieces in the room. By placing above the entryway of the doorway, the curator also suggests a hope for all those who walk through the door – victory. With regard to social media in the museum, I propose that it would only help this object, in particular, be more noticed and appreciated – some might skim over this object, or miss it entirely. Because it’s so hidden upon first walking into the room, and the panel with its description is difficult to locate, social media could help to provide this object with an identity and a story that might otherwise remain untold.

The Power of Satire

facadeI believe that political satire helps contribute to society by providing social commentary that would otherwise go unnoticed and unsaid. Political satire allows its creators to speak about issues in a way that potentially catches the audience off guard. For example, in the case of Exit Through the Gift Shop – if we consider it political satire – the audience expects a documentary about the evolution of street art, when in reality it is a critique of the world of street art and its commercialization.

Therefore, I also believe that Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop succeeds in its critique. Via its unbelievable, and at times, ridiculous characterization of Thierry in his evolution to Mr. Brainwash, the audience comes to understand the hilarity of the situation. This French immigrant, who began as a rather fan-boyish, overly excited amateur filmmaker, evolved into an overnight sensation, able to sell his artwork for millions of dollars. Watching the film, there seemed to be something off – nothing was adding up. Even simply understanding Banksy was the director of the film made me suspicious, especially given what I knew about Banksy – mysterious, in the shadows, content to make a statement while remaining unknown. However, the film was certainly convincing in its own right, and perhaps herein is its power. The debate over whether or not the film is “real” has people talking about it, talking about the documentary, and by extension, its content. Perhaps this is the true success of the film – after all, for a political satirist, what more could you hope for other than people talking about that which you aim to critique?

Mornings and Nights


Wash your hair in the morning. Let the water weave its way around your scalp; this is how to feel new again when you begin each day. This is how to turn pages quietly under the covers by flashlight; this is how to wear out a library card. This is looking up at the stars out your window every night; this is how to fall asleep to a bedtime story. This is how a boy will tease you; this is how you cradle your little sister when she falls off the slide in your backyard. This is growing up in New England; this is ice-skating outside and learning how to fall; this is coming in from the cold; this is red cheeks and snow; this is missing summer. This is how you take scissors to your hair because you don’t know any better; this is how you take scissors to your sister’s hair because you really don’t know any better; this is putting pink in your hair and pretending it’s armor; this is how you this is this is how you sink into the carpet wearing your aunt’s stilettos; this is how you watch your beautiful cousin line her eyes with makeup; this is how she tells you to never start lining your eyes with makeup because once you start you can’t stop; this is how you don’t listen to her anyway. This is how to watch a beautiful white girl on tv and wonder why she doesn’t look like you; this is how you ask your mother why she doesn’t look like you; this is why you ask your father why he doesn’t look like you; this is how you defend the definition of a family; this is the definition of a family. This is how you let a boy touch you; this is how you hate letting him touch you; this is how you like letting him touch you; this is what it means to be a woman. This is how to get straight A’s; this is how to give in to perfectionism; this is how to give yourself high standards. This is how a boy in a car yells bitch at you on the street; this is how to let him; this is how to feel ok because at least he’s saying something to you; this is what to say when someone who asks for a happy ending; this is how to smile at the old men in the golf course asking for a happy ending; this is how to bite your tongue and clench your fists beneath the counter; this is how to love your little sister. This is how to want to put pink in her hair and not know how; this is how to trust in her to run at the world and know how; this is how to feel helpless when she comes to you crying. This is how to not hurt the one who made her cry; this is how to defend the definition of family; this is how to stop the bleeding. This is how to cross your legs on the bus and watch the man across you spread his knees; this is how to forget how to take up space; this is how to remember; this is how to make yourself small; this is how to hold pepper spray when you’re alone under dim streetlights; this is how to look over your shoulder; this is what to say to your mother for giving you pepper spray before you go to college. This is wanting success but not knowing what it means; this is not knowing how to fail and be okay; this is pretending you know what you’re doing; this is wondering what happiness means; this is pretending you know what you’re doing; this is not remembering what the stars look like; this is pretending you know what you’re doing. This is forgetting to wash your hair in the morning; sometimes, the pink still fades away.