Because they were boring, I remember very little of high school English classes, and even less of The Great Gatsby. Most of what I remember of that book boils down to two things: The first is that Nick has a giant, poorly-repressed homosexual boner for Jay Gatsby. The second is more enduring – it’s when Daisy says about her newborn daughter; “I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
How true, I remember thinking to myself, and how sad that it almost a century later and that was still the best thing a girl could be. I wished, with a not-so-small but shameful part of myself, that I was also beautiful and foolish.
– – –
Note: For the first assignment for my summer Multimedia Journalism task I was tasked with writing a print story (and taking pictures) on an event. Though this happened over six weeks ago, now that the class is over, I get to post it.
Actor Kaitee Treadway is on a mission. Clad in full colonial-era garb and armed with her puppet, Samuel, she sits in a corner of the pier off the Boston Tea Party Museum. When she spots her mark – a young child looking lost – she makes her move. “Hello!” She calls out in a sing-song voice. “What’s your name?” If the child answers, they’re asked, “have you heard about the events happening lately in Boston?” The script varies from there, but it always ends with the child and puppet brainstorming how best to protest British taxation.
As you may know if you follow my twitter, this summer I took a seven week intensive course at Harvard on Multimedia Journalism. My final project was to film and produce a three minute news story on any topic, and so I covered businesses using Pokemon Go as an advertising opportunity. You can view it here:
A big thank you to all the Pokemon Go players who agreed to be interviewed, especially those who showed up for the first Boston PokeWalk, Kerrin Connolly for organizing said PokeWalk, as well as One Condoms and Zipcar, both of whom were lovely and accommodating of my tight time schedule.
Hello friends, great first day at the Democratic National Convention, right? There sure was a lot of talk about revolutions there, which is why I think it’s a good time to sit down and have an honest chat about the historical record on revolutions, and how they actually work.
The first time I went to a Pittsburgh Penguins game in person it was March 15, 2015, an afternoon game against the Red Wings. It was the second of back-to-back afternoon games, and Evgeni Malkin had been injured the game before against the Bruins. The whole team was injured and trying to battle through it – that game, Patric Hornqvist would crack his ribs but play through them to the end of the season.
I hardly remember the game, honestly. I was in such a haze of overwhelmed excitement that unless I had pictures, I’d think going to it was all some weirdly vivid dream I had. One of the pictures I took was of this guy:
Holy shit, you’ve been matched with someone on a dating app! Or maybe it’s a dating site. Maybe you’re using a site that doesn’t have the now-ubiquitous left or right swiping mechanism, but you found a profile you liked. Maybe you’re really old-fashioned and you just see someone you like at a bar, or coffee shop, or in the park.
But let’s say you’re on Tinder, and you see this ever-familiar screen while Jeopardy music begins to play:
Don’t be like me and let this happen to you, kids!
You could do one of two things. One, you could keep staring at the time go up as you and your match play a fun game of romantic chicken, or two, you could talk to them.
When I got into hockey about five years ago, it was mostly because the game itself was so interesting to me. It’s fast, it requires a ton of skill, it has a lot of “holy crap can you believe that” moments, and everyone hugs after scoring. That’s my kind of sport. But a big reason, I think, that I stayed so invested in hockey was the fact that the hockey community is so intensely invested in initiatives to de-stigmatize mental health issues. As someone who has dealt with a lot of mental health issues (anxiety, depression, ADD), has been in therapy on and off (but mostly on) for over twenty years, and has been on psychiatric medication for about 17 and a half of those years, this was an enormous weight off my shoulders. At the time I got into hockey, I was nearing the tail end of my seven year episode of being housebound due to agoraphobia, and it was such a relief to be around people I felt like I didn’t have to lie to. Not that I told everyone around me the intimate details of my mental health, or really any details at all, but the knowledge that I could, that I didn’t have to be closeted if I didn’t want to, was a huge weight off my shoulders.
Every year the hockey community (because the hockey community is largely Canadian) explodes with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, which donates $0.05 to Canadian mental health initiatives every time it is shared on social media and also encourages the frank and open discussion of mental health issues. In the last few years, even though Bell is a Canadian company, it’s become a big thing not just in the hockey community. As of me typing this, #BellLetsTalk is also trending second in the United States. And frankly, not that many people are hockey fans.
Since today is for sharing about mental health, and since I have spent so much of my life being mentally ill and going through every type of therapy and/or medication regime there is, I thought rather than share my story (which is not very interesting – I was sick, then I worked really hard and now I’m better), I’d share the seven iron-clad mental health rules that I have learned and that I wish everyone, mentally ill or not, knew.