Film Review: A Young Man’s Future

Watching someone struggle with mental illness is never easy, and even harder when you are in love with the person suffering. This film is about two young men, Jeremy and Scott,  trying to succeed in college while navigating the challenges in forming a romantic relationship with each other and learning how to cope when Scott develops schizophrenia. Watching a loved one slip into deep schizophrenia is particularly challenging on many levels, a process  Jeremy accurately describes as “I feel like I’m going crazy.”  My heart broke many times watching Scott travel deeper and deeper into his illness. Unfortunately these struggles with mental health are all too common, and while untreated mental illness is an avoidable tragedy in this country, this film deftly lays bare the struggles faced by those coming to terms with their mental illness. No Restrictions Entertainment has a reputation for creating unflinching astute portrayals of the human condition in struggle; we get to watch characters make tough, individual choices to cope and persevere, and are reminded that these choices are easier when surrounded by supportive loved ones. Hopefully you walk away thinking about your own choices and are reminded to be supportive of those struggling.

You can find more information about the film on its Facebook page. Side observations: Scott looks like a young Michael Hutchence and has an awesome, rotating collection of funny cooking aprons.

The No Asshole Rule in Academia

Required reading for academics. Love the book “The No Asshole Rule” by Robert Sutton!

The Thesis Whisperer

Two of my favourite people in the academic world are my friends Rachael Pitt (aka @thefellowette) and Nigel Palmer. Whenever we have a catch up, which is sadly rare, we have a fine old time talking shop over beer and chips (well lemonade in my case, but you get the picture).

Some time ago ago Rachael started calling us ‘The B Team’ because we were all appointed on a level B in the Australian university pay-scale system (academic Level B is not quite shit kicker entry level academia – that’s level A just in case you were wondering – but it’s pretty close). I always go home feeling a warm glow of collegiality after a B team talk, convinced that being an academic is the best job in the entire world. Rachael reckons that this positive glow is a result of the ‘circle of niceness’ we create just by being…

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 Here’s to the Crazy Ones

RIP Steve Jobs. Thank you for being one of the crazy ones and making it okay for the rest of us crazies to take chances.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

 Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Also FUCK CANCER. Donate to help stop this shitty disease or make life better for those coping with it.

The New Social Worker Online Blog: Must I Un-Friend Facebook? Exploring the Ethics of Social Media

Image courtesy of tsevis. Some rights reserved.

There’s an interesting and provocative article in this month’s New Social Worker Magazine about the ethics and mechanics of social media use in social work practice:

The New Social Worker Online Blog: Must I Un-Friend Facebook? Exploring the Ethics of Social Media

Article summary:

The ethics article in the Summer 2011 issue of THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER addresses ethical issues related to social networking. Is it possible to be a “blank slate” therapist in the era of social media? Is it desirable or necessary for social workers to remove themselves from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites? What are the ethical implications of NOT staying up-to-date and current on these technologies, which may be a big part of clients’ lives? Is there a happy medium?

Read the article at and post your comments here. We would like to hear your thoughts.

Linda Grobman, ACSW, LSW

My response:

Stirring the big spoon here…honestly, articles such as this make me a little sad. We’ve been emailing and blogging and sharing our lives with one another using technologies for nearly 20 years, and I wish we could get to a point where we could accept and embrace technologies and their potential while being cognizant of risks involved and creating good policies around their use. Instead of integrating our whole selves into our public, professional personas, which for a lot of reasons may not be feasible for some folks, we are encouraged to build these boundaries or eschew social media entirely. It’s like blaming a hammer for a nail in the wall – the technology is not the enemy here and will always evolve to allow new ways to connect, share, and yes exploit.

So what policy makes sense for you? I enjoy being my authentic self in public because it helps me meet and connect with others who do the same, and I find these conversations and interactions provocative, enriching, and memorable. At its best it’s like touching upon actual humanity in public where others can join in. My general policy is not to share publicly anything I wouldn’t want my mother to read or to show up on say the New York Times. For those in direct practice with clients, I encourage you to create a policy that makes sense for you but I would use “end all participation in social media” as a last, probably unnecessary resort. Plenty of clinicians use social media to talk about their practice (NOT using client details or any identifying information), their philosophy around the treatment they are using, connect with other workers online to help grow their thought process, and create a policy about how to interact with current and former clients on social media. For example, I’ve been teaching for over 3 years and will not friend current students or students who may be in my courses in the future. But after class is over certainly let’s continue the conversation!

What are your thoughts? What social media policy works best for your, your professional life, and your clients?

Why Go White #212 – It’s Polite! (via The Oreo Experience)

I love this blog, particularly for great posts like this. Scroll down for the winning Alexandra Wallace video response.

This post is shout out to my Asian brethren and sistren. By now, many of you may have seen the video “Asians in the Library,” posted by UCLA student Alexandra Wallace. In this video, she discusses how Asians are getting in the way of her studying by saying things like “Ching chong ting tong ling long” on the phone to their families. She says that it’s distracting and rude.

And it is rude! We all know that this is not how good assimilants behave.

Good coconuts NEVER say things like “Ching chong ting tong ling long” in the library. Instead, try more majority-sounding things  like “God, I wish those Asians would shut up. Let’s make a youtube video about it! This poly-sci sucks much anyway! Toodles!” That’s much more polite!

When your ethnic background includes knowing and understanding of the most complex languages in the world and holding family dear, for the love of God, don’t go showing it off. Save it for the meetings.

Or put it into a song like this kid did. I heart him!

For the record,  Alexandra issued an apology. But what do you think? Should the apology have occurred to her during the time it took her to walk from the library to her dorm, set up a camera, go through her rant, edit it together, post it on youtube and tell her friends that she did that?

via The Oreo Experience