Week 8

This is a documentary about problems in the RX industry. That’s a very bland description that doesn’t do the film justice, but it’s the best I can do. Give it a watch!

Wan U Extra Credit

List and describe two or three insights that you are taking away from our class?  (These can be as major or as minor as you like.)

First and foremost, I am walking away with an education about myself and others that most people in this life are not privy to.  I have learned about a score of health, political, ethical, psychological, and sociological issues while studying for this class. I have learned to not interpret the issues separately, but rather in relationship to each other. Nothing exists singularly (as far as I can tell), and that’s probably the most important thing any course could give me.

Because of this education, I am also walking away as an authority of my own health, and with a responsibility to always stay informed/ to help disseminate that information in any credible way that I can. This may not be something everyone that took this class walks away with, and I think that is okay. I just always feel responsible for my person, and also personally responsible.

How do you imagine that this class might impact your future practices?  (artmaking, research, health-related, etc.)

I answered the first question before I read this question. Note to self: Always read all questions of an assignment like this, before answering (there’s one way my practice might change).

Anyway, obviously the above gives some insight to this question, but more specifically my practice has already changed in that I am currently making work that is more about disseminating information that I have learned either in this class directly, or because of this class, by way of zine/ comic format.

In a similar way to that of how I no longer view ideas/ problems as separate, I also do not any longer view my practices as separate: vocational, artistic, community, relationship, etc.- they all belong to one another in a way that I can no longer carry them out as if they don’t. Like Audre’ Lorde sort of said, I’ve learned the ways different things are the same by the ways they all lie in me.

How can this course be improved? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

This is a really hard question for me to answer, because I feel like my time spent inside this class was perfection.

I think it would be nice if it were longer- a year long possibly, or six hour long sessions for one semester.

I also think it would benefit from being offered more frequently, but I don’t know if more than 2 times a year is an option.

Describe one or two courses you wish were offered at SAIC.

Oh my goodness, please teach a sister class to the Wandering Uterus, that will operate more specifically around developing the ideas we explored in a studio practice. It could actually be a studio course, and then I would get to spend six hours with you a week AND have academic accountability for the things this class has helped me want to accomplish. How awesome would that be?

What do you feel are the biggest challenges/barriers to good health among your SAIC friends and colleagues (including professors)?

Honestly, a lack of education to some extent, but more so the stigma that self-deprecation is somehow a valuable thing to artists/ college aged people.

We starve ourselves of food, sleep, and basic needs for our vitality, and not only expect ourselves to be productive despite this, but because of this. The temporality with which we view our now, obstructs our future health, as we think of our daily decisions as separate to the person we will someday be.

I know this is a major generalization, but after holding a position as a resident advisor at this school and working closely with both students and faculty to understand and help this student body with issues such as these, I actually feel comfortable making this generalization.

Wan U Final

Dear Friends,

It is hard for me to write about this project in depth, as I embarking on a yearlong journey to discover my own health and wellness and disciplines of maintaining those things, of which I am only now in the fifth week. As of now, I have only vaguely outlined on my blog what it is that I want out of this project, as a regulated sleep schedule, a regulated diet/ eating schedule, and to develop an exercise routine. I am only in the research stages of this project, trying to find the best (re)sources for ways to maintain my mental and physical health. So far, any actual changes made to my routine have been few, and possibly even half-assed.

The actions I have already taken are as follows, though they may not seem to make any immediate sense:

First, I have tried to make an intake appointment for counseling services at the Chicago Women’s Health Center. A friend of mine that volunteers there told me she thinks it would be a good fit for me, and since she is the only person I’ve ever wished could be my therapist I really want to try her advice pertaining to this subject. She may be the only I person I believe knows me well enough to make that call.

Second, I have recently purchased (though have not completed reading) several books that I believe will help me contextualize all of this mess. One of the books, Counter Clockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility, by Ellen J. Langer, is a psychology book based around the idea that changing our minds- the way we think about our health- is the way to go about changing one’s health. It is a remarkable study around stigma, ideation, and the possibilities and power of the mind. I feel that it is so far very in sync with my own ideas about health. This book was mentioned in my women’s health class, Wandering Uterus, and then later suggested by my teacher again, in response to the proposal for this project. I am also using a book from the course, Our Bodies Ourselves, as a guide, as I still have a need to greater understand my body and how it operates.

Another book I purchased, The ADD and ADHD Cure, is a book of natural ways to (re)focus the mind, by altering  a person’s lifestyle and nutrition. I think that this book might be my most immediate way of reaching a regular meal plan, as it has a 30 day meal plan outlined in the book. My hope is to read several theories around dietary health, and also to visit with multiple nutritionists, to inform my decision-making. As of now, I am seeking to gain information from this particular book about ways to reach my less immediate goal of no longer taking my ADD medication, as I feel it enables me rather than constructively aiding me. The diet for focusing that the book outlines is essentially a gluten free, strict vegan diet (i.e. not the easiest things to maintain, but we’ll see).

The last two books I want to mention are seemingly much less related. The first is called Generation to Generation, the second, Father Fiction. These books are both based on relationship/ family roles, and how those roles greater affect one’s being. Though Father Fiction is more of a narrative, it explores ideas of fatherlessness and its effects on one who seeks that relationship, whether one knows s/he is seeking, or not. Generation to Generation seeks to outline more generalized relationship roles, but still (re)acts similarly, in that it wishes to determine the effects these roles have on a person’s greater development. I find that these things pertain specifically to my healthful journey, as I believe a healthy person would seek to have healthy relationships.

Lastly, I am (as always) listening to friends, family, acquaintances, mentors, teachers, specialists, supervisors, strangers of the night, etc., that might have advice for me. Though I have yet to have anyone respond to my blog, I have not given up on the personal interactions I have with others to aid me in some way. As I mentioned at the beginning of this letter, a friend of mine has recently suggested I visit the CWHC. Another friend of mine, who has worked/ is working through similar health issues, recently explored the activity of indoor rock climbing, and said that he thought of me and thought I would enjoy that as exercise, which I will surely try because it was suggested by him. My friends are constantly giving me feedback on how to be a better, more fulfilled me, as I am constantly doing the same for them. My job as a Resident Advisor is about making sure that my surrounding community is as happy and healthy as the members are hoping to be. And though I can insure nothing for others in accordance to their own actions, it is really fantastic to see when my residents have grown enough around me to be my accountability partners. Now that it’s getting close to summer, it’s time for me to take a moment to myself, to explore my options and improve my life, in ways that I will be able to maintain throughout the academic year.

Please join me if you can, by either participating in this project with me as a health seeker, or as a health giver, or observer, or accountability partner, or all of the above. I want to know what you have to say about this. I want your wisdoms and your trials.

Sincerely Yours,

Hannah Rodriguez

Two weeks

Wandering Uterus Project Proposal/ T’s Response

Final Project Proposal Form

The scope of this final project is self-determined.  Any medium or combination of media is welcome.  If you decide to pursue a research project, the finished paper should be 12-15 pages.  If you pursue another medium or media for your project, it will have a 3-5 page written component that contextualizes your project in relation to specific class topics, readings and discussions.  Question 2 below is designed to help you develop this written component. 

  1. Describe your proposed final project.  Include the reason for your choice of medium/media as well as a description of your anticipated process.

I have began a personal project called Disciplines inspired my much of the content of this class, which is essentially a project that explores improving my own quality of life. I started with a list of things I want to accomplish in my lifetime, narrowed it down to a few things that I would like to accomplish (establish) in a year’s time, and I created a blog to represent this activity. There is a sister project called, A Project for Well-Being, that I am using to produce projects and materials to improve the quality of life for others. Some of the zines I’m working on for that project take their source material directly from this course.

The reason I’m proposing my Disciplines project for the final, rather than A Project for Well-Being (though APWB is more directly related to the class), is because I need accountability partners for my goals. The idea is that everyone in the class will follow my blog, and in some way contribute, (over the course of the year), to the project.

Because of the design of the project, it will not be “complete” by the end of the class. However, there will be writing, research, and a status report available as a project result.

 

  1. What class readings and conversations inspire this project?  How do you feel your project will contribute to the conversation and/or readings?

I think that in a lot of ways, this class has made me realize that I am alive right now, and that the status of health or un-health that I live in right now, cannot wait for me to get sick in order for me to take charge of said life.

 

  1. What additional research will you do for this project?

In addition to my personal goals, (which revolve around eating, sleeping, mental health body image, etc.), and suggestions from my accountability partners, I plan on visiting professional consultants in the subject areas, and gathering data, to make sound decisions in my health pursuit.

  1. Is there additional support you feel you need to develop this project? Are there additional resources you feel would be helpful?

(Addressed in the above q&a’s)

 

The blog is not entirely ready for an audience yet, but the url is:

http://projectoftheyear.tumblr.com

Hi Hannah,

I just read your final project proposal.  Instead of handing you hard copy feedback, I’m sending you some via email.

Wow!  I am very moved by this statement:  ”The class has made me realize that I am alive right now and that the status of health or un-health that I live in right now cannot wait for me to get sick in order for me to take charge of said life.”  What an exciting project.  I am looking forward to witnessing how it unfolds.  I encourage you to keep track of all sources as you research.  Keep a running list and that can become a bibliography for the written “paper” part of your project.

I strongly encourage you to use this project as a reason to read the book I’ve been talking about over and over again this semester: Counter Clockwise:  Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. I’m sure you can get a copy inter-library loan if you don’t want to buy it.   It is very interesting in relation to your statement above.  Please let me know if there’s anything you need from me as you move forward with this project.  Take care, t

On Friday, April 1st, I shaved my head bald. I’m calling this project officially started as of that day, meaning it will continue until April 1st, 2012.

Some Basic Goals

I have a many ambitions I would like to achieve by the end of all this. And though I may name all of the thousands of ways I would like to be better at some point, I want to be practical in the goals I set for myself. And with that…

The Goals I Would Like to Reach in One Year’s time:

1. A Regular Sleep Pattern.

By this, I do not mean “regular,” as in, “normal,” but rather an actual pattern, meaning it is driven by repetition, regularity. I want to have a more concise time bracket for when I come to lay and rise.

2. A Regular Meal/ Pattern.

As with sleep, I am not referring to the type of food (though this will inevitably abolish some things from my diet), but both the proportions of the food I consume and the times at which I consume it. I feel that this is imperative to my daily routine, and directly relates to having a regulated sleep schedule.

3. Hair Growth & Awkwardness

I want to be disciplined enough to grow my hair out, which is something I haven’t done in years. I want to allow myself the space to be awkward, because growth is awkward sometimes, and living things grow, and I want to be alive. I plan on growing my hair, from a state of baldness, on, for one year’s time, scheduling a set time and day that I will regularly document my hair’s growth, for the year’s entirety.

4. Attend Counseling and/ or Therapy on a Regular Basis

I am currently trying to find a counselor and/ or therapist in the city of Chicago, that will available for me to visit at least once every 3-4 months. Therapy is an imperative part of my life, and at this moment I am only receiving therapy and counseling from friends or individuals, that do not feel that they are personally adequate to advise me further, which is something I am completely understanding of. It will also be best for my other goals if I have a regulated series of visits, rather than random or sporadic therapeutic conversations.

5. The Integration of Regular Exercise into My Schedule

I have no specification yet on what kind of exercise I’m looking for, I just know that I need it. This will take some investigation and research on my part, as well as advisement from others, which is required of all these goals, in order for them to be at all successful.

If any followers have any suggestions, comments, etc. to speak of, please respond to the blog post(s) via tumblr, or direct emails to hannahrodri@gmail.com.

Thank you for helping!

I Am Not Disciplined: An Introduction

I’ve been scribbling down all my feelings about this for a couple months now. I know you haven’t seen any of it yet. I know that so far, having the page seems to be an incredible waste of space, but I needed its existence to hold me accountable.

I am not a very disciplined person. I have a lot of ambition, and drive, and sound thinking, but no consistency. I can’t keep a schedule very well. I have so many things that require a schedule kept for them, but so far none of those have pushed me to the brink.

Now, I’m ready to be ready. I’ve been patient with myself long enough. I’m ready to give myself a new and beautiful way of keeping it all together. That’s why I am designing this project: To art myself  into good habit.

Or ‘habit,’ at all.

That’s not true.

I want to be good. I want to do good things. I want to be good to myself and others, and myself and others deserve a more structured me.

That’s not say I can’t ever be spontaneous; it is just to say that there is a time and place for everything, and most of the time I need structure. I don’t want to be totally dependent on others for this.

That being said, I do need to depend on others some, which is why I have created this blog. This is my little way of creating a network of accountability partners.

Usually, my objective in this life is either to help others myself or to help others help themselves or to help others help others. Today, my objective is to help others in helping me; to give friends, family, mentors, lovers, strangers, etc. a practical means by which they can keep me on my toes.

But feel no obligation.

I am using the blog medium, Tumblr specifically, because it is quick, convenient, and manifests in multiplicity well, so that no one person feels a burden by this experience. Except maybe me… But hopefully, only at first.

With great optimism, love, and a mind full with prosperous thought,

Hannah Rodriguez

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