Monday, September 27, 2010

Learning Is Forever

Let me sum up:
Story Corps >> Germans in the Woods

Let me splain:
I know I've posted a fair amount of sad tears, but this one was probably the most painful for me so far. In the photo you can see remnents of the "stork bite" that would pop up when I cried as a kid--looks like a little paw on my forehead. I can't find anything online about stork bites reemerging in adult life...maybe I've been crying too much.

The photo also provides some evidence of both my NPR geekery and psychology geekery. Let's start with NPR. StoryCorps is a non-profit organization with booths set up in several major city's where people can come to have their stories heard. StoryCorps has a weekly segment on NPR's "Morning Edition." Their stories also pop up on "This American Life" from time to time. This is the show that introduced me to NPR. My sister and I were road-tripping to the Monterey Bay Aquarium when I first heard "This American Life." It was an episode about fabricated realities. We were in the middle of a segment where they took a historian to Medieval Times (essentially, Arthurian Disneyland) when we started to lose reception. My sister drove for the remainder of the hour with her hand out the window desperately trying to keep the antenna in check. NPR and "This American Life" are chock full of touching, pointed, delightful, and wrenching little bits of humanity. Many of which make me cry. So I was excited to read that they've made animated shorts out of some StoryCorps stories.

As to psychology...I am currently on an internship to finish my graduate degree in psychology. I'm working at a VA and picked the PTSD program for my first major rotation. One of the most important ideas I've picked up during grad. school (from a wonderful, behaviorally oriented supervisor who reminds me of Dumbledore) is the fact that learning is forever. If I say "twinkle twinkle little _____" to you, no amount of therapy is going to stop the word "star" from popping into your head. You can learn new things, and you can choose to change your behavior, but learning is forever. Vets with PTSD know this better than anybody.

"And I don't know how to get my mind."

~Geek out


  1. The Danny and Annie interviews were hard on me. The harsh truth of mortality has weighed heavy on me since my dad died when I was 15. That at one point the electrical impulses charging across the fields of gray matter cease to create a consciousness - that feelings won't be felt beyond the point where the light goes out - the memories, knowledge, and pain are all gone. Being human is so odd in the scope of achievement and experience vs the limitation of the physical being. - Isaac

  2. Roger that. I had a sexy Catholic philosphy teacher in high school, and buy into all that soul business, which became awkward as a philosophy major in college. At any rate does feel weird being stuck in these fragile little shells.

  3. I stumbled on this post while looking up stork three week old son has one and I was doing a random googling ;) I have PTSD and honestly thought I would never feel confidant in becoming a mom - therapy changed (continues to?) my life. And a big part of that is believing in my ability to learn and find new coping strategies. I hope you are loving your career choice! The day I graduated with my masters, I saw my first therapist (also graduating with hers!). It was in the middlem of the ceremony and my class was being moved...I stopped everything and touched her shoulder. When she looked at me, I thanked her for changing my life.

  4. Thanks so much, Ginger. Came back to work today after a couple weeks off. Missed it and loving it.