"Discover Your Story". It highlighted MIA's partnership with Allianz Life, a local life insurance organization. So, how/why does a life insurance company decide to partner with an art museum? Alllianz Life appears to be practicing corporate social responsibility by supporting a program that puts elderly individuals with Alzheimer's in touch with great works for art in a safe and assisted environment. Many might think, "Where's the benefit in that for a person who has memory loss - will they even remember the experience?" The goal is to assist with the general quality of life, of social interaction whenever it is possible, and perhaps trigger memories associated with a certain piece or style of art. I'm not sure if everyone can buy into that idea easily, but I know that for me, I can buy into it. I sincerely hope that when I'm 80 (if I'm lucky enough to get to 80), if my mind isn't completely functional anymore, someone will wheel me up to that van Gogh or Renoir so that I can feel a spark of recognition and joy, if only for a moment. Having that small moment would be better than having no moment at all.
But wait, there's more! I do love art, but I'm also working with the medical and education fields. Here's another great thing about this program: Docents receive special training to be a part of this endeavor... and they partner on the tours with U of M Medical School students who volunteer their time to give assistance to the participants. Here is an excerpt from the article: "Through facilitated discussions, individuals relate to the present by recalling their own memories... All visitors leave with mementos of their experience, such as postcard images of the artworks they discussed or creative storytelling booklets that promote further conversations." Given that my PhD is in the Human Services area, this is so up my alley. Kudos to you, MIA.
Monday, May 20, 2013
For me, it wasn't that, really. I have no idea what the makers of the movie intended for me to feel/experience, or what Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and the rest of the cast intended. But here's what it made me feel/experience (besides the "Wow, they're good actors" thing):
1. We never have any idea what someone else is truly feeling about any given thing at any given moment. What means nothing to us might mean the entire world to someone else. What we could let roll off our backs could completely break someone else. And vice-versa. People are impacted by events in various ways.
2. I saw things in several of the characters that conjured up thoughts/images of people I know. The OCD/superstitious type? Yep, I know someone who fits that. The somewhat naive and too passive type? Yep, I know someone like that, too. The sibling who is probably jealous of the other sibling for some reason? Yep, that one, too. Art imitates life, people.
3. More importantly, I saw things in characters that conjured up thoughts/images of myself. One of the best lines and scenes in the whole movie is when Tiffany says: "There will always be a part of me that is dirty and sloppy, but I like that, just like all the other parts of myself." Oh, yes. No one is just one thing; we are an amalgam of many things, many experiences, many thoughts, many desires. Can we accept those dirty, sloppy parts of ourselves? Can others?
4. I've said it before and I'll say it again: We're all dysfunctional, we're all imperfect, we're all flawed in some way. There is true mental illness in the world and I would never say otherwise. But there is also having a bad string of days or months that lead to a breakdown for a normally pretty sane person. There is being so crushed by a death that someone left behind questions what it means to live. There is loving someone so hard that a breakup feels as if the universe has imploded. There is disconnection so great that even when standing in a crowded room, there is utter loneliness. There is having to face the remotes all in the same direction because it helps the juju for a favorite team. 'Crazy' looks different on different people in different situations for different reasons.
"The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That's guaranteed. I can't begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else." You preach it, Pat. We're all a little freakin' nuts.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
Part of the food for the weekend includes the roll-ups that I made at my last event - they were a hit, and I was asked to make them again, so I did! I just finished a double batch (and I only snuck 2 for myself), so now they are in the fridge and ready to go for snacking. The only other planned meal consists of enchiladas, tortilla chips, and margaritas. I'm sure a White Castle run will also happen at some point, but the timing of that is up in the air.
So, this is it for the next two days or more, as I'll be busy hanging out with my girls and getting my creative groove on, people! Bring it!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Yes, that's it! Aha! I knew I would enjoy myself in Ireland, and I certainly did, but it became so much more than enjoyment once I was there. It spoke to me unexpectedly. I'm not genetically Irish - it is not in my DNA, yet there was some kind of pull for me there. I had visions of auditing a course at Trinity in Dublin, of waking up in a cottage and looking down on the Dingle Peninsula over my morning coffee, of walking into the heart of Galway for an evening meal. I could see myself living there, leading an alternate life. Perhaps that's what it is for me - the idea of escaping the life I have to temporarily envision the life I wish I had/should have had (and take that for whatever you will).
I felt this again in London; I got on well there, I think. After a few days, I felt at ease with finding my way around the city. The pull was not nearly as strong as what I felt in Ireland, but yet I knew that if I were somehow dropped there, I could live there and be just fine. Be quite happy, actually. Paris was not the same. Oh, how I loved it as a tourist, but I don't picture myself living there. Perhaps it is the language (I'd seriously have to take my one year of French all over again) or being part of mainland Europe. I'm not sure why it is different, but I am sure that it was not the same feeling as Ireland. Now my mind is jumping to Scotland and Puerto Rico - perhaps I have some kind of weird yen for somewhat isolated island nations.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
It also made me think about what will happen once the kids are out of school. In previous years, they've gone to summer programs of some type, usually 2 or 3 days per week. This year, we'll all be home together, and that will mean that I can't just take off to go to the gym or go walking. I will essentially be forced into working out later in the day; I know that is going to be a big challenge for me, as it goes against my natural inclination.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
One of the best parts of rearranging is that it forced me to go through pretty much everything, as I didn't want to keep moving things that weren't even in use. So, another big purge of my crafty stuff happened. This usually means a Christmas-like day for my scrapping friends, as they get first dibs on my give-away pile! I think they're going to be very happy, as I have lots of awesome items for them: paper, ribbon, page kits, mini albums... my thought is that if I haven't looked at that stuff in 6 - 12 months, then I don't need it. It is taking up space that I could be using in another way, so off it goes! It also gives me the chance to better organize my work stuff; that is so necessary for me when I have to sort through all kinds of paperwork, textbooks, journal articles, etc.