2B Wednesday, March 12, 2014 // The Statement
list | B
UZZFEED, BUT BETTER
Five reasons to stay in Ann Arbor over spring term No, spring may not have the full load of 46,000 students on campus. But what it does have is charm. Here are reasons why you should consider staying behind.
1. The Startup Scene
Every wondered what it was like to work at a startup? Lucky for you, startups flourish in AA over the spring. Check out the TechArb, and other entrepreneurial outlets on campus to see if any small, student-run businesses catch your eye!
2. IM Sports We get it — between your clubs, Greek Life commitments and
school work, IM sports just don’t have a place during the school year. That’s what spring is for. With all that warm weather and lighter class load, you can finally unleash your inner athlete.
3. Easier Classes The #MichiganDifference standard of classes drops just a bit
during the spring and summer semesters. Need to fight through General Chemistry or Economics 401 requirements? Spring is your chance.
4. Festival Season Ann Arbor Summer Festival. The Ann Arbor Art Fair. The
Festival of Inner Peace. Arts are at its peak in the spring — just in time for you to pull out your shades, and release your inner hipster.
the writer’s notebook: not literature, not theatre by max radwin I’ve encountered slam poetry a few times in the past few years — more so in high school than now. I was always in the audience, never onstage. That’s not to say I didn’t write poetry. I did, and do. I acted in high school pretty often as well. I didn’t do musicals because I wasn’t a singer, but I always auditioned for the fall play and did some of the smaller productions and shows that our school put on. I considered myself both an actor and a writer, but slam poetry never crossed my mind as a medium of interest. It never sat right with me. Even while in the audience, I wasn’t sure how to feel, or how to make sense of what I was experiencing. Perhaps it’s because slam poetry is a synthesis of those two mediums of art done poorly. It isn’t literature, and it really isn’t theatre. The words don’t have to be good because they can fall back on the performance and the performance doesn’t have to be good because the words are
When was the last time you went through a run through the Arb? Have you ever checked out the University’s Museum of Art? Our campus has more to offer than what meets the eye, and spring semester is your time to live out an adventure.
this st. patty’s day, FOLLOW US BEYOND THE RAINBOW FOR
TWEETS OF GOLD.
@thestatementmag COVER BY AMY MACKENS & RUBY WALLAU
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there to distract you. You forget your expectations and readjust them as you go along. I’ve gotten chills down my spine from slam poetry. But those chills were inauthentic. Is that possible to have inauthentic emotions? I think so. It’s possible because the emotions exist on the surface level of the art. You get the same sensation you get when watching a drippy romantic comedy. It forgets to make you think
ILLUSTRATIONS BY MEGAN MULHOLLAND
and instead, you’re left with feelings that conform to what the performance set out to make you feel at all costs. It’s like intentional fallacy, but for your emotions. It’s emotional fallacy. In the late ’50s a poet named Robert Lowell published a book of poems called “Life Studies” that began a movement of Confessional poetry. Lowell wrote about his family, his relationships and his history. In short, he wrote personally. The “I” wasn’t a fictional speaker; it was himself. It’s not so tidy and clean but — after a storm of literary criticism — it’s said that there was a subsequent Post- and Anti-Confessional movement, which reconciled the narcissism and inaccessibility that comes with writing personally and Confessionally. But slam poetry exists outside of these literary movements because it isn’t taught in a classroom. No one reads a slam poem and critiques it. They listen and if something confuses on the first read-through then it gets cut — it has to be ingested on the first go-around because no one’s reading it, only listening. The poem
loses its depth. It stops being a poem and becomes something baseless altogether. Lowell’s poetry was shocking at the time. Confessional poetry can be pretty shocking. Think about some of those darker poems by Sylvia Plath. Slam Poetry has embraced that full-on and hasn’t let go. In fact, most slam poems I’ve experienced have been about sexual assault, rape, abuse, alcoholism or depression — and always in an overthe-top kind of way that seemed to miss out on the opportunity to explore the important elements of those topics in favor of dramatic delivery. Without fail, the speaker always seems to say “fuck” or “cunt” sometime during the performance, and usually in a way that doesn’t utilize the word beyond its shock value. Is it unfair to generalize an entire medium and deem it as structurally flawed? I suppose. But if the angsty, hyper-Confessionalism of Slam Poetry that has strained all the complexity from its product is not inherent, then it is at least a trend — and one that exists because its performers often defer to melodrama over art.
S WEEKLY SURVIVAL GUIDE
Spring break is over so put the binge drinking on pause for a little while. That is, until St. Patrick’s Day next weekend.
Forty days until classes end … but who’s counting, right?
March Madness starts soon. Time to make as many brackets as you can.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 // The Statement 3B
the thought bubble
the fashion voyeur: clothing as an expressive tool BY ADRIENNE ROBERTS
PHOTO BY RUBY WALLAU
“If I could do anything in the world, I would go out to Borneo tomorrow and I would just research orangutans and live in the forest, tent everything; if I could get a hammock it would be perfect. I could sleep up in the trees with (the orangutans). That would be a dream job, the best thing of my entire life.” – MEGAN SKRZYPEK, LSA Freshman ILLUSTRATION BY MAGGIE MILLER
This semester, I’m in an English class that also counts as creative expression credit. This is probably one of the only classes where you get a mix of English majors — who often dress in clothing that could only be categorized as “hipster” — and everyone else, often students in Greek Life who, well, don’t wear ripped tights, purposefully ugly sweaters and mom jeans. What is interesting is that this class is filled with seniors, yet the students in Greek Life still wear their letters on sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. Add on rain boots, yoga pants and light wash jeans for men, and you have yourself a classic “Greek Life” look. We often
hear that freshman year is the year when students are making very conscious efforts to form their own identities in college through their appearance — they wear too much makeup, they put on pants to go to class (which seniors would argue is “trying too hard”), and they’re basically walking advertisements for whatever club or group they joined at Festifall. I am not so sure if that theory holds up, though. I think students use clothing more than they imagine as a tool to express who they are and what they stand for — even seniors who say they barely make it out of bed each morning in time for class.
On Saturday, air traffic control lost track of a plane traveling from Malaysia to Beijing carrying 239 passengers. The day was spent with rescue and search operations to find missing passengers over the South China Sea.
trending #Paralympics #WomensDay #B1GTENVictors
Sochi isn’t bidding adieu to athletics just yet. Amid the political crisis in Ukraine only 300 miles away, Russian soil will host 45 countries to compete for 72 gold medals over 10 days.
AP PHOTO/ Lai Seng Sin
#ElvisisAlive #MH370 # ShannonSzabados #SB2K14 #MarsOneWay
After winning her second gold medal as a member of the Canadian women’s hockey team in Sochi, Szabados signed with the men’s team Columbus Cottonmouth for the rest of the season.
In 2024, Mars might be ready to welcome its first set of permanent human settlers. Over 200,000 astronauts have applied to be the first to take a oneway trip to Mars and restart human life. Training will begin next year. CNN.COM
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 // The Statement
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 // The Statement
HOW STUDENTS COPE WITH DISORDERED EATING BY ADRIENNE ROBERTS
Just college or cause for concern?
A complicated battle Jenna, on the other hand, cannot identify specific reasons why she might have developed an eating disorder at age 14. During the summer before her sophomore year of high school, she restricted her diet to fruits and yogurt, and never once binged or purged. Her parents took her to rehab and she was told she would never eat another meal alone again. The summer before she began college, she was at her highest weight and excited to begin her time at college. But, she noted that being at the University has had a negative effect on her struggle with anorexia. Jenna, too, was nervous about the Freshman 15, and small portions in the cafeteria added stress to the equation. “If I would go up to get more, (people working in the cafeteria) would look at me funny and I would think they were judging me,” she said. Jenna doesn’t feel like she’s found a group or community here. Perceived judgment and feelings of isolation dominate her thoughts. Her family has suggested taking time off of school to recover. “College is not the best when you’re struggling with anything. I get pretty lonely which brings on depression, which brings on bad eat-
ing. It all goes downhill from there.” Jenna is addicted to not eating. She also suffers from anxiety and depression, taking 10 pills everyday to fight various forms of mental illnesses — not uncommon for those struggling with an eating disorder. According to a University Study of Habits, Attitudes, and Perceptions around Eating survey conducted in 2012, 29 percent of women and 27 percent of men at the University who screen positive for an eating disorder also screen positive for depression. Additionally, 49 percent of women and 31 percent of men who screen positive for an eating disorder also screen positive for anxiety. This makes discussing — and treating — eating disorders very difficult. “With the eating disorder came depression and anxiety, so it goes from fighting one thing to fighting many (things), which isn’t easy,” Jenna said. “When my depression is the worst, my eating is the worst.” While focusing on treating one illness, she feels like all other challenges have to go on the back-burner. “You can’t really fight everything at once.” Jenna is a self-described perfectionist who spends most of her time doing her homework weeks ahead of time. According to Lawson, this is a trait often reflected in students at competitive universities. “Perfectionism is something we see in students with eating disorders but that’s also something we see with students all around the University of Michigan,” says Lawson. “There’s quite a bit of perfectionism going on, and I think there’s specific attention to social settings and dynamics when students eat with other people.” Perfectionism is considered a marker of genetic risk factors for susceptibility to an eating disorder. Personality traits and mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression can make it difficult for these students to even articulate what they’re experiencing, let alone seek help. A (silent) campus community
For many incoming students at the University, fears about gaining the Freshman 15 dominate their thoughts. Upon arrival to the University, Jenna felt this pressure immediately. “I was really scared about the Freshman 15 and everyone makes comments (about calories) when they’re in the dining hall,” she said. A majority of females — and about 30 percent of males — come to the University worried about gaining the Freshman 15, according to the 2012 U-SHAPE survey. This can often lead into extreme calorie counting, a behavior which is amplified in the dining hall setting. After all, the University of Michigan Student Life and Housing posts all nutrition labels online, as well as listing them on paper at the dining hall. This can be both enabling and helpful for students watching their weight. For Miller, calorie counts were helpful when she was dieting. “Depending on the cycle I was in, calorie counting was great. I could see exactly what I was putting in my body,” she said. However, they were also a terrifying reminder of exactly how many calories she was putting into her body when she binged. “Mentally it’s tough, it’s like ‘What did you just do, you ate 3,000 calories in one sitting?’” Miller said. Julie Stocks, a dietitian at the Nutrition Clinic at University Health Service, echoed this sentiment. “When it comes from a disordered eating lens, (calorie counts) are a very bad thing,” Stocks said. “I think in and of itself it’s harmless, it just depends what lens you look at it through. It’s our obligation to keep awareness high, to keep those lens opens.” Universities like Harvard College removed index cards detailing nutritional information in their dining halls after students and parents raised concerns that clearly-displayed calorie counts could cause or worsen eating disorders. The calorie counts are still displayed in kiosks in the dining halls and online. What Jenna found surprising at the Uni-
versity of Michigan is the lack of conversation around the topic. “I wish the University thought more about what they were doing when they put nutritional facts out there or made their portion sizes really small. I wish they were more considerate. (Eating disorders) are not talked about. It could honestly just incorporate a healthy eating presentation into orientation.” Body-Peace Corps, a student group on campus, is currently attempting to combat the wall of silence around eating disorders. According to group leaders, the Body-Peace Corps’ mission is to build a community where people can discuss their body issues, free from stigma and discrimination. The group offers peer-facilitated workshops for residence halls and living communities, and also hosts campus events to raise awareness. But even LSA sophomore Brianna Mayer, Body-Peace Corps executive board member, acknowledges that the group faces limitations. “A lot of our events will attract people who have experiences (with eating disorders) and know what we’re talking about,” Mayer said. “We’re having a hard time reaching out to the general student body that may not have any knowledge of these issues whatsoever. So I think the University, Body-Peace Corps, and other groups need to find a way to reach the general student body.” According to the U-SHAPE survey, 51 percent of students at the University know at least one student who has eating or body image problems. The Body Monologues is, in a way, a step toward recovery for many students. Miller found telling their story to their friends, family, and a large audience, to be a beneficial undertaking. “I worked through a lot of things as I wrote my monologue. It was a cathartic experience for me to come up with the piece,” Miller said. By sharing their internal experiences on eating with the audience, Body Monologues performers conveyed their vulnerability. This kind of shared vulnerability is, perhaps, the start of a much needed, campus-wide conversation.
DELVING INTO THE DATA 82%
unwilling to find treatment
embarrassed to ask for professional help
DESIGN BY AMY MACKENS
THERE ARE SEVERAL REASONS WHY COLLEGE STUDENTS DO NOT SEEK TREATMENT:
did not know of their eating disorder
of women screen positive for depression
27% of men screen positive for depression
are binging once a week+
25-31% suffer from disordered eating
OF THOSE WHO SCREEN POSITIVE FOR AN EATING DISORDER AT THE UNIVERSITY:
habits and triggering comments, caused Miller to internalize her problems with body image and eating habits. “My family is amazing and I have a group of super supportive friends, which I think has made my experience easier in a lot of ways. But because it’s an internal problem, it won’t change until I change it,” she said. Lawson said she increasingly sees eating disorders that don’t fit neatly within the criteria for anorexia or bulimia. Students who exhibit symptoms may not be entirely consistent with defined thresholds of disorders. In effect, this means that students can have difficulty recognizing and categorizing their symptoms, making it even more difficult to seek help.
OUT OF 10,000 ‘U’ STUDENTS SURVEYED:
According to an article on MiTalk, an online mental health resource for ‘U’ students, an estimated 25 to 31 percent of students on the University of Michigan’s campus suffer from disordered eating, which encompasses a wide range of abnormal eating patterns — such as over-exercising to compensate for eating too much, or feeling guilty when eating. When Miller started college in the fall of 2010, she was worried about gaining the Freshman 15, the myth of first-year weight gain. She started counting every calorie that went into her body. This habit quickly evolved into an obsession. She lost 20 pounds during freshman year, and her new social network only knew “Kylieminus-20-pounds,” she said. “They didn’t see me as a cow, like kids in high school did. But I still thought of myself as that,” Miller said. “There was this weird disjunction. Even though they were super supportive in a lot of ways, I didn’t talk about all the really negative self-thoughts.” Miller’s friends were also concerned with eating healthy, too. But this isn’t always the case, especially in college when eating habits are largely determined by social situations and sobriety level, Andrea Lawson, the assistant director of Clinical Services at the Counseling and Psychological Services and the coordinator of Eating and Body Image Concerns, said. “A lot of challenges surrounding college students’ mental health are discerning what’s an issue and what’s cultural, or what’s part of a typical student’s life,” Lawson said. For some students, eating an entire pizza at 2 a.m. on a Saturday is normal behavior. Binge eating disorder is characterized by uncontrollable and excessive eating without a purge, often leading to being overweight or obesity. Lawson said those in her profession are currently seeing many people with binge-eating disorder, which affects men just as frequently as it does women. According to a 2012 survey of 10,000 University of Michigan students, about 20 percent of both men and women are binging once a week or more. For people like Miller, who suffers from a wide range of disordered eating habits, binge eating results in overwhelming feelings of guilt and self-hatred, prompting her to turn to purging — forced vomiting. “One time I ate a whole medium pizza, and after eating only salads and fruit, you feel terrible.” Miller then described how, following a binge, she would then contemplate for an hour or more whether or not she should purge. “For the most part, I’ve been able to control it more than I know a lot of people who struggle with it. I would battle with myself internally. ‘Do it, no, don’t do it. Do it.’ Sometimes one would win, sometimes the other would win,” Miller said. Nearly 10 percent of female students at the University purge in some way. “Because (the way I view my body) is an internal problem, it won’t change until I change it. Things won’t actually change for me until I can change them myself. It’s a cycle of negative self-thought,” Miller said. External factors, such as friends’ eating
OF THE STUDENT BODY ON CAMPUS:
SA senior Kylie Miller is a resident advisor, a member of the Ballroom Dance Team and has a supportive group of friends. Miller also suffers from disordered eating. She has spent up to two dozen nights sitting in the bathroom for hours at a time, battling with herself, deciding whether or not to purge after a binge. Jenna, an LSA freshman, who asked not to be identified with her last name, doesn’t have a group of friends in Ann Arbor. She’s quiet, and spends most of her time getting ahead on homework. Jenna has suffered from anorexia since she was 14 years old. She currently seeks the support of a nutritionist and a therapist twice a week. I met both students after they performed at the Body Monologues, a free event hosted by University Health Service and Body-Peace Corps once a year that provides a platform for members of the University community to share their experiences with their bodies and the way they view them. On the evening of Feb. 4, Mendelssohn Theater, which seats more than 600 people, was almost at capacity. For two hours, students and people in the University community shared their experiences with being bullied about their weight in school, obsessive thoughts about food, self-harm, abuse and more. Some performances were humorous, others raw and emotional. All of the performances, however, displayed vulnerability and openness on the part of speakers, with many noting that this was their first time sharing their personal experiences with anyone. The audience’s response ranged from cheers to gasps to shared tears in the bathroom after the performance. The diversity of experiences and reactions were vast, but what united them was the noticeable effect they had on everyone in attendance. Audience members and performers alike covered their mouths in horror at some stories while others elicited laughter. Miller hid her struggles with her weight and eating habits from her family and friends until the Body Monologues, when she decided to publicly share her story. For Jenna, the Monologues was also her first time admitting to anyone besides her family that she has suffered from anorexia for upward of four years. When exploring the climate of eating disorders at the University, there seems to be a disconnect between the silent dialogue on those who suffer from eating disorders, compared to the open environment of the Body Monologues. According to a 2010 survey of college counselors and other professionals by the Eating Disorders Recovery Center, there are numerous reasons why college students suffering from disordered eating do not seek treatment. About 28 percent were embarrassed to ask for professional help, 48 percent did not know they had an eating disorder, and 82 percent were simply unwilling to find treatment. This prompts the question: Why are some students brave enough to get up on stage and discuss their struggles on eating with an audience of strangers, but aren’t comfortable enough to tell their friends and seek out treatment?
OF THOSE WHO SCREEN POSITIVE FOR AN EATING DISORDER AT THE UNIVERSITY:
of men screen positive for anxiety
of women screen positive for anxiety
SOURCES COMPILED FROM USHAPE, MITALK AND THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ANOREXIA NERVOSA AND ASSOCIATED DISORDERS
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 // The Statement
Oedipus and drugs: The history of psychoanalysis in Ann Arbor by John Bohn
Remember those cartoon Zoloft commercials? A sad white blob mopes around, but, presumably having taken Zoloft midway through the commercial, is bouncing around happily in the end. Abilify, Cymbalta, Prozac. Before the era of Netflix, I remember being bombarded with pharmaceutical ads on cable television. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry spent $27 billion for drug promotions in 2012 alone. Since the 1980s, the growth of pharmaceuticals has had a significant impact on clinical practices and psychiatry units around the world. The turn to medicine is so common nowadays that it may come as a surprise to know that other forms of engaging with mental health are still available. One of the known alternatives is psychoanalysis — often referred to as psychodynamic psychotherapy, or a more comprehensive psychotherapy. However, the basic assumptions made in the one-paragraph explanations in Psychology 101 textbooks and the quick jokes made about Austrian psychologist and credited founder of Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud don’t detail the ways in which psychoanalysis can be valued and beneficial to our mental health. Caricatures and accusations surrounding psychoanalysis hold some truth in the history of psychoanalysis, reflecting many of the cultural values of the 20th century society in which it emerged. However, since its inception, Freud’s successors have taken his groundwork in new, progressive directions. Feminist psychoanalysts Luce Irigaray, Hélène Cixous and Julia Kristeva, during the ’70s and ’80s, challenged the psychoanalytic interpretation of women’s psychology, updating the discipline for the demands of a Second Wave feminist audience. The rather mocking way in which some handle psychoanalysis obscures both these progressive developments, as well as the rich history the discipline has had in Ann Arbor. Walking down Washington Street, one may see a sign that reads “Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute” and assume it to be the relic of some fortunately forgotten past. Yet Ann Arbor offers a vibrant community of analysts and scholars who employ psychoanalysis in their work and everyday lives, and who see its potential for understanding human relations and seek to push back against some of the numerous misconceptions that have emerged during its century-long history. In the 1970s, psychoanalytic practitioners worked side-by-side their nascent biomedical partners at the University’s Psychiatric department. Analysts, like University alum Jean-Paul Pegeron, a practicing psychoanalyst in the Ann Arbor area, were trained in both disciplines during their residency at the University. “There was no question at the time, at least in that particular setting, that the two could not be compatible,” Pegeron said. In a psychiatric ward where both biomedical and psychoanalytic disciplines are used, the clinician would determine when medication was necessary and when long-term psychoanalytic therapy may be better suited. Pegeron, a certi-
fied prescriber, often provides consultation to other psychoanalysts in making this decision. “There’s obviously a gray zone,” Pegeron said. “In the less severe cases, you often find some underlying emotional issues, maybe some traumatic experiences and losses which would kind of tip you off to a more emotional issue.” Pegeron said that though there is a whole range of depressive symptoms that can be diagnosed, the issue might be more biological, in which case it cannot be treated solely through
psychoanalytic therapy. “Their clock is set a bit lower than most people, so they might be in therapy for a while but nothing changes,” Pegeron added. “So that would be an example of why you need to think about medication; lift enough of the mood and symptoms that their life hasn’t changed yet, so then they can make use of therapy.” In media, these therapy sessions have the stereotypical image of the patient lying on a reclined couch lamenting about their life while a silent analyst looks on indifferently. But whatever experiences Woody Allen may have had, the practitioners of Ann Arbor paint a different picture. “The invitation we make to our patients is this: to speak as freely as they can about whatever comes into their minds,” University alum Michael Shulman, faculty member of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, said. “Thoughts may occur that they’re not sure they can or would like to say, but we ask them to do their best to speak them anyway.” “What psychoanalysts do when we think we have something useful to say to help our patients speak more freely about what is inside,” Shulman added. “But there is much more quiet and listening that develops than in ordinary conversation.” Through this dialogue, both analyst and patient seek to understand the unconscious determining factors that may lead to recurring problems in relationships and everyday life.
These factors can be so habitual or commonplace in the life of the patient that they become difficult to determine where they are and why they are at play. Examinations of childhood experiences and past relations, along with present issues, work toward uncovering the hidden ways in which patients’ past experiences affect their present. At the same time, the analyst seeks to prevent their own sentiments from influencing the patients’ understanding of their issues. “It’s been said by an analyst recently, one who is especially articulate, that Freud’s greatest discovery was of a new form of human relatedness,” Shulman said. “It is a unique form of human relationship that allows an unfolding of the self through this process.” As ideal as the process sounds, psychoanalysis has found difficulties retaining credibility in the public eye. In recent years, a lack of exposure to the process has been RUBY WALLAU/Daily the result of pressure from insurance companies. “Most insurances don’t cover psychoanalysis,” Pegeron said. “They will cover psychotherapy, usually with a limited number of sessions even though they claim it’s unlimited. And what they use is medical necessity. In other words, you have to show that the person is still having enough disturbances that they require continued therapy.” The psychoanalytic process, however, never has a set trajectory. While four to five sessions a week is typical, patients are free to choose their own pace and gradually build momentum. Even the conclusion of sessions comes from the patient. “People begin to talk about, and become able to think of their psychoanalysis ending, when they feel that enough of the difficulties they started with have been resolved and can be looked back on, and that they can reflect enough on their own about all that they have learned about themselves to carry on alone,” Shulman said. Pharmaceuticals, however, provide a quick fix with fewer costs for insurance companies. Additionally, in the University setting, the capacity of pharmaceuticals to be tested on hundreds of subjects with immediate results makes conducting research simpler than in the case of long-term therapies. As a result, the convenience of medication has led to fewer practitioners such as Pegeron, who seek to bridge the two disciplines.
While psychology departments in the United States have seen a decline in practicing psychoanalysts, University students can still gain exposure to the ideas of Freud through a variety of courses taught in LSA and seminars and conferences held at the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. Tomoko Masuzawa, professor of comparative literature and history, and Andreas Gailus, associate chair and professor of Germanic languages, have offered such an opportunity to varying degrees of success. “I tend to have a number of classes that include some Freud texts,” Gailus said. “The first thing people will tell you is, well clearly isn’t he wrong? They always assume that (psychoanalysis) has somehow been completely superseded and that it’s now entirely clear that everything Freud has to say is wrong.” “I usually, as a beginning, say sexuality or sex in Freud isn’t what you think,” Masuzawa said of the way she overcomes many student’s initial mindset. For Gailus, starting with a work by Freud on a topic outside sexuality is a rule of thumb. Mourning and Melancholia, Freud’s essay on depression, has proven to be a popular read among students. “(Students) find (the essay) fascinating and they realize that (Freud) has a way of bringing into relief the landscape of experience,” Gailus said. Even in such a negative environment, students continue to find many concepts in psychoanalysis useful. Rackham student Shannon Winston, who founded the University’s psychoanalysis reading group, uses Freud’s approach to imagination in her work. Freud, in “The Interpretation of Dreams,” examines the ways in which the imagination creates associations between objects that aren’t necessarily connected by ideas, but rather by simpler qualities like shapes or color. For Winston, this approach becomes a new way of reading works such as “The Iguana” by Italian author Anna Maria Ortese. “In Ortese’s ‘The Iguana,’ I chart the color turquoise in its different manifestations,” Winston said. “In the beginning of her novel, Ortese mentions the beautiful turquoise of the Mediterranean. Then the narrative invokes stones and the Iguana of the same color. What I’m tracing are visual and perceptual networks of color throughout the narrative, which reveal perceptual resonances with the Sea.” As Freud famously wrote in “Three Theories of Sexuality,” the only abnormal person is a psychologically normal person. As one in 10 adult Americans suffer from depression today, according to the Center for Disease Control, Freud’s claim seems to be corroborated. With the prevalence of depression in many people’s lives, one must wonder what the consequences are for a culture that largely resorts to one way, namely medication, in dealing with mental health and the interior landscape of the mind.
To see the full version, go to michigandaily.com
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 // The Statement
Personal Statement: Diving into my insecurity by Ruby Wallau It was a snowy night as I sat with my grandparents, my mother, her boyfriend and my younger brother at a round booth in a dimly lit restaurant. My grandmother smiled softly beside me as I gently bumped my shoulders against hers, wanting to feel her presence. She is light, her spirit buoyed by unabashed kindness, but I often fear she sacrifices too much of her confidence for the happiness of others. She offered my mother a taste of her risotto, the same dish that sat in front of me. My mother laughed and said no, she shouldn’t eat so many carbs if she wanted to stay skinny. My grandmother said nothing. My skirt suddenly felt too tight to hold in my round tummy and my face too chubby to make eye contact with anyone at the table. I set my fork down and let false claims of fullness spill off of my lips. The sweet red wine and selfconsciousness soaked into my skin as I watched my mother in the candlelight. My arms are like thick logs compared to her twigs. I have always been a round heavy tree standing next to her brittle fluttering leaves. As we left the restaurant, I shimmied into my coat, letting it swallow me. I’ve learned to relish in the way winter hides me. I was born in a place surrounded by the ocean, but I grew afraid of the beach. I’m not afraid of seeing a silver fin peeking out of the deep blue, or the purple jellyfish that have stung me before, or even being crushed by the pounding waves that once covered my skin with bruises when I ran through them carelessly. I am afraid of the beach because the thought of donning a bathing suit makes my heart race and my body cringe. There is a photo of me when I was five wearing a blue bikini with little pink flowers and eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the beach. My hair was dirty blonde, curly and wild. My skin was sun-kissed and underneath my knotted hair was a sandy scalp. It is the last documentation of me eating without shame and the last time I wore a bikini. Each summer, my cousins and I would pretend we were mermaids as we splashed and laughed in Lake Michigan. Now, I spend every summer coming up with new excuses for why I would rather sit in the sand with a book wearing shorts and a tank top than swim with them. Weight transformed into a number that I couldn’t stop thinking about. In the fourth grade, a friend whispered into my ear as she pointed at the tag
peeking out from the shirt of the chubby girl sitting in front of us, “I bet she weighs over a hundred pounds.” In line at the grocery store, between the candy bars and comic books, I would read the headlines of gossip tabloids speculating about celebrity weight gain. I began to see weight everywhere. When I returned to my childhood home one summer in middle school, I discovered that my best friend, who had always had a round face and fleshy arms that mirrored my own, had become so thin that I could wrap a single arm around her waist. It felt like a betrayal. Her cheeks were sharp and her thickest feature were the chunky braces on her teeth. I had only become rounder during our time apart. My father handed me the shiny blue “South Beach Diet” book and told me that we would do it together. He bought a bag of sugarless mints and said that if we ate only those and vegetables for a week, we could lose 10 pounds. The small book felt heavy in my hands as I tucked it away in my closet. Later that afternoon, he bought my brother a cheeseburger from McDonalds. I desperately wanted to lose the weight. Every bite of food I swallowed came with three bites of shame. I would eat as little as possible in front of my parents, instead waiting until the late hours of the night
to tip-toe downstairs to our pantry and sneak yogurt pretzels or a cup of ice
no longer felt like an uncontrollable force in my life. I had accomplished something that I had been trying to do unsuccessfully for years. But it didn’t transform my body; it just changed my perception of it. The heavy pounds of fat I felt on my body were only heavy to me. When I looked in the mirror, my body wasn’t all that different, but awkward round shapes that I had hated before began to feel like curves I could enjoy. I wore a bathing suit for the first time in years the summer before my freshman year of college. It was at a murky campground lake, mosquitos nipped at my legs and sticky humidity coated my skin. Clad in a pinstriped one-piece, I self-consciously wrapped my arms around my middle. My friend grabbed me by the waist and tossed me into the water. I screamed and dove head first PHOTO COURTESY OF RUBY WALLAU into the insecurity that had scared me for so long. He swam cream back to my room. after me as my head broke the surface. During senior year, I finally dug up It felt like I was floating, weightless, that blue glossy “South Beach Diet” even though my feet could touch the book from where it was hidden in my rocky bottom. closet. I learned to eat only vegetables A couple of days ago, as I waded and meat for weeks and would wake across the Diag through the slush on up an extra hour earlier to run on the my way to class, I overheard the girls treadmill before class. When I lost ten in front of me worrying about Spring pounds, it transformed me. My weight Break. “I’ve really let myself go,” one
said. The other agreed, chastising herself for unhealthy eating habits and not going to the gym enough. They began to devise a plan to get bikini-ready in less than three weeks. I wanted to roll my eyes and brush off their words as superficial, but I couldn’t because I knew that I have had nearly the exact same conversations with my own friends. I am afraid to ever calculate how many hours I’ve spent in my short lifetime thinking about losing weight, counting calories and googling crash diets. I once read that women monitor their bodies once every 30 seconds. We each devise a system to mask our own flaws, learning how to wear our clothes, how to fold our legs or rest our hips to project the thinnest versions of ourselves. Body image will probably always be an internal struggle for me. There are still days when I obsess about the numbers on the scale or spend all day hating myself for binging on Nutella the night before. But I’m ready to fight this battle. I am tired of apologizing for eating. It exhausts me that when I sit at a table with my friends, I expect to hear myself or them make a joke at our own expense. Body hate has become a normative behavior in our society. It is a habit that I try to fight everyday. Even though sometimes I hate the person in my reflection and the curves I don’t recognize, I am learning that it’s alright to also love the person I find there, too.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 // The Statement
T H E V I S U A L S TAT E M E N T: A N E N G L I S H M A J O R ’ S P I L G R I M A G E T E R E S A M AT H E W T R AV E L E D T O L O N D O N A N D OXFO R D FO R SPR IN G B R E AK TO VISIT T H E L A N D O F H E R MOT H E R TO N G U E , S CO N E S , I M P E C C A B LY D R E S S E D H U M A N S A N D T H E W O R L D ’ S M O S T FA M O U S B O Y W I Z A R D .
A man, presumably an Oxford student, cycles underneath the Bridge of Sighs in Hertford College, Oxford.
Teresa wasn’t quite sure what delicacies were in this shop (besides chives), but she was pretty sure she couldn’t afford them.
Afternoon tea in Camellia’s Tea House is a must for anyone who likes to feel fancy and eat cake (i.e. college students and your grandmother).
Tourists and locals mingle in the Portebello Road Market in Notting Hill, London enjoying the sunshine and food carts.
The Statement staff examines the stigma and silence behind disordered eating.