Emotional Well Being

Psychiatry needs to Lie Down on the Couch

The field of Psychiatry has been taking a bit a beating in the alt-media as many of its core assumptions about the theory of chemical imbalance are scrutinized.   Apart from leaving a highly-trained population of well-meaning and caring professionals with a massively restricted toolbox and looking for new  ways to help the clients with whom they’e developed relationship over  the years, the critical eye of the non-mainstream media is also uncovering some pretty uncomfortable relationships between their trained professionals and an out of control industry that saw them only as a revenue referral stream.  This is certainly not a new development as the questions have been swirling for nearly a decade.  Patients in need of help have been crushed between a profession that has  become dependent on Big Pharma and an industry that has used all of its considerable muscle to make simply  questioning it a crime. Its not a great leap from Gorman’s book to a world where basically every student is medicated in some way for something.  The evils of corporate control of schools are to numerous for one novel to cover them all so Gorman can certainly be excused for missing a few. His warning is still worthy of heeding.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Corporate High School

Corporate High School  by Benjamin Gorman illustrates the dystopia associated with corporate overreach.  The story begins with the young protagonist, Harriet, having to transfer to a new school because her mother is in prison for being in debt.  Through the eyes of this high school student we see a world that is controlled by a corporation.  While set in the future, as a culture many of the steps that allowed the fictitious world to develop, we have already taken.  The most recognizable step is the movement of the private sector into public education.  The Atlantic monthly article by Alia Wong titled Private Interests Coming to a Public School Near You, asserts, “The Common Core standards for their part were bankrolled by a philanthropic organization—the Gates Foundation—and have been attacked by critics as another example of the private sector’s infiltration of public education. That controversy will continue to trickle down into classrooms next year.” Anyone working in public education has had to address common core standards.  While Benjamin Gorman acknowledges that capitalism serves as a means for the distribution of goods and services, it can’t be allowed to operate unchecked.  Our love of business and consumerism and disdain for public services and the taxes required to pay for them, are forces that reach a pinnacle of allowing corporations complete unopposed control. Although Corporate High School is a novel for young adults, every responsible voter can benefit from the ideas explored by high school students in the novel.

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HEALTHY LIVING

Red Rover Red Rover Send Phy Ed Back Over

One of the byproducts of the incessant push to improve test scores that had squeezed a number of traditional school activities from the school day.  Music and the Artsore two common victims of these cuts that have been particularly vicious in lower-income neighborhoods. Luckily, music and the arts have found prominent and influential groups to champion their cause. Sometimes lost in the shuffle is the fact that Physical Education is also an essential aspect of human developmentunder pressure as the roles ofcertified teachers in that field are being outsourced to regular classroom teachers. (Yeah, I know I just used the same link twice in that sentence because I don’t want you to miss it. Might even use it once more just in case.) Healthy childrenmake better students. Recess can sometimes help fill the void but the benefits of an actual Physical Education curriculum go far beyond simple movement. Its just another example of how those who frequently preach about getting the most out of us are least willing toput anything into us.

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