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Life can knock you off your feet! I take care of everything and everyone…this is what I do and a large part of who I am! One day while at work I had this intense squeezing in my chest, everything started to spin, I was nauseous and dizzy. I thought I was having a heart attack. After being checked out in the ER, thankfully my ticker is in fine condition but what I experienced was a panic attack.
Last semester was very difficult: working 50+ hours a week, dealing with the news of my brother being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, caring for him during treatment, all while working towards finishing my degree, and the pressure was taking its toll. This panic attack was an eye opening experience.
I was not taking care of myself at all and it was evident. It was time to make some healthy changes. The hardest one was acknowledging that it wasn’t selfish to take time for self-care. I worked on trying to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, took some walks (even short 15 minute ones helped) and—this is a big one—turning off all electronics (YES, no Facebook!!!) at least an hour before going to sleep. However, the most important form of self-care for me has been the practice of active listening and affirmation towards myself.
Active listening is when we listen to someone, acknowledge their feelings and restate it so they feel understood and validated. It might sound, and feel, weird doing this, but give it a try. I would say things to myself like, “working so many hours and caring for Anthony (my brother) is really exhausting,” or “it’s ok to be scared and sad to see Anthony so sick.”
So many people suffer with anxiety, many in silence. I was ashamed to admit that at one point, but not anymore. This makes me human. If you find yourself in a similar situation, practice some self-care. Be kind and love yourself. Allow the truth of your emotions to have a safe space with no judgment. Give yourself time to feel, grow, and heal on this journey of life.
Life can knock us off our feet, but it’s okay because sometimes we need to lay down and rest.
Be kind to YOU today!
Dianne Galasso is a Brooklyn native since birth! In 1991, she received her AAS in Journalism from Kingsborough Community College. She studied at St. John’s University from 1993-1999. Dianne has had photographic and written work published, as well as has edited for other published authors. Since 1991, Dianne has worked at a medical center in Brooklyn in various job functions, currently as a Manager in the Nursing Education Department. She has coached girls’ softball, volunteered in the women’s and children’s ministry in her local church and is an active resource in the lives of children. After a 15 year hiatus from school, Dianne is currently a student at CUNY SPS where she is pursuing her BA in Psychology.
The Academy Awards are this Sunday. Here are some picks and notes for the festivities.
SHOULD WIN: Spotlight
WILL WIN: The Revenant
- CAROL not being nominated is a travesty. THE REVENANT has abundant momentum. Not a film I enjoyed all that much, but the Oscars often get it wrong.
SHOULD WIN: Whatever (Really, whatever)
WILL WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
- By far the weakest of the major categories. DiCaprio wins by default in a year with no competition, and for a performance that was lacking (I blame the script more than him).
SHOULD WIN: Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
WILL WIN: Brie Larson (Room)
Best Supporting Actor
SHOULD WIN: Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
WILL WIN: Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
Best Supporting Actress
SHOULD WIN: Rooney Mara (Carol)
WILL WIN: Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
- This category is a major wild card. Perhaps the strongest all around category, this is a pure guess, at best. Kate Winslet is a terrific actress and always a threat, but I’ll stick with these predictions.
SHOULD WIN: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
WILL WIN: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant)
- I’d be disappointed by another Inarritu victory, but with recent victories at the BAFTAs and DGA, it seems likely. Really pulling for Miller or Tom McCarthy.
Best Original Screenplay
SHOULD WIN: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (Spotlight)
WILL WIN: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (Spotlight)
Best Adapted Screenplay
SHOULD WIN: Phyllis Nagy (Carol)
WILL WIN: Adam McKay and Charles Randolph (The Big Short)
- In the interest of full disclosure, I have not read any of the books these adaptations are nominated for, so I’m not to be trusted with my “should win” pick. I pick Nagy because I loved Carol, but it’s clear McKay and Randolph are the front-runners.
SHOULD WIN: Roger Deakins (Sicario)
WILL WIN: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
- I’d love to be wrong here. One of the great cinematographers of this or any era, Deakins has been nominated 13 times for an Oscar, and has come up empty each time. I could make an argument for each of the other nominees: Ed Lachman for Carol, Robert Richardson for The Hateful Eight, John Seale for Mad Max: Fury Road, or Lubezki. Lubezki does brilliant work, but has won 2 years in a row (Gravity, Birdman). Would like to see a spread of the wealth. Wildly competitive category, and a great year for one of the most vital and powerful parts of the medium.
Best Foreign Language Film
SHOULD WIN: Son of Saul
WILL WIN: Son of Saul
- Mustang is terrific as well, but this should be a slam dunk.
Best Documentary Feature
SHOULD WIN: The Look of Silence
WILL WIN: Amy
- This is a shame. Amy has racked up almost every award this season, and while it’s fine (I feel like this doc could be made about thousands of people, making it less unique), it in no way compares to Joshua Oppenheimer’s devastating companion to 2012’s The Act of Killing.
That’s all I got. If you’re into it, enjoy the show. Brace yourselves for the inevitable boredom that will strike somewhere in the second hour (maybe first depending on how well Chris Rock is doing as host), and don’t take it too seriously. A lot of your (my) favorite movies this year weren’t nominated.
****One additional note: World of Tomorrow is nominated for Best Animated Short. It is incredible and at only 17 minutes, well worth your time. I LOVED THIS. It’s streaming on Netflix.
Robert is a current student here at CUNY SPS, pursuing a degree in Communication and Media. He is interested in platforms of media, especially those related to digital media; and a fan of serious film as well as this current golden age of television.
Aside from the expected non-stop wave of stops and applause, there was one line from the State of the Union address delivered last night by President Obama that stuck with me.
“None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution. What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living.”
– President Barack Obama, The State of the Union, 1/25/11
The technological revolution we are going through is being spoken of in the same context as Thomas Edison and the Wright brothers. It is just further proof that the advances in online interactivity are something profoundly significant. That the President choose to highlight these corporate powerhouses, both still in their relative infancy, as the new vanguards of the American economy and American ingenuity is worthy of a moment of discussion.
If our chief export is to be defined as innovation and ingenuity, it is impossible to avoid certain concerns. We’re not talking about easily quantifiable products that will boost company revenues because we’re shipping more units and earning more money. But the success stories of Facebook and Google are to be lauded because they are highlighting a new sort of social export that proves that America still has a lot to offer to the world, and will remain relevant and powerful on a global level thanks to sites that quite frankly, many people cannot live without.
We all love their products and can clearly point to a point in our lives before and after we began using them. I’d wager that most folks would say that their lives have been improved (either subtly or significantly) thanks to either Facebook or Google. But the truth is that one of the key selling points to both Google and Facebook is that they are both free. Would you use either if they started charging? Before you answer, seriously think about it. Of course it’s easy to have a knee-jerk reaction of mock disgust and dismay. Pay? For Facebook? For Google? Absurd.
But is it, really? Think of the ease of information afforded to you by Google, and the convenience of contact that Facebook cultivates. How much is that worth to you? Something tells me it’s more than the whopping zero dollars we’re all paying right now.
I’m going to shift gears away from these hypotheticals, because luckily for us all, it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing either site behind a pay wall in our lifetime. If ever. In fact, there have been so many nonsensical “news” stories claiming that Facebook will start charging, that the site recently changed their login page to reflect them:
Notice the pledge on the right hand side above the sign up fields that the site will always be free. They needed to put that out there right in front to supersede all the bogus claims of turning into a paysite. But those claims are based in the reality that, Facebook is probably indispensable to a large enough percentage of their user base that people would find themselves willing to pay.
But we won’t have to, and that’s a good thing. The American economy is on its way to righting itself, and the future is looking bright. We have companies innovating on a scale so massive that it is changing the way the world interacts and learns more than anything since the telephone. State of the Unions are always a time for Presidents to put a positive spin on things, even if the situation is particularly dire. But for once, I’m inclined to agree. Things are changing for the better, and thanks to innovations by Facebook, Google, Apple, and companies we haven’t even heard of yet, they’re changing at a rapid rate that all but guarantees an exciting and unpredictable future.
Shawn Abraham is SPS’ Virtual Campus Manager, which means he gets to have a lot of fun building an online community for the school. He also has a lot of fun reading books about zombies. These two things rarely intersect.