November 16th, 2001

periodic table

MIT and mental health

There's an article in yesterday's Boston Globe about MIT saying that its mental health care is inadequate. The article was pretty clearly prompted by several recent, publicized suicides, but it surprised me, as I've been pretty impressed by the MIT mental health options. There are posters all over campus for the crisis hotline, quite a bit of advertising of the other services, and a fairly friendly office. (It's in the main health center, which is huge, and it's sort of set back along a hallway, which is well-marked but tucked away so that you can't see who is sitting in the waiting area. (You can see the waiting areas for other medical specialty areas -- they're just off the main stairwell.)

And, while there is a lot of pressure, I've seen a fairly strong recognition that it exists, and that it's okay to have problems with it. Maybe it's just because I'm a grad student and kinda cut off from campus life, but the general attitude is actually much less masochistic than that at Swarthmore -- where misery poker was the game of choice at the dinner table, but people generally assumed that pressure was *good*.

Eh, dunno where I was going with this.
periodic table

dizzy the me

So I semi-randomly ended up dancing ECD (english country dancing) in Harvard Square this evening instead of watching Willam Shatner (the horror!). It was fun, but now I'm very dizzy. Biking and dancing and biking home with a sinus infection are more than my poor inner ears can handle. Still, I'm glad I went.

It cheered me up some -- I've been in a pretty bleak mood lately. [Warning: I'm about to overstretch a metaphor, so y'all literary-critterary types, bail now!] This part of the semester always gets me down -- the part where there isn't a light at the end of the tunnel, yet, because you're not *in* the tunnel yet, you've just come around one mountain to see that the road leads straight into a dark, huge mountain and it's just this little black hole that you're headed straight for. And you only have a few moments left to turn on your headlights and decide if you like the lane you're in. (Can we tell I've travelled the PA turnpike through the mountains a few times?)

I can deal with the huge pressure of finals -- it can be exhilarating, and I work best under pressure. It's the time just before that that I don't handle well. In the spring, the cherry trees used to cheer me up, since they'd bloom just as the dark times were starting. And then the lilacs would take over from there. But this isn't Swarthmore, and it's fall, not spring. And I'm sick, and exhausted on so many levels.

I want to sleep, wake up, take a final exam, and go back to sleep for a few weeks. Then I'll be ready to start a new semester. Not gonna happen.

And, topping it all off, Dave and I are on the brink of having one of our old recurring fights. We're both scrambling for some way to work around it, and we're both better at thinking outside the box, relationship-wise, now, but we haven't found a solution yet, and the angst is building. He's coming over now, 'cause I need a hug so that I don't end up crying myself to sleep. It'll be okay, eventually, but I'm confused and, as I think I mentioned before, exhausted.

Finally, Boston Drivers SuckCollapse )