If I had the Courage and/or Connections to do a TED Talk
I did have a phase during which I would only watch TED talks about anything. (
I'm still going through this phase) I won't go into why TED talks are so great ( they are) or my favorites, but rather list some ideas I wish were TED talks I could host.
(I have, in fact, been informed about TEDxCUNY's existence. Maybe I'll join once my lungs figure out how to work while I'm on a stage!)
These are things I think about on the train ride home, mostly while giving myself my daily report card on that day's social interactions. Alex-Memory Conferences.
Here's the list, some titles and some rants concentrate:
1) The Asexuality Spectrum and the Strange Rejection of it by the Rest of the Queer Community: a talk that would eloquently put together formal definitions and personal/peer anecdotes about the realness and problems of asexuality. Not understanding something isn't cause to deem it as nonexistent or silly.
2) Why We Need Mental Health Education as Early as Possible: because I shouldn't be seeing peers older than me sharing posts on Facebook saying 'just exercise and get over it.' In the same class where I learned about the food groups, MDMA, and STDs, kids should learn that 'depressed' isn't synonymous with 'sad,' and that mental illness is just as physical as a broken leg.
3) The Depiction of Therapists in Children's Literature: a book/thesis topic that's been rolling around in my head. To my knowledge, there is a severe lack of caring therapists/mental health counselors in literature. They're nearly always skeevy, sometimes perverted characters who are largely incompetent and selfish. How will we ever de-stigmatize and normalize therapy if from the very beginning therapists/counselors are seen as such?
[a lot of these are about mental health because I've learned a lot about the field and many misconceptions connected with it]
4) Professors, Take Your Students' Diagnoses Seriously: your mental illness doesn't give a rat's ass that the semesters take place from August-December and February-May, you need to be at maximum mental ability to secure even a decent future for yourself in today's economy, and you need to work however many hours a week to continue living. It hits you, debilitates you, and most people don't take you seriously. Legally, if a student presents a 'doctor's note' for their mental illness professors have to make exceptions for them (depending on the illness) without consequence. However, even if the student does work up the courage to provide their professor with such written proof, most professors (ignorant of the symptoms and severity of most, if not all, mental illnesses) will wave them away. This does come from the widely prevalent 'it's all in your head; get over it' mentality we see in this country. We need to improve literally everything when it comes to mental health treatment in America.
5) Why Europe Conquered/Ravaged Pretty Much the Rest of the World: how about we stop thinking that Europeans were just 'better' (as I've actually heard from other people) than everyone else, and actually learn about the advantages Europeans had by random chance? So far I've seen scattered points on the topic, but this talk would combine them--Europe's horizontal shape, the animals that lived there naturally, the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of Europeans, and more--into one glorious Warrior Against Ignorance!
6) More Difficult to Read ≠ Smarter: in which we talk about the relevance, intelligence, and complexity of children's/YA literature. Not all of it, of course. Not all adult literature is worth studying, after all; same goes with children's/YA literature. Let's destroy the pretentious views that all children's/YA literature is inferior and not worth taking seriously. I mean, life is too short to be so rigid anyway.
7) The Misogyny of Jazz (and Other Music Too): jazz is one of the most sexist music genres (if not the most), believe it or not. Let's talk about those women who went (and still are) unnoticed by most historians and jazz classes. (Here's a clip of one of my favorite jazz/classical pianists, Hazel Scott...hot damn, that mix of classical, rag, and stride playing!)
I think that's enough for now, no?
Let me know what you think!