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Thursday, April 28, 2005


one of the most interesting things about social work is the variety of environments you can work in -- places that you would never choose to go, but change your life once you experience them. in this case, i still have not had the chance to see the inside of a nyc jail, but i just spoke with a fellow sw student who is just finishing up his first-year internship at one of the most well-known (and not for its exemplary record). hard to believe that they'd send a fresh-faced post-grad to a place like that, right? you should have seen my parents face when they heard i'd be going to the south bronx...

for one of our final papers in this class we're supposed to follow the progress of one of our clients. this student in my class was not allowed to do so because the jail he was working at would not let him. the situation there is so bad and so discouraging that they won't even let their sw interns keep track of their own progress for fear of it getting out to the press or an ex-inmate with a good lawyer. now that alone sets my teeth on edge because this is supposed to be part of the educational process, but what it says about what is happening inside the jail is even more frightening.

last month the ny times did a lengthy expose on the ny state prison system and the private healthcare company that is supposedly providing medical care to the inmates, but seems to be lining its pockets instead -- what a shock! and you thought that the kind of company that would make a profit off of the health and well-being of prisoners would be a vision of beneficence.

anyway, it is my feeling that this is just the tip of the iceberg. the prison system has turned into big business. how many people get fat off the misfortunes of others? since when has the revolving prison door become a substitute for real mental health care? and why do we feel that we own people's souls as soon as they enter the justice system? why do we punish people for their addictions rather than try to help them? who's thinking about all of the children that grow up in foster homes because their mother's are in prison serving manditory minimum charges on drug possession? where are they likely to end up? what have they done to diserve that kind of life? and why are politicians spending their time arguing over steroids in baseball and unnecessary changes to social security when thousands of americans are suffering -- and that's not even talking about the millions of working americans who go without healthcare! when can we stop talking politics and start talking about how to run the country??

anyway, that's my rant for today. on to more hopeful topics tomorrow...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


i'm reveling in the brief glory of a semester almost over. one paper is done, another due next week, and then a whole week of freedom. okay, really four days... but, dammit, i'm going to enjoy those four days. i'm going to watch mindless tv, drink martinis i can't afford, and hang with my bird. sounds like a kick, don't it?

well, since doodleboodle can rant, i shall rant... i'm sure that rants are quite rare on blogs, aren't they? most people just talk about how wonderful life is and how it just couldn't possibly be better, right? that's what i thought... anyway, let's begin with bridesmaid dresses -- ugly or not, they are so darn expensive and they are never (i repeat, never) colors that you would wear in real life. now as someone who got married and inflicted bridesmaid dresses on others, i feel somewhat comfortable about this rant because i've seen it from both sides. if my mom wasn't kind enough to pay for my bridesmaid dresses, i like to think i would have gone the democratic route and said "wear anything in and around the shade of _____ (insert whatever frightening bridesmaid color here)." that way they could interpret "lavendar" to mean "black" or "aquamarine" to mean "black." you see where I'm going this....

anyway, i'm over it. i realize that this is the price of friendship, and i'm willing to accept it.

second rant. dumb RAs. no, i don't mean slightly flighty RAs. i mean brick on a slow day RAs. i have one this year that requires detailed instructions on how to take paper out of a box and put it on shelves. "oh, you mean over here?" "this box?" "how should i stack them" yes, sheer brilliance... and for those out of the loop, this is an ivy league school. just goes to show you how little that means.

well, i'm off to get a head start on those martinis.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

and so it begins...

i was just admiring a much more eloquent friend's blog and thought how cathartic such a thing might be. after the requisite hour of trying blog name after blog name, i came upon inspiration -- or at least a name that didn't get thrown back to me.

why "elegy to lost youth" you might ask? well, it so happened that as i tried in vain to come up with a suitable "blogspot" name i was listening to a dead can dance song named "elegy." i thought to myself -- hey, that has nice ring! of course i haven't recently lost a loved one or been unceremoniously jilted by a lover, so i thought perhaps i should dedicate this blog to my youth. (i also figured the name "elegy" alone would have a 99% chance of having already been taken.)

remember youth? not everyone has fond memories of their youths, but i think i was quite fortunate when pre-adult years were being handed out. of course i have wiped high school from my memory almost entirely, so i am speaking here strictly of pre-adolescence -- before the traumas of semi-formals and bathroom graffiti. no, my youthful memories are of climing fences, ice-cream cakes by the pool, and late nights watching splash over and over again. now that i have to support myself (well almost) and pay taxes, i feel that perhaps those years are gone. i miss them...