By Jordan Gaines Lewis
Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared on The Conversation. “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was released on July 31, 2016.
Perhaps it had something to do with living in a dark cupboard, but Harry had always been small and skinny for his age … [he] had a thin face, knobbly knees … and wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all the times Dudley had punched him on the nose.
And so we are introduced to our protagonist, The Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One: Harry Potter. The seven books about the young wizard and his time at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry have been translated into 73 different languages and sold over 450m copies worldwide. And readers wouldn’t guess, after author J K Rowling’s introduction of Harry, that the orphaned boy would be the one to defeat the powerful and devastating Dark Lord Voldemort.
Harry’s home life wasn’t as exciting as his rising wizardry: he was snubbed by his only remaining family, bullied by his cousin and classmates, and resided in that dark cupboard under the stairs. His uncle Vernon, aunt Petunia, and cousin Dudley Dursley — to whom he was passed as an infant after the death of his parents — ensure that he’s properly malnourished at all times. After spending a day cleaning the Dursleys’ entire house and working outside in the blazing July heat (on his 12th birthday, no less), Aunt Petunia prepares for Harry “two slices of bread and a lump of cheese” before sending him off to hide during their dinner party with the Masons. It’s no wonder he was so small for his age.
Continue reading Focus on research: Emotional abuse can affect growing children, like Harry Potter
by Jordan Gaines Lewis
Editor’s note: The following article originally appeared on The Conversation on July 2, 2015. The fourth season of Orange is the New Black was released on Friday, June 17, 2016.
The inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary, the fictional setting for the Netflix TV series Orange is the New Black, are not shy women.
They’ve landed in prison for murder, fraud, stalking, drug-smuggling, theft, and political activism. They do illegal activities behind the officers’ backs. They make their opinions known loud and clear to one another. And they’re not opposed to throwing a few punches, if duty calls.
But all will cease if you threaten to send them to the SHU. Why?
Continue reading Focus on research: Solitary confinement is bad for the brain
Mental health has long been a taboo topic, but with the help of education and awareness efforts the stigma is beginning to fade.
More and more college students are seeking out their campus counseling centers, as Brian Locke, executive director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, wrote in this week’s Focus on Research column.
Continue reading Minding mental health
By Ben Locke
Beginning in 1949, a week in May was promoted as Mental Health Awareness Week — which eventually became Mental Health Awareness Month. The goal was — and still is — to educate the public about the signs, symptoms and treatments as well as the positive lifestyle choices that lead to mental health.
An estimated 1 in 5 Americans will be affected by a mental health condition in their lifetime, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness. And the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation shows that when compared to other health risks, mental illness is responsible for approximately 30 percent of all lost life and productivity for Americans aged 15 to 24, an age range that includes the majority of U.S. college students.
Continue reading Focus on research: More college students seeking mental health help