Flash Forward to Late July…

The summer has been barreling along and Ryan and I have officially entered the second and final phase of our internship. Life is speedier in the city, that’s a fact.

Dr Judy and colleague Elizabeth Schroeder at Teachers College

Dr Judy and colleague Elizabeth Schroeder at Teachers College

One. The Psychology of Intimacy at Columbia Teachers College. Going super well. The process has been intense, and the three of us have spent the past two weeks conducting individual phone meetings with the students to discuss their individual projects. Students are planning diabetes clinics involving illness and intimacy, studying the effect of close interpersonal relationships at work, and presenting Bolivian cultural dances.
On a personal note, the class has opened my own eyes to the word of intimacy. I don’t even think I knew what the word “intimacy” truly meant before this summer. Vague image of closeness between a husband and wife bounced around in my head when I heard the word, but it’s a bit more complicated than that, and what’s more, it’s super hard to achieve for a lot of people.

A mixed group discussing Lesotho programming.

A mixed group discussing Lesotho programming.

Two. Work on the Lesotho children’s camp. Really suessful meetings with the Economic Counselor at the Lesotho mission here in NYC. What we’re finding and what I’m learning is that things get done and objectives are achieved when everyone benefits. A working partnership is not unlike a symbiotic relationship between two animals. Even if one member benefits by feeling like they’re helping a higher cause altruistically, they have to benefit.

Three. Revamping Dr Judy’s outdoor personal space. The small balcony attached to the home office was bleak and empty, hosting only a small family of broken pots. Stepping onto the balcony was like stepping onto a deserted pirate ship- not good for the energy flow. A couple of begonias, a pair of adorable bonsai-type trees, and a shaded table transformed the pathetic patio into a feng shui paradise. The chi is positively flowing!P1010272

Ryan and I making use of our outdoor refuge

Ryan and I making use of our outdoor refuge

Juliane

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From Oral to Auras

“My day was stressful- we had to move our entire office across campus,” Jennifer sighed. Amy paused before replying, “That’s so funny, my day was horrible!”

Jennifer and Amy were two  students in Dr. Judy’s course at Columbia’s Teacher’s College who graciously agreed to perform a skit on intimacy-promoting conversation. Bringing Jennifer’s bad day back to herself, Amy was not taking steps toward closeness. Instead, she built an Ego Wall.

These types of student-to-student interactions popped up throughout the four hours on Tuesday. Dr. Judy touched on topics  including cross-cultural communcation. In one of her finer moments, Dr J made the distinction between the way Asian and Western cultures talk about intimacy. “How do you get harmony in your relationship?” ask the Chinese, to which the Americans counter, “But how do you spice up your sex life?”

“Is anyone interested in altered states of conciousness? Well I am interested in altered states of conciousness. I’m in an altered state of conciousness right now!” Dr. Judy injected humor to the classroom whenever possible.

That’s when things started to get weird.

At around hour three of the course, I was reclined in my chair, relaxedly watching Dr Judy lecture. As my eyes wandered between her and the students, my breath suddenly caught in my throat. A shimmering wave had appeared around Dr. Judy’s head, and was following her. It was a similar effect of heat above a grill on a summer day, and as I continued to watch, I saw the same effect around the heads of the students, though much smaller. Little flames of this “stuff” periodically lept from the Doctor’s head.

I nervously relayed my experience to DJ after the class, and she was very excited. I still don’t know what to think about it- is it possible that Im tapping into my ability to see auras? How new-age.

xo Juliane

A Day of Fun at Fox News, SYMS and the Friar’s Club

Yesterday, Dr. Judy was invited to share her psychological opinions about the Governor Sanford case and the growing controversy over whether or not Michael Jackson is indeed the father of his children on Alan Colmes Radio Show: Strategy Room which is available online.

Dr. Judy and Alan Colmes

Dr. Judy and Alan Colmes

At first, Juliane and I were a little apprehensive about walking into Fox as apposed to CNN due to our more liberal views. Fortunately, Alan Colmes is one of the few liberals to have a show on Fox and the atmosphere was very welcoming and laid back. As we waited for Dr. Judy to go on the air, we got to meet Scott Blakeman. Scott is a Jewish standup comedian who is apart of a comedy show called Stand Up For Peace which brings together Jewish, Arabs, Muslims and people from varying backgrounds to laugh and encourage dialogue about conflict and peace in the Middle East. Scott Blakeman was familiar with Smith College because he had performed the Stand Up For Peace show at Mt. Holyoke in recent years. It was great that we met up with Scott because he reminded Dr. Judy about their articles that had been written in the Friar’s Club Epistle.  Dr. Judy’s article talked about the various hats she wears. It described her many titles as clinical psychologist, sex therapist, author,  and peace advocate.

The interview on Alan’s show went well. We took many pictures and Dr.Judy debated with fellow psychologist Dr. Keith Ablow from Boston who felt that couples could get over an affair and still have the same amount of intimacy and trust. This debate was in relation to the Governor Sanford affair. Dr. Judy argued that although you can work with couples and talk about the affair, women often have a hard time forgetting and letting go of the fact that their partner cheated. She went on further to make the point that for women to come to orgasm, it is important that they feel safe and open with their partner both physically and mentally.

Dr. Keith Ablow and Dr. Judy discussing intimacy between couples

Dr. Keith Ablow and Dr. Judy discussing intimacy between couples

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Julian and I were lucky enough to meet Jordan Chariton, the guest coordinator and production assistant at Fox, and Joshua Belsky, the senior producer of Alan’s show, who was kind enough to snap all the wonderful photos with his iphone.

Juliane Casey, Jordan Chariton, and Ryan Rasdall

Juliane Casey, Jordan Chariton, and Ryan Rasdall at Fox News

After the show ended, we waited for the rain to stop and spoke with Scott Blakeman about his Stand Up For Peace show and he reminded us again about the Friar’s Club Epistle. When the rain stopped, we headed toward the Friar’s Club. I mentioned to Dr. Judy that I had been looking for an inexpensive white tie. She said she knew exactly where to find one and walked Juliane and I into SYMS, a store that sells designer and brand name clothes for discount prices. We found me a tie but before I knew it, were were shopping for dresses. For almost two hours, Dr. Judy, Juliane and I walked around the women’s floor and tried on many different outfits. We each left with a bag of dresses and memories. At the Friar’s club, we picked up copies of the Epistle, which had articles about Dr. Judy and Scott Blakeman.

Dr. Judy holding up her article in the Epistle at the Friar's Club

Dr. Judy holding up her article in the Epistle at the Friar's Club

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All in all, it was great day and we did a lot of  laughing.

To learn more about Scott Blakeman, you can check out his website at http://www.scottblakeman.com and Alan Colmes show is available for viewing at http://www.foxnews.com/radio/alancolmes/

Juliane and Ryan at Rockefeller Cente

Juliane and Ryan at Rockefeller Center

~Ryan

Leighton Meester Interview

On Friday evening, Dr Judy was interviewed by Arthur Chien on Leighton Meester’s recently released sex tape. It was very cool- Dr Judy got dressed in a flash, then we took took the elevator down to the street level, and crossed the street to meet Chien and the camera man. Standing in front of Robert Indiana’s Love Sculpture, the interview took place.

I was flashing photos, Ryan was answering the “Who is that?” question to passers-by. And after she finished, Dr Judy recommended that Ryan and I also interview, and we gave our opinion on whether or not the sex tape would encourage Meester’s young fans to imitate her behavior.

Lesson: The reporter asked, “But don’t you think young people might be affected by the sex tape?” He was looking for an answer, reporters have an agenda too!

Interviewing with Arthur Chien on a Friday afternoon-Only with Dr. Judy!
Ciao-Juliane

Smithie Book Signing at the Italian Consulate

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Elizabeth Bettina's New Book

Last night Dr. Judy and I supported fellow Smithie Elizabeth Bettina, class of 1984, at her book signing at the Italian Consulate. Elizabeth’s book It Happened In Italy, tells the untold stories of Italian-born Jews and foreign Jews who were kept safe in Italy by members of the Catholic Church during World War II when Italy was allied with Germany.

Elizabeth discovered this history through her family’s connection to the village of Campagna in Southern Italy where her grandparents are from. To her surprise, she discovered that this small town was home to concentration camps and there, thousands of people helped to keep Jews safe from Nazi persecution.

The personal testimony coupled with historical facts in Elizabeth’s book comes from various men and women who lived through the atrocities of the concentration camps. We had the pleasure of talking to one of the women from the book: Edith Birns. Edith, now 84 years old, told us how even till this day it is hard for her to watch movies or films about the Holocaust because it brings up a lot of pain.

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Elizabeh Bettina was amazingly kind, funny and patient despite all the chaos of everyone taking taking pictures, passing business cards and signing books. To our knowledge, Dr. Judy and I were the only Smithies at the event but we were able to share a few “Smith” moments with Elizabeth at the signing table. Elizabeth informed us during the book signing that she had recently attended her 25th reunion at Smith, lived in Chapin House and was always a Quad girl at heart. Dr. Judy and I both had our books signed and spoke with Edith and others in attendance.P1010040

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Ryan Rasdall '11 and Elizabeth Bettina '84

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Ryan Rasdall '11, Elizabeth Bettina '84, and Dr. Judy '68

If you wish to read more about Elizabeth Bettina and her book, please visit her blog at http://www.elizabethbettina.com and if you wish to purchase her book, it is available at Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, Borders and other local bookstores.

~Ryan

CyberBullying

Tuesday we went to a conference on Cyber hate at the UN. It was a large conference, with more than 500 people in attendance (see photo 3 for an idea of the size).  Acknowledging the responsibility of authorities and websites themselves to monitor the content of their sites, there was a recurrent call to the public, the “bystanders,” to be constantly on the lookout for malicious behavior on real and virtual fronts.

Mark Weitzman, an expert on cyberhate, presented many visual examples of hate sites that exist online. It was very intense, as there was an enormous range of targeted groups, from Jews to Catholics to minorities to immigrants to women. Most disturbing was the sneakiness of some sites. One online game has players shoot  immigrants trying to cross the border. Another disguises itself as a tribute to a notable Civil Rights activist, but ingrained in the text is a racist slant intended to influence young people exploring the site. I was reminded of the intolerance that exists in the world below the surface. I frequent only a handful of sites regularly, (gmail, facebook, nytimes, moodle) and so I don’t come into contact with this type of negativity, nor do I seek it out, but younger people are particularly vulnerable to new media.

In the second part of the panel, guest speaker John Hannigan told the story of his son’s suicide after being relentlessly bullied online about being gay. Hannigan emphasized the responsibility of the bystanders in stopping potentially tragic ends. “Don’t be a bystander,” he ended.

During a question-and-answer period, Alex raised her hand and asked if it were possible to more thoroughly require people to put their name behind their comments online so that annyminty could not be used as a security blanket for bulliers. She sounding great in front of all 500 people.  After the event wound down, Dr. Judy spotted a UN  media person who was interested in interviewing Alex, and she got some UN radio airtime. Finally, a gentleman approached her and said he was interested in having her review some of his organizations online media.

Lesson: put yourself out there, look at all the positive people you can attract with a little effort!
But also, don’t forget to look out for harassment and bullying.

Voices Of African Mothers Benefit

On June 11, the Voices of African Mothers, Inc. and Friends of the John William Education Center held a concert, dinner and silent auction to raise awareness and money to help the mothers and children suffering in Africa. The event was held at the Christ Church located at 520 Park Avenue at 7pm. The event was organized by Smithie Annie Scranton ’01, so Dr. Judy decided to make it a mini-Smith reunion.

(left to right) Alex Frizzell '12, Dr. Judy '68, Nana-Fosu Randall, Annie Scranton '01, Ryan Rasdall '11, Olivia Moskowitz '06, and Nkechi Nneji '07

(left to right) Alex Frizzell '12, Dr. Judy '68, Nana-Fosu Randall, Annie Scranton '01, Ryan Rasdall '11, Olivia Moskowitz '06, and Nkechi Nneji '07

Mrs. Nana-Fosu Randall who was born in Kumasi, Ghana started the Voices of African Mothers organization. She has worked with the United Nations for the past 30 years and in the last 18 years; she has been the Chief Financial Officer for the Peace Keeping Force. Her role in the Peace Keeping Force has led her to war torn areas of Africa where she met a young girl who gave her the inspiration to found the Voices for African Voices. On one of her trips to the market in Liberia, Mrs. Randall met a girl was no more than 13 years old and she had no hands and no legs and she was caring for a baby. Mrs. Randall later learned that the home where the girl and her family lived was bombarded into one night and the whole family was given one choice: either join the military or die. The girl fought back and was raped and shot, injuring her hands and feet. It took the girl two weeks to crawl to the roadside where she got assisted to the hospital. The gangrene on her hands and feet required amputation and later it was discovered that she was pregnant. This story brought Mrs. Randall to tears. When she arrived back in the United States, Mrs. Randall and her friends, knowing the pain and suffering faced by women and mothers in Africa, founded the Voices of African Mothers organization.

At the event, there was a silent auction, display of various paintings of African people and a donation bar. Mrs. Randall spoke first, telling the story about the girl she met in Liberia. Then tribal leaders from the country of Ghana were introduced one by one, including Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely. Chief Daasebre Anane Amponsah Asantifohene spoke to the audience in his native language and his Chief Advisor translated his remarks. The chief then invited the audience to watch as he and the other tribal leaders performed one of their ritual dances. A delicious catered dinner followed.

At the event, we sat with a table full of Smithies and previous interns of Dr. Judy. Nkechi Nneji ’07 is currently a production assistant at CNN Special Projects, Olivia Moskowitz ’06 and Annie Scranton ’01 is currently a producer at HLN (Headline News Network) for the show ISSUES with Jane Velez-Michell .  Dr. Judy and Jane have been friends for years from their days at WCBS TV News. Today, Dr. Judy is often found on Jane’s show commenting on the rampage of murderers, rapists, child abducters and other nefarious characters including the Craigslist sex attacker and the Caylee Anthony case. The event had a great turn out and donations went toward benefiting the women and children of Africa.

If you would like to learn more about Voices of African Mothers, please visit their website:

http://www.VAMothers.org

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Ryan Rasdall '11, Dr. Judy '68, and Alex Frizzell '12

Nana-Fosu Randall (left) & Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely (right)

Nana-Fosu Randall (left) & Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely (right)

Olivia Moskowitz '06, Dr. Judy '68 and Nkechi Nneji '07

Olivia Moskowitz '06, Dr. Judy '68 and Nkechi Nneji '07

To view the Chief’s speech, view youtube video below.

~Ryan and Alex