The Book of the Week is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey, published in 1990. The author tells readers how to improve their social skills to achieve their goals. He illustrates his points with anecdotes on parenting in his own large family. One phrase in the book that stuck in this blogger’s mind is, “Use your resources and initiative.”
The Book of the Week is “An Unquiet Mind” by Kay Redfield Jamison, published in 1995. This autobiography tells the story of someone with bipolar disorder (also called manic-depressive illness) who had gone undiagnosed until, ironically, she started working on her PhD in psychology.
Jamison was showing symptoms in high school– hearing music in her head, clear as a bell, and staying up all night, sometimes more than one night, energetically completing schoolwork. Sometimes she spoke too fast for people to understand her. A little later, she went on credit-card spending sprees and could not remember them afterwards. She also fell into periods of extreme depression. The continual up-and-down cycle lasted about three days. She theorized that she had inherited the disorder from her father.
When Jamison got to graduate school, she was given a questionnaire on symptoms of her condition. That was the first time she got an inkling that she was mentally unbalanced. Read the book to learn how she dealt with this revelation.
The Book of the Week is “A Smile as Big as the Moon” by Mike Kersjes, published in 2003. This book tells the story of a Midwestern special education class that got to go to “space camp” at NASA’s facility in Alabama. Each week, the camp engaged students from several schools nationwide in a competition in which the students played the role of astronauts.
The students in the special education class had various problems such as Tourette’s syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, learning disabilities, etc. However, their teacher wanted to prove to them and the world that they could function just as well as students in regular classes. They practiced long and hard for weeks prior to the competition. The teacher was also coach of the high school’s football team. He was instrumental in instilling confidence in and encouraging teamwork among the kids. Read the book to find out what happened.
The Book of the Week is “Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality” by Glenn C. Ellenbogen, published in 1987. This book contains a series of satirical/humorous articles and features on psychology. One feature is “A Comprehensive Exam for Students in Introductory Psychology.”
The third question is, “Based on your knowledge of RNA and DNA, create human life. Then clone 40 sets of identical twins and conduct a behavioral genetics experiment that puts the nature versus nurture question to rest, once and for all.”
The sixth question is, “Estimate the statistical problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory. Use the .05 level of significance.”
Even though this book was written by a PhD, it is good comic relief for laypeople.