October 9, 2017
Four years ago I met with Jacob LaMendola and talked about his documentary film project called “Long Shot,” that was in the pre-production stage and looking for financing. This weekend, I watched it on Netflix and couldn’t help but find happiness in so many nuanced ways.
Like all great documentaries, there is a real sense of emotional connection between the main characters and the film’s narrative. The drama builds throughout and you find yourself completely invested in the storyline. If you are a fan of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” (which launched its first new season last week since 2011) you will find an unbelievable twist in the documentary that will also heighten your experience.
Jacob is a young, creative guy with a passion for storytelling; his perseverance and compelling subject matter allow him to breakthrough. Jason grew up nearby in Demarest, NJ and he has produced a movie that people will talk about. WATCH THE TRAILER and check it out on NETFLIX. It will make you laugh and cry.
Congrats to Jacob! We just launched our new Documentary Film Program for Teens this week. Not only is Jacob an inspiration for me, but he will surely allow us to celebrate our launch with a wonderful real-life story from our community.
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool #LongShot
September 25, 2017
Four years ago this month my father passed away from Parkinson’s Syndrome. Watching him decline was so painful; he was a super interesting guy who loved to be active, but also loved the arts. My dad got so much joy from painting, but unfortunately he stopped engaging in art-making a long time before he got sick. I personally think his decline was partially driven through lack of stimuli, poor diet and not having activities to drive his mental growth.
There is a lot of new science and research today that focuses on brain health and this topic is really beginning to move to the forefront of our consciousness as the baby boom generation ages. My research suggests that poor nutrition (sugar and processed foods), lack of exercise and limited engagement in creative tasks help to promote Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
Of course, underlying genetics plays into this, but if you have high cholesterol and put the right plan in place you are likely to live a longer and healthier life. So how do we tackle our brain health? In 2014, Lawrence Katz wrote a book called “Keep Your Brain Alive.” In the book, he clarified the underlying roots in mental decline that were largely due to the loss of communication between brain cells, not from the death of brain cells themselves. Simple exercises including doing creative things stimulate natural growth factors in the brain and promote the communication between brain cells.
I can talk for days about the value of making art…making music…building something…cooking something. The things that stimulate learning and connect your emotional sensory system are likely to help you also reduce stress, feel less anxious and feed the right chemicals to your brain.
Every day I think about how One River helps people to lead a healthier and happier life. This is why I do what I do.
#MondayThoughts #OneRiverSchool #BrainHealth