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Dear Accepted Students,

Congratulations! You did it!

I very much hope that I will be seeing some of you at the accepted students day on March 23 so we can chat over lunch! If you are still making your decision whether or not you will be joining us, I highly recommend attending this upcoming event. Being at the accepted students event was very helpful for me during my own decision making process and I gained much insight. Plus, you might be meeting some of your future classmates and friends there!

It has been very lovely to communicate with many of you throughout your application process. This will be one of my last emails to you, however, as I am approaching the end of my time here at the BGC. Currently, I am working hard on my Qualifying Paper and have been spending much time in front of the giant Mac computers in our Digital Media Lab and hauling many books from the library stacks. In my QP, I examine the way that material aspects and affordances of the physical book contribute to the prevalence of reading practices during illnesses. I am positting that the form of the book and the practice of reading help humans navigate uncertainty and could aid patients and carers in traversing the uncertain experiences of illness (a timely topic given the pandemic, don’t you think?).

The images you see below are postcards produced during the World War I period and show nurses reading to wounded soldiers. In the early parts of the twentieth century, with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder still yet to be named and “Shell Shock” poorly understood and stigmatized, bedside reading appears to have been employed in these ephemera as a visual tool to depict the effort of medical professionals tending to psychological needs of a traumatized individual in a way that is safe from the social stigma attached to the more clinical visions of the mental ward. The uncertainty inherent in understanding the condition of the mind, then, was navigated through the practice of reading.

In any case, congratulations once again and I am looking forward to seeing you at the accepted students day!

My warm wishes,

Pim Supavarasuwat MA’22

Admissions Ambassador