Recovery can be pretty straightforward – you take medicine, you sleep, you wait. But sometimes getting back on your feet requires a radical act. The stories in this show are about those acts: people who have to do something surprising in order to recover.

This week on State of the Human, people are changing radically in order to recover. They are learning about interior decoration for home recovery, how to get by in the emergency room, how to let go of a loved one, and how to trade broken legs for a set of hooves.

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Xandra Clark

Host: Sophia Paliza

Featuring: Zubair Ahmed, Ryoko Hamaguchi, Lucas Loredo, Carlos Loredo, Nina Foushee, and Greg Wrenn

Release Date: 2 October 2013

Image via flickr


Intro Story: The Happiness Project

Zubair Ahmed was sad, and he wanted to be happy. He heard that to be happy, you should love where you sleep. So he took that idea to the extreme.

Featuring: Zubair Ahmed

Producer: Rachel Hamburg

Image courtesy of Rachel Hamburg



Story 1: I Thought I Would Be an Angel of Compassion

Ryoko Hamaguchi is a premedical student at Stanford who spent much of last year volunteering in the emergency room. She thought she would find it easy to feel compassionate for her patients, but then she discovered something that plagues many medical professionals and first response teams: being a witness to suffering is hard. This is called “compassion fatigue”, and this story is about how Ryoko learned to deal with it.

Featuring: Ryoko Hamaguchi

Producer: Xandra Clark

Music: Steffen Basho-Junghans, Podington Bear, Nic Bommarito, Matt Baldwin, Gillicuddy, Augustus Bro and Gallery Six, The OO-Ray, Candlegravity, Alright lover

Image courtesy of Rachel Hamburg 


Story 2: River Road

Stanford student Lucas Loredo talks to his father for the first time about the long process of recovery after Lucas’s mother passed away.

Featuring: Lucas Loredo, Carlos Loredo




Story 3: The Surfaces of Things

How do you help someone recover when they can’t remember who you are, or what you’re doing to help them? Nina Foushee brings us this story, from the Mental Health Ward of the Menlo Park Veteran’s Hospital.

Written by: Nina Foushee

Producer: Sophia Paliza

Music: Waylon Thornton, Stella Wahlstrom, Dexter Britain, Johnny Ripper

Image via flickr



Story 4: Centaur

This poem, by Stanford Jones lecturer Greg Wrenn, features a character who takes the idea of “radical recovery” to the extreme. He’s tried all sorts of ways to become a new man, and he’s got one last idea left: stop being a man; stop being a human; become something else entirely.

Written by: Greg Wrenn

Producer: Rachel Hamburg



Story 5: Concession

Zubair Ahmed discusses the difficult transition when he and his family moved from the capital of Bangladesh to a small town in Texas. His recovery from that transition was kind of an accident. It involved a gift that he didn’t quite know he had, until he was getting requests from publishing houses.

Written by: Zubair Ahmed

Producer: Rachel Hamburg

Music: Podington Bear and John Voigt