February was another fantastic month for podcasts, wasn't it? Some of my favorite new shows continued to impress, and there were a few really great collaborations, including one between This American Life and the New York Times. Here are four of my favorite episodes from the past few weeks -- three from long-time favorite podcasts, and one from a new-to-me show.
1. My Damn Mind from This American Life and the New York Times. [Feb. 12, 1 hour] This was such an incredible collaboration between This American Life and the New York Times. Twenty-six-year-old Alan Pean recounts the events that occurred last August, when he drove himself to the emergency room in the middle of a delusional episode. While pulling into the parking lot, he hit multiple vehicles and crashed into the wall of the hospital. He was treated for his physical injuries, but never received an evaluation by a psychiatrist despite the fact that he told his nurses he was manic multiple times. The next day, Alan was shot in the chest in his hospital room by an off-duty police officer working security. He says, "I thought of the hospital as a beacon, a safe haven." But this episode shows that hospitals really can be dangerous places for those in mental distress. This was such an eye-opening and important episode. If you haven't listened yet, get to it. Also, be sure to check out the piece from the New York Times on the same story.
2. Snap LIVE! in NYC from Snap Judgment. [Feb. 5, 51 minutes] This live recording from Snap Judgment was my standout pick a few weeks back, and I've been thinking about it ever since. The first and second acts made it one of the most phenomenally funny episodes I've ever heard. In act one, comedian Jen Kober tells the hilarious story from her childhood of the time she ate 144 boxes of Girl Scout cookies while hiding out in her garage. And in act two, award-winning storyteller Josh Healey speaks about the incredible women who raised him and the tough decision he and his girlfriend had to make as nineteen-year-olds when they found out she was pregnant. It made me embarrassingly weepy both times I listened to it, yet it still managed to make me laugh out loud more than a handful of times. Josh Healey and Jen Kober are two truly impeccable storytellers. If you haven't heard this episode yet, I'd highly recommend adding it to your queue immediately.
3. The Scarlet Letter A from The Longest Shortest Time. [Feb. 16, 33 minutes] I mentioned this fantastic episode briefly last week while writing about the most irresistible podcasts in my subscription box, and it's quickly become one of my new favorite uploads from the show. Host Hillary Frank talks with Dr. Pratima Gupta, an OB-GYN who plays a unique role in the women's health field. She both delivers babies and performs abortions; she's a mother to a toddler who's undergone both fertility treatments and a pregnancy termination. She tells Hillary how she's able to compartmentalize her emotions when she's with patients, what it was like performing abortions while visibly pregnant, what it was like performing them while struggling with infertility, and whether her outlook has changed since becoming a mother. It's clear that Pratima's rare mix of experience makes her particularly adept at her job, which she always tells her son is "helping women." I have so much respect for doctors like Pratima and I love The Longest Shortest Time for featuring her in this great episode. If you haven't already, definitely check it out.
4. Father's Day from Radio Rookies. [Feb. 20, 12 minutes] I came across Radio Rookies from WNYC a month or two ago but didn't give it a listen until earlier this week. And wow, I'm in absolute awe of it. The show is made by New York City teenagers -- teenagers! -- who tell stories about themselves, their friends, and their communities. This episode comes from a young dad named Marvin who's trying to be the kind of father he never had to his new daughter. Things like high school, empty bank accounts, and hour-long drives get in the way, but his hopefulness stays strong. Marvin tells his story so beautifully in this episode. By the end, my arms were covered in goosebumps. You have to check out Radio Rookies if you haven't yet. These teens have some serious talent and will probably be running the radio world in no time at all.
So tell me -- what were your favorite podcast episodes this month? Any of these? I'd love to hear!