Reflections on the Course

I know I really should be working on the research project now, but I need some “warm-up” exercises before I write: streching and blogging. The former took less than a minute, the latter takes some time. Usually, if I had to write something, I tend to freeze up. Just the thought of “academic essay”—being all formal and rigid—makes me nervous. Blogging is informal (as far as I consider it to be) and it prepares me to the “writing mode.” In other words, I become comfortable with the process of writing itself. To me, blogging is the perfect balance between free writing and formal writing, which leads to the dream blogs required of the course—it’s great in every aspect.

I signed up for the course because of my interest and curiosity in dreams. Some time in the past, I used to have a lot of religious dreams and I would discuss them with the youth pastor hoping that there might be some divine interpretations. That, of course, didn’t happen and I became ever more curious in dreams, what are they and what do they mean? I took a course in pyschoanalysis (prior to this class) and we only read Freud, which frustrated me. This course cleared a lot of my frustration in part thanks to readings on Hartmann and Hobson (who relentlessly attacked Freud) and many more. It is like a survey on dream theories but has more depth than a mere survey. The literary works were also well incorporated into dream theories that we were discussing, and in a way, I feel like they make the dream theories tangible: a theory, an idea is packed and wrapped in a book.

I slightly mentioned this above with Freud and Hobson, but I really appreciate how we get to read different theories which sometimes compliment with  others and sometimes present opposing arguments. It is like having a panel of speakers, and the audience, we the students, can decide and judge for ourselves, who is more convincing. I have this conspiracy about “classroom politics”— the power struggle between the professor and the students. Should the instructor “force an idea” on the student or should the students be able to think independently? It sounds like a rhetorical question, but when a class syllabus is only about “Freud” without discussions on the shortcomings in his theories, it seems more like “forcing”; whereas, when there is variety, it seems more like a democracy. When we have democracy in a classroom, everybody is happy. And we were.

The only thing though, a novel like The Unconsoled is a bit overwhelming towards the end of the semester in terms of workload. It would have been a pleasant read for the spring break. But then again, I was able to travel because of that. Haha.

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1 Comment

  1.   motiondetector Said:

    on May 22, 2010 at 11:37 PM

    Blogging is absolutely so much more fluid than Blackboard in terms of actual discourse.I also half-agree about The Unconsoled which was sublime but I would have enjoyed it more with a full head of steam.

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