Monday, July 13, 2020


I dreamt of a former student, from my days as a Comparative Literature professor. This was about 50 years ago! I served as the director of her doctoral dissertation, which was approved. She went on--wisely!--not to become a professor of Comparative Literature; I went on--wisely!--to quit academia a few years later. I was never meant to be there in the first place. 

But anyway... the dream!

In the dream, I rejected the dissertation she had worked so hard on. She showed up for a graduation ceremony and was surprised to learn that she had failed. Not only did I fail her, I gave her a terrible dressing-down (completely out of character!) for the inadequacies of her work. 

There followed a procession to leave the ceremony, which seemed to wind downhill through a pleasant landscape toward the way out to the world beyond. (The descent reminded me of the long, curving driveway that led down to the highway from my old boarding school in Sussex...) 

I was standing at the gate like the vicar waiting to say goodbye to his congregants after the church service when my student approached with numerous members of her family. She was also accompanied by a big, fat grey cat on a string.

I wanted to stop her to say: I love you, but she wouldn't have it. I tried at least to tickle the belly of the big, fat grey cat, but she pulled it away on its string. Then she left without even saying goodbye.

I was so upset!

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