How to stop a recurring dream.Posted: February 5, 2013
Autumn along Lake Waban, Wellesley College. Photo by Jeremy Edmunds.
I’ve been having a recurring dream for two years now. It’s my senior year at Wellesley, I’ve finally decided to pursue art, and I feel incredibly happy. But time is running out. I need to actually get my hands on the course catalogue and pick my classes. This is where the dream always ends—intending to get ahold of the course catalogue, but never quite doing it.
The meaning of the dream seems pretty obvious. But I keep having it, despite all the marvelous developments in my waking life. So it occurred to me that I might address this dream by actually downloading the 2012-13 course catalogue and planning my spring semester as if I were still a student.
Rules: It had to be offered in Spring 2013. (Goodbye, HIST 264: The History of Pre-Colonial Africa.) The schedule had to work out. (Dammit, ARTS 218: Introduction to Painting.) I had to take what I really wanted to take versus what I thought I should take. (Sorry, PSYC 334: The Psychology of Creativity.) And I had to satisfy the prerequisites, including for language. (Au revoir, entire French Department.)
And the choice was still agonizing. But here, friends, is my final spring class schedule:
CAMS 135: Introduction to Video Production. 12:30-4:10, M. Steffani Jemison.
Introduction to the principles of video production with emphasis on developing basic skills of recording with a video camera, scripting, directing, and editing short videos.
ENG 281: American Drama & Musical Theater. 11:10-12:20, M-Th. Larry Rosenwald.
Study of some distinguished twentieth-century American plays, theater pieces, and musicals. Possible musicals: The Cradle Will Rock, Showboat, West Side Story, Chorus Line, Into the Woods, Chicago. Possible playwrights and ensembles: Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Lorraine Hansberry, the Bread and Puppet Theater, the Teatro Campesino, María Irene Fornés, August Wilson, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner, Anna Deveare Smith. Focus on close reading, on historical and social context, on realism and the alternatives to realism, on the relations between text and performance. Opportunities both for performance and for critical writing.
CLCV 106: Daily Life in the Ancient World. 1:30-2:30, Tu-F. Ray Starr.
Daily life in ancient Greece and Rome, from the ordinary activities of everyday life (family life; work and leisure; shopping, cooking and eating; games and entertainment; going to see a gladiatorial show or an athletic contest or a play; parties) to the turning points of an individual’s life (birth, initiation into adulthood, marriage, childbirth, old age, death). The rhythm of a year as expressed in festivals and holidays. The practices, customs, and shared beliefs that gave meaning and structure to the lives of both individuals and cultures. A mix of lecture, discussion, and case studies based on the lives of real people. Assignments drawn from a wide variety of ancient sources in translation, from cookbooks to personal letters to tombstone inscriptions to some of the greatest literature in the Western tradition.
ANTH 239: Visual Culture of South Asia. 2:15-4:45, W. Deborah Matzner.
The Indian subcontinent is iconic for its rich and varied visual traditions—from Mughal miniatures to calendar art,monumental architecture to television soap operas. With the spread of “Bollywood” films beyond the subcontinent, and with American television now representing Indian culture during prime time, an anthropological perspective on South Asian visual culture is particularly timely. In this course, we will examine many of the diverse visual forms and practices of the region from an anthropological perspective—that is, focusing on the social practices and cultural formations that arise around and shape them. We will learn how anthropologists study South Asian visual practices including photography, film, textiles, and comic books, and assess the implications of these practices for Western theories about visuality and modernity.
…and CONTINUING YOGA: 4:10-5:10, M-Th.
…I feel better.
I wonder if the dream will go away now. Or if it will change.