Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dreams as representations

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When I'm an observer in my dream, I'm a ghost -- invisible, impalpable, exerting no influence on my surrounding at all.

So in my dream last night, I watched pieces from a cartoon, starring a little girl in the style of "Doug" from Nickelodeon. She's about six or seven and precocious like Lisa Simpson. Her life, in retrospect, in some ways reflected my own (mostly when I was at that age)... Her parents behaved a lot like mine, her teacher (female) was sadistic and passive-aggressive, her school principal (male) was supportive and nurturing, and she was rather popular but felt alone without peers that could stimulate or challenge her.

The girl apparently had won some kind of competition and there was gonna be a TV show about her, but her teacher planned a subterfuge and reorganized the show to make fun of her. When the girl realized what was going on, she pulled some Jon-Stewart moves with sarcastic wit that indirectly poked at her passive-aggressive teacher. (Unfortunately I don't remember any of the said clever commentary, sigh.)

Okay, for clarification and realignment with reality... cumulatively in my life, I'd say about 30~35% of my teachers/ mentors/ professors had been female. And about 20% of them was warm and intelligent and whom I found nurturing. The rest either leaned toward misogyny or just simply treated all students/ subordinates in egalitarian fashion like a true despotic dictator.

For the males, the intelligent and supportive mentors consisted of about 10%, but there were more of them in absolute number and so their overall influence was more significant. The vast majority (more than 95%) of the remaining 90% was pretty much neutral. The rest was initially negative but became more positive later on. (There was not much difference in the individual influence of good male vs. female mentors though.)

My peers in college and since then have definitely challenged and stimulated me for sure. And the last things I could do on TV are Jon Stewart moves...

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