Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Dream

Like many academics, I often dream about things relating to academics. I have had, for instance, the common dream in which you are teaching and suddenly realize that you are teaching wearing nothing but your underwear. I'm not sure what it says about me that both times I have had the dream I looked down, sighed, and continued teaching. And I've had dreams about philosophers and the like.

I had an odd dream last night. I was passing by a classroom that was full of students. On the desk there was a pile of syllabi on bright yellow paper, but no professor in sight. To be helpful, I went in and distributed the syllabi. I noticed that the syllabus said that the course was on the Eucharist. So, since the professor was still not here, I gave a speech introducing the course.

First I asked if anyone knew what the Eucharist was. Nobody did, or at least nobody had the courage to say they did. So I talked about the bread and the wine and the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. I don't remember anything more specific than that, except I then said how the course was going to be on the history of views about the Eucharist, and gave some examples (I think I mentioned St. Paul and Aquinas, but I'm not sure that that was actually in the dream, or just my memory supplying examples of things that I would have meant if I said these things when awake). In the midst of discussion an elderly black lady with big glasses, very dignified and intelligent-looking, came in; she looked a little bit like the Oracle from the first Matrix movie, and a little bit like the little old lady with big glasses in the movie My Cousin Vinny. I assumed she was the professor, but it turned out she wasn't. She was, I think, some sort of administrator. But she raised her hand and insisted very strongly that if the course was going to cover the history of views about the Eucharist, it would have to talk about Berengar and some other name I don't remember. And I agreed, and, because I was sleeping in a very uncomfortable position, I woke up.

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