Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Interpretation of Dreams and Research

It is not possible (I think) to be studying Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams and Psychoanalytical Theory without paying close attention to my own unconscious night scouring. That dreams (according to Freud) are a free association of events and repressed memories from the course of the day, or several days leading up to the dream, is beginning to seem plausible. Throw in the suppressed fear of a missed period and test anxiety from the guilt of not having studied, and you’ve got yourself some dream food. But, back to this in a minute.

While the research I am doing on the history of St. Louis and its African Americans sometimes has to take a backseat to Theory, Biology and the other degree required necessities, the fact that I’ve decided to do my senior thesis on a little known, less analyzed, female author of a slave narrative from St. Louis, has given me an immediate outlet for studying the stuff I really want to be studying right now. But, now, surfing the internet is a funny and miraculous thing. It’s sort of like free association in that, I could be looking for one subject, and something on that page could prompt me to look for something, not quite, altogether different. So that by the time I shut off my computer for the night, I’ve learn a whole bunch of stuff! It’s kinda fun, you should try it sometimes….Okay, so I don’t spend my spring break in Cancun, or in downtown Atlanta trying to revive Freaknic, but research can be fun too.

So, last night I’m trying, as best I can, to follow a virtual paper trail of my subjects’ personal and professional associations, but then I also come across a
timeline for African American history in St. Louis which includes among other things the year the Missouri State Penitentiary was integrated, 1973 (a rather disturbing piece of history there), the year St. Louis TV personality, Debbye Turner became Miss America, 1990, and the year The Colored Aristocracy in St. Louis, which profiled St. Louis’ free African American society, was published by Cyprian Clamorgan, 1858. Now that sounded like a book I need to get my hands on, and what do you know, I was able to order it through the interlibrary loan program in the schools' library. So much information, so little time.

Now, back to Freud. Last night I dreamed that I was at my cousin’s house (in St. Louis). And, there was some kind of landscaping or construction company digging up the connecting backyards throughout her subdivision, but by the time she got home they hadn’t finished…so, there were all of these houses with their yards dug up, just layers and layers of dirt. When I took my cousin to her backdoor to see what the construction company had done, all of the neighbors’ dogs were digging more holes in their yards…and, the one directly behind us had dug a hole beneath the fence and was happily moving back and forth between the yards. Could it be that my dream is a confirmation of my unearthing the valuable information that I seek? That I am happily navigating from one buried treasure to the next? Hmmmm…..

In the dream, I was also making tuna salad with caramelized onions and cream cheese, but I don’t think that has anything to do with St. Louis history.

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