Monday, November 14, 2016

What happens to a dream deferred?

I take attendance by having students answer a question. (The questions/answers from the rest of last week were too melancholy, dark, bitter, and depressing to bear repeating in this semipermanent venue.) Today I echoed Langston Hughes in asking:

What happens to a dream deferred?

To their liberal-arts-education credit, many students were exactly on-point:

  • it shrivels like a raisin in the sun
  • shrivels up like a raisin in the sun?
  • it shrivels up like a raisin
  • or does it explode
The hopeful:
  • deferred and rejected usually, but a second choice school hasn't killed anyone. probably.
  • 2020
  • fight or flight --> you go 100% to get it
  • do something to make the dream come sooner
  • Delayed but queued.
  • It generates art, hope, and wonder for further than a dream achieved.
  • It's still alive at the bottom of your heart.
  • It will stick around and be fulfilled.
  • It waits to be realized anew.
  • It gets passed on.*
  • It grows & inspires & drives everyone to action.
The not optimistic:
  • it vanishes
  • usually bad things, I'm really afraid to defer anything important; this meager existence is too short, man.
  • gone, gone
  • you don't want to know... :(
  • gets a 9-5 office job, wants to travel but never does. gets a dog
  • It dies a slow death.

The literal or extremely abstract:
  • you dream it later
  • Certainly science will never give us an answer.
  • you wake up, then get to dream again later
  • it becomes a ghost
  • keep on sleeping keep on dreaming
  • it gets caught in a dreamcatcher
  • it goes to dream heaven
  • It comes back night after night, tormenting you.
  • It haunts the dreamer and drives a certain mania until the dream is reached.
  • it will haunt you
The... rest of the answers:

  • It goes into a black box.
  • Tape storage.

Today's Prize for Uncategorizability goes to "the same thing that happens to all your dreams". Vague and yet descriptive enough that it lets the reader find whatever answer the reader seeks. A perfectly dithering response for a divided populace.

This post's theme word is today's Word of the Day, kakistocracy: "government by the least qualified or worst persons." We have recovered from our shock enough to teach and etymologize as usual, but the themes are indisputably colored by recent kakistocratic events.

*Depending on your interpretation of "passed on", could be good (the dream is passed to another dreamer) or bad (the dream is passed over and never dreamed again).

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