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The Federalist School

Dreamed 2013/8/20 by Wayan

THAT DAY Ailura, a catgirl recurring in my dreams; soft sculpture by Wayan. Click to enlarge.

MORNING: I walk with my friend Patagia. She tells me her husband got leg spasms, and a neurologist blithely prescribed 975 milligrams of iron a day! A fatal dose. Wow, and doctors say patients recklessly self-medicate!

AFTERNOON: I work on Ailura--my first lifesize sculpture (a recurrent dream figure). She has wood bones, duct-tape joints and foam-rubber muscles, so she'll be posable and huggable. Finish arms & shoulders, start on neck & head. Line her ears with red silk inside. One big shaped fabric tube for the torso won't work--the fake fur's not elastic enough. Plan, cut and pin a belly-panel but don't sew yet--it needs small gathers. Measure for the back panel...

EVENING: I read Freda Warrington's Elfland. Exiled elves in modern Britain, in the closet, culturally near-human by now. The sensory world of these acculturated fairies are quite like mine--six senses, but only words for five. The plot's soap, but great soap. Rosie, child of exiles, marries safe, mild, ruddy human Alastair; but has an intense affair with fey Sam, partly because their auras meld. I knew the feeling! I sense auras too, so for me, sharing energy not physical touch is the biggest turn-on. Or turn-off!--some souls are flat and simple; some, downright toxic.

THAT NIGHT

I walk into a new college here in San Francisco, called The Federalist School. I can't find an info desk or even a pamphlet explaining the rules, but it seems like you just walk into classes and sit--or hang a sign up outside an empty room and just teach. Over time, good teachers and classes draw students, bad ones fade out. Natural selection. Adam Smith minus money, Darwin minus tooth and claw! a student stands and sings in a stone amphitheater; dream sketch by Wayan

One big class I wander into fills a stepped amphitheater. Wow. Popular! No wonder--a sharp woman teaching. She likes Q&A, challenging individual students despite the swollen class. And the students are equally smart--and unpredictable. One student sings her answer. The Fed seems a bit scary, on the edge of chaos--but exciting.

I still think the other students got a flyer with the rules. I HOPE the main rule is "No rules", but I'd like to KNOW. Maybe they're all registered... or did EACH ONE go through my uncertainty, learning slowly by immersion?

Later, I stumble on a second jammed class. This teacher's inept, uncomfortable... here, the subject is the big draw. Pregnancy care and fertility rates in poor countries, and he shows which social policies work & don't. Full of students heading overseas who want practical tips. But the teacher's male, and grew up in a sex-segregated Muslim community, so he can barely choke out words like pregnancy or menstruation in a mixed class. Students cut him slack because they're concerned about the issue; but I get bored with his hesitations, and leave.

I feel a bit guilty. He too is learning by doing.

My impression, despite the system's rough edges? Energy! Energy freed from bureaucratic blockage. They blew up the dam, and now they're riding the flood.

Makes me want to teach a class in dreaming...

One thing disappoints me. Every class has food sitting on side tables. Do students bring it, is food a teacher's reward for success? Or is the spread for students, a lure to attend? Either way, I can't risk eating stuff strangers made--not with my food allergies. The Federalist reward system assumes we share a common diet--we're all human.

But what if you're not quite human?

NOTES IN THE MORNING



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