Subject #01110

Tester: Here’s card
one.

Subject: An
animal.

Tester: Okay, card
two.

Subject: Mmm, I
see a cat face.

Tester: Here’s card
three.

Subject: A coyote
face.

Tester: Okay, here’s
card four…-

The audio recorder beeped as I paused the playback. The recording was from April 13th, in the midst of my Rorschach inkblot experiment on-campus at The Center. And yet, here I am, in August, still trudging through the material and profiling my subjects.

The one featured above is Subject #01110 (numbered in binary – it translates to subject fourteen), she was shy from the start. Around seven or eight if I had to bet money on her age. Golden hair, bright eyes, and a lot of animal sightings in her responses. I could tell when I started on her profile last night in the wee small hours that Subject 01110 has a loving, supportive home and she’s predominantly introverted, but chica doesn’t let it get in the way of her social experiences. A good kid. I liked this subject from the start.

I can get a personality profile done in 10 hours or so (if that sounds like a long time- it is), but something seems to be holding me back. Freezing my feet in a particular brand of symbolic cement that was best buddies with gravity in college, now paying back some absurd frat boy loyalty bit by remaining tight with him to this day. Friendship is grand and all that, I support the alliance between laws of nature and non-hydraulic binding substances, especially the metaphoric kind. Just not when they are the anchor to whatever Freudian subconscious malady is keeping me from bringing my beloved experiment to a close.

Maybe because I don’t have an emotional need for it anymore.

I created the Rorschach experiment because I was furious at my psychology class. No, not furious, I suppose I was just tired of talking and reciting more about psychology to the class than my teacher. Stuck in a classroom-sized cage, I wanted to be out in the field like my favorite psyche-gurus that I had been reading about for three years. So, solo, I spent two months planning and making my own inkblots (because some bafoon posted the real Rorschach inkblots on Wikipedia along with the “right” reponses for each blot) and then approached the main madame of the school, who would quickly show herself to be my greatest advocate and encouragement, showing faith in a scatter-brained 16-year old gripping her blazer and a manilla folder containing a month-long plot that, if accepted, would give me permission to a private classroom that would allow me to lock myself in with little children and examine their innermost thoughts by showing them splotches of ink and saying “Tell me everything you see!” (moo-hoo-hoo-ha-ha….ha.)

I will always feel gratitude towards that woman. More than once my mom had me in silent tears because of not only her dismissal, but her disapproval of the one thing that gave me such indescribable joy, and this main madame would see me come into the campus main building for one of my inkblot interviews and in an excited tone ask me how it was going and how proud she was. She would then call over to the barista in the cafe that I had ‘cooler privileges’ and anything from the tea/iced coffee fridge by the checkout I would get for free because of the long hours I had been putting in for my experiment. I thank God for her, because in that instant when she pulled me into her office and presented me with a chart showing when I could use my classroom (before I even gave her my plan explaining exactly what I was doing!) she showed faith in me that I never had for myself until that moment.

The only thing keeping me up now until the wee-small hours, listening to the innocent soprano intonations of Subject #01110, is the undeniable need to finish what I’ve started. And so I will.

Type to ya’ll next week,

–Hannah-Elizabeth/Classic

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6 thoughts on “Subject #01110

  1. Ah, a teacher I see. I did 33 years high school history here in Miami. Inner city, minority, dysfunctional families, drug invested, poverty, immigrant, and crime. Except for college bound most 2-5 years behind grade level. You mentioned Freud. He is quite out of vogue and his brilliance and insights are widely dismissed these days by practitioners using other paradigms. I disagree and find his ideas very contemporary. If you are to practice or teach psychiatry or psychology you must master Freud first, in my opinion. Recent earned CHAP degree(Certified Holistic Addiction Professional). I will not practice, however. At 62 and retired teacher a 2 1/2 year internship is out of the question. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    • Freud is misunderstood on a number of counts, though he was what I lovingly refer to as a loon – a brilliant loon. I’ve yet to hear of a brilliant man who isn’t just a little off his rocker. Psychology Today mentioned in their July issue that psychoanalysis is making a comeback. I’m hesitant to welcome his ideas with entirely open arms, though, after reading about the damages that Freud’s theory on supressed memories caused not just in the 1800’s, but more recently in the 1960’s as well. Still, he was wonderfully insightful in other areas.

      Your degree, whether in use or to remain dormant, sounds to be of an honorable profession. And is something to surely be proud of to even hold that knowledge. Best wishes, sir 🙂

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