A guest post by Dr. Jennifer Selig
One of the greatest joys of teaching at Pacifica is working with an amazing student body. Our students awe and amaze us. They challenge and create us. They push and pull us. They keep us awake at night and awaken us in the morning and call us forward during the day to be the best that we can be because they are striving to be their best selves and thinking we might have something, just a little something, to offer those selves.
And sometimes, they supersede us.
I was on vacation this last week in Jamaica. Knowing I’d have lots of time on the beach to read for pleasure, I brought with me the novel The Little Book by Selden Edwards, who is a Ph.D. alum from Pacifica in the Myth program. I got about 20 pages into the book and thought, I can never write anything this good. I thought this with despair (this guy was a student at Pacifica!) and I thought this with joy (this guy was a student at Pacifica!). And I, as a faculty member, know I can never write a piece of fiction that can touch the achievement of this book written by someone who could have been my student.
So I left the white sands of the beach and went back into my hotel room, and out of my despair (okay, maybe some guilt over not working!), I wrote to Nikole Hollenitsch who edits Pacifica Post Blog and asked her, hey, do you want me to write a new blog for Pacifica? She replied yes, how about writing something about Ferguson and/or the Eric Garner case? Okay, yes, I can do that, I told her. Okay, yes, I can do that, I told myself. It’s not a novel—I don’t have to write like Selden—it’s just a blog.
While waiting for inspiration to come (okay, maybe just procrastinating!), I went onto Facebook and checked my newsfeed. There, my dissertation student Deborah Anne Quibell (MA in Depth Psychology with an Emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies) had just posted her most recent column in the online mag Rebelle Society regarding the recent zeitgeist. (I read it and wept. When I finished, I felt both despair (I can never write anything this good about these issues) and I felt joy (my student wrote something this good about these issues).
So I will never write a novel like Selden, or write a blog post like Deborah. This is what it’s like to be a faculty member at Pacifica. Our students awe and amaze us, and they succeed and supersede us, and sometimes we just point to them, our chests pounding and think, I had a small part in that, and that is enough.
So what about this amazing article by Deborah Quibell? Read POUND YOUR CHEST, EVERYONE – PART II
Jennifer Selig, Ph.D. is faculty and former chair of the Jungian and Archetypal Studies specialization at Pacifica. Based primarily on the work of C. G. Jung and James Hillman, the Jungian and Archetypal Studies program takes depth psychology out of the clinical consulting room into the world at large, critically exploring a range of topics central to our understanding of the role of the unconscious psyche in human experience.