Friday, October 15, 2010

DEATH and whatnot.

You might know that this semester I'm taking a class on Death, Grief and Bereavement. (SW 418, which incidentally is my very first 400-level class. I am so old/wise/etc.)

I signed up for it being all Hey That Sounds Interesting and Well I'm a Social Work Major So I Guess I Have To Deal With Death Sometime. But it's actually a bit more depressing than I originally anticipated.
(I get to watch a video of Euthanasia soon. Not really looking forward to that one.)

The weird thing is that I absolutely love this class. It's fascinating and one of the few classes that I actually talk in. (I'm terribly, terribly shy when it comes to speaking in class, especially when I feel that the other people in class are smarter than me. So it's weird that I actually talk in this class, as I'm a junior in a 400-level class. When I was a sophomore in my first 300-level class you couldn't get a word out of me. But that was a Sociology of Popular Music class, taught by our resident Fulbright Scholar from New Zealand, so it attracted an intimidatingly cool crowd. Plus a couple people like me.)

When I leave my death class I tend to text loved ones telling them how much I hope they don't die soon.

Yesterday we had this exercise where we received 12 slips of brightly colored paper and told to write on them:
3 people you care dearly about
3 possessions that mean a lot to you
3 activities you love to do
3 personal character traits you are proud of
And then she (our professor) walked up through a scenario wherein we contract some terminal illness and start to die. Every so often she'd pause and say something like "you have 30 seconds to rip up three of your slips." Sort of to symbolize everything you lose when you die of a degenerative illness. Like "Well, I guess I'm not funny anymore. See you later, old family pictures. I can't make things anymore." And so on.
It got kind of hard when it came to ripping up the People slips. Sort of like saying "Sorry Grandparents, I do love you, but I've got no choice. Guess you're not going to be there when I'm dying."
It ends with "Now you're dead. Tear up your last bit of paper." Fun stuff.

The ripped-up pieces of my hopes and dreams

After that we discussed whether or not we'd like to know how and/or when we die. And I said I totally would. I mean, I wouldn't want to know how I die if I didn't know when. For example: "You'll die in a car crash!" would stop me from ever crossing the street. But I'd want to know when so I can take risks and not worry about death.

Sort of like in Big Fish:
That kid looks into Marla from Fight Club's eyes and sees how he'll die, so when he later grows up into Young Obi Wan Kenobi he can be all "hey, this isn't how I die" and can, like, successfully fight off that tree thing. I'd totally do that.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a really interesting class and maybe a disheartening exercise. By the way, I liked your video blog. Your raincoat is very attractive, so I can see why you're excited to finally wear it! <3