I never quite know how to begin writing about any and all ideas that pass through my head on an average day. To me, my random thoughts appear as exactly that: random, nonsensical ideas with no great significance whatsoever. However, time and time again I blurt out ideas to others and immediately forget what I said before the air has finished leaving my lips while I try to read and gauge the reactions of people around me. One of the most prominent examples of this that I can recall came during my last semester of college in a required Shakespeare class. We sat around discussing Othello and his character arc on the larger scale of Moorish Spain in terms of cultural conventions that became unconventional while the different became normalized.
We happened to focus on a particular line that references Othello's medicinal qualities and qualifications to reconcile the horrors of conflict in Southern Europe, most notably from the occupation of Spain and surrounding domains by the Moors. To this day I cannot fully recall what exactly I said allowed to my professor and peers because I became so engrossed in the stunned looks of silence that sucked the air from the room. My professor that built her career on Shakespeare had to pause momentarily to contemplate and take in my bizarre, uncontrolled word vomit that burst forth like tequila after the fourth or fifth body shot off of a girl caught in the cross-hairs of my headlights. After a good few seconds, my professor responded that she had no prior knowledge of any scholarship that had ever even touched on the concept of Othello standing as an allegory to the racial, social, religious, and political climate that dominated society and continues to have an influential existence albeit in altered contexts.
I just sat there reeling from everyone staring with eyes gaping while I felt the panic and adrenaline rush through my veins and push the recollection of my words out into the ether. To me I had simply reached a logical conclusion that Othello had hoped to redeem not only his own soul and rest his demons but serve as the catalyst to propel the rest of the country towards that goal. He truly embodied the means to the end of internal strife that stems from the Us and Them dichotomy that plagues nationalistic constructs of identity. He wanted to do so much more than just serve as a puppet-head or authoritarian divinity incarnate and instead rectify the ills and wrongs done by and to both sides of the Moorish occupation. Othello, and thereby Shakespeare, sought more from his character and the exemplification of where the country can unite to rout out the internal evils that seek to poison the country. As such, Othello served as the anecdotal medicinal antidote needed to denote the devils hellbent on destruction and desolation of his life, love, and legacy.
The (original) point of this entry (before I actually did a half decent job of recalling a conversation from over three years ago during me rewriting this from my notebook to digital) rested upon my self-defeating behaviour of dismissing my ideas as trivial and largely insignificant. One of my peers from that Shakespeare class, that I became acquainted with as I built a group in the corner by the window with him and a girl from another of my core English classes (that shared a class previously and knew what to expect from my babble), told me one day he envied my “Gift of Gab.” He jealously admired that I never had to put in the same amount of leg work (read: studying) as he and she did but yet still managed to produce assignments and responses that surpassed theirs that had extensive, dedicated time. I came to highly value both of their opinions and feedback because they had made their way behind my wall by not having hesitation in telling me what they actually thought. If I had explained something that didn't make sense to them or had far too much “wordiness” then I knew I needed to go back and rework it. I do not in any way wish to make them sound below me, but rather show that I held them above my own ego as people that could appreciate the larger picture and scale of my ramblings.
Throughout my scholarly career I can remember having similar experiences as far back as I can remember. For instance, I vividly recall a third grade math test that everyone in the class failed except for me that aced it. Looking back on that occurrence relates a similar feeling to my mandated Shakespeare class only two decades predating droning on about Othello. I drew the contemptuous scorns of my classmates and peers as my teacher singled me out for my exemplary work followed by her decree that everyone had to retake the test save for me. At the end of the following fourth grade year, my teacher made it a point to tell me that she hoped to see me at the academy next year which I stood very little chance of attending for numerous socio-economic reasons, notably though, none included academic ability. This continued throughout my childhood, adolescence, and even into the mental breakdown during my senior year of high school. Not until my early twenties did I come to appreciate my knack for creating such an unusual spectacle as a usual aspect of my day-to-day thoughts and for off-the-cuff witty remarks that tend to ruin moments and direct me into tight corners.