Thanks to one in appropriate teacher, I will never mistake Freud’s concepts of id, ego, and superego.
For those who don’t know, Sigmund Freud was one of the pioneers of psychoanalysis, studying the mind. One of his concepts was the breakdown of the human psyche into the id, ego, and superego. This is stuff for a psychology class, but I learned it perfectly in English four years ago.
I don’t remember why my English teacher was teaching Freud that day. I know it had something to do with one of our books, but I’ve forgotten everything from that class except that I hate T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
Let me briefly set the scene. We were a small lecture room of about 30 students. I sat in the front row. My teacher was a short and skinny redhead around fifty. Memorize that, it’ll make the story much funnier.
Anyway, she started by giving us the basic definitions of id, ego, and superego: the Id is your base impulse, that selfish “me” desire that pulls you towards any depravity to please yourself. The superego is the opposite, the uber-moral side that says no to everything and disregards all your pleasure. The ego is the mediator, balancing pleasure and morality.
But then, she turns and looks right at me and says, “So say I wanted to have sex with you.”
She had my attention. Remember the setting? The following is an uncensored quote.
“My superego says, ‘No, this is wrong; you can’t have sex with a student,’ while my id just wants to jump your bone. But my ego balances the two, so I’ll just flirt with you between classes.”
Then, she changed subjects. Just. Like. That. She never said anything else about it, during or after class. That was the end of the whole affair. And no, she never did flirt with me (as far as I know).
Inappropriate? Perhaps, but you know what? I learned. And that’s what a good teacher does: teach it in a way that you will never eeeeeevvvveeeerrrr forget.
So does trauma, but never mind.