the lean years
Once upon a time, before the expulsion from Eden, I could excuse my spotty intellectual background by explaining that I was an artist whose interests lay in some vaguely defined "elsewhere"; now I am apparently turning into a regular old intellectual, the kind that sprouts in your vegetable garden, and I'm not even very good at it. I ought to disappear for a year and do nothing but read before I can pretend to hold my own, and even then I don't think my capacity for certain types of argument would be improved.
I dreamt that handing in my final paper was something like an art show; I had framed the pages and was hanging them on a gallery wall so that people could wander through and look at them. It was a nice party, champagne and hors d'oeuvres, the whole deal. My professor showed up and, after reading what I had hung up, said, "This one doesn't really have any original thought or interesting argument. You'd better go home and write something else." He went on to explain in detail what I should write. It was awkward to leave my own party and humiliating to be told what to do, but of course he was right; the paper was no good. I had three hours to write something better before the deadline.