AM⌭PM | 010

AM⌭PM | 010
Photo by Zsofia Szalay / Unsplash

The last AM⌭PM I sent out was a mess. It had spelling errors in it! I'm embarrassed.

This may be some ad hoc reasoning: I wrote AM⌭PM | 009 on a Saturday. I usually don't write these things on the weekend, I use that time to let the head noise build up. After not writing a short bust of text for two days, I generally have many ideas that I can explore.

There is a lesson here: It is good to take a break. Don't (try to) say too much.

After taking a break yesterday, I've got things about teaching on my mind, and I want to explore them by writing them down.


There is this one thing I've heard people say for most of my life, "Those who can do, and those who can't teach." This statement has always frustrated me a lot.

Every semester I try to teach about Freud and Lacan, two thinkers I happen to have studied for a long time. I absorbed a decent amount of information about psychoanalysis. I've spent many years trying to increase my understanding of psychoanalysis. I've been in my analysis for years.

Today, I think it is safe to say I do know some things about what psychoanalysis is and how it works (and does not work). I know what I know because I've put in the work. I've done my reading, I've gone to seminars and lectures. I've taken learning about psychoanalytic thinkers and practitioners and the work they've produced seriously.  

Be that as it may, I struggle to teach (i.e., explain concepts in ways others can understand take in) the stuff that I've learned. Why is this? Because some of this stuff is layered and complicated!

I think it is a skill to take very complex content and render it into something that people who know less than you do can use to understand more. That's what I believe teaching is.

Additionally, I find that the things I can teach well are the things I understand the most. The more I know something, the more clearly I understand it, the better I am at putting it into a format that others can use to build up their understanding.

I've been in so many seminars, lectures, and classes where the teacher/speaker is brilliant, but they have not been able to share what they know. They have not been able to spread what they know to other people who are not at their level. (i.e., They are damn intelligent people, but not great teachers.)

Right now, I'm trying to write a guide to Lacanian theory and techniques that I could use to teach those theories and techniques to students who have very little knowledge of Lacan. I want to use this tet to teach. I find that it is the most challenging thing I've ever tried to write. I've been trying to write it for years!

As I've been writing it, I'm also learning more about Lacan. There are these moments where I'll have one of those beautiful moments where I hear someone say something or read something. Suddenly, these concepts in my head rearrange themselves, and I find that I (1) understand the content better and (2) can now take that newly discovered understanding and put it into text.

I hope that if I'm able to finish this text, which will be a teaching text, it will be a good example of something that those who teach can do well.


Subscribe to [S][J][P]

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.