Professor Davenport, who is one of the longest-standing faculty members at Columtreal University, teaches Psychology classes. Many students note that her “Abnormal Psychology” class is one of their favorite to attend.
We caught up with Professor Davenport last Sunday afternoon, just before her class began.
Reporter: What was your source of inspiration as a child?
Paige: I have always followed my fascination with the insuperable brightness of negative space. As a girl, tanning on the deck of my home, I would study the burn of the Sun: Seek its shape in the feathery fire of its periphery. Examine the ebb and shimmer of its inner border. Stare long into the featureless illumination of its eye.
The Sun reminded me that true clarity originates from negative space. Shadows create shape through the falsehood of distinction, but light – revelation – abolishes it. Light is negative, and truth is light.
Reporter: Wow… that was deep. So… this led you to concluded…what?
Paige: This lesson echoed in many other sources: In the silent distances of the fracture between my mother and father, I learned to listen. I saw firsthand how culture runs on glamor, and all glamor is illusion. In the shine of cigarette lighter flame after cigarette lighter flame, poised to burn tobacco or heroin or meth or cocaine, I have witnessed women and men make themselves casualties of quests for truth. I have seen meaning, and meaning is a silent blaze.
Reporter: So what about your high school years? Typical Hollywood spoiled brat institution?
Paige: This course conducted me through a hundred chambers, dim and gilt. I excelled at the sky-high shark tank of the JFK International School in Switzerland, preparing for university. I cycled through Dubai, Paris, New York summer after summer. I returned, always, to the city that served as my maiden harbor – the mirror world of Los Angeles, where sin is virtue and excess is law.
Reporter: You traveled a lot. What did you gain from those experiences?
Paige: My settings changed, but my journey remained the same – I sought to understand the grand, bright negatives of the human mind. Psychology was my study, but people were my subject of scholarship. I delved into their minds, hand in hand with them, to traverse those bright and silent fractures and, in doing so, show these ‘patients’ that they were not broken by them – they were made whole.
Addictions, obsessions, anxieties were not considered as defects, but as the ligature of a psychic body that, like any other part of a healthy body, demanded exercise. After four years at UCLA and four summers abroad, I had amassed a long record of people.
Reporter: It sounds like you have quite a list of accomplishments. Anything else to add to that?
Paige: I had garnered an award and authored two books – Sad Girl, Sick Girl and It’s Not You, It’s Your Brain. I also had exhausted myself. After my graduate work completed, I sought a safe harbor, away from the swift spin of the globe, to rest myself.
Reporter: And so, how exactly did you end up at Columtreal University?
Paige: My course led me here, to humble Hathian. I could scarce imagine a more suitable solace. There is a tremendous amount of noise here, yes, but it exists so that people need not hear what speaks in their own silence. It talks so that the truth will remain mute. It suffocates the quiet of reality.
And so, it’s needed me. The children of Seaside knew me as principal, and I shepherded the strongest class of its history, boasting the membership of such stellar students as Rory McAuley and Buffy Millet.
Reporter: That’s right. You had a professional history in the local elementary school. So you have had quite an impact on the community, would you say?
Paige: I founded the Crisis Center and the Hathian General Hospital Psych Ward, both there to extend understanding to those who most need connection – the people branded as ‘abnormal’ by society. I’ve lectured on Shakespeare, Cognitive Psychology and basic Psychology at Columtreal.
I don’t like to be idle. I want to burn. My time here in Hathian has been a vacation from my career, but vacation is often when the Sun shines brightest. My diversion has set many lives on course. It’s allowed me to guide many Hathian residents to the pale fire beneath the clamor; to allow them, with a hand entwined with mine, to touch truth.
Reporter: It sounds like CU faculty and students are fortunate to have your energy and presence on campus. Can they count on your guidance in the Spring semester?
Paige: As a fresh session begins at Columtreal, I’m thrilled to find so many more hands reaching out for me. I feel like I am bare on that chaise-lounge again, body sought by the tongues of the Sun. I await to see which students will seek me and, in doing so, find themselves in the heat and light I provide.