Monday, November 02, 2009
Dream Come True
For the past week or so, I've been having academic anxiety dreams every night. They're always the kind where I have to teach but can't find my classroom, and as I wander a maze of halls and stairways, I know that if I ever do find the room, the students will all have left. They fall into the general category of "can't get there from here" dreams, and have much in common with, say, dreams where I'm rushing to catch a plane flight but can't seem to get to the gate.
This morning, I had to be at a master's oral defense in the nursing program at 9 a.m. I'm not a morning person, and sure enough, I overslept, leaving myself only time for a quick shower before I had to race out of the house. I hadn't had coffee or breakfast, and hadn't even fed the cats. I wasn't sure if I'd have time to buy coffee on campus, but it was my only option.
I knew that our street was being refinished tomorrow, but all the sawhorses had gone up today. A lot of the street was closed. I wound around sawhorses, cones, construction equipment, and other cars, and managed to get to school only a few minutes later than I would have otherwise. So far, so good.
But my parking garage is at the north end of campus, and the nursing building is on the south end, at least half a mile away. When I got out of the car and looked at my watch, it was suddenly later than I'd thought. Whoops! No time to buy coffee!
Then I decided to take a shortcut through a part of campus I don't know very well. What was I thinking?
Sure enough, I found my way blocked by construction. It was now 8:55. I could see the nursing building, but couldn't get there: the sidewalk was sealed off by chainlink fences. I ducked into the building behind me to try to find an exit past the construction site, and instead wound up wandering through unfamiliar hallways which eventually led me back to the door I'd just come in. I went back outside, walked a little farther, and went into another door, from which -- at last! -- I found an exit that was past the construction. Yay!
But then I realized that I'd overshot the nursing building, and had to go backwards and up some stairs, and when I was inside I had trouble finding the room and had to ask my way.
I arrived sweaty and breathless, convinced that I was late. Luckily, the student had been having some trouble with her AV equipment, so I was actually there on time. Even more luckily, she'd brought in large cups of Starbucks coffee for everyone on the committee. Yes! And I thoroughly enjoyed the two hours we spent discussing her project, so the race was worth it.
I'm happy to report that this nightmare is much scarier when you're asleep than when you're awake. But I still hope to avoid it in the future!