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Monday, August 31, 2009

That One Dream You Always Have, You Know the One

Jeff's entertaining analysis of my Captain America dream, combined with tonight's visit from my old Lister Hall friend Joanne, reminded me of one of the consistent recurring themes of my dreams: an imagined failure to earn my degree.

The circumstances are nearly always different, but there are common recurring elements:

1) The sudden recognition that I forgot to take a certain course, therefore my degree is invalid. The course could have been as early as junior high, invalidating all my progress from that point on.

2) An academic or professional setting.

3) Panic that I'm going to have to go back to school all over again.

4) Realizing that some important test - not necessarily an academic one - is imminent, and I've forgotten to prepare for it at all.

5) Confusion: wait a minute, I earned my degree years ago. What year is this? Oh wait, it's 2009...wha--

And then I wake up.

I've always been fascinated by dreams. Mine have always been very vivid and real, to the point that sometimes I'll wake up a little startled, as if I've been suddenly yanked from one reality to another. This is no fun when the dream is a nightmare, but when it's something more pleasant, such as a dream of flight or an adventure's sublime.

Usually, writing about dreams or describing them to friends is an exercise in frustration. Rarely are my dreams as compelling to others as they are to me, perhaps because words are inadequate (or my facility with words is inadquate) to explain the sheer spectacle and emotional power of any given dream.

And yet, from time to time I'll try, because they can be that special. But perhaps dreams are meant only for the dreamer.


NAES said...

I have similar dreams to this very day.

In my version, I realize I skipped class all year and forgot about about the final/didn't hand in my essay.

Captain Jeff's Mandolin said...

I always dream about losing my degree. I have to re-apply for it, and when I do, the administration buildings all shift around. Once, I actually remember dreaming them moving around quad. Spending a lot of time in the U of A BioSciences building did not help either. That place is dreamlike in its real-world architecture.

Frequently, I dream about missing a course. Then the Dean's office realizes that I am missing a high school credit, so I have to go back there before I can apply for my missing uni course. One memorable dream bounced me all the way back to Grade 3. I didn't realize this as silly until I was trying to wedge myself into one of those kiddie desks in class. I'd still probably fail handwriting and printing.

I told my dad about these dreams, and he says he has them, too.

Driving Jeff Daisy said...

Bleargh. I have the flu. I am making mistakes. I've already used "Captain Jeff's Mandolin". The above entry should have been "Dawn Of The Jeff". Seeing as I now have two D entries, this one can be my back-up plan "Driving Jeff Daisy". If you have the flu, this makes total sense. I miss being Anonymous. That was so much easier.