Academic nightmare

Back when I was in high school, I had the occasional dream where I’d forgotten to hand in some homework or some deadline was looming. I thought to myself, my high school is fairly high pressure. Maybe the dreams will stop when I start undergrad. In undergrad, I continued to have these dreams every once in a while. I thought to myself, “Self, these’ll probably stop once you’re done undergrad.” I had a few more of these dreams while taking classes in grad school. Whatever — surely they’ll stop when I’m done classes.

Well, what do you know? It’s been several years since I’ve taken any courses and I’m still having these dreams. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, I woke up in a cold sweat over some assignment that kept growing and growing. The worst part of it was that it was for a high school Latin course that I had apparently to take with some friends for fun (okay, maybe the worst part of it is that I might actually do something like that). High school was two whole degrees ago.

I’ve already taught a few courses before, but hadn’t any dreams that I can remember pertaining to that. However, on Saturday night, I had my first nightmare about giving a lecture. Yes, I was wearing pants1. I dreamt I was downtown trying to catch a shuttle bus to UTSC, where I’m lecturing this term, becoming increasingly late for my first class of the term.

Yesterday, I made it to the first lecture on time. Aside from getting nauseated by the chemicals in the area and delivering a lecture on remotely connecting to the computer systems at the university without access to the Internet, things weren’t so bad. I wonder what sorts of academic nightmares other people have?

  1. That teaching evaluation story will have to wait for another time… []

2 Replies to “Academic nightmare”

  1. Regular ones for me:

    1) I’m suposed to be giving a talk at a conference, but every time I try to go off and prepare the slides, someone interesting wants to talk to me about some fascinating project over a beer, and I never get to prepare the talk.

    2) I’m partway though a teaching term in which I keep forgetting to go and give the lectures, agonize over what the students did when I never showed up, and then realize I’ve just forgotten to give another one…

    3) I’m at a conference, and I’ve misread the time of my flight home. I show up at the airport late and they re-book me for the next day. The next day I again get delayed getting to the airport and miss the flight (and so it goes on – I never manage to get home in this dream).

    I figure if the nightmares ever stop, it’s a bad sign – it means you no longer care about these things.

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