The other night I had a stress dream reminiscent of college days. You know the kind, where you sleep through your final, or you forgot you were enrolled in a class? Only in this case, I forgot I was enrolled in any classes.
So in my dream, I started a full slate of winter semester classes at the beginning of January, only to have a baby on January 8th and stop attending. Completely. In real life, I would have taken the semester off if I was expecting a baby in January, or at least taken a few weeks off and then gotten a sitter so that I could finish out the semester. Of course, dreams aren't exactly rational or logical.
I remembered at some time in May (which incidentally is after winter semester has ended) that I was supposed to be taking classes, and I showed up at my Spanish class (30 minutes late, too, because I couldn't find the right room). I should have been embarrassed, but didn't think anything of it until the teacher cornered me after class and disgustedly asked me why I even bothered coming--I'd missed the entire semester. I asked what I could do to make up the work. At this point I felt so guilty and negligent and feared what my mother, who has taught college classes, would say about me--I'm just one of those lazy, ignorant students who falls off the face of the earth after the first week of school and then shows up for the final and expects a passing grade.
Then I had the daunting task of even remembering which other classes I was enrolled in. I think there was a math class, and an engineering class, and maybe physics? I'm not sure what I was studying--oh, and the hallways were my high school. Did I mention that I surprised myself when I remembered my locker combination after 4 months truant? They had redone the lockers, anyway, and there was some kind of paper-puncher in my locker that punched a hole every time you accessed it (kind of like a time clock?). Very strange. I could also reach into the lockers on either side of mine because they were not put together very close. But I digress. I couldn't decide which notebooks and textbooks to take with me to my mystery classes, so I just grabbed them all, and it was a lot to carry.
Right before I woke up I had been stressing about how to officially withdraw from my classes without a penalty--I was trying to access the course catalog with the rules on withdrawing, but they didn't publish the catalog on paper anymore (darn digital age!) so I had to get on a computer to look it up, and the computer was too slow, and somehow I got into a fight with someone next to me because they were making fun of me for some stupid, forgotten reason.
Anyway, I woke up to perplexedly reflect on this complex entanglement of high school, college, parenthood, and stress, which was contained all in one instantaneous dreamy image. Very, very strange. And I know for a fact that I haven't enrolled in any classes in nearly three years. I didn't believe my parents when they told me I would have college stress dreams 20 years after college, mostly because I never had stress dreams while I was in college (maybe because when I was stressed, I simply couldn't sleep). But now I understand. I completely understand.
11 months ago