Everybody is familiar with the usual bouts of anxiety that manifest themselves as dreams (or perhaps, nightmares) of academic disaster. Although dreaming of going to class naked seems to be popular, that never happened to me, whether in dreams or for real. However, numerous times I’ve dreamed of finding at the end of a semester that I was registered to a class without my knowledge. Or that there’s an exam coming and I’m learning about it just 2 seconds before exam time. Or that I’ve been going to the wrong class all semester long. But nothing like the dream I had last night.
I guess new academic roles bring on new possibilities for disaster. At any rate, last night I dreamed that I had been selected for being a TA for a class called “Particle physics and theories of personality.” Good gods! In my dream, my Religious Studies teachers were assuring me that it was in my best interest to teach that class. Of course, to top it off, I had learned about it just 2 seconds before the first class. I felt I was a terrible choice for teaching anyone anything about particle physics. I was also skeptical as to the rationale for making particle physics and theories of personality the subject matter of a single class. Sounds like one of those flashy course titles that end up disappointing.
As for why I had that dream, that’s just the usual anxiety about making sure that I’m at the level I need to be to perform the tasks I need to perform as a graduate student. Luckily, I don’t have such dreams too often.