13 February 2008

Snow days are better when you're young

The problem with snow days is that sometimes the anticipation far exceeds the reality. Such was the case today. When my alarm went off at 6:00 this morning, I immediately checked the TV to see whether my school was delayed or closed. We were closed, for the first time this year. I cheered quietly, so as not to wake Geof, and crawled back into bed. When I returned to sleep, however, I found myself dreaming very intense and disturbing dreams. While I often have trouble remembering whatever dreams I have in the middle of the night (or whenever such things occur), those dreams that occur after I would normally be up are easy to remember and sometimes bizarre. At some point, between 6:00 and when I woke up for good just before 10:00, I had several dreams of a type that I hate: I categorize these as "The dreams in which I must face my shortcomings."

Usually they involve school. Occasionally, I'm in college and realizing at the end of the semester that I've not attended a single class. More often, these dreams feature me being somewhere else while I have a class to teach. I have, for some reason, decided to go out for a beer. Or I have decided to take a nap. Or I have just been unaware that I had a class at that particular time. These dreams always end with me hearing someone in the main office asking me over the PA system to report to wherever I'm supposed to be. I'm mortified, aware that this is totally unlike me, and I wake up vaguely ashamed.

Sometimes, my students decide to stage a coup, often involving lots of swearing, shouting and standing on desks. From these dreams I awake frustrated, angry and feeling vaguely powerless.

This morning's dream was a combination of the two common themes: Even though I thought we had a snow day, it turned out that we didn't. Therefore, administrators and students spent the morning looking for me because I was home sleeping, secure in my belief that we had a snow day. When I finally (for some reason--guilt??) went to school, I faced the annoyance and anger of my superiors and my students. I had failed them both. I was stupid, inappropriate, lazy and just dead wrong.

An inauspicious beginning to my snow day.What should have been a day to relax and perhaps perform some useful task ended up being a day where I was dogged by a sense of my own limitations and vague unrest. It took me until this evening, really, to shake the feeling, and it's only now, as I write this in front of a fire with a Guinness next to me, that I feel fully prepared to deal with the world.

No comments: