You ever have that dream?
You know the one I mean. You're late for class and you don't know where the room is. You run through all the hallways, checking the rooms until you finally find it. Charging in, you throw yourself into a chair as everyone stares at you. It's only then that you realize that you've never been to the class before and it's the last day. The teacher begins handing out the final exam....
Yeah, that dream. I used to have it all the time and it freaked me out. Then, one day in grad school, I was talking to a friend (we'll call him "Ken," because that's his name). Ken told me he had been automatically enrolled in a class that he didn't know about and that there was only a couple of weeks of school left.
"They'll let you drop the class, won't they?"
"Nah," Ken said. "I'll just drop by the bookstore and grab the textbook. I can be ready for the final."
I'm guessing Ken never had that dream. I stopped having it myself around 2004 when I started teaching. Then, I started having a new dream:
You run down a hallway looking for the right classroom. Finally, you find it and rush to the front of the class. There's no projector to show your slides on and you forgot your notes. You look at the schedule and realize someone accidentally signed you up to teach "Early Zoroastrian Mythology." You turn to your class and realize all the students are experts in the realm of Zoroastrian Mythology, and will know if you're faking it.
And you're naked.
Yeah, much worse. I expect I'll be getting rid of it soon. See, on Monday at 2pm, I got a call from my dean. I expected he was calling to talk to me about the class I was due to teach next week.
"Hi Dave!," I said to Dave (also his real name).
"Hi Matthew. I wanted to ask you about your class."
"Yeah, I have some questions about it."
"Were you planning on coming in?" Dave said.
I thought about it. I did have some things I was hoping to cover with him.
"I suppose so. When is good for you to talk?"
There was a pause at the other end.
"Your class is from one to five."
"I can come in before that," I said.
"No," Dave said. "I mean your class is from one to five today. I've been teaching it for an hour. Are you planning on coming in?"
Turns out I was supposed to start teaching a week earlier than I thought. Oops.
Guess I need to get a new dream.