Thursday, September 06, 2007

In your dreams

My nephew started school yesterday - it was an event causing much sadness amongst our family - we all hated school. The day went reasonably well, although he burst into tears at the end when my sister went to collect him, and he was a bit put out because some of the other children got a gold star for going to the toilet and he didn't. Only 4 and already they start with the social comparisons... My sister is furious: "It's like I have to go through it all over again, vicariously..." She has been having our shared recurring dream a lot lately - the one we both regularly have - where we suddenly find that there has been some sort of "mistake" with our GCSE results and as a result, we are forced to leave our adult lives and made to go back to school to resit all of our GCSEs again. (You don't have to be Jung to work that one out.)

Are we the only ones who have recurring dreams? In the resit GCSE one, I have become increasingly bolshy over the last few months. I sometimes resolve to "do things differently" this time around ("I'll show those teachers they can't mess with me!") No matter that I'm probably older than most of the teachers and nobody cares about your GCSEs when you have a PhD - in the dream logic it all seems entirely plausible. In another dream, I'm lost in London (maybe it's due to the blog of the same name that I read) and am trying to find a restaurant or tube station but end up wandering around aimlessly. And another dream involves airports. I don't have the "being late for school" or "missing the bus" dreams any more, but every September, the week before term starts, I always dream I am supposed to be teaching a class and can't find my lecture notes and the students are getting increasingly restless and unpleasant. The other night I dreamt that I was examining a PhD viva but hadn't actually read the PhD. Again, I don't need a dream dictionary to "reveal" my textbook anxiety. Why can't I have fun dreams where I'm friends with a range of celebrities, or even surreal ones where I'm turning into a caterpillar or something. I can only conclude that my imagination is severely stunted.

As for my nephew - rather him than me. At least I hope I can impart to him that the most important thing to get out of school is that gold stars don't actually mean anything.


matty said...

Oh, no! The first day of school!

...and gold stars!

Well, he has a mom and an uncle who understand and can help him get thru it!

I wonder. If I ended up with a kid at this point in my life if I would home school him/her. I don't know.

There are dark sides to both options.

I don't think I will have to worry with it in the end. However, I will have to decide how to best train our puppy! No gold stars!

KAZ said...

I still have nightmares about unmarked or unset coursework. When will they go away?

But the relief when I wake up and remember it's all in the past - almost worth it.