Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Academic Dreams: Refocused, Yaro Style
These dreams are all some variation on the same out-of-control theme: I cannot get to where I'm supposed to be to administer a test or begin a class; I cannot find my way out of one building to get to the next one so I can begin class across campus; someone has replaced all of our desks with spindly music stands on which we are supposed to balance textbooks; someone has moved my whole office into the custodial storage area (the fact that it all fits so much better in there makes me want to weep when I awaken). I will stop here because these dreams are the same that have recurred over the past two decades.
What strikes me most, as I contemplate these nighttime panicky episodes, is that none of my dreams are as bad or as horrific as my reality:
In none of my dreams are the students half literate.
In none of my dreams are students outright lying to me about why they couldn't finish an assignment or attempting to coerce me into changing a grade.
In none of my dreams are students claiming that I am the worst professor they've ever had and that they're earning A's in all of their other classes.
No one is complaining to my chair or filing grievances against me for turning them in for plagiarizing their essays.
In none of my dreams are the parents of my most problematic advisee demanding that I meet with them to explain why their son is on academic probation (the fact that they got him a prescription for medicinal marijuana should be their first clue).
In none of my dreams are the administrators at fault.
I simply cannot find my way to my classroom, or my classroom has been repurposed with music stands. How completely awful is that?
In my next dream, should I be unable to find my classroom, I believe I will channel Yaro and simply wander off to gaze at the sky outside instead of panicking that someone is missing a test. In my dream, I will know that even if I make it to the test on time, they're likely to fail it anyway. I will choose, instead, to have a Yaro moment of breezeful bliss.