The Recurrent Crazy Dream Week

dreamstimefree_7308blog.JPGA classroom that seats 30 with hundreds of empty chairs.

A restroom without a single toilet.

A drinking fountain that spews hot water.

Walking to a classroom where I’ve taught every semester for the last eight years, and instead of a door, finding a cement wall.

Forced to teach biology for eight hours when I’m a business professor.

Forced to teach Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations to a classroom of non-english speaking kindergartners, and none of us can leave until I’m successful.

Happy New Year! I started a new college term. Spring semester 2013. Six courses, five preps, a little under one hundred students. The scenarios listed above are some of the dreams I had this week. Happens every semester. Probably stems from previous trauma.

Cue music.

I’m nineteen, living in a college dorm, and I set my alarm one hour early by mistake. Down in the cafeteria, I don’t even notice dozens of mostly empty tables. After coffee and carbs, I’m first to arrive at my first class. That’s not unusual, I’m an overachiever after all. Sitting in my usual spot, center back, I tuck my book bag under my chair, notepad and pencil at the ready. Then I start getting that something isn’t right feeling when bodies fill the seats around me and pull out a strange purple text. Awkwardness is reinforced when “wrong gender professor” settles at the front of the room. And ultimately my doom is sealed when I sit through, too embarrassed to leave, an entire 50 minutes of Intermediate Italian instead of Introduction to Philosophy.

Yeah. So I get these anxiety dreams at the beginning of each semester that go away once I’m settled into the new routine.

Although, I will say as I’ve gotten older, my dreams are increasingly vivid. Must be the B6.

Photograph (c) Gerdien Monique Samsen

During the Last Twelve Days of Fall Semester


My Students Gave to Me:

Twelve harried phone calls,

Eleven hours grading,

Ten sleepless nights,

Nine more hours grading,

Eight homemade cookies,

Seven failing grades,

Six thank you e-mails,

Five homework due date extension requests,

Four calling cell phones (during final exams!),

Three requests for reference letters,

Two handwritten thank you cards,

And one job I hate to love 🙂

Photograph Andrew Taylor

First Week of School? Blue Screen of Death…


Every day this week my computer at work greeted me with the ominous message above. The photo doesn’t do it justice, since you might not be able to see such flavorful sentences as “Collecting data for crash dump”, “Initializing disk for crash dump”, and “Beginning dump of physical memory”. Any time you see the word DUMP on your computer screen it’s not a good thing. Seeing the word DUMP half a dozen times, you’ve gone from bad to worse. Lucky for me, rebooting temporarily solves the problem, until this beast of a machine decides to start dumping while I’m working.

Of course this being the first week of a brand new college semester, did not help the situation.


At home, I am blessed to have a Macbook Pro who greets me every day with a heartfelt chime and an eagerness to get the job done. You see even when the PC in my office at school is working, it takes so long to boot up I can go to the copy room and back before I have access to a cursor. Coffee? Sure. Plenty of time.

The Mac? He’s ready, willing and able the moment I pop his lid and press ON . . . and I love him for it.

Now if someone could invent a remote start for the PC (like some folks have for their cars) so it’s all warmed up by the time I climb two flights of stairs… Or maybe the rest of the world, including my college, could just switch over to Apple computers and we could stop this nonsense.

Photo by Karin Blaski 8/20/12