Tuesday, December 20, 2005

tales of acadreamia

Back when I was a college student, I would sometimes have this dream where it was the end of the semester and I discovered that, through some technicality, I had not dropped a class that I had thought I had dropped, and so there were all these assignments and midterms I had zeroes on and I was supposed to take a final exam for a class that I had never attended.

Back when I first started teaching, I would sometimes have this dream where, through some mix-up, I thought I was supposed to give a lecture on one topic and then, only a couple minutes before class started, did I realize that it was supposed to be on a different topic. (Now that I know a bit more about teaching, that this scenario would rise to the level of a 'nightmare' is now rather amusing.)

Meanwhile, as a reflection of my career "progress," here are two dreams I've had in the past couple weeks:

1. I am giving a PowerPoint presentation at a conference on a project that I'm doing with a collaborator. As I start the presentation, I learn that the collaborator has inserted all these weird slides that he thought would be "cute" or "funny," but for which I didn't know what I was supposed to say to accompany them or even how they were at all connected to the presentation.

2. I am attending a talk given by a candidate for a position in my department. While the presenter is charming, I appear to be the only one who can tell that what he is saying doesn't really make any sense. After listening to the Q&A for awhile, I begin an exasperated line of questioning, which is answered with even more charismatically deliveraed but mostly nonsensical answers. I continue this line of questioning, and continue to get these utterly unintelligible answers from the speaker that are met with smiles and nods from the rest of the audience, until eventually the chair keeps trying to cut me off and everyone is looking at me like I am an incredible jerk.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I never had you pegged as the "interrogate the job candidate" type. Regardless, I imagine Wisconsin would be a tough place to interview.

Brayden said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has the conference presentation dream. I've also had a dream where I walk around a conference in the nude, trying to pass myself as fully clothed.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

These nudity/anxiety dreams seem to be pretty common, but whenever I have a dream in which I realize suddenly that I'm naked, it's not that I notice because people are pointing or whispering or laughing or whathaveyou, and there's never any embarrassment. I just notice because my dreamself gets cold. And then I think (in the dream), Geeze, why am I not wearing any clothes? It's chilly!

My academic anxiety dreams tend to center around some important figure telling me that I suck.

Anonymous said...

damn - you're either clairvoyant or you overheard me take that bet! ;=)

-sr

Anonymous said...

There is an incredible force/field over Cambridge this week, sucking up brains and dreamers' clothing. Advisories are out to avoid sleep or at least camp out under the stars until the danger is past.