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Recurring nightmares

I went to bed last night confused. I had a decision I needed to make. Its nature wasn't earth-shattering, but it was a decision nonetheless. I was also anxious about my inability to fully delve into an assignment, due to fear of failure.

It’s been a while since I had the one involving my statistics class from freshman year in college. That one involved me being an overconfident student who missed the teaching assistant’s discussions each week and also missed that attendance there was a large part of the grade. The problem was I did that. My A became a C, and I had no one to blame but myself. My stupidity still haunts me 28 years later.

I’ve had a different recurring dream recently that also involves school. In this one, I am mid-way through a college semester when I realize that I rarely attended any of my classes. In fact, it’s been so long that I don’t even know where the classes are or when they are held. I can’t find my schedule. And if I go to the registrar’s office I know I’ll be busted for blowing off my classes. Instead, I roam pointlessly throughout the campus trying to figure out where I am supposed to be and when. There’s never an end to this dream.

I know this dream is classic anxiety. I hate knowing that when I sleep, a time that I should hope provides my brain respite, my mind is stuck and frustrated in a loop futilely seeking closure. I am heartened to know that I am not alone.


My own most common school dream is one in which I suddenly discover, in high school or college, that I have been enrolled in some class that I was unaware of or had forgotten about and never attended. It is the day of the final exam, and I am searching through dungeon-like hallways trying to find the classroom. I finally get to the classroom, late, and I realize that I have no idea what the subject is and can’t make heads or tails of the exam questions. I used to think this was an odd dream, probably representing some unique aspect of my personality, but now, in this survey, I have learned that this is the most common of all school dreams, at least among those who responded to the survey.

Excerpt from “They Dream of School, and None of the Dreams Are Good” | Peter Gray Ph.D. | Freedom to Learn


This morning I started to write about recurring dream or nightmares, however you like to classify them, after reading a passage about confusion in Courage to Change that was followed by a quote from Helen Keller.

“Everything has its wonders, even in darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” Helen Keller

I went to bed last night confused. I had a decision I needed to make. Its nature wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was a decision nonetheless. I was also anxious about my inability to fully delve into an assignment, due to fear of failure. Those two things were at the front and center of my mind last night. This morning, after working a few hours, I made the decision without hesitation. And because I completed most of the work day’s immediate needs this morning, I made time to delve into the assignment I have been avoiding.

So, to Keller’s point, because my mind worked out its issues overnight, I found contentment this morning. And that is a lovely place to be at the start of the week. To that end, I looked up songs with contentment and found this one. My Dad loved Perry Como when we were kids, so I am sharing this one. Happy Monday.

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