Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This warms my heart: Oliver joins the Pack.

Strange day! At first I thought the movement of my chair was being caused by me -- was I shaking? Then I looked from my chair to Mimmie's dresser and saw that the mirror was shaking too. I surely wasn't doing that. Was it a big truck going by? But there was no noise. As I went downstairs, I heard the Woodstock Chimes tinkling. Out on the porch, the water jugs were sloshing around. On the sidewalk, I saw several of my neighbors also standing outside, looking around. An earthquake! The animals all slept though it.

This morning, I already found the day to be odd. Ever have one of those dreams that is so real it seems like it happened, even after you awaken? That was it. I had a too-real dream. I was having a dinner party, with lots of people, many of whom were older than me. They were familiar, but no-one I know "IRL" (or for that matter, in the e-world). I asked one man to help me do something, and he refused. I asked another, and he took charge and crowded me out completely -- took over making alla olio.

The problem was that he ignored the ingredients I had assembled, and put a couple cups of water and some corn oil in a pot. I was horrified, and didn't let him continue. This caused a big argument at the table, with some folks saying I was rude and had no right to not let him make it that way, as that was proper alla olio, and others supporting me, saying who doesn't know it should be made with olive oil, and besides, it was my party. I hid in the kitchen (which wasn't mine or any other I know) while everyone else ate.

I still felt uncomfortable after I woke up, although discovering it wasn't true was a big relief. It isn't unusual for me to have an anxiety dream shortly before the semester starts. This was true both when I was a student (when it usually would take two forms; either I arrive at school with no or inappropriate clothes on but no-one notices, or I realize halfway through the semester that I have forgotten to attend any classes) and has been true some semesters as an instructor as well (when the most common form of it is that I am at class on the first day totally unprepared, with no syllabus or handouts, sorting through papers on the classroom desk in a frenzy, hunting for materials while students watch and eventually leave). But the dinner party from h-ll? That was a first.

Actually, I'm in pretty good shape in terms of preparation; all the syllabi are done and I am starting to build the content for the Blackboard upgrade in all my classes. I should have time to weed whack today or tomorrow, I will be able to attend the faculty retreat on Thursday, I have some time tomorrow to devote to my research, and still take a three-day weekend in Samsonville. So I'm not sure what could be the source of the anxiety in my "other life" (as I call dreams). Maybe it is just something meaningless out of left field.

I volunteered to teach during Wintersession, and will find out if I was selected in October. Now that will be high pressure, but I only decided to offer today, so that wasn't it.

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