Last night I turned in a bit earlier than usual. I lay down around 1, fell asleep around 2, and had some interesting experiences.
I don’t remember all of how it began, but the first bits and pieces I remember had something to do with me communicating with an older man from a remote location. I was sending him some information about radio stations or something. Following this, I found myself at a convenience store with a friend or two, whose identities I knew at the time, but can’t recall now. I was hanging out around one of those cold drink freezers, and one of the friends (the female friend) was trying to help me choose something to drink. I picked out some bottle that looked like it was a Sobe drink and begin carrying it around.
All across the floor of the convenience store were squares, like large tiles. But in the tiles were drawings and pictures. It looked like some student artwork. At one point I remember losing control of my bottle and the top popped open. Sobe went everywhere, getting on a lot of the art tiles. I remember feeling really ashamed. Then all of a sudden, the convenience store was a classroom setting. All of the people in my VisComm class were there, as well as some other art majors from Truman. We were sitting at long tables in rows, and chalkboards extended all across the walls. Our professor was a short, African-American woman, who closely resembled a younger version of my JINS professor from this past semester (actually I’m fairly certain it was just her).
I remember the other students setting up their art supplies at the front of the room…apparently I was in an art class. And they would do projects, and she would go through lessons with them from a book….I forget what she was teaching them, but it involved flipping playing cards and doing a lot of counting with hand gestures. The whole time though I didn’t really participate. I knew I was supposed to be following along and doing the work, but I never did any of it and never paid attention. After a while we were having a test all of a sudden. I felt really panicked, and the teacher singled me out a few times for not having turned in my work. I remember feeling like I hated everyone in the classroom. Then my mom was there suddenly…and I was supposed to be taking this test. I didn’t even attempt to take it.
I looked at the test and hadn’t studied any of the materials; I had no idea how to answer any of her questions. I had absolutely nowhere to even begin. Yet I couldn’t bring myself to admit that I simply wasn’t prepared. I looked through the test, and remember looking at my mom. The next thing I knew I had shot out of that room and right into a nearby dormitory to hide. However, what seemed like literally 2 seconds after I set foot in the building, the fire alarm went off. I ran to the building, but before I got anywhere, I was being told I needed to turn around and leave. In retrospect, I feel like my subconscious was cleverly trying to present me with a dead end situation, in which I would have to turn around in order to progress any further (presumably to face my dream consequences).
I figured this much, because I would find myself in the same testing situation again at a different location later on in the dream. However, my dream self didn’t exit the dormitory right away once the fire alarm started. Instead, I remember running up a spiral staircase until I reached one of the main halls where some student advisors were lining up residents to proceed out of the building. There was some brief talk about what would happen should someone fall down the staircase, and that was the last I remembered of that scene.
The next I remember is that we were all in a different classroom, but we were being administered the same test again. And again, I hadn’t prepared. When the test was passed out, I got up and began acting out in the classroom. I don’t remember what I said or if I ended up running away again, but I just remember causing a commotion. And that was it.
Now that I think back, I have a lot of dreams where I’m in an academic setting and am about to be tested or have some projects or assignments due that I either have not prepared for or have not completed. These are the dreams that cause me the most anxiety. But I’ve gotten to the point where I can usually convince myself that I don’t actually have to worry about doing the work or taking the test because I’m just dreaming. I think that realization was part of the reason I tried to run earlier in last night’s dream, and part of the reason that I began yelling and screaming later in the dream. I knew I didn’t have to cooperate because it wasn’t real. But normally this quasi-lucidity doesn’t last long…and I go back to experiencing real dream anxiety.
In other news, I saw Star Trek last night. I really dug the poorly elaborated romance between Spock and Uhura.