They say that everyone dreams and I’m sure I do. But, unlike many other people I don’t seem to remember them and when I do the details are pretty sketchy. There are, however, two dream scenarios that recur and the major details stick with me.
I gave up tobacco in 1982 but over the decades continue to have the occasional nightmarish dream in which I have started smoking again. The details may vary but the plot is always the same. In my dream I am smoking cigarettes but I have somehow rationalized that it is okay. Even though I know it’s not I keep telling myself everything is fine. By the time I wake up I’m usually very angry with myself for giving in to the pleasures of the Devil’s weed. A sigh of relief comes when my eyes open, I realize it was a dream, and I’m still living a tobacco free life.
The other recurring dream has to do with teaching. I’ve been happily retired for 17 years now and although I still loved teaching when I left the classroom I’ve never looked back. After vowing to never be a substitute teacher I did get talked into doing it a few times. In fact, somehow my name got put on the list of available subs and on two occasions my phone rang at 6:00 a.m., waking me up and asking me to go to work. Third time I was called I told the caller to immediately take my name off the list and have never substituted since. When you teach you look forward to being woken early and told school has been cancelled because of snow or bad weather. Those calls are welcomed. Being called and told to report to work isn’t. I call those experiences, reverse snow days.
All that being said, here’s my second bad dream type. In these dreams I have agreed to go back into the classroom on some sort of long-term basis. I tell myself I want to do this and that it will be a wonderful experience and I’ll love being back in the classroom and sharing the wisdom of my age with young people. I’m so convinced it will be good I sign a binding long-term contract. So, I walk into my new classroom and discover that all has changed and I can no longer relate to teenagers and I’m unable to maintain classroom conduct. It is a horrible experience and one that I can’t walk away from because of contractual obligations. Again, the relief comes with waking up and realizing that it is all a dream and I can roll over and, with a smile on my face, go back to sleep.
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