I had an exam-anxiety dream last night.
You know the kind of thing. You dream you're back in college, about to take a crucial exam. But then you can't get there, because waterfalls or tigers or in-laws keep getting in your way. Then you get to the exam and realize you never attended any of the classes, so you don't know any of the answers. Then you think, Don't panic- just fake your way through! But then you realize it's a mathematics exam, or a chemistry test, or something else you can't possibly fake the answers to.
At this point in the dream I usually get a letter from my alma mater, saying they're going to rescind my degree. Frantically I try to think of ways I can go back to college and finish up. Only as dawn is breaking does it dawn on me: hey, what does it matter any more? Who needs the B.A.? It never did me any good before, why should it matter now?
Then I wake up, and I realize, shuddering with relief, that it was only a dream.
Except last night. Last night was different.
I was in a classroom, about to take an exam.I had no worries about the exam, except one: Someday, I thought, the powers that be would discover how easy this class was, and they'd take back all the credits. But I was still pleased with myself at this point. Because how many Irish Catholics had the foresight to sign up for this gut of a "Native American Studies" class? Just me, baby!
Then it dawned on me. What the heck was I doing in a Native American Studies class? What, did I think it was going to get me a job? Instantly I saw my transcript before my eyes. It was full of things like "Native American Studies." And "Middle English," and "Church and State in the Middle Ages" and "Introduction to Medieval Canon Law." Oh my God! I gasp. Where was accounting? Where was business management? Where was How To Get And Keep Gainful Employment? Where was anything that might actually matter it the real world?
Desperately I tried to start over. I wrote letters, I sent emails: Please let me be a freshman again! I promise I won't do another stupid thing like sign up for "Catullus and Cicero" when what I really need is "How To Make It In The Real World Despite Being a Writer Type"! I beg of you! Give me another chance!
Then I woke up. And for the first time, that old "thank GOD! it was only a dream!" feeling just wasn't there.