Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Educational Distress

I woke in a panic. My heart felt like it was thumping out of my chest. I sat up and waited for the blare of the alarm radio to wash out of my ears. The room was pitch black. I pushed the covers aside and crawled out of bed and inched my way to the bathroom. The cold morning air did nothing to soothe my nerves.

I showered, dressed, and locked the door behind me as I made my way to the garage. Although my stomach was growling, mild nausea overpowered my sense of hunger. I turned the key in the ignition and was met by the throaty voice of a public radio announcer.

By the time I hit the on ramp, I settled into my morning drive. I felt an overwhelming sense of unease as I remembered the dream that yanked me out of sleep.


It's the first day of high school, or maybe college, and I am sitting contentedly in class. As I look around the room a panic overtakes me.

I forgot to bring my class schedule!

I forage through my backpack without luck. It's a new semester and I have no idea where I need to be next. Without room numbers or building names, I am lost. I start to breath rapidly as the fear overtakes me. My head pounds and my eyes begin to water.

I feel a strange sense of doom about starting the year off this way. It's as if somehow by missing the first day of classes, I will suffer great harm. I will lose some essential piece of information that will be devastating. I will fail miserably.

I jump out of my seat and sprint to the door. I have to quickly get to the administration building to print up a new schedule. But when I exit the class, I can't seem to remember which way to go.

I walk back and forth aimlessly trying to reconstruct the correct path. With each failed attempt my mind races even further out of control. I feel like I just got punched in the gut. I glance repeatedly at my watch as if I could freeze time.

When I finally get to the front of the administration building, I heave a sigh of relief. I walk up the steps and approach the entrance.

The door is locked.


The fetid odor of cleaning products mixed with the refuse of human illness is the first thing that hits me as I enter the medical floor. I try not to breath out of my nose. A demented patient is lost somewhere in the jungles of Viet Nam and swings at his nurse. He just barely misses her.

It is six in the morning and the maintenance man walks past me pushing the floor cleaning machine. It sounds like a garbage truck and the noise disrupts the otherwise quiet hallway where sick patients try to get their rest.

I take a deep breath, and for the first time this morning, I feel the calm wash over me. My heart is no longer racing and the nausea is gone. I have finally shaken the stress of my nightmare.

Thank God I'm no longer a student!

1 comment:

tracy said...

Oh, i so understand this bad dream. And the one about skipping class many times and having to face the consequences. And the one about not studying for the final and it's final time and the one...the list goes on, doesn't it?

Damn anxiety dreams!