Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Work: the nightmare

In the dream, I'm back at work, and everything is going wrong. (It's not exactly the layout of the ESL school where I currently am employed - my elementary school from childhood, or maybe the high school I taught at in Japan, seem to play a role, as well, in the shape and size of the classroom and the layout of the building that it's in). The photocopiers are acting up and someone distracts me as I'm trying to get my copies done, so I enter the classroom late, without my materials prepared, a mess of confused papers tucked under my arm and no clear idea what I'm going to do. I try hard to get the students' attention but the first couple of activities fail and I can sense that I'm losing the class and my own self-confidence; I'm getting that nervous, sinking feeling in my gut. I make a run for the photocopier while they're engaged in one activity, manage to get something else prepared, and briefly get their attention, my confidence flickering back to life as something finally seems be working... but then I don't know what to follow it up with and am apologizing and stammering. I come up with an idea, and start writing something on the board, trying to get a new topic started, but when I turn around, I notice (this never actually happens) that two Korean students, a male and female, are PASSIONATELY MAKING OUT in the class, ignoring me (and indeed, everything else). I interject, stop them, but I look around and see that many of the students are amused and several of them distracted, and suddenly I lose it and yell at the class to fucking pay attention; at which point, I notice a highly physically awkward new male teacher standing at my door - I've seen him shuffling about the school nervously a few times previously and have shivered in contempt, so vulnerable and incapable does he seem. He has a bundle of papers with him and wants to pass them off to me, and at first I think he's somehow returning things for MY students, but then I look at the crudely pencilled writing and realize that he's trying to get me to help him return his students' papers, not realizing that they aren't even in my classroom at that time. I feel sick with the knowledge that I've just blown my cool - and with a new teacher as a witness! what will he think! - but I explain to him, sweat trickling down my brow, that he needs to bring the papers to his class, that they're not here now... Then I turn to face my class again. What will we do next? ...How much longer is left in this class, anyways?

Somewhere in there I wake up. It's approaching 8AM. I sink back into my pillow, relieved that it's all just been a dream, but still feeling tensed-up inside. In reality, I've got time off work and a stack of writing projects lined up, many that I'm quite excited about (and which will pay! me! money!). Why does my mind need to interject dayjob nightmares into my life during these rare periods where I don't have a dayjob to go to? ...It's not like I have writing nightmares....

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