09 June 2008

Thoughts Preoccupied with High School and Frozen Chicken

Since we've moved here, I've been having quite a few dreams where I have to go back to high school. I've already finished my degree at BYU, but for whatever reason (really, it's a dream, so does it need a reason?) I have to go back to high school.

Just for a little background, I hated high school. I was just not happy in high school. And when teachers would say, "You'll miss high school when you start college," I would always think to myself how certain I was they were wrong. One teacher told me, "Sherry, the other kids will miss high school. You will not miss high school." And that's how it was. I loved college. I didn't like high school.

So, in my dreams, a few things have happened. One time Eric and I were engaged, and we'd been engaged for about three years. I kept him hanging on because, well, I couldn't get married before I had graduated from high school! And then we were in high school and all the girls hated me because I was taking Eric to prom, and I was trying to show them how silly they were because he was my fiance, and they didn't even know him.

In another recent dream my high school contacted me to tell me that they made a mistake and I hadn't taken all the classes I needed to, which meant I technically hadn't graduated. This was very stressing to me, and I tried to convince them that the classes I hadn't taken should be waived because I took similar classes in college that I did rather well in. But the high school counselor would have none of it. In my dream, I distinctly recall thinking, "Well, I know two people who are very intelligent but did not graduate from high school. Both graduated from college, but because they didn't want to take pointless classes in high school, they forewent the diploma." But, I just couldn't bear for people to know that I hadn't graduated from high school But at the same time, it was dawning on me that some of the people who I attended high school with were now teaching at the school, and I might have to take a class from one of those dumb kids that I could hardly stand. See the dilemma? It was quite a problem.

Last night, in my dream, I needed to do my math homework. In this case the math homework actually involved me writing down definitions in addition to solving problems. But there was a problem- my mom was reading my math book. And she wouldn't let me have it because she said I could just use my other math book. And the problem with that was that my math book was a package of frozen chicken.

Okay, the real problem with these dreams is that they wake me up. And I am generally rather stressed out by them. Not only the dreams about high school, but pretty much all my dreams. The thing is, I like my life to make sense, and dreams generally don't make sense. I don't want to dream about high school. I don't want to dream about the apocalypse. And I'm sick of dreaming that I have to go back to work at the grocery store where I worked in high school but I keep forgetting to go in and pick up my schedule and consequently never show up to work at all.

Then I wake up. And I'm so stressed out! And the cycle begins. "Oh, good. Just a dream. That was dumb. I wonder if it's almost time to wake up? Hm. Nope, it's not; it's still quite dark outside. That means you should be asleep! Aaaaah! Go to sleep! See, you are awake instead of asleep and now you are going to sleep through seminary! AND you are going to hate life and the world tomorrow. This is bad. So calm down and go to sleep. But I can't calm down because I'm awake and I'm supposed to be asleep and that is stressing me out!"

Every. Single. Night. It's making me crazy.

Any suggestions?

Any crazy dreams?


Bart said...

Yuck. I really dislike stressful dreams like that. I've actually had a lot of them (not every night, but maybe once a month), and they're always really vivid and killer stressful.

I don't know what to do about them besides relish the moment you wake up and realize it was all just a dream. That can be a pretty good feeling.

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Hm . . . I often dream I've been called on a mission and have to figure out what to do with the kids for 18 months. Or I dream that I'm back in college again and there is ONE calculus class I have to finish before I can graduate, the trouble is that I didn't know I was enrolled and I haven't attended all semester and the final is coming. Yeah. Pressure. And when I'm teaching I always have nightmares about being unprepared for class (which usually have about 50 kids apiece), being late and wearing either weird or no clothes.

Those are my standard dreams. And I have no advice or explanations. When I'm especially hormonal I tend to have more vivid dreams. Does that help?

Angela Noelle said...

Well, you know I dreamed I was teaching at two schools at once, but just...forgot the other school. I FORGOT my students. I also dreamed I was enrolled at University to do "post- post-grad" WHILE teaching full-time, and just...forgot. FORGOT my lectures! Apparently we folks that like to think we're somewhat academic and successful find our subconscious playing out our worst fears.

jenn said...

I have two ideas for you:

1. Maybe you're having so many dreams about high school because you are teaching seminary! So your option here is to quit. But this is not the option I recommend.
2. I don't know if this is true for everyone, but at least for several people that I have polled, it stands true: I have more vivid, frequent, and scary dreams when I am hot at night. It's pretty much guaranteed that if I don't have a fan blowing on me, I'm going to have a scary dream. But from what I have gathered from your blog, it's usually pretty cold in your house, right? So I don't know...

I really, really liked the frozen chicken math book dream. I laughed really hard out loud.

from NC--NKL and Fam said...

Hi Sherry,
I read a wonderful and very scientific book called "The Mind at Night" by Andrea Rock which discusses in detail the dream research done in sleep labs. I can tell you quite a bit about common dream patters, which include the back to highschool dreams. Give me a call when you have a chance, because I can't do it justice in writing--I will feel too much pressure to word everything carefully with disclaimers on plaguerism, etc.
Love you!