I awakened from a dream in which I was planning a graduate seminar on Leonard Cohen.
It seemed odd; I knew even in the dream that this was not my area, but I was conscientiously working out what I would need to read to get up to speed on recent Canadian poetry (because I decided the focus would have to be on his lyrics as poetry, since there is no way I could manage the musical side of things), what I’d assign the students to read, how much background-filling I’d have to do on cultural and historical references (Chelsea Hotel, Berlin Wall, Tiananmen Square, Quebecois conflicts . . . ), what kinds of writing assignments I should give.
I hate having dreams like that. I even prefer nightmares, actually, because they are definitely dreams, part of the night’s passage, nothing to do with real life. But a dream about writing syllabi makes me feel that I have been at work for hours before I even get up. What do you mean, I still have to write quizzes for the undergraduate course I’m teaching this term? I’ve done my teaching prep work for the day! Haven’t I?
In the bad old days of majoring in a STEM field, I learned to stay up till I finished my problem sets, because otherwise I dreamed about doing them (without, however, coming up with the solutions in my sleep) and it seemed like they took twice as long. Plus ça change, hein?