0557: "Students"

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby TheBlackCat » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:32 pm UTC

My specific version of the dream usually comes in the form that I am looking at my exam schedule or planning out my study schedule and realize there is a class I had signed up for but never attended. That is why the dream always occurs right around the end of what should be the school semester. I sometimes rush off to the professor to try to apologize (I never actually get that far), and occasionally the dream starts with me in the class already knowing that I had missed most of it, but most often I am either in my apartment, walking between classes, or in a different class. I never figure it out during the dream, I usually wake up in a panic, promptly forget about the dream, then remember it a few days later.

I almost never remember my dreams, so the fact that I remember this one attests how scary it is.

I had a lucid dream once. It was a really fun dream, and when I woke up in the middle of the night I was so upset that it had ended, and as I fell back asleep I wished it could continue. And it did, but I knew it was a dream and had some measure of control over (not god-like control, but I could do a little bit of implausible stuff). I don't actually remember what it was about, but I do remember trying very hard to get a sword to change its length, and it did but it kept changing in the wrong direction or bending or doing other stuff I didn't want. I think it had something to do with fighting Ganondorf. If I recall correctly he was very patient with me, although somewhat annoyed.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby x1372 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:36 pm UTC

Ugh. graduated two months ago and I still have that nightmare twice a week.

Nice to hear its not going away...

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Melkarion » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:37 pm UTC

I've had the comic's dream (though I never watched the Power Rangers as a kid, so I have no point of reference for the alt text...) And I've also had the actor's nightmare. Doubly ironic because I've neither attended a class or acted in any theatrical role since graduating with a BS in physics 3 years ago... but with a looming return to higher education (in an ME program, actually) I've just recently started having a bizarre amalgamation of the two.

I arrive, and am inexplicably handed a laser pointer and a set of slides, and ushered into a lecture hall to teach. I have no idea what I'm teaching about, or even what subject the class is supposed to be on. The slides are no help... they don't seem to have anything to do with eachother, and they span seemingly every field of knowledge I'm even aware of consciously. (Side note: The slides are obviously mine, they have the same chrome-like grey-shaded background I've used religiously since my advisor said he didn't like it.) Worse yet, everyone in the lecture hall seems inordinately interested in whatever it is I'm supposed to be saying, hanging on my every word and gesture in a way I would have thought would come up in the good dreams of a future educator. This goes on for an hour or more of UTTER bull, as I frantically invent a lecture out of nothing, about nothing coherent, and yet fraught with deeper meaning.

AND IT WORKS. It seems to be taking... people nod, thoughtfully. They scribble notes, or try appear to do so, so their note-scribbling peers won't be able to tell they cannot grasp my genius... And at the end, they actually applaud. They stand up and applaud a class lecture. I did it... except just then, of course, I see the one guy in the back, stubbornly seated, and smirking down at me. HE KNOWS. And he is not amused.

And of course he looks just like me. There are obvious, clear psychological explanations for all this, of course, but I think we need to reject the easy answer and look a little further.

That guy is really Randall in disguise, and he needs to get out of my head.
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby The Scyphozoa » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:41 pm UTC

What the fuck, Randall. Now I can't tell if I was on xkcd or smbc. There are a lot of webcomics that have the aim of being humorously disturbing. I hope xkcd doesn't turn into one of them.
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby blackoars » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:52 pm UTC

I've been out of school since '75 and I had that very dream a couple of years ago. He's right!
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby aeson25 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:59 pm UTC

This was the exact dream I had last night!...just the student one.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby aleflamedyud » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:03 pm UTC

FUCK YOU RANDALL. Thanks to your goddamn comic I had a nightmare of my mother sitting in on all my classes and telling me how I'd never be able to graduate despite all the requirements I fulfilled early and despite my grades while I tried to listen to my algorithms prof explain the difference between livecar algorithms and livejar algorithms (one stores information in memory, one stores it at a network address).

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby endolith » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:05 pm UTC

I've been out of school for years and I still have this exact dream


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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Workaphobia » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:12 pm UTC

God damn it Randall, get out of my head.

I get the Academic Anxiety Dream about twice a semester. Normally it consists of me being overwhelmed by my course load in the second or third week of classes, followed by my recovering almost completely a few weeks later, only to realize that I've completely forgot about the existence of one or two of my classes and haven't been attending them all this time, just days before major exams in them.

The most recent time I had this one, a few months ago, I even told myself in the dream that "This isn't like that dream I get - I'm really fracked this time."

I'm now a first year grad student. I've spoken to my other doctoral program friends and they say they get the same thing about as frequently as I do, except the one who's post-doc says he hasn't gotten it since the time he was regularly taking classes.

Almost all of my nightmares that I can remember are anxiety-related (although not necessarily to anything going on my real life) rather than the horror movie kind.
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby mikek365 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

RetSpline wrote:Man, I have this nightmare already and I'm not even in college yet... :(

Trust me, my pubescent friend... I'm 20 yrs PAST college and I still have this nightmare. It never goes away.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby moosetoga » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:42 pm UTC

Randall, get out of my head - and the heads of all my friends. Because you've apparently infiltrated us all. I shared this on Facebook (because I'm a good little corporate Web 2.0 lackey) with the comment "xkcd needs to get out of my head" and there are twenty replies at last count, mostly from friends saying something along the lines of "holy crap I thought I was the only blah blah blah."

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Postby _PD_ » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:50 pm UTC

My gawd, I am 59 years old and I've had this dream about 50 times.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby RoverDaddy » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:51 pm UTC

I've been out of school more than 20 years and still have this dream from time to time. I've heard it said (or seen it written) that the dream is more prevalent in people who actually finished college, as opposed to those who dropped out. Interesting to see so many people here reporting the dream while they are still in school. I don't remember having the dream so much back then. Of course, I'm also damn old!

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby mollusk » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:03 pm UTC

Why am I signing up for more school? I'll never sleep again...
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby spong » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:25 pm UTC

Amazing, I always thought this was my own (well deserved) insecurity about my school attendance. I've had this dream since maybe junior high school, and I've always had a spotty attendance record. My parents were always of the opinion if my grades were good, my attendance was optional. Unfortunately by college, I was consistently taking >20 credits/semester doing a double major and a mixed undergrad/grad degree all at once. I couldn't attend every class (and play Quake and EverQuest), and obviously focused on my EE degree requirements ditching my liberal arts classes and attending perhaps once per month. The frequency of these dreams intensified although nothing like this ever happened.

Now, 10 years after graduating with my BS/MS degrees, long since having abandoned academia, I still get this dream. I figured it was a cross I had to bear for being an ambitious if not very dedicated student. I never thought so many are suffering silently ;)

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby cyborg_572 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:28 pm UTC

I don't recall ever having this dream, but I can't shake the feeling I have.

It's always a pain when you wake up and have to take stock of what was dream and what was real. When you dream an entire day, and it throws the rest of your week off because you think it's a day later.

There was this one really weird waking up experience I had once. It was like the dream kept going for 30 seconds or so after I was already up. In the dream I was on some kind of sub or space ship or something, and an alarm started going off, so I jumped off the platform I was on, landed in front of a control panel, picked up the little control module, and started navigating a menu on it to disable the sound of the alarm. Once it was off I noticed the menu was very similar to that of my Nintendo DS's alarm, and then suddenly the module was my DS, the control panel was my desk, and the platform was my loft bed. I had to give my head a pretty good shake, then go on with my day.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby EvilHankVenture » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:06 pm UTC

I used to have the reverse dream, I dreamt I had worked some major project that I had been putting off. More than once this made me turn in projects late as the night before I'd realize that I always procrastinate, how did I end up finishing this project early? Then I'd look for it and realize I was utterly screwed. I hate that dream just a little bit more than the other kind.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Giannist » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:20 pm UTC

Thankfully (or maybe not) I have much worse things in my life to dream about...

And I'm already paranoid about doing that in my waking life...
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby b0b0 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:20 pm UTC

I only registered to say how this is so true.I do however hope that one day to slay this night monster :/

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby jpablo » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:34 pm UTC

dude, i had to create an account just to tell you Oh me yarm! i thought only a few people had that dream.
I dream about it all the time when the semester ends... damn

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby dexeron » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

I get this dream every couple of months, regardless of whether I'm currently enrolled or not. I always wake up panicky and confused and it usually takes me several minutes to realize that, no, I'm not about to fail a class.
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Kjorteo » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:52 pm UTC

I'm almost 26, but I failed and dropped out of college very early on, so I've been away from the school system for years now.

I still get this dream. My version invariably involves high school English, where I'm informed that the final is tomorrow, and will involve the It-sized novel that I have yet to so much as crack open.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby amythe » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:03 pm UTC

Shit shit shit. I don't want to keep having that dream after I graduate.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Rowsdower » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:03 pm UTC

Hell, I'm homeschooled and I have this dream.
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby tak » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:20 pm UTC

You guys make me feel weird for not having had a dream even remotely like this, or about school at all.

...or work.

And I've been out of college for over 7 years now!

Granted I don't have dreams about jobs, work, etc. either. Maybe I just over-compartmentalized things. :P

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby CuppaJo » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:21 pm UTC

I've been out of school over a decade, and still like freakin' clockwork, every December and May I have this dream at least once. My husband thinks it's hysterical. I do not. But I am extremely thankful to know it's not just me!

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby ASW » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:44 pm UTC

Holy crap, i must have had this dream a hundred times...

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Cecilff2 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:58 pm UTC

Yep still get this one now and then. Last time I had it, I realized the teacher was spouting crap and called him out on it, and everyone left.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby DesSidDes » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:24 pm UTC

I always get this nightmare over summer and winter break!

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Air Hadoken » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:36 pm UTC

This one finally made me break down and register so I could post a "me too" comment.

I'm noticing that over time, as I get more distant from my school years, the content of these dreams becomes more extreme. I went from dreaming about being back in class during summer vacations (especially during beach vacation), to dreaming about missed classes and tests, to dreaming about classes that I had forgotten to attend for half a semester, to dreaming about classes that I had forgotten to attend until finals week. The latter of these usually includes going through my course schedule and trying to figure out how I could have been so neglectful as to miss class at the same time every week for so many weeks. Then going to class and freaking out about not having the work nor knowing the material, nor having any confidence that I can catch up. It's one of the few times when waking up is a relief.

Kids, I know that most of you still in school are good about it. You go to class and don't miss many, you do your work, you study when you have time. But the mental processes that motivate you to do these things diligently never completely go away. They lie dormant in your brain until you randomly fire them in your REM sleep. Then they scare the crap out of you.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Katieesq » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:36 pm UTC

So many people having this dream is fascinating, but dreamers who haven't even attended traditional school experiencing this dream is even more fascinating. Is a traditional school setting linked with anxiety and fear subconsciously in all people? Is it a product of how the concept of school is developed in society? Do these dreams happen just as frequently with work-related anxieties, or no? Personally, I don't have a lot of work related dreams. Does anyone here have them?

I know dream interpretation is a suspect discourse, but I've read a bit on it out of curiosity. I don't recall reading anything on this dream, however. Is there any interpretation of it aside from the obvious? I have read about the teeth falling out dream, which someone mentioned in this thread. Interpretations say it expresses a fear of losing youth and vitality.

And on a lighter note, does anyone remember that episode of Batman the Animated Series where Batman is in a dream state and he figures it out because he can't read anything? I've heard many people report that they actually can read in dreams. Can you?
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby GBog » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:49 pm UTC

A first for me: Get the fuck out of my head Randall!

I had pretty much exactly this dream this morning. Except that I figured out, during the dream, that I was in the clear, since I wasn't taking that class anyway. Also, I'm still on my master's degree.

On second thought, this might not be Randall being in my head. This was published 5 am my time, so it was actually online by the time I had the dream. Have I been reading xkcd in my sleep?

Yada yada yada ... also had sex/naked in public/losing teeth dreams... yada yada. I also have double awakenings very often.

As for my strangest dream, I once dreamt I reprogrammed my alarm clock and woke up finding I've overslept. And by reprogramming, I don't mean setting it to go off at a different time. I had to rewrite large parts of its source code. It was in C++ and the 'snooze' function was very hard to implement.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby WalkerRiley » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:53 pm UTC

Architecture here....Anytime a big project is due that requires lots of drawings and hours of model work, I always have the same nightmare....I'm on my way to present and somehow something destroys all my models and drawings but mere minutes before my presentation. I always freak out and wake up at that moment and run to my drafting table to make sure everything's still there.

This happens about twice a week.
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby JennyWren » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:16 pm UTC

Ugh, I still have this dream (totally had the exact version in the comic quite recently - I'm thinking...."wait....I'm SURE I graduated?"). Usually when I have this type of dream it's some foreign language final, like Spanish or something, and I sit down to write the exam and I'm thinking "I haven't been to this class in AGES! I don't KNOW any Spanish!!"

I've had a counter-dream, too, which is almost worse. I always got terribly nervous before finals and had trouble sleeping. I'd have this dream where I wrote my Calculus final and it was finally over, then wake up to look at the clock and see it's only 4am and I still have the write the exam. Then I'd eventually fall back to sleep and keep having the same dream over and over. I was always a bit bleary-eyed for exams due to lack of sleep.

I had a real-life version of this dream. I was a slacker during my music degree and often skipped class. I can remember planning to skip my Orchestration class, but I walked by the room a couple of minutes after class began and glanced inside to see if I was missing anything important. Turns out it was the midterm! I went in a wrote it, did reasonably well, in fact, despite not studying, but I do remember having to mathematically calculate how to play certain notes on a violin by figuring out where the nodes on the vibrating string would lie, since I didn't know the fingerings!
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby dbam987 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:33 pm UTC

Scariest. Comic. Ever. I've had this dream several times since I finished college 6 years ago... strange that I get it AFTER college is long over. :shock:

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Orlyyarly » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

i left school 8/9 months ago now...

looking back it was awesome. work sucks, adults suck, with their grown up poses and pretences :roll:

wy cant we all just fly kites until armageddon? :cry:

(yay im starting my psychology degree in september ^^, think i'll do a thesis on why kites rock)

edit: thought i'd add:

in my last year of school i had this recurring dream where i dreamt an entire school day, from waking up to gettin on the bus home, then i would wake up, see it was 6am and do the WHOLE thing again

it even got my timetable right, its a wonder i didnt end up depressed.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby drazen » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:50 pm UTC

does anyone remember that episode of Batman the Animated Series where Batman is in a dream state and he figures it out because he can't read anything?

I remember that one! Never was quite sure why Scarecrow didn't just unmask Batman instead of hooking him up to the crazy dream machine.

I can recall reading in dreams, but not entire books, usually just glancing at a newspaper headline or sign or something.

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Jack21222 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:57 pm UTC

I don't recall ever having this dream, though I've never been serious about college until this semester.

In fact, the only recurring dream I have is meeting my soulmate... my "dream girl," you may say. I actually somehow manage to fall in love during the time of the dream, and when I wake up, I feel some actual loss for this imagined woman. It usually takes an hour or so after I wake up to shake off the fog.
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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby brianboonstra » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:04 pm UTC

Holy cow. This is so right. I finished my math PhD back in 1995, and I've this nightmare 5-10 times just in the past couple of years!

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Re: "Students" Discussion

Postby Psychomax » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:04 pm UTC

I actually had a similar experience just a few hours ago. When the teacher announced the prompt for the in-class essay final, I was actually thinking "Ok, wait, this is just a nightmare. If I open my eyes hard enough, I'll wake up. COME ON! WAKE UP!"

It wasn't a dream :(

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