Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The college dream

Had a dream last night and want to write it down before it fades away.

I was back in college, but it was a highly specialized college, with only a handful of students, who ranged in age from very young children to adults older than me. The setting of the college was apparently the old  quarters for our DVD Compession, Encoding, and Authoring facility at WEA Manufacturing, in a building that, in the real world, is closing forever shortly. That layout of that space in real life is - or was - two long, parallel hallways with large offices, storage space, and work rooms on the two outer walls and in the space between, and connecting halls between the two main ones.

In the dream this space held living and sleeping space and rooms for at least three separate classes. The first is the one I least remember: it was a large class, taught by an older woman, apparently focusing on the nature and history of the subjects being taught in the college. This wasn't an ordinary college, but it wasn't a flat-out Hogwarts-style college of magic. I think I can best describe it as a college of the unusual.

The second class I easily remember: it was a history of toys, taught by two magicians / showmen, one of whom was Todd Robbins, who is someone I have met in person and communicate with over Facebook on a regular basis. You entered their classroom through the double doors that once led to my DVD Asset Library, where all of the assets that were used in individual DVD projects were stored in project-specific banker's boxes. (I was in the process of consolidating those boxes and shipping back the assets from older projects when my position was cut in 2007, leaving a jumbled mess for whoever had to complete that project after me.) But when you went through those double doors you were confronted with a wide, shallow room with two desks facing the double doors and flanking a large space of blank wall. Todd and the other professor (who I just realized was The Amazing Kreskin, who I saw interviewed locally a few months ago, and he gave a hell of an interview) would sit at these desks and harass and abuse anyone entering the room until they figured out that the blank wall actually concealed another set of double doors. Going through these doors, which seemed to be made of foam board, led to a series of interconnecting rooms that were filled with shelves displaying fantastic and unusual toys, apparently grouped by era or decade of release. (One that I remember clearly was a winged giraffe with a unicorn horn, part of a collection of animal toys with unicorn horns.) Some rooms had only empty shelves, but these had dates from the future on the doors.

The third class was...odd. It was held in a room a little larger than a dorm room, and was something like Anime Studies. The room was a dorm room, as far as I could tell. There were two little girls there, students, both asleep in chairs with blankets, and a teacher who had a blanket over her head. There was a small, old-style CRT TV in one corner, showing a cartoon of plump fuzzy kittens with bows in their hair. As I took my place - late, I guess - the teacher pulled the blanket off her head and revealed herself to be someone I was involved with for several years, who we shall call Dolly S. In real life I have not seen her since before she got engaged, and have not spoken with her since shortly after that. In the dream, as in real life, she was married. But she was glad to see me, and I was glad to see her, and she checked my schedule and saw that I had a free period coming up (I think it was listed on my paper schedule as a "study period"), and she suggested that we spend that time catching up.

...and then I woke up, to the sound of a cat crying for breakfast.

I have had college dreams before, but they have mostly been anxiety dreams: I have a final coming up and cannot find the room where it is being held, and I seem to have forgotten to go to that class most of the semester, that sort of thing. This dream was nothing like that. Instead it was strangely comforting, which made it an odd contrast to my real-world experiences of a few hours earlier, going to a hospital to visit a friend who has had a breakdown. Maybe my dreaming mind has decided that my waking mind has quite enough on its plate for now.

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