First day jitters

January 13, 2011 § 4 Comments

Today is my first day of class for Spring semester. We were technically supposed to open on Monday, but a hard freeze on Sunday night, an ice storm Monday morning, and a second freeze Monday evening caused enough of a statewide panic that they decided just to close down campus and reopen school on Wednesday.

Yesterday morning, as I was just about to awaken, I managed to have my obligatory beginning of the semester nightmare. Every single semester I have a nightmare of some sort or other. Commonly, I dream of losing my classroom location, losing course materials, bitchy students, forgetting my schedule until too late. Yesterday, though, was a whole new nightmare! Good for me and my creativity.

I dreamed that I managed to get to class on time (a little early, in fact), but I had made no copies. My reasoning was that, because I had already posted the policy statement on our course Blackboard (an online teaching tool, for those not in university), then surely my students must have already printed the policy statement themselves. When I asked them to pull out the policy statement, I was met with a chorus of whines and shocked gasps, “But, Mrs. H, I don’t have one!” and “My printer exploded when it ran out of ink!” Things like that. All I could do was thumb through all these papers that I miraculously had on my desk…and discover that they were my dissertation research and nothing to help me with teaching that particular class. I stammered, “I’ll, uh…bring copies on Tuesday…and I’ll e-mail you your reading assignment….”

As I attempted to regain control over the suddenly lively classroom, two students walked right up to me to ask a question. In the middle of class. And of course I redirected my attention to them rather than shooting them the much more typical, “Are you kidding me right now??” look. When I answered their questions (silly things like, “do we have assigned seats?”), I turned back to find that most of my class had taken that opportunity to file out the door. A quick glance at the clock (which doesn’t exist in our campus classrooms, btw) revealed that it was only 8:55. My class goes from 8-9:15 a.m. I was livid. Not only did they walk out without being dismissed, but they walked out TWENTY minutes before class was over. Panicked, I realized there was absolutely no way I could get them to come back, so I gave up. And that’s when I noticed that I was apparently being observed by a faculty colleague.

I awoke feeling terrified and having to convince myself that it was nothing more than a dream.

In about an hour, I’ll determine whether or not this was actually a prophetic snapshot of my first day of class or the manifestation of irrational insecurities.

Only time will tell.

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