A New Anxiety Dream

Andrew's recurring anxiety dream is about taking his accountancy exams. He hasn't had any for a while, which makes sense since he hasn't had any exams for about a decade. Mine are about waitressing at The Broker. I have too many tables, can't get to them all, the orders and requests keep mounting, and there's tables I still haven't even said hello to. Panic! I still get them from time to time, and I hate them.

Last night I had a new anxiety dream. I'm not sure this is a good thing. While I'm sick of the waitressing dreams, I would probably rather have no anxiety dreams at all. Maybe to do that, though, I need to have no stress in my waking life? I'm not ready for a stress-free life, so I guess I need to make peace with my anxiety dreams.

This one was a doozy. In real life I am going to be observed teaching on Monday. Naturally, I am nervous as this woman will determine whether I qualify or not as a teacher. Her decision will be based on three observations, so this one isn't absolutely critical, but still very important.

In the dream it was the day of my observation. For some reason they decided to invite fifty rowdy teenaged boys to listen to my lesson as well. Fine, I thought, I can still get them to be quiet. My tutor turned to me and expressed disappointment that I hadn't emailed her the lesson the night before. Oops! No problem, it was still early and I could just pop up to the copy room and make a few copies.

Unfortunately, when I got to the copy room they were all being used by children. I jumped the queue and tried to get the machine to quit what it was doing. Then there was some issue with the paper. A child kept calling me Regan and I got into a lighthearted argument with him about he had to call me Mrs. Gambier in school. Before I got the words out, a child from my class ran up and said everyone was waiting for me. Oh well. The tutor would just have to be impressed by my command of such a large and unwieldy group. I wasn't going to be able to fix the other mistakes now.

I stepped into the auditorium and noticed that I now had a panel of ten people in suits waiting to observe me. I screwed up my courage and clapped a jaunty rhythm for the children to copy. No one clapped. I clapped another rhythm. They continued talking and ignoring me. I did a stern, quiet "I want everyone with me in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1!" I had most everyone with me, but there were still pockets of conversation. One boy was tearing his paper into little bits and eating it. I told them I was waiting for everyone's attention. They all laughed, jumped up to visit their friends and were noisier than before.

I tried other strategies to get them to listen, but they ignored me and the chaos went on. I walked over to two of my female students, grabbed them by the hair and wrenched them apart saying they were ruining this for me. They rolled their eyes and went back to their conversation, rubbing their heads.

The noise got louder and my panel of suits started packing up their briefcases. My tutor was laughing with my teacher and walking out of the room. I stood frozen trying to decide whether to faint, cry, run out or keep trying. Around then I woke up. Awake, I decided the best course of action would have been to faint. Then I'd have their attention! I'd also have a good excuse for why I'd been so useless.



Best wishes for Monday.

If it's any consolation, as much as getting watched bites, it gets easier.

Also, we watched a man sheering a sheep today (at the local farm museum's 'sheep to shawl' day). All the while, I kept thinking how I *hate* having someone watching me work. Fortunately, he had the sheer motor going so (hopefully?) didn't hear the murmurs of, "Ahhh, he nicked her." At least you're not nicking children as an accepted part of the process.

Je t'embrasse, K