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Coelho made me cry today - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
Coelho made me cry today
I almost never see 2:30 3:30 AM. When I do, it's almost always because I'm having a very good time or, and this is far more common, some sort of night terror ripped me from sleep. You would think that an exam that is nominally about various aspects of the Carolingian court wouldn't fall into that category, especially when in reality, it's presented as a series of brain teasers that must be worked out on old fruit crates.

Somehow, even though the premise is bizarre, I am affected deeply by such an image. There is always a knowing that I have squandered the semester. I know nothing of what the class has studied and that no matter what I do as I find myself incarnated into this situation, there is nothing to fix it. I usually can't even wake up because it all just seems to make so much sense. Of course I'll let my advisor down. Of course I'm destined to fail through my own negligence and forgetfulness. Of course there's always another class that I've screwed up even worse than this one. That all makes sense, even if the faces are from high school and I'm scribbling on a fruit crate. Details just enhance the trauma.

I know why this is hitting me now, but I've no idea of how to reconcile my life as it is with the ideas I have of how it could be. I keep being thrust back into my "You have angered the Gods" dream. Just as happened there, my course seems to be to stumble about trying desperately to please a being while knowing full well that there is no fathoming what he wants. Or perhaps it's knowing full well, but knowing that it is hopelessly out of reach.
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bootsvalentine From: bootsvalentine Date: April 7th, 2004 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
For me it's always some tenuous class (usually history, because I don't feel mildly deserving of my history degree) that I haven't been to all semester. And then the exam. And what will I do...I won't graduate (I didn't...moved to Boston and finished my paper on Antiques Roadshow at Someday, but that's beside the point). It's so weird that the pedagogical process effects us all so deeply.
komos From: komos Date: April 7th, 2004 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I wonder sometimes if I have some mild PTSD stemming from my undergraduate work. This makes me think first that I'd be hopelessly overwhelmed in a graduate program, and that I really should get a grip on myself.
_meej_ From: _meej_ Date: April 7th, 2004 08:42 am (UTC) (Link)
As to the first - hmm; that's actually an interesting take on what's probably a reasonably widespread feeling. I don't have enough Psych background to know if it's truly accurate, but it's plausible, and if so, you're certainly not alone on it.

As to the second - I found Grad school MUCH more palatable and less stressful overall than undergrad, since (with only a few exceptions, perhaps):
1 - everything you need to take, you want to take, or you wouldn't be there, and
2 - the department and the support network are more understanding of outside pressures (since there's usually life outside the program too, unlike undergrad which is much more insular), and much more able to help if stresses creep up.
komos From: komos Date: April 7th, 2004 10:24 am (UTC) (Link)
One of the reasons I imploded during my final year at BC was that I wasn't sure I could transition into a grad program. Leaving aside my self-doubt and my disorganizing principle, I have an unnatural fear of writing. So despite the fact that I went in with a mind to become a professional academic, I twisted myself up enough to just lay it all aside.

I've gotten to the point where most of the time, I'm good with that, but every now and again, regret resurfaces. I feel like I should have or at least be moving towards an advanced degree.

'Course, it's not really what woke me. It's just a convenient way for my subconscious to speak to me.
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komos From: komos Date: April 7th, 2004 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I want to say that further study is stymied, but there's a pretty solid tuition remission through work, so it's really just an excuse. I'm scared. Mostly, I'm scared to show just how much less intelligent/talented/articulate/with it I am than everyone else.

Ironically, this is the same fear that keeps me from most things that I want. Present lurking issue included.

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komos From: komos Date: April 12th, 2004 08:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks so much. Really. It means a lot.

I'd be psyched to see Joe when he comes into town. Just drop me an email as to when or I can send off a number he can reach me at. Cookies would be fantastic, and I think you can get them through security so long as they're not macaroons. For some reason, macaroons have been deemed the devil's cookie.
bootsvalentine From: bootsvalentine Date: April 7th, 2004 08:42 am (UTC) (Link)
A therapist told me that our mind just picks up on anxiety, no matter what it's from, and channels it into a famillar scenario. So if you're anxious about anything, a school anxiety dream is a really common way for your mind to translate that for you.
bootsvalentine From: bootsvalentine Date: April 7th, 2004 08:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Also, she was in her 60s and said she still had anxiety dreams about exams in college.

komos From: komos Date: April 7th, 2004 10:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, there's something to look forward to. :p

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komos From: komos Date: April 7th, 2004 10:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll be fine. Being overtired makes me a bit mopey and self-indulgent. Yeah, there's stuff going on that I should be dealing with. Yeah, I'm not sure that I'm ready to do. Being unprepared never really makes things go away, though.

Sorry about the call. Everything ok?
archanglrobriel From: archanglrobriel Date: April 7th, 2004 07:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeow. I have those dreams too. Usually it's all about how I'm doomed to be a crushing failure no matter what and that fate is conspiring against me etc. Sounds like a similar vein to what you're describing in your "you have angered the Gods" description. YUCK. Not a good way to start the day.
komos From: komos Date: April 7th, 2004 10:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually had a dream of Shiva in which his messenger told me in no uncertain terms that the Gods were unhappy with me.

It hurt my head.

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