Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The best of bad dreams

I went to school for 15 years straight, and most summer sessions from 8th grade through university.

Beginning in the 4th grade, I had a nightmare the night before the first day of school every single time, and I came to count on it as a checklist. The first few were small and kind of standard, like I got off the bus in only my slip, or I had my house shoes on, or I didn't know whose class I was supposed to be in.

Over the years these dreams blossomed into extravaganzas of mishap, and they were always so real I'd wake up in a panic thinking I'd gotten off to such a horrible start the whole year would be a total disaster. Then I'd realize the whole year was still ahead of me and I'd get out of bed and do all the things right that had gone wrong in the dream.

The night before my first day as a classroom teacher I dreamed I didn't have a grade book or a pen. Next day I did. That one, my first checklist dream as an employed adult, made me start to wish for more.

I wrote all of that in the early 1980s, before I had children. Checklist dreams have continued, or stress dreams where I had lost a child's shoes, or had forgotten to order a cake, or didn't have gas in the car.

If you can make checklists out of fears, worries, and stress dreams, and your life is better because you think "Well I won't let THAT happen," what a gift!
Use happy advantages wherever you can find them.

Disposable Checklists for Unschoolers
photo by Sandra Dodd

[P.S. for those who are good with numbers, and didn't like "15 years": I didn't go to kindergarten, and graduated from public school a year early. Four years of university, graduated in May 1974, turned 21 that summer. Then I taught for six years. I was quickly learning about learning!]

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