It's 3:20 a.m. and I just woke up from another school dream. The dream is fading fast, but I know it was one of the good ones. The recurring dreams aren't always good, but this one had some of my favorite students from the past, coming back, as if they wanted to say hello again. The school and classroom aren't always familiar, but, at times like this, a warm feeling envelops me, and I know I'm home.
At other times, the school is a labyrinth of stairs, which disappear like the ones in Harry Potter's Hogwarts School of Wizardry. I try to reach my classroom, but I can't find my way through a maze of unfamiliar hallways. I wake up, worn out.
This dream was different. I feel as if I've been visiting an old friend, and I didn't want the dream to end, even though it's going to make for a long day.
Yesterday I awoke at 3:30 from a really hectic dream in which I was directing a play. It was a disaster. One of the girls came on stage completely naked, with her clothes painted on!
"Where are your clothes?" I asked.
"Oh, my boyfriend Justin likes this costume," she said.
"I don't care if he does," I shouted. "Go get some clothes on!"
None of the kids were ready for their cues.
"You have to be waiting at the doors to come in on your cues!" I yelled. "Nothing bores an audience more than for you to be late for your cues!"
We must have been rehearsing in a barn, because little furry creatures were scuttering all over the floor, running after even smaller furry creatures, devouring them under our feet! So gross!!
The last straw was when I realized that the set was built with four walls, so the audience could only see the actors through the doors!
That was it. I woke up.
I'm on vacation in Florida, and I'm directing high school plays all night. Great. Isn't this restful?
I may be retired, but my dreams obviously aren't.
The dream phenomenon is just one of the things that makes teaching more than a job.
I've been retired for 11 years, but, in my mind, I'm still in the classroom. I think I always will be. After 32 years, I can't turn it off.
Sorry, all you ladies who have just retired. You may leave the classroom, but the classroom won't leave you.
I remember that touching film "Driving Miss Daisy." Jessica Tandy plays Miss Daisy, who is suffering from dementia at the end of the movie. A retired school teacher in her nineties, she worries that she is late for school. I wonder if that will be me in about 20 years...If I live that long.
I'll drive the orderlies at the retirement home crazy, correcting their grammar and making them do their chores over and over again, until they get them right. I'll barge into the other residents' rooms and demand to know why they aren't in class. I'll probably try to assign homework and detention.
It's 4:40 now...Maybe I'll just go back to bed.