Friday, December 19, 2008

Strange Dream

I've been listening to some great Christmas Music, classics like "I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas" and "Feliz Navidad," but I've also been taking in some great new holiday music from Los Lonely Boys, and The Killers. The one song I can't get out of my head is a great song you'd expect from a band proclaiming to end peoples' lives, a holiday ditty called "Don't Shoot Me Santa Claus." Not only does it express a message I think we all can agree with, it has a really catchy tune that has the listener empathizing and sympathizing the person in the song making the plea.

So as I've been going around singing the chorus and playing the scenario in my head, I gone about my routine business, which is to say the song has slipped into my subconsciousness, into the same realm as chewing gum, snorting, taking derivatives of polynomial functions, and admonishing my kids--I can do it without thinking with my eyes closed and both arms and one foot tied behind my back.

Ideas, skills, and concepts that permeate the deepest levels of our awareness are typical fodder for vivid, lucid dreams when we (try) to fall asleep at night. This is why I often dream of doing math and fussing at my kids in the back seat of the car to keep their hands and chewing gum to themselves. With this new song, there is no exception.

So last night I finally went to bed after tossing and turning for a few hours, with that song in my head. I tried to even focus on how stiff and sore my knee was from two consecutive, grueling days of physical therapy to take my mind of the Santa with a prospectively murderous intent. Once asleep, I entered the scenario in which I was teaching algebra to a group of troubled kids during a summer school session--something I did for several summers years ago. One particular student in the back row simple would not do his order of operations correctly, refused to solve for x, and insisted on standing up while rapping out a hip-hop version of "Don't Shoot Me Mr. K," but his version was not an earnest request from a scared kid who feared I actually might, NO! His was a blatant effrontery, an invitation to do the very thing he was rapping about me NOT to do. He was daring me and calling my bluff.

Naturally, being a 10 year veteran of the classroom and having taken classes at one time or another on how to handle such situations, I initially remained calm and threatened him with double the math homework if didn't sit down a be quiet. This kid, though, didn't fear the math homework any more than I feared cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, and mopping: they were simply things that we weren't going to do without fear of reprisal. I felt my blood pressure rise, and the students in the front row noticed the characteristic "V" vein bulging in my forehead, an ominous foreshadowing to what was to occur. "Just sit down and do your math," the fellow students pleaded, but instead the student went into verse 2 of his parody.

It was then I asked all the other students to leave the room so that it was just me and the troubled math student. Now this is where it got frighteningly weird.

I shot him with an Uzi!

At this point in the dream, the better part of my brain told me to wake up and end this nonsense, but another part of me had to stay in the dream to "make things right." I stayed in the dream, but I fled the scene of the crime.

It was all over the news, but remarkably, the cops had no immediate suspects! Police questioned my parents (since I was still living with them for some reason) but only to ask if I noticed anyone with an Uzi in the classroom. Meanwhile, I'm hiding under my bed, preparing lesson plans for the next day. I eventually came out, and my parents were so relieved that I had escaped the evil gunman, and thought me a hero for "saving" the rest of the class. Now I felt even worse for being a hero in their eyes under false pretenses.

The next day, I returned to school as if nothing ever happened, hoping that it didn't, or at least thinking that my chutzpah of returning to the scene of my crime would eliminate me from suspicion. To my disappointment, my students weren't there. Apparently, they got to stay home from school to talk to the police, grief counselors, and to play Xbox! I was furious--"
The math doesn't teach itself!" I thought. Missing just one day puts us so far behind. It WAS summer school, and we had to cover an entire semester in just a few weeks.

At this point, I DID wake up, thanks to two tall glasses of milk I had before bedtime. I felt really bad for snapping like that in my dream, and I told myself that although it was only a dream, it came from MY mind! I convinced myself that had I stayed asleep, the whole thing would have turned out to be an elaborate prank put on by my class, local police, and my parents just for kicks and giggles. Regardless, I vowed NEVER to buy an Uzi, and if I DID, NEVER to take it to school, and if I DID, NEVER NEVER to use it!

I'm currently looking for a new favorite Christmas Song, like "Deck the Halls," or "Clean the Bathrooms," anything that doesn't involve firearms and math.

By the way, if you like reading about the bizarre, often non-sequitur events of other peoples' dreams, there's a great online comic strip called Slow Wave you might like. It's real dreams by real people put into a 4-frame comic--strangely addicting.


Anonymous said...

Last night, I had a dream that we were at a birthday party, and, all of a sudden, half of the guests were washed out to sea, or down a river, or something. We just stood there watching them drift away in slow motion, trying to figure out what was happening because we didn't even know that we were near water. It was weird. And the people that were attending the party were people I knew from a long time ago. People that I have not thought about in decades. Who knows where these things live in our brains and why they come out in our dreams. Disturbing.

kwkorpi said...

I'm glad your subconscious mind decided to include me as one of the observers and not as one of the washed-out guests.

Flattering, yet still disturbing indeed.

Me-Me King said...

Wow - it's frustrating when one of "those songs" keep playing over-and-over. Might I suggest brain floss? It works the same as dental floss - you work it through the crooks and crannies until your brain, like your teeth, is rid of the evil decay.

Anonymous said...

yo i know one student in our class id like for you to use that Uzi on