Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mad Dreams

I woke up the other day from a geology dream where I was excited to bust out my hand lens and identify the grains in a rock. Some people like to call these nightmares or bad dreams, but since I'm a little crazy, I'll call them Mad Dreams: proof that attending Mines has ruined me. This post has taken me four years to write because every time I have a super nerdy dream, I try to write it down here.

I had another science dream last night. I woke up disturbed, not by the dream, but by the fact that I should really just finally publish this post. In my dream, I was at a Geophysics conference with my classmate Emily H. We had a big homework assignment due the next day, though, which consisted of taking partial derivatives of things that were in a three-by-three matrix. The conference was also an amusement park, and all our professors were there.

But let's start with my dreams from the beginning, all the way back from freshman year...

I had a dream that I was in Green Center 215 in Calc II. For some reason we were doing the test in class (tests for this class are done after class). I wrote my name and did one problem. I had to go get something, so I left the room and building and went to go get it. It ended up taking longer than I thought. I think I went to the grocery store to get some milk, and there was this big escalator in Brown Building run by UNC students. They dropped my gallon of milk and it splattered everywhere. I rode down the escalator and began to hurry to make my way back to the classroom, for my one and a half hours to finish the test were almost up. I got there just as it had ended, and my professor started talking about how disappointed she was in some people. I just stared at my empty test...but for some reason, someone else had written a bunch of stuff on it--maybe getting me partial credit, but no doubt they crossed the line of academic dishonesty. I was so sad and angry at myself for making me fail this test. Then I heard my real-life alarm clock ring, and still sleeping, I got excited. "Maybe this was all a dream and when I wake for for real, I'll get a chance to not fail my test!" I woke up. There was no test.

Even before college, I always used to have this dream. The dream that I couldn't find my classes on the first day of school. Before sophomore year, it happened again. I knew I had Introduction to Geophysics at 9, but that's it. I lost my schedule and slept in the first day of school. I was horrified. But there was free pie in the Maple Lobby, so it was okay.
I once dreamed I was a Geophysics and Geology double major. I woke up disturbed.

I was just informed of my score on the Physics free-response question. So that night, I dreamed of the possibilities of what the TAs marked me down on. I dreamed that they didn't like my drawing of a box. In real life, they liked my drawing of a dinosaur.

I had an Econ exam the Wednesday after Thanksgiving Break. So during the break one night a dreamed that it was late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning and I had not studied for the Econ test and was certain to fail. It was horrible. In real life, it was also horrible.

On a Friday night, I had a dream that someone turned in a 19-page article for the Oredigger I had to edit. I thought to myself, "We can't print this", but still edited it. I had a hunch that the writer copied and pasted, or plainly downloaded the pdf from somewhere else. Either that or they were a huge nerd about the topic they were writing about.

The night after my Calc III final, I was still doing Calc in my dreams. There was a Stoke's Theorem problem, and I was finding the curl.

In the early weeks of my first summer internship, I had a dream that I was in a new room for a Geophysics class- my first one, so it must've been AEM- waiting for class to start, when I realized that I never bought new school supplies and had to use loose-leaf paper. Terry was disappointed in me.

The week after the first Dynamic Fields midterm, I dreamed that I got my test back and it had "90" written on the front. I knew I failed this test, so I was quite weirded out that I had scored so high. But upon further inspection, the 9 was actually a 4 because Andre's handwriting is so confusing. So it made more sense to me that I had gotten a 40. In real life, I got a 50.

I had a dream about fracking one night. I could see a 2D cross-section as it was happening.

At field camp, I would dream about being out in the field. Mostly doing mundane things, like walking the line taking magnetic measurements.

After the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting, where I orally presented my research that had to do with geomagnetic storms, I had a dream that I was back at the meeting, but this time had a poster presentation and was explaining my research to some famous scientist lady. I was pretty intimidated. In a sub-dream, I was in a city somewhere, and could see the northern lights.

I dreamed that Colton took over MIT's supercomputer. No big deal.

While I was a grader for Intro GravMag, I had a dream that I was a TA for field camp to help with processing GravMag, so only the second half of field camp. I knew that Michael should have been Field Camp Dictator because his reports were always great in GravMag. So I show up to CTLM and Michael is on the Gravity team. I was very disturbed, thinking that this shouldn't happen. Plus Michael told me the pair of students who were dictator, and that disturbed me even more. I told Michael my dream, and in real life he became Dictator a few months later.

I dreamed that I was looking out the one Green Center window, and a tornado was coming down. Mick was teaching in GC215 (maybe he was heading up a study session?), and announced that there was a fire. So there was a fire and tornado at the same time. Great.

During Spring Break senior year, in the midst of a monstrous assignment, I dreamed that I was working on my Inversion code in MATLAB. It didn't work.

My LAIS teacher didn't like my final presentation in my dream, and made me give another one. On a completely different topic, I think.

It might be a long time before I heal from the emotional damage caused by the process of obtaining a Mines degree. I will likely have similar dreams forever. But for now, I'm okay with that.