Friday, February 27, 2004

Exam Anxiety

First, let me be clear: I've been out of school for a loooooong time now. Midterms and finals are a thing of the past, forever banished to the annals of my personal history, like Kathleen Wong, the girl I thought was "cute" in the second grade.

From time to time I have this strange anxiety dream about exams, though. There are slight variations on the theme, but at its core, the dream is the same. I'm told others have similar dreams all the time.

Me, I'm running through the crowded hallways of school. I usually don't label it as high school or college until some later point in the dream, but I'm running because I know I don't want to be late for the exam. Problem is, I know that I don't know anything about the subject matter on the test. I suddenly realize that I had never attended a single class on this matter, nor had I done any of the homework. The class is usually math (the teacher manifests herself as my seventh grade pre-alg teacher), and the thought that runs through my mind is that I am utterly unable to perform Laplacian transforms (a concept I "learned" -- but not really -- in my freshman year in college). And I get scared that I'm about to fail the exam.

At some other point -- usually in the same dream -- I realize that I have a history class on Wednesday afternoons which I have also never attended. (It's always history. I never was a strong history student, which I suppose is why I never attended the class in this dream.) In my dream I make a mental note to myself to go to the Registrar's office after failing the math exam to see if I am in fact still enrolled in this history class, and take steps to drop it if I am in fact enrolled.

Strangely enough, the exam anxiety dreams never manifest themselves as something important in my current, "adult" life, like the bar exam or something.

All I can say is, I'm glad i never have to take another exam ever again, especially in classes like math (which I actually did well in in high school) and history (which I did not do so well in). The dreams ... well, they can just keep coming.

No comments: