Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Perchance to dream.

Now, I'm not usually a stress-case. I'm pretty laid back, even-keeled, I breathe in and out. Those of you non-knitters who read this blog because you know me and love me anyway, wouldn't you agree?

When I am stressed, I usually feel it in my shoulders and neck, to the point where friends who give in to my repeated appeals for a shoulder rub always say, you're so tight!

Point being, I internalize things. I don't have an ulcer yet, but I have been having some weird dreams.

The other night, I dreamed that my computer was falling apart. The screen was unhinging from my laptop, and the casing was falling off. This one was pretty easy to figure out; thanks to a certain someone, and we're not naming names, who suggested that maybe my computer was getting old and likely to break down and ruin my academic career. (OK, he didn't go as far as to talk about the ruin of my career, but isn't that the next step?)

That same night, I also dreamed that I prepared for teaching class, prepared hard, and when I got there, some person who was team teaching was having the students play musical chairs. So we spent the class playing games. Although it may sound like a fun dream, it really was pretty anxious. Hmmm...maybe I'm worried about being too dry and boring in my class?

But here's the coup de grace. Today, after I taught class (which went well), I came home and took a little nap. I dreamed that I was knitting my Phyllo Yoke Pullover, but realized that I had already knit the piece I was working on.

OK, stress dreams about knitting? Hello!!! Knitting is supposed to relieve stress, not cause it! The funny thing about this dream is that I have been working almost exclusively on the back of the pullover, and it's nothing but stockinette. So you can imagine, right, the consternation it would cause if you realized you knitted 16" of stockinette for nothing?

Anyway, blogging's been scarce of late because there hasn't been anything but stockinette to show. Here's the back piece of the pullover, in the Calmer that I scored on Ebay. I'd started this project back in the fall and abandoned it, overwhelmed by the sheer stockinette-yness of it all, but it's become the perfect mindless project that I need right now. The knitting poses here with the tote bag I got at the Jeff Tweedy show last week here in Austin. Look at it twice. Isn't it cool?

B. and I had a great time. The first time I saw Wilco at the Vic in Chicago a couple of years ago, I honestly felt that it was the best show I'd ever been to. Tweedy has a completely engaging way with the audience, which really makes the show a blast. He's also got one of the purest, most wistful voices I can think of. I'm not really a music person, so go here if you want a more nuanced review of the night.

I wish I could say the knitting and work nightmares will be over, but school's going to be somewhat demanding in the next few weeks. I'm editing a student journal, I'll be going to a conference in Albuquerque in mid-February, and I've scheduled my prospectus exam for the week after. If I make it out alive, it'll be a miracle.

Wish me luck!


At 8:46 PM, Blogger jennifer said...

sounds like the next month is going to be hectic, but you are always cool as a cucumber. not only will you make it through alive, i think that you will make it "out" with uncommon grace.

At 4:51 AM, Blogger Ashley said...

Prospectus exam! No wonder you're having nightmares. Did you know that one of my committee members (not naming names, but it rhymes with Dandrew Booper) forgot to show up for mine? Which I tell you not to add to the nightmares, but to say that that's the worst that could happen, and it already happened to me, so you have nothing to worry about.

At 5:27 AM, Blogger pcr said...

At 3 AM the morning I had to hand out my dissertation to my committee, my hard drive crashed unrecoverably and I hadn't backed it up in a week! My friend referred me to an article in the onion about a graduate student whose dissertation was so boring that her computer self-destructed to spare her committee members the torture of reading her drivel. What do you think he was saying about my work? Hmmm.
You will get through your prospectus! Although it's not fun at the time, it'll be worth it in the end.
Good luck!

At 7:17 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Ooooh, all that stress is really messing with your sleep. :( I think the dreams are not so much about the knitting and the computer and the teaching - but more about having too much EVERYTHING pressing down on you. I'm glad you have some great mindless knitting and that fun show to keep you sane. Hang in there, I know you will make it through fine. I'll be pulling for you!!

At 7:26 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Ah yes, I remember the run up to the PhD exams as being very stressful. It's totally understandable that you'd be having bad dreams. I also have bad teaching dreams before the start of every term - usually the students are having a ball and not paying attention to me, even when I scream at them. So don't worry - you're normal, and you're going to be fine. I'm excited for you that you're almost ABD!

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Nancy said...

Luck! Luck! Luck!
I've been out of shchool for a while now (cough-cough) and I still have school-related stress dreams. It's always the end of the semester and I didn't go to class all term. And I can't remember where my classes met or which classes I was taking.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Kodachrome said...

You can do it, dear Olga! And you'll be just fine. I know that pre-exams, everyone keeps saying that, and it just doesn't seem to be true. But I'm a girl who sooooo stresses and worries and frets, and I managed to survive and come through as ABD. And you will too--and probably with much more grace and beauty!

BTW, which conference in NM are you attending in February? (If you don't mind me asking, of course?)

At 9:32 AM, Blogger meg said...

hey if you haven't already, check out i am trying to break your heart. it's the wilco documentary that was made when they were recording yankee, hotel, foxtrot. it's such a great flick.


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