Friday, July 6, 2012

Exam Dreams, Orchestra Tours ... and Geography


Had one of those 'exam dream' nights again last night. Oh, will they ever end? I can't work them out. I have them so regularly.. exam dreams. Shudder.

Last night, in my dreams, I received my exam timetable... a whole semester's subject's exams all scrunched up into a few days. Well, I know where that 'terror' comes from. I remember having nervous breakdowns when there was no time between exams to study.... meaning you'd have to be 'super brain crammed' for 3 subject's exams within a 24 hour period... one at 2pm, one at 10am, one at 2pm... and these were semester subjects, with one 100% exam at the end of the semester, no ongoing assessment back then. Science was like that 27 years ago.. cruel, mean 100% exams... and we didn't have computers back then... cruel. I'm am damaged by it all. They need to do some retrospective studies on the psychological effects of 100% exams. I bet they'd find their whole cohort in my science friends of the early 80's. I bet they're all having 'exam dreams' 30 years after the fact too!

Then to complicate things, in this all-night dream last night, I had an orchestra tour scheduled for the exact dates of my exams!!!!.... and it all centred around the first week of August... when BlogHer is on in New York. Oh yeah, and you can throw 'Geography' into the mix too... there's always a Geography exam I have to sit, after never attending one lecture in Geography in my dream ... but having to sit a 100% exam.

I have never taken a Geography subject in my life. It was all Biochemistry and Physiology for me... NO Geography. I have never totally failed an exam... almost have... but scraped through with a 'conceded pass'. What is it with damn Geography? I get the orchestra thing as I am rather devastated that I have to give up a season due to my travel... I'll get back into it next year... but Geography? and exams?... they're done... long gone... I  survived ... goodness my big son even took Geography for the first time last semester and got an A+. That A+ was for me I reckon.... the universe telling me that my genetic material is capable of getting an A+ for damn Geography!


Do you have exam dreams? Do you dream the same thing over and over? I can almost feel my subconscious in my dreams trying to drag me into a place where it can tell me "remember, these exam dreams? you're used to them, just go with it tonight"... but I'm not quite there yet!

I must say, they are quite harmless compared to the 'other ones' I have.... but I'm saving them for the book that I am writing, under my pseudonym! Oh yeah, I have a book in me!

Happy Friday my friends.
All images via Pinterest


  1. Back in the day when the NSW HSC was 100% exam!
    Loved it when at college we actually did a few open book exams!

  2. I never had exam dreams but I lived that nightmare that you describe. I used to think that high school and uni were more about testing how much stress you could handle before you buckled - rather than the actual material you were learning.

    Better dreams tonight!

  3. I think your dreams are coming because your son is going through exams and you are feeling anxious for him. And I think maybe they are telling you that you put a lot of pressure on yourself and you need to live up to your high expectations. I'm no dream expert however.
    I have a recurring dream about being lost. It's always in a different setting but the theme is I am lost in a unfamiliar place and I'm trying to catch a train or plane or trying to get home or trying to find my son and I just can't get to where I need to be. I always wake up feeling exhausted and slightly stressed. These dreams happen often and have been going on for years. Our subconscious is a strange place.

  4. I have to say, I've never had exam dreams, I think because I always took the kind of subjects that were essay/term paper based exams were never a big deal. I DO have dreams all the time that I'm in the oral defence of my thesis, or someone reads one of my papers, and discovers that I'm a complete intellectual fraud who doesn't know the first thing about their own work. Same kind of thing, I suppose, I figure the trick is to let all those anxieties come out at night so during the day we can get on the the business of being our awesome selves!

    Always such a pleasure to stop by your beautiful blog!

    Catherine @ The Spring (in Sydney)

  5. Far out! I'm exhausted just READING your post! You'd better have a 'nana nap' this afternoon:-)

  6. Oh yes - the exam is tomorrow and I realise I know NOTHING. Wake in cold sweat all these years later.

  7. I don't have exam dreams but I have trying to get to the airport on time dreams! Frantically trying to pack and get out the door and things keep stopping me. Thankfully I've never missed a flight in real life but I'm always emotionally exhausted when I wake up from those dreams.

  8. I did endless exams at Uni. And it was still when they made up pretty much (if not all) of your mark. My dream is that I have studied but am either really late and they won't let me in because my car has broken down or something. The other exam dream is that I turn the paper over and it is the wrong subject and I know the wrong stuff....! Given that my last Uni exam was almost 15 years ago you would think I would be over it by now.

    I agree about the testing stress issue that Andrea brought up. About halfway through my degree we had one hideously difficult year that we were told was to make sure we were up for the rigours of the job.

    Good on your son for being such a Geography superstar.

  9. Sort of but I call them seminar dreams. The ones where I have to give a 40 min seminar and take questions from the audience...I would rather give birth then do this again. There was always one know it all student in the class who would take delight in asking some bizarre left field question aargh!!

  10. Yes, have a similar recurring dream, too. It is Year 12 exam time and I have somehow "forgotten" to study all year.
    I wake up feeling anxious and worried and have to reassure myself (multiple times) that I passed (well) and it was many years ago. Even though I completed two University courses since and many, many exams - it is always the Year 12 exams for some reason. I hate the feeling the dream gives me. Awful.
    I only have this dream when I am feeling a bit overwhelmed or stressed. It's like my "red flag" to reduce the stress in my life.
    Wishing you happier dreams tonight! x

  11. I can't stop laughing at that last picture - I've been howling for 10 minutes now.

    I don't get exam dreams, but my husband does (and he did English in University - see it isn't just science that can scar you).

  12. Hi AM I have "The Exam" dream at least once a week and I am usually sitting around a pool sunning myself when I realise I have exams the next day that I haven't even studied for. I too did my HSC when the exam was 100% of your assessment so I sometimes get frustrated with studenrs these days saying how stressed they are when their exams aren't worth 100% and can seem to get by on getting good marks with assignments. I guess I will earn more about when O goes to secondary schooling in a couple of years. Those exam dreams always make me wake up in a panic. Like you I was a science major and my dreams often revolve around geography and history exams, both subjects which I hated. Nataliexxx

  13. Far out A-M, I was talking about this only last night with a friend. I have exam dreams ALL THE TIME. Seriously - what does it mean? (i know that apparently the 'meaning' of our dreams aren't always as obvious as the dream itself) - i find these dreams debilitating - leaving me exhausted and emotionally drained the following day - Sometimes i'll have a couple a week, sometimes once a week. In my dreams i'm always under prepared or not prepared at all - having not attended any lectures/classes all semester/year. This week the dream included getting results saying i got 8 out of 100 and 24 out of 100 for exams. And I can assure you it has been at least 10 years since i sat an exam - and academia was my thing.... (i should be dreaming about gym class, that was the torture of my teenage years).

    In REAL life my Year 12 exams - i had five. Four of which were over a two day period. And I still managed to get 85.5 out of 90 for my HSC score. So why the dreams i ask!?!?

    If you find out please let me know, we must get to the bottom of it!!!! xxxx

  14. Oh dear I have never had the 'exam dream' but perhaps that is because I was a lazy student and slipped quietly over the fail mark (just) on what I had learnt in class!!
    Except English in which I always passed with flying colours but still without study!!!
    Pity about missing your season of music but New York is going to be wonderful so stop stressing!!!!!! xxx

  15. Hi A-M, I have an exam dream too, I dream that I am doing the last law exam I ever did again, which I did quite well in, but I still dream I am doing it, writing about the things I applied to my argument in the dream and worrying about whether it was the right thing to say etc etc, it's pretty sad actually! Mx

  16. Maths. I don't dream about Math but anything to do with maths in real life I freeze. Always have always will.
    English and Geography were my subjects...looooved them.

  17. When I was a teacher I would have the same dream at the end of every school holiday, where the children run wild and don't listen to anything I say! Now if I have a church service to lead or talk to give I'll dream about it all going wrong!

  18. Hi A-M, Dreams, yes very interesting.
    Have my theory on this one and other similar.
    Let me know if you want me to divulge on line or not.
    Controlled breathing before sleep helps, ten slow breaths in a ten slow breaths out.
    Let me know.

  19. Oh yes, re-occurring exam dreams! Or I can never get to the right class at the right time, can't find the class room, haven't done the homework... Such a relief to wake up!


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx