Early this morning shortly before I woke for the day I dreamt the following:
I was in some sort of college setting that was compiled out of elements of Grinnell College (where I was student from 1989 to 1993) and the Saint Louis Art Museum (where I was executive chef from 1998 to 2003). Speculative fiction writer and well-known blogger K. Tempest Bradford was conducting a film/lecture series that consisted of episodes of Original Series Star Trek and the Planet of the Apes movies. I attended a screening of Return to the Planet of the Apes. During the film there was blurry sequence during which I had a quick, breathless sexual encounter with a dude who used to work for me as a busboy during the Art Museum days. Then events transitioned away from that and I was standing in a lobby outside the screening room speaking with Jeff. We were scheduled to attend a class taught by author and professor Samuel Delany. I told him that I had invited Tempest Bradford to come to the class as a guest speaker because she had a very interesting analysis of Return to the Planet of the Apes and the Star Trek episode "The Lights of Zetar" and I was sure that Professor Delany would be interested in hearing it. Next, we were seated in our "classroom," though it was located outdoors on the campus grounds in an area that looked like the central campus area in front of the Forum at Grinnell during an autumn morning. In this outdoor space, we were seated around the briefing room table from Star Trek, complete with the view screens as in this image of Kirk sitting at that same table aboard the Enterprise:
So we sat at the table and waited. I somehow knew that Bradford would be delayed. Professor Delany and my classmates (who were Jeff and my long-lost friend and co-worker Jimi from the Museum days) seemed impatient with the delay and I felt very much under pressure. I felt as if I were being regarded as a fool for having sidetracked the class with this Planet of the Apes/Star Trek business. Jimi kept looking at a pocket watch and fidgeting. Jeff looked at me with some amusement at my discomfort. Delany, however, did not seem to mind and made some remarks about Star Trek, including referring to some "lost episodes" (this is a perennially recurring thing in my dreams: ever since I was young teenager, I've dreamed that there exist lost episodes of original Trek that will one day resurface, and I am always very disappointed when I awaken and know it's still not true). Jimi seemed increasingly impatient for the class to end, and I pointed out that it was scheduled to last for another hour anyway whether or not my guest speaker ever showed up. "It's true," Delany said. Then I guess I woke up.
I don't know if any of the elements in this dream have any particular "meaning" beyond just being the usual subconscious clatter of memories and desires, but I wonder if the relatively comforting thought of being back in college surfaces in dreams because of mounting real-world stress about what the future holds for me vocationally. I wonder if there's any way I could go back to grad school? Would I even want to? We're moving away from OKC soon, and even though I badly want to get out here, I think I am very worried about the next phase.