kitchen table math, the sequel: Pass/Fail

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pass/Fail

Examination dreams are reported to persist even into old age...
- Time magazine

You will never graduatefrom this dream
of blue books.
No matter how
you succeed awake,
asleep there is a test
waitinmg to be failed.
The dream beckons
with two dull pencils,
but you haven't even taken the course;
when you reach for a book--
it closes its door
in your face; when
you conjugate a verb--
it is in the wrong
language
Now the pillow becomes
a blank page. Turn it
to the cool side;
you will still smother
in all of the feathers
that have to be learned
by heart.

Linda Pastan
1975

in:
The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature
Michael Meyer

6 comments:

Lsquared said...

Actually, it's quite easy to cure yourself of these dreams--just become a teacher! Then, instead of the dream where you find yourself taking the final exam for a course you forgot you were taking, you get the dream where you discover at the end of the semester that there's a class you were supposed to be teaching that you had forgotten existed.

ChemProf said...

Too true! I am known as the oddball who copies all of my first day materials at the end of July -- I find if I don't, I have ridiculous anxiety dreams through most of August. Which is silly when I've been doing this for 15 years!

Barry Garelick said...

I've actually had the dream about taking the final, where I'm taking it in my underwear. Not good.

Catherine Johnson said...

oh my gosh!

lsquared!

don't tell me that!!!!

Catherine Johnson said...

For my entire adult life, I've had a dream that I'm supposed to take the final and I don't remember where the classroom is.

In these dreams, the buildings are all different -- so even if I have a sense of where I should be (inside the dream) I can't find my way because the landscape has changed.

le radical galoisien said...

http://xkcd.com/557/

=D