Monday, May 21, 2007

Bon Voyage

As I head off to Toronto today, nervous about my talk tomorrow that I have yet to prepare,'s word of the day is "insuperable: incapable of being passed over, surmounted, or overcome."

I had a bad dream last night. I dreamt that I was still at UNC, and I had a big talk to give on Tuesday to the *entire* department. (It was part of something for which attendance was required, so it really was the entire department.) However, Monday was a holiday, which resulted in me getting my days mixed up. I came in on Tuesday, thinking it was Monday. For some reason I sat in the department meeting room and started playing a computer game. I was really engrossed in the game. It was one of those empire-building type games where you see the entire map, and your guys/armies are little icons on the maps. I was concentrating on one aspect of the game (I can't remember which one), and then noiced that the "health" of my population was dropping alarmingly.

At this point, L, one of the other students in my research group, came in to tell me it was 10 minutes to the meeting. I was so worried about the health of my fake empire that I kept playing the game.

Finally it was time for the meeting, and I remembered I had to give a talk. I needed to get up to my office on the fourth floor (the building seems to have started it's numbering at one instead of zero in my dream), but everyone else was headed in the opposite direction. I struggled against the stream. I think I managed to get what I needed, but I'm not sure.

Then I was going with the stream back to the first (zeroth) floor for the meeting. However, there was construction going on. (Just on the fourth floor.) One of the other differences between dream Sitterson and real Sitterson is that dream sitterson has these big open areas that spanned all floors, and normally there's these glass half-walls that prevent you from falling over the edge. However (do you notice there tends to be lots of "howevers" in dreams), due to the construction, these glass half-walls had been removed. Plus there were additional holes in the floor.

Have I mentioned I'm afraid of heights? I get vertigo and worry I'm going to fall off. I need a good, solid barrier that I can hold onto.

At one point I was navigating this one point where there was only a foot of floor between the open area and a large hole in the floor. This stretch was around four feet long. I got down on my hands and knees. When I was mostly across, I had to wait for the people ahead of me to move. There was a guy beside me. He was a bit ahead where there wasn't a hole any more, but still very close. So close, in fact, that we were touching. (We were all sort of packed in like sardines.) He kept fidgeting, which was pushing me over the edge. I uttered some sort of fear-induced threat that he had better stop. He didn't. In fact, he complained that it was his right to fidget, and continued to do so until I was three-quarters pushed off into the open area. Needless to say I was holding on for dear life and was freaking out. Eventually people starte moving and someone else was able to help me up. I made the rest of the trip away from the unsafe floor on my hands and knees, shaking.

On the second (first) floor, TQ expressed sympathy at what had happened. I replied that it was only getting worse, thinking about the hour-long talk that I still hadn't prepared, and the meeting was starting momentarily. However before I could ask him to remove me from the schedule and tell my advisor, my alarm went off.

I was kind of sweaty when I woke up this morning.

I'm currently in the airport. (This post will be cut and pasted into Blogger when I get an internet connection.) Bording will start soon. My talk is tomorrow, and I'm still brainstorming what to talk about. Whee.


Later: I'm here and in my room. Slooooooooooow dial-up. (Not sure how to access anything else from here.) I can get better wireless in the building that houses math, but this will do for a quick post. For now I just wanted to say hi before working on my talk. (I was out having lunch and talking with W, my prof-colleague here until now.) Feeling better about what to talk about... preparing the talk shouldn't be a problem. I think I'll have a short nap first... that early morning wake-up is catching up with me.


Deneen said...

Your gonna do fine! Good luck and keep us posted.

jess said...

have fun at the talk! it will go just fine. sorry about the anxiety. You'll feel much better afterwards. :) let us know how it goes!

Knittah said...

You'll be great!

Anonymous said...

That was a nasty anxiety dream. I'm glad to hear that you are feeling more relaxed about the talk now. Have a good time!