At one point, I was clenching my teeth so tightly that my night guard, already broken in back, disintegrated under the force. I could feel tiny plastic shards between my teeth and wondered if I would need a new guard and how I would pay for it. While all this was vivid and sensory, I understood that it was a dream.
I was in a classroom, and the instructor asked who some group feared the most. The obvious answer would have been a particular racial or ethnic group, but I knew the real answer, which came out involuntarily: “The working man.” I turned around and saw Studs Terkel few seats behind me. Although he showed no reaction, I hoped I had gotten his attention with my insight.
I was in this classroom because I had re-enrolled in college, but I could not recall attending any other classes, and I couldn’t remember what they were. I reluctantly confessed to someone that I had returned to college for another degree that wasn’t even at a graduate level, that I had not been attending classes, and that I had lost track of my progress and status.
I began to worry about the money I had wasted, thinking a few hundred dollars up to as much as a thousand. I didn’t understand anything I had done. I wondered whether trying to continue toward such a useless goal with so many questions unanswered and with no motivation would be a waste of more money and if quitting would mean wasting the money already spent.
I worried that Studs would find out.