Thursday, September 24, 2009


Some dreams can be frustrating because it can easily cause you 3-4 hours of needless tension. While this tension is as futile as anything else you get tensed for in the real world the futility of dream triggered anxiety seems more obvious and irritating. And you can do nothing to change the dreams. For the past several years I have a recurring dream that I have to take my 12th standard board exam again. The context is generally - the board has introduced a new subject in the recent years and everybody who has completed 12th must go back and write an exam on this subject. The other contexts are (a) they have changed the XIIstd Chemistry syllabus and so everybody has to take Chemistry board exam again or (b) I have travelled back in time and find myself a few days away from exams. There are some rare occasions where the dream has no courtesy and does not tell me why I am taking the exam and directly throws me into a situation where I know there is an exam and I have to write it. Of course occasions where I am the only one naked is not rare and - sigh - quite frustrating

The dreams have a variety of settings too. Sometimes I write the exam with my college classmates as opposed to my XII std classmates. Sometimes they are office colleagues or grad school buddies. Sometimes the class is in America but the teacher is my XII std teacher. Suddenly, I find myself sitting next to my milkman who is also preparing very hard for the exam (The aluminium milk can is on top of the desk during class hours). Tension begins when I know that there is a lot of syllabus to cover and I can't get myself to read anything. I never get to the point where I open the book and read. My dreams begin and end before the exams. So I never get to know if I did well or not. I never get to prepare at all. The entire 4 hours (or what seems like it) is filled with tension that exams are coming and I am not preparing or doing anything about it. Occasionally there are 3 or 4 chemistry related words dropped in and I become aware that I don't understand any of them. So I get more tensed

Today morning, I had set my alarm for 5AM. It rang, I switched it off planning to get up immediately. But unknowingly I went back to sleep and got transported into yet another exam situation. Woke up sweating and really really afraid. There may be a thousand Freud'ish explanations for these dreams but what use are they? I can't do anything to avoid the tension.


Extra-Ordinarily Ordinary said...

I think you have a kindred soul for this. We had an exam on Machine Design in the 7th semester and Power Electronics in the 5th Semester which were terrible subjects to write an exam on - i repeatedly get transported to my night before these exams and I seem to relive the time over and over... and i get through the end of the exam but as always, I dont know if I did my exam well or not, in spite of the fact that I have finished the exam!!

Hawkeye said...

i think ECE students also had power electronics. But we also had electromagnetics which was in general terrible terrible course.

the most freaked out I have ever been was for bio medical engineering course in 8th sem

Anitha said...

Hey, I know exactly what you are talking about as I get these dreams often too..I think it is the same for anyone who took the board exams in TN. And coming to electromagnetics, ofcourse, in my class neither the lecturer nor the students understood what the subject was about. We following a strict routine of read the book, memorize a few equations and write the same equations in the answer sheets irrespective of the question being asked

The Talkative Man said...

Man you described it perfectly...I used to get the exact same nightmare and often on unexpected days.

I believe the problem went away after I married someone with an arts background!

Perhaps someone embedded the same chip inside us!

Anonymous said...

"Exact Same"?
As opposed to "kind of same"?

Anonymous said...

It's funny to see how non-psychology majors misuse Freudian theory :-)


TTM said...

Thanks Anon. I'm in august company though :)

Yashashwi said...

Ok I know how to solve your problem. I am 100% sure that you have Chemistry book in your book rack. Go, remove it and put it somewhere where you don't even glance. You XII dreams will go off.
I had the same dream with Maths subject and found that I had XII Maths book in my room. I disposed it and I don't get XII dreams anymore. Go, check your book rack now :)


Sundar Narayanan said...

keep one mokkai chemistry exam paper with known multiple choice answers near your bed. worse case, make up your own exam.. when you wake up next time with the dream, just start taking the damn exam..

maybe it will leave you.

chandramukhi maadhiri padam paatha, enakku indha maadhiri idea dhan varum..

still, worth a try no?


Vishwa said...

I share your exam dreams and the naked ones too. The truly frustrating and scary part is that you don't know what to read and how to study because the syllabus is too huge and the exam is just a day away.
My most awesome(or awful!)dream is one where I'm shitting in full public view and there are people walking around, who know me very well. The horror on their faces and my blissful indifference--priceless. And this damn thing keeps recurring, so there must be some logic behind it :-)

Sowmya said...

I have even taken the Madison Metro to go write exam in Madras. And invariably I reach the exam late and don't know a damn thing when I read the question paper.

Anonymous said...

5 am alarm? Sandhyavandanam?

Hawkeye said...


our lecturer covered only 1 of the 5 units. He took 3 months for this.


I can say my marriage disposition is not "exact same" but "sort of same" (:-) btw I use 'exact same' phrase many times)but enakku pogave illaye


yes. i have given up trying to know anything about freud. now, looking at the unread books about him makes me feel pretentious.


wow! what a nice name. I do have XII std chem and Phy book in my bookshelf. I bought it just to find out whats going on in school nowadays.


My problem is such that even if I go back in time and write the real thing, it will still be a recurring dream.


my situation is always that syllabus is too huge and I havent covered everything. but the funny thing is even the parts I think I have read, I don't know much about it.


at least you are moving ahead and reaching the exam hall. My dream terminates a few days before the exam.


I want to say 'yes' but the answer is 'gym'. sandhi is 2 hours later.

Anonymous said...

I have those nightmares quite often n the scary part is i know they'll never cease to haunt me coz my grandma says she still has nightmares about her high school maths exam!!!

Kokki Kumarru said...

Even i had 10th std history geography exam dreams frequently.. It might be because it was the only exam in which i score really ow marks.. The only way is to murder the history teacher..

Nappinnai said...

What the hell is wrong with your dream? Screw Freud theory and all other psychoanalysts who couldn't analyse their own minds! One Feynman is enough to provoke psychoanalysts mind!

I get zillion dreams. Your's cool compared to mine. I have had sex too but couldn't see the face of the person(well you don't need a face to have sex!)! How pathetic that can be when my kid asks me "who is the daddy"? Once after seeing an episode about wilder beasts(vs crocodiles) on animal planet,I had the dream that I was crossing the river where those hungry crocs are there but they don't eat me. I don't know swimming even in my dreams and from somewhere lotus leaves were floating on the river and I use them to cross the river. I have had ridiculous dreams that I myself censor them.

In dreams basically, the interpretation dept gets screwed up and that's why its crazily illogical. According to psychiatrists and psychoanalysts, the Physicist Paul Dirac(who is regarded as the purest soul of the physics) will be classified as suffering from "borderline behavioral/personality problem"!!!!
But Dirac was damn cool and logical always. He used to introduce his wife to others as "she is wigner's sis" rathen than his wife because chronologically that's how Dirac met her.

Mind has the power. So yashashwi's solution will not work for strong minded maniacs like me. You can throw the book and but can't get rid of the thought. I have a spiritual guru who told me to do something to get rid of the dreams but didn't work out. I'm the one who gets dreams and I know why I'm getting it.

The dreams are part of the karma. dreams are real and they are not illusion.

Then I came up with my own "cause and effect" psycho analysis! Thank God I didn't have to study Chemistry. I had to do with Math and Physics like Topology, Relativity, Fluid Dynamics(compressible and incompressible) etc.