I Had a Dream

By Cyberquill 11/05/201120 Comments

Most of my nocturnal dreams I don’t remember at all, and the few that do linger in my consciousness upon waking generally don’t lend themselves to verbal recounting due to excessively convoluted plot lines.

The other night, however, I had one of those simple dreams that I can (a) recall and (b) put into words quite easily.

In this dream, I attended a class of some sort: a female teacher of unspecified exterior (i.e., not necessarily the lady in the slightly photoshopped picture, which I added for purely aesthetic reasons to spiff up this post) was delivering a lecture on an unspecified subject in an unspecified language while standing next to a blackboard in a nondescript classroom. I was seated in the first row front left from the student perspective. Other students were present, although I don’t recall how many nor their ages and sexes and looks, except that one female student was seated to my left.

At one point during her lecture, the teacher wrote exactly one word on the blackboard to underscore a point she was making:


Now, the German word for avoid is vermeiden, an irregular verb whose past tense is vermied:

I avoid = Ich vermeide
I avoided = Ich vermied [say: fuh-MEED]

As the teacher continued her talk, I quietly got up from my chair, snuck over to the blackboard behind her back, grabbed a piece of chalk, and inserted the missing letter “e” so as to discretely correct her manifest lapsus cretae (“slip of the chalk”) by turning vermid into vermied. (She had either spaced the letters such that intercalating an additional one was easily accomplished, or I used a caret to mark my insertion. My recollection on this particular point has faded, I’m afraid.)

As I returned to my chair, the girl sitting next to me (whoever she may have been) whispered in my ear that vermid, as written by the teacher, had been perfectly correct, whereupon I pulled a dictionary out of my bag to prove otherwise.

To my bewilderment, I couldn’t find the word.

Now the classroom location itself began to retreat into the background, and for the remainder of my dream (at least the portion of it that I remember) I scoured various dictionaries to check on the spelling of vermied.

To no avail. The German vermeiden had inexplicably vanished from every lexical resource I consulted.

What does this dream mean? What inner demons of mine does it highlight? How much of a danger to myself and others am I? Should I seek professional help?

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  • Peter Practice

    Chill. “Vermied” and “vermeiden” do still exist in the German language. Probably someone jotted down phone numbers and then ripped the pages from the dictionaries you consulted in your dream.

    I suggest the teacher wanted to write “vermin” because she had just finished reading some of your earlier blogposts. She may not be the only female who confuses letters while you sit in the front row watching her behind.

    Admit it, this post tries to pave the way for your next consultation with the naked psychologist you had told us about previously. Ask the teacher to join you, it may be her who needs coaching.

    • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

      The Naked Therapist. Right. Totally forgot about her. (If she reads this, she’ll kill herself.)

      Perhaps my posts about the mice and the beavers had indeed seeped into the teacher’s subconcious. Or maybe she was just a blonde trying to spell Vermont.

  • http://andreaskluth.org/ Andreas

    The dream consisted of you, two females — one in a position of power, the other a peer, and presumably both attractive — then the idea, garbled and suppressed, of AVOIDANCE, then some rebellion (by you) which turns out to be in vain (because the word has vanished), leading to a frustrating and isolating miscommunication.

    An commonplace theme of the sort that we all dream every night, and often during the waking hours as well. 😉

    • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

      Commonplace? Bummer. Thanks for your discerning breakdown. Trying to remember if the two presumably attractive females were dressed. 

  • Cheri

    If only a Jungian therapist would come on to this blog and interpret this dream.
    I’m impressed with your recall of so much detail.

    Perhaps if I had dressed like that while a young teacher, my students would have paid more attention.

    By the way, are you the President of the Dating Affiliate Program? Or the CEO of Vibrators.com?

    This dream may take on other interpretations if the answers to either of those questions is “Yes.”

    • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

      No, and neither do I run The Teaching Company. If I did, this dream may well take on an additional layer of meaning as well. 

      Too bad I don’t recall the topic of the teacher’s lecture. Perhaps she spoke on dating vs. vibrators and shared a cautionary tale about some unfortunate maiden who injudiciously vermi(e)d use of the latter and wrecked her life doing the former.

      If only a Freudian therapist would stop by and weigh in.

  • Testazyk

    I would vermeiden pizza with garlic before bedtime and you won’t have bizarre dreams!

    • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

      Perhaps I should have taken the edge off the garlic by putting some pizza underneath.

      • Testazyk

        Not a bad idea.  Now that you are much closer to Transylvania you might not want to cut back on the garlic!

        • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

          The undead live among us everywhere we go. Do not ever make the mistake of having yourself lulled into a fake sense of security and—God forbid!— cutting back on the garlic or going easy on the crosses on account of geography. We’re not talking about gravity here. This kind of danger doesn’t diminish with the square of the distance from Transylvania. 

          Trust me—I know what I’m talking about … 


  • Tschiria

    My simple interpretations, in parts similiar to Andreas’:

    You are a master (teacher) of avoidance, no other authority can’t put anything over on you on this subject (lässt Dir kein X für ein U vormachen and likewise no “i” for an “ie”).
    The fact that the dictionary, your guideline tells, though, that there is no such thing as “vermid” may serve as a hint that avoidance is no guide / no path, to vermid so to say.

    Besides, not just the description of how you instructed the teacher was redolent of your “Obsession” drama. Maybe your dream indicates a remake or a resumption of your obsession as well.

    • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

      Since I have no academic title anyway,  I guess I could put M.A. on my business card. 

      I expected the dictionary to tell me that there’s no such thing as “vermid,” but I didn’t expect it to tell me that there’s no “vermied” and no “vermeiden,” either. 

      Mozda the teacher was lecturing in Serbian and “vermid” is Serbo-Croation for “besessen.” 

      • Tschiria

        Sloppy style, indeed.

        The fact, though, that the dictionary, your guideline tells that there is no such thing as “vermied”, “vermeiden”, “Vermeidung” …

        • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

          The dictionary told me that there was no such word, at least none that had been included in any of the dictionaries I consulted, and I didn’t check for “ausweichen” und “umgehen.”

          • Tschiria

            Right, word.
            Stands to reason you didn’t check for “ausweichen” und “umgehen”:
            the teacher didn’t write “auswiech” and “umking” on the blackboard after all.
            (Funny that the American typo-style (?) requires the  punctuation characters within the quotation marks.)

            Would like you to ask her, next time you gonna attend her classes, to underscore the next point with one (or more) synonym(s).

            • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

              Next time I attend her class I’m gonna hide the chalk. 

              Only periods and commas go inside the quotes in American style. All other punctuation goes outside. 

              You know, every time I read “Justin Bieber,”  I feel like deleting the “e.” But now I’m terrified that if I try look it up, “Biber” will be missing from the dictionary, too. 

            • Tschiria

              Next time I attend her class I’m gonna hide the chalk.
              You know, unfortunately demons have the irksome property to constantly change their guise, if not faced properly.

              As far as possible, keep track of / follow that fellow-pupil in your dream. I guess she’s good for and to you. Might play an important role with the power to deconstruct ( => „bewilderment“) so as to lead you to a new approach.

              Be on your guard against Freudians, though (if there still are any remnants at all) –  at best they’ve retro charme to provide.

              Is this actually a stilus lapsus – shouldn’t it read „creatae“ – „lapsus creatae“?

            • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

              Not according to my little Stowasser from high school. And it’ll be tough for me to keep track of someone when all I know about her is that she doesn’t know how to spell “vermied.” 

            • Tschiria

              Never was a latin crack – but „cretae”, the Stowasser says „cretae“ means „created“? Or else what do you want to say with „cretae“? Sounds like „de Creta“. 

            • Tschiria

              Aaaah, heureka – „creta“ = „chalk“. Nummus iactus est. 

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