... to high school teaching days. Funny, I'm generally not good at remembering dreams, but when I do they seem to come in spades. Last night, I regressed more than fifty years to my high school teaching days, at the Halifax Grammar School in Nova Scotia, Canada, my first, two-year stop on the American continent. It was the same building, as I remembered it, but with three floors of long, straight corridors, not two.
I had arrived on a Monday morning in a state of utter bewilderment, without the first idea of what I should be teaching that day, or in which classroom, on which of the three floors. I encountered one of my two office mates--both, I thought, were secretly conspiring against me--and begged him for his copy of the schedule, but he claimed to have lost it. I sifted furtively through papers on my other office-mate's desk, but in vain.
Classes, by now, were already in progress. I wandered the corridors, searching for an open door, but they were all closed. I made my way to the administrative offices, where I asked for a copy of the schedule. The two women working there looked at me strangely, and told me that all the unused copies had been thrown out after registration.
In desperation, I sought out the school principal, and found him, strangely, gardening. I told him about my state of mind, my confusion, my distress. His first reaction was to tell me to brace up, not to go around feeling sorry for myself; but I told him, no, this was something different, there was something not right in my head. I was just not present. I asked if I could take a week's leave of absence, to seek medical advice, and was surprised when he readily agreed that this would be a good idea.
Much relieved, I wandered along the pavement that bordered the school's facade, looking for the parking lot. I thought I knew where it was...