Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Field nightmare

I dreamed about teaching field camp last night.

I've taught field camp in several places, but one of my favorites is near Hoback Junction, Wyoming. We camp in this Forest Service campground with views of the Wind Rivers and a hot spring just up the road. The road up to it was in bad shape last time I stayed there, but it's still a gorgeous spot.

The problem with the campground, at least the last time I stayed there, was that you can't make reservations ahead of time, and there's no group site, so it's possible that we won't find a good spot for all the students to camp near one another.

And that's how my dream started. We got to the campground fairly late, only to find that three-quarters of it was closed off with deep piles of snow still on the ground, and all the remaining sites already filled. We drove around looking for a spot, and ended up trying to turn around somewhere down at the end of one of the campground loops.

And that's where we met the RV. It wasn't just any old RV. It was... well, it was immense. Bigger than an 18-wheeler. Tougher than a tank. And driven by someone who didn't look where he or she was going.

The RV was headed straight for my Subaru*. And it didn't stop.

In the end, my Subaru was crunched to half its original length. (I woke up before considering the possible analogy between shortened Subarus and regional strain analysis of collisional tectonic belts.)

So: academic nightmares by geology professors. (At least I didn't dream that I showed up for field work a day late, with no clothes, and sat on a cactus.)

*Don't ask me why I was driving my Subaru at field camp. Normally I drive a 15 10-passenger van loaded with students and gear. And, yes, I have a complicated history with vans, which many people can tell stories about. But there wasn't a van in this dream.


Neat Rox said...

Reminds me of the field camp nightmares I used to have where I'd be mapping around the Poleta Folds area in the White Mountains of California and couldn't find a private place to pee. I'd go to every bush around but there was always a person within sight, so I'd run to another bush only to find another person.

And then there are the teacher nightmares where I'd be trying to do a lesson but couldn't get the students to stop talking. Or the class would be completely out of control.


Silver Fox said...

That is a nightmare! The worst ones I get are volcano dreams where I have to run away from the hot lava. Fortunately, there's always some lava-impervious cabin nearby.

Callan Bentley said...

"I woke up before considering the possible analogy between shortened Subarus and regional strain analysis of collisional tectonic belts." ... Hilarious!

Kim said...

Callan - if the dream had really happened, I probably would have used the opportunity to discuss shortening. Especially because the students would be missing the opportunity to map folds and thrust faults. (Also, there's no cell phone service at that campground, so I have no idea how I would have gotten the wrecked car out of there.)

NeatRox - I've had those nightmares about students who wouldn't stop talking, except that I was awake at the time.

SilverFox - For some reason, I imagine Pierce Brosnan in that lava-impervious cabin...

Elli said...

I don't remember if I brought it up at the time, but my senior year while I was taking both Marine Geology and American Literature II I had a dream that combined both. It started out on the RV Baldwin (the boat we used for research in marine on Lake Champlain) where we were chasing down Champie (the local version of Nessie). We thought we had found him, but suddenly it became a huge white whale (yes, we were reading Melville in Am Lit) that decided to snap its jaws around the coring rig (I don't know know why we were taking cores while searching for Champie) and started to drag us down. The boat was submerged and suddenly Moby Dick was pulling us down & down. Suddenly we started going down the Marianas trench and Moby dragged us straight into the subduction zone. Well, we got squished and squished until suddenly we were eclogite. And then I woke up.

I wrote my weekly Am Lit response paper describing the dream :)

And Kim never did anything weird to a van while I was riding in it--I just heard the stories.