Monday, May 15, 2006

Mistaken Identity

I have a recurring dream where I found myself as the keynote speaker at a conference. The details change, but the subject is always something of which I have no knowledge. A recent example was that I was speaking in front of the American Society of Electrical Engineers. I have no idea if such a organization exists, but I do know that I know nothing about electricity or engineering of any type. I usually stumble through my presentation, but I stick to topics of which I have some knowledge like literature, philosophy or politics. The audience is always polite until the question and answer period. This is where I usually wake up in a frisson of panic.

I do not what these dreams reveal about me, but I know that I can sympathize with Guy Goma. If you have not heard of him, he was at the BBC for a job interview when a staffer called out for Guy Kewney. Guy Kewney is the editor of Newswireless and was to appear on the BBC to discuss the Apple Records versus Apple Computers (Ipod) court case. Goma, who is a native of the Congo, misunderstood the staffer and the next thing he knew he was being interviewed live on the BBC. Goma was very confused that he was not being interviewed about the data cleansing position he applied for, but was a good sport and answered all of questions--horribly. He knew little about ipods or the Beatles, but they he managed his way through the interview anyway while the real Guy Kewney was waiting in the reception area. You can read more about the story here or watch the video here.


Blogger Jim said...

I heard the apology by the BBC on the BBC World News this morning.

I have had dreams like yours. They haven't happened for awhile, but I've had two recurring dreams: (1) showing up to the Indiana Supreme Court totally unprepared for a major oral argument, and (2) showing up for an exam after blowing off the class for the entire semester. Fun!

May 16, 2006  
Blogger Robyn said...

In my nightmares I'm usually stuck in messy html code, trying to find my way out, and it's closing in on me. I've also been inside giant suduku puzzles and Mindsweeper, expert level.

The only speach nightmare I have is when I'm admitting to my family (Southern Baptist, don't drink, don't dance, don't know any gay people, uber-Republican) that I'm a Democrat...and I've been going to a Presbeterian church. The dream always ends with everyone crying, funeral-style, and me being disowned. Now that's some scary #$%&.

May 16, 2006  
Blogger torporific said...

Jim, I have your second dream over and over. I am in law school (but sometimes college) and I know I have a final exam, but I haven't attended class since the first day. I have not opened the book and I am to be tested over some obscure, specialized bit of the law of which I possess no prior knowledge. The textbook is around 800 pages thick. I am going around the school to try to find when the exam is scheduled and I find out that I have missed it. Now I have to talk to my professor who has never seen me in class...

This is where I wake up. I'd say I have it once a month.

Robyn, it sounds like you and I have similar issues. My family members are Baptist, but they're still Democrats even if they're conservative on a few social issues. The minesweeper thing would blow my mind.

Also, one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had was when I was around kindergarten or preschool age. There were three crosses on a hill and I was on the center cross in place of Jesus. I remember that because it was the only time I ever asked to sleep with my parents. They told me to go back to bed.

May 16, 2006  
Blogger mike said...

I also get this:

"showing up for an exam after blowing off the class for the entire semester"

But in my case, it's a due paper (I showed up the day it was due, not knowing it was due at all).

And then there was the exam... I showed up 30 minutes late. I was just walking around campus and not really paying attention to anything and realized I was late for something.

Alas, none of it was a dream. I stil l got a D in that class.

May 17, 2006  

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