Around 6:30 this morning, I woke up with the confidence of a fool. The kind of fool who had just been dreaming and thought they’d come up with the Next Great Idea through the power of their subconscious mind. This has happened before. I’ve dreamt up movie scripts, the ability to speak perfect French, and developed a talent for drawing in Dreamworld, and thought, at least briefly, on waking that that what I was doing was a) good and b) would stick around my conscious mind long enough for me to use it in my real life.
I was at a shoddy university in either Northern Germany or Scandinavia (but somehow definitely not Denmark). I say shoddy, despite education in most of Northern Europe being on the excellent side, because they let me into a postgraduate program without a declared area of specialisation, had classes at the postgraduate level with 100+ students, and their library kept the windows open during the day, despite the Northern European climate (and the Dean of the University, who was probably about 30, was in charge of closing them with a big hooked pole, like we used in the gym at my elementary school), and didn’t seem to have computers or a card catalogue. (It did, however, have a large café and a convenience store that used dark, old wooden bookshelves to display hundreds of kinds of potato chips labelled only in Arabic.)
My brilliant idea? To study the post-Cold War rise in people going to graduate school in Western European countries from overseas and the former Eastern Bloc. Which is almost interesting, but unbelievably vague.*
Shoddy Baltic University seemed keen, though, and asked I could speak Russian and Chinese, ’cause I was going to have to read a lot of both.
I panicked, because I didn’t even speak Deutschnorgsvenskosuomi properly yet. They said that was OK, I could probably still get funding anyway.
That’s when I woke, giddy in the knowledge that somewhere in academia, someone would give someone like me a pile of money to study something about which I knew next-to-nothing.
What an excellent education system my sleeping self came up with, no? I’m sure it’s totes gonna work.