Dreams within dreams and anxiety attacks: hello finals week!

May 5th, 2014, 10pm

It was 13.3°C with few clouds. The wind blew strong.

Last week, in the middle of my Branding class, our graduate director stopped by for some announcements, and later pulled me aside. (I thought I was in trouble.)

“Christine, I have an unusual request.”

He was going to film a short video for the AIGA on Monday morning and needed my help drawing a fake tattoo on his arm. Hmm, unusual, indeed. “I figured you had pretty good handwriting,” he said. A chance to be let loose with my graduate director’s arm and a Sharpie? I’m game.

We exchanged emails later that weekend and decided that temporary tattoo paper was easier. (Aw, shucks.) I prepared everything the night before and set my alarm way earlier than usual to be in school by 9am.

(See, the thing is, it’s the last two weeks of school: everyone’s running around like a headless chicken and I’m having anxiety attacks thinking about the projects that need to be designed, printed, and bound before the 16th and here I am printing and making temporary tattoos.)

By the time my alarm rings at 8am, I wake up from a horrible nightmare. My dream goes something like this: I get to school, only to find my graduate director angry at me for only preparing the temporary tattoos. Didn’t you read my whole email? Where is the cardboard standee I asked you to do?! Oh shit. Panic ensues.

Whew, I think. What a nightmare. Good thing all I need are the temporary tattoos. And for some reason, I hit snooze.

By the time my alarm rings again at 8:30am, I manage to dream again. This time, it goes something like this: I get to school, laugh and tell my graduate director that I had a nightmare about those darned tattoos. “I dreamt you made me do this standee,” I laugh. “And I panic because I obviously don’t have time to do it and the whole crew’s here already. Ha ha!” He looks back at me, serious. …I did. Didn’t you read my whole email?! Panic ensues.

I’m finally up (no more snoozing) and frantically looking through my inbox for his email. If there’s a request for a standee in there I’m going to hit someone. Thankfully, it’s just the temporary tattoos this Monday morning. I haven’t even gotten out of bed and I’m already exhausted.


Here’s hoping I get through the next two weeks in one piece. I get dreams like this when I’m extra panicky and stressed out — reminds me of one of my favorite Calvin & Hobbes strips growing up:


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Christine Herrin

Designer. History major. Memory keeper, paper hoarder, frequent flyer.

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