Dream of: 17 August 1993 "Mathematical Problem"

I was standing next to a car parked in a field and talking with an oriental woman (in her early 20s). I learned the tallest giraffe in the world was supposed to be somewhere in this field. Suddenly the giraffe -- extremely tall -- walked up next to me. Concerned the giraffe might step on me, I tried to stay out of its way, even as it walked close to me.

As I continued talking with the oriental woman, I asked her what she studied and she said she studied mathematics. I thought she must be really smart. I knew I had been having trouble with mathematics and I thought I might be able to ask her some questions about it. Maybe she could help me.

***

I was sitting in a seat in what appeared to be a high school classroom. I was sitting four or five seats back from the front. A girl was sitting right in front of me. This was a mathematics class and the teacher, a man, was calling students to his desk, one by one, and asking each student to solve a problem which had been assigned as homework the night before. I knew I hadn't done the homework and I quickly began looking at the problems which were in the book on my desk. They were word problems which had to be solved by some kind of mathematical equation. I tried to work on the problem which I thought I would be called on to solve. The problem involved the quadratic formula. I thought the answer would be something like "(x-6)(x+6)" and I tried to develop the formula in my mind so I could solve the problem.

Suddenly I realized the teacher was calling students in my row and he would soon be calling on me. When the teacher called the girl in front of me, I realized I had been working on the wrong problem -- I would actually be called on to solve problem #8. I frantically began trying to solve the problem.

I saw the problem dealt with a container which looked like a pitcher for holding liquid. The pitcher was divided into two parts -- a top part and a bottom part. Two fellows were described in the problem. The first fellow told the second fellow that when the pitcher was filled with liquid, the second fellow could have the liquid in the top part of the pitcher, and that he (the first fellow) could have the liquid in the bottom part. The problem was to determine which part of the pitcher contained the most liquid.

I couldn't think of any mathematical way to solve the problem. The only solution I could conceive of was to first fill up the entire container with water and pour out the top part into a glass. Then pour out the bottom part into another glass. The two glasses could then be compared to see which held the most liquid.

I hoped I had at least come up with a logical solution to explain to the teacher when he called on me.