Dream of: 19 October 1999 "Semele"

I had been taking several classes at a school, and I needed the credits from these classes to finally graduate. However, during the school term I had neglected my studies, and now that the day of the final exam was approaching, I felt unprepared. One class in particular, taught by a woman, was especially vexing me. I wasn't even certain of the subject matter of the class. I began trying to think about what we had studied in the class, to see if I could remember anything about the subject.

I finally recalled that the students were supposed to read three books for this class, all novels written in French. I remembered that the longest of the three novels was Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, but I couldn't recall the titles of the other two. I had read a little of each of the three novels, but not nearly enough to know anything about them.

Another memory returned to me about the class. I recalled that one time the teacher had written a word on the blackboard, "semele," and that it was important for the students to know the meaning of this word. I recalled that I had realized the word wasn't "simile," because the word used "e's" instead of "i's." The teacher had also drawn some little blocks next to the word, and apparently the little blocks held a clue as to the meaning of the word. But I still hadn't been able to figure out the meaning of the word. I seemed to recall that one of the ancient Greek goddesses was named "Semele," but I was uncertain of that, and I didn't think it had anything to do with the word anyway.

The only thing I knew was that it was important for me to understand the three French stories. With considerable relief, I realized I still had a week to study. Today was Friday, and I had all next week to prepare. In addition, I thought I would skip class today in order to study. I didn't think I would be penalized if I skipped class, and I figured I could learn more on my own, if I applied myself, than if I went to class.

The question was – how to proceed? I definitely didn't have enough time to read all three books, especially if they were in French, since I read French so slowly. But maybe reading the books wouldn't be necessary. What was most important was to simply understand the stories. I might be able to refer back to my notes to glean the essential elements of the stories. I knew stories were constructed from parts, like blocks stacked together. If I simply had all the pieces of each story, and could fit them together, I would learn what I needed to know. If I could just fit the stories together in my mind, and ponder them over and over until I understood them, I still had a chance of passing the test. I would begin immediately.

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