I've been remembering a lot of my dreams this month and in the spirit of full disclosure, I will tell you about them in all their random details! But first some fun facts. Humans dream during REM sleep, named after its "rapid eye movement", the stage of sleep most closely resembling wakeful neural activity. Various theories have been proposed for the regenerative functionality of REM sleep. Indeed, sleep deprived individuals and people trying out polyphasic sleep get less REM sleep, as the body favours the deeper stages in those circumstances. The image below, called a hypnogram, shows how the stages normally occur.
There are four or five cycles of REM sleep and they last for longer and longer amounts of time until the person wakes up. Movement of the eyes is presumably related to the fact that someone in a dream state feels mentally alert. I suppose the reason for the entire body not moving is the protection mechanism you hear about - where the body is physiologically immobilized during sleep. Even though this is supposed to wear off quickly upon regaining consciousness, some people report "glitches" where they wake up in total paralysis for several minutes. This has never happened to me but I think it would be really cool!
I was undercover on the Death Star, with the ultimate goal of killing the Emperor and blowing it up. While sitting in a class that the Empire was using the brainwash students, I saw a friend of mine from undergrad. I assumed that she could never be on the Empire's side so I told her about my mission after class. She then said "Dammit Connor! How am I supposed to get into my favourite med school if you blow it up?!" I guess the medical school she wanted to go to was on the Death Star.
This was a dream of parents getting mad at their offspring. I was watching a news report where people were protesting in the street, saying that this guy should be emancipated. Apparently his parents were being awfully hostile because they wanted him to act like a traditional Muslim. While watching this, my parents started complaining that I had too many toys lying around that I never touched. I promised them that I would have a garage sale in a week but one week later, when they saw me playing a board game, they started yelling about how lazy I was.
I dreamt that I had to go to Hawaii for some reason. So I got to the airport three hours before my flight was scheduled to leave but after going through security, I got bored and decided that I would go into town and have fun until just before the departure time. While driving downtown, I was too short to see above the steering wheel and I almost crashed several times. I went for a walk in the park and ran into some people I knew while downtown but I looked at my watch and saw that I had only ten minutes to get back to the airport. I scrambled to get back and when I arrived I was told that the plane had just left.
I walked onto a bus with some friends of mine. These were not friends of mine from real life - just people from the dream world. The bus had taxi inclinations because the driver asked us where we wanted to go. We said "the local pizza place." On the way there, we started talking but the driver interrupted with "Hey, shut up!" We shot back with an oh-so-clever "No, you shut up!" So we got to the pizza place and started eating but a lawyer quickly showed up and informed us that we were being sued for being rude to the driver. I ignored the lawyer and looked out the window over a nearby lake. A plane flying by crashed into the lake but the pilot made it out unscathed. The last thing I saw before I woke up was the pilot swimming back into the water, getting into the submerged plane and somehow managing to fly it out.
At the time of making this post I was taking math courses at the 2011 AARMS Summer School where one of the invited faculty, Troy Day, was from Queen's University. A couple days before the dream, he finished his two week teaching period and left Newfoundland. However, there was another "Professor Day" at Queen's to whom I urgently needed to speak in person so I got on a plane and went to Kingston from St. John's. In this universe, all professor offices were in Botterell Hall so I went there and asked the secretary for "Professor Day". She came back with Troy Day and he said "Connor! You came all the way here to talk to me? What can I do for you?" sounding flattered. Not wanting to disappoint him I made up a reason for wanting to see him and asked "Do you think I'd be successful as a graduate student in mathematics?" His reply was "That was the question that made you waste money on plane tickets? You must be a dumbass."
A friend who has been in some of the same classes as me is named Bennett. In this dream I simply read a book claiming that he was the namesake of the Bennett-Brassard protocol or BB84, a famous protocol in quantum cryptography.
It was the end of my fourth undergraduate year and I was giving a thesis presentation. I did a good job in real life, but in this dream my presentation was horrible. At the end, the professor listening told me that the written component was worth 100% of the mark and that my presentation actually didn't matter.
A reunion of my graduating physics class was being held on an offshore drilling platform. Needless to say, it was pretty badass.
In this dream I watched one of the Harry Potter films except instead of looking at a screen, I had a deck of magical cards with animated scenes on them and had to flip through the deck to watch the movie. In this universe, the length of each day was not dictated by the time of year - it was random. My parents got mad at me for waking up later than usual but my excuse was that the sun rose later than usual. After this I left for a camping trip. The person with whom I was going camping said "We might need to be rescued, since we're camping at the wilderness. Stop at that convenience store and buy smoke signals." I asked "Do they sell smoke signals?" and he said "Sure, just ask for a pack of smokes!" I did so and when they gave me cigarettes I was extremely pissed. My friend was laughing uncontrollably.
I dreamt that I had been invited to guest star in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Mariska Hargitay was excited about this episode but Christopher Melloni wanted nothing to do with it. I had to act out the role of someone who was raped and kidnapped. After the shooting was over I found out that this was based on a true story and that the kidnapped person had not yet been found. I then set out to find him and ended up battling his kidnappers (who looked like orcs) with a small "fellowship" of allies and the whole thing played out like The Lord of the Rings.
I went to Nar Shaddaa, primarily because I heard that it had a good music scene, but after watching several concerts I discovered a military training program where I learned how to add laser cannons to Corellian freighters and use a Merr-Sonn PLX-2M missile launcher. A friend from real life then showed up and told me that he had come back from the Nethrlands and Cuba. He drew a world map in the sand to label those places as if I had never heard of them before.
I went on a ski trip with some random classmates but there was giant laboratory (like Los Alamos or something) between the hotel and the ski hill. Thinking I'd take a shortcut, I went through the lab and ran into a past supervisor of mine (because the professors that hire me can always be found in the best labs). Despite the fact that I don't work for him anymore, he gave me lots of work to do.