I had a dream this morning…
In it I was in the final stages of my education there, part of an ongoing series of dreams. It’s been like attending Dream University, pursuing a degree of some unknown nature, with classes, and projects, and tests; successes and failures and learning that later translates somehow into my daily life. And now, at Dream U, I am completing that process, undergoing some final testing to “prove” readiness for graduation…
Last night’s dream involved such a test; a final exam for a class. I was working with two other people to decipher and translate codes, and we had several massive bodies of work to transcribe. But first we had to decipher the languages they were written in, and figure out how to translate that into the language our teacher wanted it in. It was a tedious labor, and though I recognized its importance in the overall picture, I dreaded the actual work of it, being boring, restricted, and massively time consuming. I felt certain we would succeed eventually, completing our task within the expected time frame of the test, but it would require an enormous amount of self-discipline.
While half-heartedly complaining about the nature of the work, and how I usually enjoy cryptography tests, but this one being too huge to enjoy, my two partners (being techies unlike me) glanced at each other excitedly, and one spoke the thought they both seemed to share:
“That’s it! Of course! It’s code!…”
Not understanding their revelation, I asked them to explain…
“It’s code,” the other said, turning toward a bank of computers containing the works we were to translate. Typing rapidly, he continued to speak. “If we can decipher this and turn it into a binary code, all 1’s and 0’s, then the computers can do the bulk of the translating for us! It would get done quicker that way.”
Realizing this was not technically cheating the test, though certainly not in the spirit of it, I looked at the third person doubtfully…
“There’s nothing illegal about it. In essence, we would be creating a rubber stamp of sorts which would do the bulk of the tedious transcribing for us, freeing up our time to do whatever else we want…”
“But would it be accurate?,” I asked skeptically.
“Depends on how accurate the deciphering is. You get us the right code, we can transcribe the works!”
Tempted by the possibility we might not be stuck in this place for the entirety of the test, I continued to question…
“So… If we did this, how long would the transcribing part take? Roughly…”
My two partners looked at each other. One shrugged unenthusiastically, while the other answered… “Maybe 40 days or so…?” Both glanced down at the floor to avoid my gaze.
“Saving us a whole 2-4 days, maybe,” I responded, feeling the disappointment deeply. “During which time my other self remains not free…”
They nodded, acknowledging my assessment, while I pondered the situation… A heavy price to pay, indeed, to shave a couple of days off the task at hand. Was it worth it? And would it violate the spirit of the test enough to nullify its purpose and results?
Suddenly, I realized what I had actually said!
“… during which time my other self would remain not free…”!
A new excitement rushed into my mind as I realized my whole perspective (on something!) had just shifted a degree or so, but knowing it changed everything!!
I woke suddenly, repeating that last line over and over again…
“… during which time my other self would remain not free…”