Incompetence or confusion is a common theme in my dreams. Usually centered around things that I have done for a living during my life, and sometimes a mixture of careers. Until I was in my thirties, I worked in factories, primarily paper bag plants, during which I worked for three different bag manufacturing companies. I was a machine adjuster and supervisor for the last six of seven of the twelve years that I worked in the paper bag industry. In real life, I was well aware that mechanical ability was not high among things that I could do well, but I came to know paper bag machines pretty well. Still, I did well mostly because I maintained the machines and didn't wait for something to break before making repairs. Once a machine became a wreck, I wasn't the best person they had to get it back in running condition again, but machines seldom crashed on my shift because I kept them clean and oiled, and I checked for things that might be going wrong before they went wrong. In my dreams however, I often find myself in a factory, but it's not usually a paper bag factory. People seem to know who I am, and appear to be glad to have me there, but I don't have a clue as to what I am supposed to be doing for a living. Instead, I wander around, chatting with people, and trying to figure out what my job is. Often, I don't even known which part of the plant I am supposed to be in, or I'm not completely sure that I work there, and I am afraid that someone will realize that I'm confused. I have also attended several colleges, and taught in a few. I was the program chairman for the emergency medical technology program at two colleges at the same time. Yet, in my dreams sometimes, I am living in the dorms at a college but I don't remember what classes I am supposed to be taking, what time they meet, or where they are held. Sometimes, in my dreams, I am not sure whether I had actually even attended one class. It's not that I'm lazy or that I don't want to attend classes, but I don't know how to do so, or how to find out which classes I am enrolled in. As a paramedic, I was quite proud of not only knowing knowing what to do in an emergency but knowing why that is the right thing to do, whereas some medics would simply memorize algorithms. I have taught at every level of EMS, and was certified as an instructor in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Basic Trauma Life Support (BTLS), Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS), and other courses that physicians and nurses had to certify in, and complete recertification courses. Yet sometimes in my dreams, I have been hired as a paramedic, but I don't feel capable of handling anything serious. In my dreams, I am very much afraid that someone will find out that I don't know what I'm doing, or that someone will die because I don't know how to save them. Sometimes in my dreams, my certification has expired, yet I am working as a paramedic despite the fact that I am not certified to work as a paramedic. In real life, surely there have been times when I have been faced with things that I couldn't do well, but I have usually rose to the top of whatever it was that I was doing, or at least to a level where I was able to make decisions for myself, since I've never been willing to stay in a job where I simply had to do what someone told me to do, whether it made any sense or not. In other words, in real life, I have not considered myself to be incompetent, but in my dreams, I often am. Last night, in my dream, I was taking some class that had something to do with emergency medicine. There were only a few people in the class yet something was said that made me realize that everyone else was on a different page than I was. People were reading from texts that I didn't have, and didn't know that I was supposed to have. I am always afraid to ask anyone when I am confused about something. Even in real life, I would much rather try to figure something out for myself than admit that I didn't already know it. In my dream, the class moved from the first classroom we were in to another area. I made an excuse to return to the original classroom, hoping that I would be able to find the texts that I was missing. A security guard came to say that the area was going to be closed for the day, and to be sure to lock up the room when I left. Since I didn't have a key, being a student rather than an instructor in that particular dream, I locked the doors from the inside, then went into another room that I thought would lead me to be able to rejoin the rest of the group. Instead, I found myself in what appeared to be someone's house, and they were all speaking Chinese. I think I woke up about then.