[ Patience, please. ]
More odd dreams: perhaps not surprisingly this one involves my first day of teaching a new class. A bit odd about this is I was clearly teaching a high school class, and it looked like a class in my old high school from several generations ago, before Microsoft invented AOL and gave us the Internet. I realize on the way to work that, somehow, the clothes I have on are unacceptable -- I think they were yesterday's clothes -- and take them off, expecting to find a suitable replacement in the prep area, somehow. And of course I don't, and with the start of class I can't go back to my car or wherever it was the old clothes were left, if they still existed at this point.
So, with no alternatives and class about to start I wrap a towel around myself, which to my surprise -- this must have been a dream -- is large enough to wrap neatly around my body. (That's not really an impossible thing; it's just my mother, who does the towel-buying at home, gets shorter towels.) Remarkably, none of the class seems to find it worth a snicker that they're being taught by a quite dry man in a towel.
What they do find amusing is that I can't find a working dry-erase marker to use on the whiteboard. There are an abundance of markers on the little tray in front of the board, and in the supply cabinet -- which is open on one side, but also has a pair of doors that open with less fighting than usual for school metal supply cabinets -- but they're all dried out or else so faint as to be unreadable in case of harsh lighting conditions such as there being lighting. Finally, though, I try one of the uncapped markers and find it makes a quite suitable red mark, and another one of the uncapped markers is a good black. Given two solid colors like that I can explain one-dimensional finite-element methods in under 85 minutes and leave room for odd, rambling diversions about Erich von Stroheim (I've done this in reality); if I get a third color I can do multidimensional ones. So things were looking good as the dream ended and I started polling my students about slopes.
Trivia: In 1692 Daniel Defoe bought seventy civet cats for perfume manufacture and invested £800 in the Africa Company. By 1694 he was declared bankrupt for losses of £17,000. Source: Devil Take the Hindmost, Edward Chancellor.
Currently Reading: Ball Four: 20th Anniversary Edition, Jim Bouton.