The dream started in the classroom, a room full of a little over a dozen students, including myself, studying for hospital work. We were working our way through large, 4-inch binders full of paperwork and worksheets and tests.
The girl sitting next to me noticed I was drawing close to the end of the binder when she leaned over to me and reminded me not to forget to pick up the next set of pages to be added to the binder.
"How far up does it go? I'm already up to 92."
"Ninety-six now, apparently. News to me too," she added at my look of annoyance.
The new units weren't sitting out on the table at the front of the classroom like usual, so I went to the teacher and waited until she finished conferring with another student at her desk to the left side of the room.
"I've been told I'm missing the latest pages for my binder. I have up to 92."
"First you'll have to choose who you're starting with, little boys or little girls." Before I could respond, she interjected, "I know you're aiming for a lab position, but it's a new requirement for all incoming students to start work with patients. ALL incoming students. Nothing I can do about it." She patted my hand and waited.
"Boys," I said without hesitation.
She looked surprised. "Well, good on you. The rest of the classes mostly chose girls." She entered some keystrokes into her computer, and it quickly printed out a handful of new pages. "Here's your schedule, rooming assignment, and internship welcoming package. I'm sure there will be no shortage of work for you, So you'll be on your way to the labs in no time."
She passed me a box of the new stuff, and when I looked up I noticed that all of the others in my class had boxes of their own.
"What about the rest of my classes?"
"This is it until you complete it, the rest are cancelled. And don't expect to have much in the way of free time."