The other night I had a dream, strange and disturbing.
I was in a class, literature maybe;
the unseen teacher shared a text with us, told us
to go home and write an essay about the text, then
assign ourselves a grade, the number of points the essay earned.
Angry, I complained to anyone who’d listen:
This isn’t fair!
Where is the rubric?
What are we grading ourselves on?
How do we know how many points to give ourselves when we
don’t know how many are possible???

My dreams moved on, but the anger remained.
In the morning I thought again about the dream.
And it occurred to me, that’s life, isn’t it.
We perform tasks, act out our roles,
but there’s no rubric.
No one tells us what we’re being graded against,
how many points are possible,
what our goal should be,
how long we have to seek it.
We muddle through, making the best choices we can.
We only hope our points add up.

:: Juliane McAdam