There is, appropriately, a dream. It is not a particularly interesting dream, but even uninteresting dreams are good places to learn about what is not. It goes like this:
She is alone in a dead place. She is comfortable, there, because dead things do not lie and dead places less still. She is still and she is playing mindless in the sand. Then: there is a sound, and she is no longer alone, because the sound has taken residence in the dead place with her. She greets the sound (but secretly she begrudges it greeting, because sounds are not dead, and so she is no longer safe). She hopes quietly (because sounds have excellent hearing, and she does not wish to offend) that it will leave her, but although she shares its company for as long as she can bear, it does not.
She sets toward the source of the sound. She worries that she may be drawn out of her dead place, but quickly she finds that this worry is unfounded; presently she finds a thing alone in the sand, singing. She wakes up.
This is the oddity: Jane recognizes the thing in the sand -- now, to her slowly-waking mind, the person. She doesn't think that's ever happened to her before. They're in one of the classes she TAs, she thinks? Some undergraduate kid. Maybe they came in for office hours, or something, and she forgot about it. A strange thing to dream about, in any case; she wonders how her mind fixated on this person (what was their name, anyway?) in the absence of any particular emotional attachment -- and why don't people show up, anyway, while emotionally-valent objects do? And why -- (here she forgets about the particular event that launched the chain of enquiry)
She doesn't think of it again until later. She's tutoring for an intro chem class, trying to explain orbitals to someone who really should've learnt this in high-school, when she spots a face that is slightly more familiar than it should be.