Monday, August 09, 2010

Ridiculous ramblings

I start teaching at Huntingdon 2 weeks from today. Oh my. I'm scared, excited, and, well, scared at the same time. And, whether it should be or not, thoughts about wardrobe have been on my mind a lot. What shoes are comfortable enough to traipse around campus all day (including standing for lectures) while still being stylish? How short is too short for a dress or skirt? Are long skirts automatically "bohemian" or "grandma-like"? Are "fancy" jeans ever appropriate? Should I wear my hair down or pull it back? Of course, I fully admit that this is ridiculous. I should be more concerned with what to do in the classes rather than what to wear to them.

But, you know and I know, that appearances matter. Before we knew and loved CAVC for being brilliant, we admired her style, her carriage, and her signature gold ring. :-) If I want to be taken seriously, my dress and deportment must set me apart from the students and demand respect. In order to be accepted by them, I have to be approachable and caring and not stand offish (not the easiest thing for me when I was a student as those of you who loved me anyway can attest). It's a fine line, really...especially for a 30 year old graduate student still mistaken for a college student from time to time. It makes me nervous. And, it has me thinking about some of my mentors through the years. What did they wear? How did they communicate authority while still endearing themselves to us? What should I copy? What should I refuse to carry on?

Anyone care to weigh in?

On a lighter note, I've been remembering some of the JC's faculty's "signature pieces." What do you think? Do I need the equivalent of CAVC's gold ring or Dr. Cobbs' scarves? There's no hope that I'll ever develop the impeccable taste of Mrs. Whisenhunt so let's not even go there. At this point, I'm feeling closer to Dr. Williams' signature plaid, and friends, I'm just not sure that's a good look for me.


Laura Forman said...

okay, so this post made me smile :) and you are so right, while you shouldn't be thinking about clothes, they are also important :) i don't really have any advice on clothes for a professor though...i will have to think on that :) i so can not wait to see you in a few short months!!! love you!!

Rachel said...

Do you read Beauty Tips for Ministers? There's a huge overlap between the sartorial challenges of a pastor and of a college instructor, especially when the person in question is young and female. PeaceBang of BTFM offers fun and fabulous advice on finding an appropriately authoritative and professional look, and why it matters.

Melissa said...

Okay, now I am just going to be honest and say the professors I respected at Judson did not earn my respect because of their wardrobe. It had everything to do with their fair and consistent treatment of students, willingness to step into our lives a bit and support our other activities, and of course the sense I got that they actually knew what they were talking about when they lectured or shared a lesson. I think these are all traits that you possess, and I know your students are going to love you.

I am super proud of you, friend.

Uhm - and lay off the plaid pants, the hopelessly long scarves and do I even need to ask you to not wear fake eyelashes?? ;o)

suzanah said...

I'm thinking red shoes. One for each day of the week. ;)
I am so excited for you!

bpeterson said...

I love this post! I wondered the same thing before I started at Judson and I did consider wearing the Captain Planet ring Susan got me! They'll love you for you, but I understand the questions. I dressed up more because I was afraid I would be mistaken for a student as well. Even though most of the professors and staff knew me! You'll be great no matter what you wear, but I do second the no plaid pants!

laurensmommy said...

This post just made me laugh. I appreciate your honesty in admitting that wardrobe and hairstyles are something that we all think about, although the are not the most important.

And I had completly forgotten about CAV(C?)'s gold ring! Maybe because I only had 2 classes with her? And although Eloise was one of my favorite teachers, I don't think it was because of her impeccable taste in clothes and shoes, it was because I felt like she really care if I did well or not as a student. I'm sure that you will do great!! :)

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