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.