Perhaps it's the ease with which I claimed the Border's educator discount this weekend, but I've been thinking about my style. And, I've come to the conclusion that I really am a teacher.
Not quite like this woman - and let's be honest, my students are also nowhere near this eager - but I find myself dressing in teacher-esque clothing. On and off the job. Allow me to lay it out for you.
Today I taught. So, my clothes were appropriately business casual. This is new for me this semester. My first year, I worked out the tortured humanities man chic. This meant a lot of oxford shirts, several ties, sweater vests and other layering pieces. A trusty sport coat. An ever-present pashmina scarf. And pants. Always pants. Every once in a while, I threw the ladies a teaser with a long strand of pearls on top of the otherwise man-ish clothing. I gained and maintained authority through my actions, not my clothes.
Back to this year - I rediscovered the glorious body shapes created by nice fitting women's clothes. And full on women's clothes, not just man-inspired women's pieces. So, this semester, I'm really dressing the part of a teacher.
Today I reached the high point, though, I think. I wore black dress pants (lined, even!), a colored wrap shirt with a delicate vertical stripe, a floral patterned sweater, and - get this - practical shoes. While it did contain two different patterns, the entire outfit was made up of black, white, and tan. Classy, but teachery as well. And about the practicality of the shoes... they are black flats and amazingly comfortable. They are perfectly teachery because I could probably wear them for several days (including brisk evening walks) and suffer no ill effects, however, their basic black flat-ness makes them acceptable for the lady interested in keeping up appearances.
And though I might still be a ways off from Doris Day's teacher look, I have found there are perks to dressing the part. For one, students hold doors open for me. Other teachers smile at me in the halls. That one really confused me for a while, I figured there must be someone behind me. Nope! Just me and the shared understanding of teaching these jokers.
In conclusion (You'll have to forgive me the phrase, I have 20 papers to grade tonight.), though my style is possibly becoming a bit staid in the classroom, there is an upside. My odd out of the classroom style is now just seen as an extension of my quirky teacher personality.
And, do you know what? I love being the quirky teacher.
Ah...and before I stop, one story from today's class.
I was teaching my students about Aristotelian argument, pathos to be specific. In order to illustrate the emotional appeal, I began explaining the oft referenced example of pandas on melting ice caps. I got a little bit annoyed at the student interrupting me AGAIN with his hand raised and his face skeptical.
Student: "Did you say 'pandas on melting ice caps'?"
Me: "Yes, the panda bear ice cap argument is one often used to elicit a reaction from people about global warming..."
"But..." he interrupts again, "don't you mean polar bears?"
"Yeah...what did I say?"
"You definitely said panda bears were on ice caps..."
"Ah...right, yes, we pity panda bears for their scarcity and their mating issues. Two bears with very different emotional responses."
We all had a good laugh over that one, but they won't forget pathos. :)
I also said, "We've all been under a president" and by an extreme exercise of will was able to not call myself out with "that's what she said" or another similar quip.
Ugh...so am I the most awkward quirky teacher or what?