Friday, October 22, 2004

The Clothes Make the Class: How About Those SOX?

Jocalohas written a post about clothing as a form (use?)of rhetoric, describing what he wears, or chooses to wear to his classes at different points of the semester. I wonder if he has a category called "Oh shit, I forgot to do the laundry and now I'm scrounging around my closet for anything clean" ? I say this half jokingly--I'm in the process of scaling down my wardrobe to a few interchangeable things that I can wear because I am tired of doing laundry or forgetting about laundry. And I've realized that I don't need a lot of clothes, just a few sufficient, appropriate things to wear.

So today, to express my support as a Beantown baby, I'm wearing my husband's beloved Curt Schilling Tshirt. And a clean pair of slacks, my grey hoodie sweatjacket, pink (red were in the laundry)socks and Birkenstocks.

If I had the time or the energy, I'd love to create a lesson plan around the RS/Yankees rivalry, using mythology, economics, politics and urban legends. Maybe I will next year. What I'd really like is to hear from academic baseballistas who could examine the game in terms of economics, politics and urban legends.

I'll end with this--my nieces, living in Massachusetts, were taught kindergarten math by means of the Sox. Their teacher had a big red sock that she gave to a child each week, and said child was supposed to spend the week collecting numbers--uniform numbers, stats, scores--related to the Sox.


At 2:52 PM, Blogger clc said...

I don't have much to say about the baseball theme (I was rooting for the Sox mostly out of Yankee-hatred; I'm really more of a football fan), but the faculty/clothing thing is fascinating. My main goal is being-comfortable-without-looking-ridiculous, I'd say.

I've always favored jeans in the classroom, despite the argument many women faculty give that it isn't professional, grown-up, etc. I just don't care. I'm most comfortable in jeans (cords and khakis are ok, to a lesser extent), and people's opinions be damned! If I wanted to be forced to wear skirts, dresses, or (the horror, the horror) suits, I'd have gotten a job in the corporate world. I am convinced that pantyhose were invented only to torture women.

Sometimes I'll wear a blazer with jeans, but I've come to be more fond of sweaters, big shirts over t-shirts, and, when I wear khakis, my favorite denim shirt. Earrings and make-up are a must.

I do get mistaken for a student sometimes, and I have to admit, I treasure those moments. I know some faculty would find that really off-putting, but I just don't need my faculty status affirmed for me by anything other than the fact that I turn in the grade. My authority in the classroom has never been an issue (perhaps it helps that I'm almost six feet tall, but I think it's more that my students appreciate that I treat them like human beings and let them treat me the same way).

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Rosa G. said...

Hello, bluejean sister! I would live in bluejeans if it were possible. I wear jeans when my other clothes are in the laundry or during midterms and finals when I feel that comfort is more important than good looks. Looking professional in the classroom is somewhat different than looking professional on Wall Street. University, elementary, middle and high school teachers may all have different takes on what we should wear--I suspect that how and where we teach, our personal sensibilities and size of our servant staff all have something to do with it.

Jocalo made a distinction between uniform and costume dressing. I think that the longer I teach, I've become a uniform type (six years of Catholic school may have influenced me). My clothing is simple and few because I look better in simple, tailored clothing and because I have better things to do in my life (like getting back to reading Howard Tinberg) than ironing pleats and running to the dry cleaners. My environmentalist sensibilites are reasserting themselves, too, but that topic really isn't meant for this blog.

I wear slacks more often because I move around the room so much that slacks and flat shoes work so much better. Moving nto middle age, pantsuits have become my "dress up professional" clothes instead of skirts and jackets. The thing aboout dresses is that they are far more constraining in my worklife--climbing stairs in a long skirt while carrying books and bags is dangerous, for instance.

At 2:08 AM, Blogger jocalo said...

Sounds like you both find comfort and functionality (minimum laundry/cleaning) as primary factors in dress, which, as Rosa posits, puts you in the uniform category.

Of course, the Curt Shilling t-shirt is rhetorical. And clc didn't say whether her choices ever include t-shirts or caps with messages intended to affect students, if only to say "I'm not that scary even if I am a college English prof."

As for baseball lore: Game 1 came within one base of making World Series history. If Larry Walker had legged out a triple on his fourth hit (he settled for a double), he would have been the first player to hit for the cycle in World Series play. It's never been done in an All-Star game either.

I'm rooting for the Sox, because if they win a Series for the first time in 86 years, it will be a sign from God that he supports Red Sox fans like John Kerry.

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like God is a Democrat. Or Bostonian. Hooray! Rosa G.

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Clancy said...

clc! I'm so jealous of your tallness. I hear jocalo is tall too.

I teach in fairly dressy clothes for classroom management purposes, but other people might call them casual, I don't know. A typical outfit consists of dress pants from The Limited and a 3/4 length sleeve fitted cotton scoopneck shirt from Banana Republic. Then I might wear leopard-print boots or red crushed velvet boots with it; I get a little edgy with my accessories. Then other days I might wear a sweater, knee-length denim skirt and red cowboy boots.

At 10:07 PM, Blogger Rosa G. said...

Yeah, that's similar to what I wear--tailored sportswear--nothing that I'd ever be mortified if I accidently dragged a pen across it. Uniform or costume, I wonder if teachers at all levels don't adapt their wardrobe to fit what they teach and where. Or how. If I were less frenetic in class, I could see wearing a suit and heels, but tailored sportswear works best for me as I am always moving around a computer lab or classroom.

I did dress up in costume for Halloween a long time ago at a high school where I worked. I was a rough draft and dressed like a biker, with a pack of pencils in my rolled up Tshirt, "publish or perish" painted on my bicep, and teased my hair to an 80's big hair height. Cut off jeans and black boots finished the look. I think I blacked out some teeth, too, and on my other arm wrote "editor" inside a red heart. I was a rough draft, a tough draft, but I've been revised many times since then.

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