Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Summer Teaching Fashion

I should be finishing up my few last student evaluations before a set of papers comes pouring in later this afternoon. I should be writing and filing the paperwork on a lingering student portfolio that's due today. I REALLY should be reading and preparing for a paper I have to give in (gulp!) three weeks.

Instead, I'm thinking about the particular sartorial economies of summer teaching. Yes, my friends, I have made the deal with the devil: in exchange for teaching one fewer class during the school year proper, I'll be teaching it during the summer. Granted, it's in a super-short session, and also granted that it's prep work for a research project I'll be undertaking with Yogini, but it's still summer, and it's still teaching. To top it off, I also have a two-week workshop to attend this summer (with other faculty) and finally, a meeting in Hell-Ay (to quote Ted Casablanca, of all people! [*sidenote*: oh my god, did all of you know that TC's real name is "Bruce Bibby"?!! Wikipedia, teh internet's gift to pop culture freaks.]).

So, what does all of this amount to? A lot of hot, sticky weather, and the need to look semi professional at the same time. Here's the problem: being a desert girl, when hot weather rolls around, all I want to wear is shorts and t-shirts and flip flops. Every summer, I make a pilgrimage to Old Navy, in which I buy 6 x-large boy's t-shirts (just the right size, and $6 a pop), a couple of pairs of khaki shorts, and that's generally my wardrobe for the next 3 months. Because I SWEAT, people!! A LOT!! And there's no use buying good t-shirts, or, God forbid, real shirts, that are just going to be trashed at the end of the season!

Clearly, this kind of wardrobe isn't going to hack it for teaching, and my guess is that it probably won't do for either of my other summer activities either. So what is the appropriate balance between professionalism and summer? Do you advocate dresses? Capri pants? Denim miniskirts and Uggs?

Suggestions welcome!



Blogger Ashley said...

This, in a nutshell, is why I'm secretly glad that my summer class looks likely to get cancelled for lack of enrollment. (That, plus the fact that I'm starting to be on the point of dismembering any student who so much as looks at me sulkily).

But. It will likely come as no surprise to you that I embrace the capri for summer teaching, but recently I've been making the move to skirts and kitten-heeled sandals (because flip-flops are for grad students. [or are they?]). And my new secret weapon? Boden. Booooooooden. Mumsy enough to say RESPECT ME FOR I AM OLDER THAN YOU, but cute enough that I don't feel like I'm walking around in an Eddie Bauer catalog.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Flavia said...

Nice-ish sleeveless tops, preferrably with a scooped neck. I own like six of these in silk knits (I usually buy then at Ann Taylor or wherever at the end of the season). Paired with nice-ish lightweight skirts or wide-legged, lightweight pants (twill or cotton or whatever--khakis, basically). A big funky necklace or a scarf can dress the outfit up, too, if the components are otherwise a little on the casual side.

In the summer I LIVE in black tank tops and wide-legged pants or skirts, and I consider the above just the "dress" version of the same.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 2:25:00 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

one of the many reasons I don't like teaching summer session...but my department gets fairly casual during summer, so I wore pants and button down shirts, sometimes even jeans.

Sunday, April 08, 2007 1:40:00 AM  

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