Red Week in a Dark Month

Huzzah! Another week survived! With an emphasis on the “survived,” this week. Whilst I wait to hear from Dorky Medievalist about her epic day, I thought I might check in with you, internet, to see how you fared this second-last week of the dark month of March. So, how did it go?

My own week was trying. In addition to my end-of-term exhaustion and a series of meetings with students who are either excited or panicking about their final papers, I had another an exchange/incident with a student that has left me feeling angry and a tad rattled.

I had a student follow me back to my office, block my office door once inside, refuse to sit down, and loudly insist that concessions be made in order for him to pass a course he’s shown little interest to this point in passing. He left when it became clear that I could/would not make the concessions he demanded, but not before repeating his demands a number of different ways and in increasingly loud tones.

During the exchange, I was angry, but, I think, clear and professional. Afterward, I was angry and shaken. Not because I’m afraid of this student; he’s really just a more violent version of the usual subset of students I see this time of year: he’s realized that he needs this writing credit, and he’s trying to find someone else to blame for having screwed the pooch all term. I was angry because, for reasons related to some of the ideas he’s expressed in his writing this term, I feel fairly certain he wouldn’t have acted this way with a male professor. And I suspect that gender has a LOT to do with why he tried to intimidate me this way.

I won’t be meeting with him alone in my office, again, of course. So, really, the problem ends there. Or it should. But as I was walking to my car today, I found myself thinking how lucky it was that I don’t teach at night. And then I was furious. I can’t help but ruminate on how unfair it is that his inability to manage his time or take my course seriously has resulted in my living in fear of being attacked.

So, really, I still hate March. And I hate it just a little bit more this year.

In more appropriate blog-related news, red leather items helped me survive the week. These boots are surprisingly comfortable, and I love building outfits that feature them. I would have preferred to wear my black 3/4-sleeve cardigan, but it’s in the wash. Flowers were my only option:
Dress: FYLO Nylon
Cardigan: Red
Camisole: H&M
Tights:
Hue
Boots: Miss Mooz
Watch: Timex (it was my grandfather’s)

And this red skirt rustles when I walk, is smooth and professional, and is not nearly as shiny as this picture makes it look. It’s also a LOT of skirt, so I try to keep everything else basic. Sadly, this black cashmere-mix sweater is on its last legs. It’s starting to get wavy around the bottom and a tad threadbare under the arms. I’ve not let it go, yet, because it’s such a perfect basic piece and I can’t find another like it. ‘Any suggestions? And finally, the shoes aren’t shown here since I forgot them under my desk in my office. ‘Good thing this guy decided to do a cameo appearance.

Sweater: Gap
Skirt: Danier (via Value Village 8 years ago)
Hose: Hue (I’m a Hue addict, in case you’ve not noticed, yet)
Watch: Timex (remixed)
Dog: Fuzzy Roommate (the guy who won’t hold still when I actually want him in the shot)

8 thoughts on “Red Week in a Dark Month

  1. Academic Writer: Hey, exactly what you've described has happened to me (in my first semester) and my friend/colleague, who teaches at a genteel liberal arts college (She said, "it was exactly the same, but without the excellent outfits"). It sucks that this happens to us. I know it has to do with us being women and young. (Perhaps said lunky students would take the class more seriously if I were male). I was physically blocked from leaving a class, at night, in my urban school, and I was so scared after wards that I was shaking. While I take the subway, Koo has gotten scared as she goes to her car, like you. My male mentor was furious that it happened and luckily the student never came by again, but it really shook me up that a student would try to use physical intimidation to try to coerce me. While I agree that it sucks that this happens, I am glad that there are strong intelligent women who teach young men like this. Maybe not in the short term, but perhaps in the long term, being exposed to smart, authoritative female educators may have a good effect.I love these outfits. Those boots are great with that lovely cardigan and I seriously dig your red leather skirt. And the dog. The best fashion accessory of all.

  2. I'm pissed to hear that this has happened to you and to your friend, RIB. Now I'm curious to know if anyone's done research on this stuff of late. Maybe I'll do a quick search or two this week.Also, I like that you look to the future here, and I really hope that we're one of the last generations to experience this kind of crap in and outside the classroom on campus.And finally, DM, your confidence in my abilities is so nice to read right now. As I obsess over every nuance of this week's lectures and lecture outfits, trying to ensure that I give no reason for any further disrespect. p.s. I'm glad ya'll are cool with the flowery cardi. It's sort of one of my guilty pleasures. As I was posting that picture, I was thinking how maybe I should just describe that outfit, just in case it was grannyish!

  3. I'm not sure if this is better or worse but I shared your story with a colleague recently, AW, and she told me that her husband, who is also an academic, has had similar experiences with male students. Equal opportunity I suppose, but I have met this woman's husband and at least in terms of physical parity, I think he still has an advantage that we do not have.Nonetheless, this has nothing to do with anything you do, or wear, in the classroom or outside of it. I'm fairly certain that my colleague's husband did not waste time thinking that he was at fault in any way. And neither should you.

  4. I'm pissed to hear that this has happened to you and to your friend, RIB. Now I'm curious to know if anyone's done research on this stuff of late. Maybe I'll do a quick search or two this week.Also, I like that you look to the future here, and I really hope that we're one of the last generations to experience this kind of crap in and outside the classroom on campus.And finally, DM, your confidence in my abilities is so nice to read right now. As I obsess over every nuance of this week's lectures and lecture outfits, trying to ensure that I give no reason for any further disrespect. p.s. I'm glad ya'll are cool with the flowery cardi. It's sort of one of my guilty pleasures. As I was posting that picture, I was thinking how maybe I should just describe that outfit, just in case it was grannyish!

  5. It is remarkable, and disheartening, how often these things happen to female professors and how irregularly this happens to our male counterparts. I know that AW is a hard-ass, no-nonsense and excellent professor (who was recently officially commended for this), so it is nothing other than the perception of "female prof" that allows for this to happen. What I mean is that I doubt that AW's male colleagues are as adept at establishing authority in their classrooms as she is. I definitely believe that her male colleagues don't have to work as hard to establish it, or especially, to maintain it. And that sucketh.

  6. Academic Writer: Hey, exactly what you've described has happened to me (in my first semester) and my friend/colleague, who teaches at a genteel liberal arts college (She said, "it was exactly the same, but without the excellent outfits"). It sucks that this happens to us. I know it has to do with us being women and young. (Perhaps said lunky students would take the class more seriously if I were male). I was physically blocked from leaving a class, at night, in my urban school, and I was so scared after wards that I was shaking. While I take the subway, Koo has gotten scared as she goes to her car, like you. My male mentor was furious that it happened and luckily the student never came by again, but it really shook me up that a student would try to use physical intimidation to try to coerce me. While I agree that it sucks that this happens, I am glad that there are strong intelligent women who teach young men like this. Maybe not in the short term, but perhaps in the long term, being exposed to smart, authoritative female educators may have a good effect.I love these outfits. Those boots are great with that lovely cardigan and I seriously dig your red leather skirt. And the dog. The best fashion accessory of all.

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