Well, I’m back from the brink, though not yet in the pink. Here are two more things about me:
3. I live in the upstairs flat of a pink house. While it is a lovely, lovely apartment, I think that the brilliant pink of the house, painted by my landlords who live downstairs, sold me on it. I knew that living in a pink house in this new city where I didn’t know anyone would bring me some cheer in the lonely damp that can pervade this place at times. And it does.
4. At this moment, I have pink hair. For reasons that I will not go into on this forum, I have had a trying time of late which culminated last week in a very long and unpleasant confrontation with professional arguers. For better or worse, it is over now. As a result I am feeling somewhat rebellious and so I did this:
I love it. I do query the professional read on this, however. I think a lot about what I wear in the classroom (hence the blog) and I find that I strive to balance the professional (and professorial) with personal style. That said, I do not work in a law office, nor is my department especially conservative (though some department members do fall on the conservative side, style-wise), so I think I can get away with this with few raised eyebrows (though there will definitely be a few raised eyebrows). The thing is, we all work hard to offer fresh and interesting work in our fields; indeed, especially as young scholars we are hired based on our potential for the new eyes we can cast on the artefacts we study. In my classroom, I also work hard to find new ways to reach students who are increasingly resistant to traditional teaching methods, and I am encouraged to do so. With this in mind then, why shouldn’t my personal style reflect something original and extraordinary, if that is what is valued in my work? That said, I don’t think I would ever dye my hair pink for a job interview and I’m glad that I don’t have a meeting with the Dean on my schedule within the next two weeks (it’s semi-permanent and will wash out eventually). But I also think that I am lucky to find myself in a department where the concept of academic freedom seems to be extended to our personal style as well (cf. Casual Sockless) and I do not think that this will be frowned upon. If I did, despite how much I am feeling like a recalcitrant teen, I never would have dyed my fringe pink.
Since tomorrow is the debut, I am planning on conservative dress. I’ll let you know how it plays out.