Things that are Distant though Near (also, Office Pyjamas)

Greetings, StyleNation, from this frigid and seemingly-eternally snowy northern city. How’ve you been?

Things here at IPF, Northern Division, have been redonk* busy. Having co-hosted a multi-day, multi-speaker festival in January, I’m now scrambling to write two grant proposals, keep up with teaching, and meet a March 1st deadline in my newly established academic writing group.

* redonk = the ridiculous way of typing/saying ridiculous

Other Stuff, Scroll Down for Outfit Post

In related news, the course on violence-against-women (and feminist analyses/responses to the same) I’m teaching this term has been unexpectedly exhausting, both intellectually and emotionally. More specifically, it has triggered a bunch of personal crap for me. Following last week’s discussion of the worldwide pervasiveness of sexual assault, for example, sleep between midnight and 3am was replaced by a memory loop of the sounds of my former roommate’s rape. Moreover, I am struggling to find and share appropriate support resources for my students, many of whom have written in their assignments – despite my repeated advisories that academic space is not necessarily safe space for such disclosure – about their experiences of intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Once more, from a purely individual perspective, I feel like I am drowning and have had to engage in self-care, despite all pending deadlines.

Outfit #1: Office Pyjamas

Fortunately, Reading Week, the Canadian equivalent of Spring Break (woot!), happens very soon. In honour of such beautiful respite, my Sei Shōnagon-inspired list for today’s post is “Things That are Distant Though Near.”

Things that are Distant though Near: 

5. Reading Week

Sal’s post on accessorizing – specifically scarf-tying – is the partial inspiration for this outfit, designed as Office Pyjamas for a non-teaching day.

home office

Pj’s: Tall Girl; Robe: made and gifted by Mom; Velour slippers: Joe Fresh

Just kidding. Those are home office pyjamas, the combination I want to wear every day, especially when it’s cold, dark, and snowy. In reality, however, I wore this. Thanks to Sal, these pj’s are supplemented with a sparkly scarf – in honour of the very senior woman with whom I met this afternoon. We had  coffee and discussed tenure and promotion (i.e. my accomplishments to date, and my future in academia):


Chambray & linen tunic: DKNY (via Winners, remixed); Teal, purple, & silver poly-cotton & rayon scarf: Winners (no tag – I hate tags on scarves); Teal long-sleeve cotton T: Smart Set (remixed); “Silver” link bracelet: local gardening store (weird source, no? They’re also the only place selling Desigual designs in my city.); Brown cords/leggings: Smart Set; Brown leather boots: Rockport (old, re-soled – including addition of “winter tread” – multiple times because they are just that great)

Boot and pantal close-up (for what it’s worth, given my abysmal photography):


all stuff (all 2 things) as above

Things that are Distant though Near (cont’d):


4. Old friendships, especially for those who move between cities


2. Inverted poses in yoga (for me, at least)

1. The past/future


Have you anything to add, StyleNation?

What or who is simultaneously far away

and torturously close to you of late? 

26 thoughts on “Things that are Distant though Near (also, Office Pyjamas)

  1. Pingback: Things that can be seen comfortably | In Professorial Fashion

  2. Pingback: Occasions That Induce Half-heartedness | In Professorial Fashion

  3. I want your home pyjamas! We haven’t had active heat in my house for about a month, so it is pretty frigid.
    What’s near but far?
    Decent weather
    Our spring break (which will be followed by a fun conference in San Francisco)
    My cat learning not to make a lot of noises when we sleep (because he really wants food again- obesity and feline diabetes seem to be his new life goal)
    June 16!

    • Please tell me June 16 is not the final day of your term. Also, what’s up with your heat? It’s super-cold there, no? Isn’t that against the law or whatever?

      Finally, as far as your yelly cat is goes, well, it’s important to have goals. Dreams, even. My first-year students remind me of this all the time. Right after they assert the importance of “being yourself” and “equality” of all people.

  4. What you’re describing when teaching your sexual violence class is completely normal. Secondary trauma is common to researchers of sexual violence and other traumas, and it often can bring back painful memories. That may not lessen the pain, but perhaps knowing you are not alone can bring some reassurance. When I taught a similar class a couple of years ago, I was fortunate to have only one self-identified survivor, yet the class was often emotionally draining. One day I invited counselors from our university Counseling Center to talk to the students about recognizing possible symptoms (paranoia, sleep disruptions, random physical aches, fear, or dread of the class, etc) and about dealing with stress. I’m glad you have this blog space to use to talk through your experience. A counselor would also be a useful support during the course. Good luck.

  5. Dude. I don’t have much to add that others haven’t already said so I’ll just repeat that you’re clearly offering an important space & support for your students that they feel safe in. This is such an incredibly valuable thing, particularly as these spaces seem increasingly fewer & farther between. Again, similarly to others, I hope that you’re finding some ways to look after yourself.

    As for things that are far, yet near: finishing the lecture for my first class tomorrow, the committee meeting where we rank the freshman scholarship applications that I’ve spent and will spend hours I don’t have reading this week, sending back the project that will never end, conference time in a city very near Rinty the Crusher.

    • Yep, your week sounds utterly hellacious. Also, when’s your conference? March? April? Inquiring minds need to know.

      Thanks for your other comments, too. I promise I wasn’t digging for these, but it’s nice to read ’em nonetheless.

  6. Far yet near:

    A new job
    A weekend at the cottage with fam, Wheatens and Russians
    A kitchen aid stand mixer (oops…..this is not Xmas list!)

    As painful as it is, you have obviously created a bubble that FEELS safe to your students, which I hazard to say is a tremendous accomplishment in itself given their horrific experiences. Being a good human such as you has long hours and takes an emotional toll……but the compensation of lives touched, pain eased and healing started will be worth it.

    That said, you owe that same compassion to yourself….. So book that laying down and hugging session, buy some shoes, pour some vino and cuddle FR or FR’s puppy…or both, and make the hubs slow down for a sec with you.

    • Ha! Just how easy is it for you to fall into xmas list mode at any given list-making point? Also, item 2 on your list is getting added to mine so that we can have a phone date to discuss!

      Finally, thanks for your other comments. As noted above, was mos def not fishing but am sooo appreciative nonetheless.

      p.s. Seriously: phone date soonly!

  7. 1. Reading week!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2. A new coat of paint
    3. Job security
    4. Getting home from work tonight and NOT having to stress about any more ridonkulousness.
    5. Taking time to post here more.

    Hang in. You are doing something important for your students. Something they may not ever get anywhere else. But you are also right to take care of yourself, too. I would love to have you as a colleague, too, if not for the work you take on, for your knack for office jammies.

  8. Far yet near? The curb in front on my house, currently somewhere under a 5′ snowbank. “Free time.” Acceptance that I really do need more sleep than I currently allow myself to have.

    On that last point, please do take care of you. Emotionally, mentally, psychologically, whatever particular cluster of you gets hit during student discussions and disclosures around sexual assault. I deeply admire you for making space — even if it’s not necessarily a safe space, academic as it is — for those conversations, and for having the heart to hear and read your students’ views and experiences. I could spout off a bunch of theory about the terrible responsibility of witnessing trauma — because that is exactly what you are doing for your students even as it triggers your own trauma — but mostly I just want to give you a hug, pour you a glass of wine, and try to make you laugh. Take care, lady.

    Last but not least, that tunic is fantastic, and I love how you’ve styled it.

    • Uh-oh. Are you carving much-needed leisure time out of sleep hours? Also, some day very soon, we shall have some “free time” together. Possibly it will happen in a place with pools, sparkly shows, and potentially-pantless computer-generated blackjack dealers. (Probably we should have a phone date and discuss.)

      Also – and this goes for you and Rinty – I love having smart friends. Thanks for your comments.

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