Sweet end-of-term, how I’ve anticipated your arrival. With just four classes left, I can sense your presence all around me – in students’ exhausted faces, in the reappearance in class of faces I’ve not seen for weeks, in the ever-lengthening coffee line-ups on campus, in the tense buzz of library study spaces, and in my own tendency to lose time staring vacantly at my computer screen or out my office window. End-of-term, you complete me.
In just two short weeks, I will once again have great spaces of time in which to tackle my research, and coffee breaks on campus will feature some of my absolute favourite things about exam period: students gamely rushing the season, wearing flip-flops and shorts as soon as the temperature climbs a degree above zero, finding spaces to stretch out or to toss footballs between the remaining muddied-but-melting piles of snow and the still-brown and not-quite-thawed blades of grass. And let’s not forget the re-emergence of colleagues I’ve not seen for months, or the frenzied-but-sorta-fun preparation for all of those conferences it seemed such a good idea to apply to throughout the fall and winter. End-of-term, without you, this job would defeat me.
In clothing related news, I offer the following:
1. A teaching outfit, worn because both the dress and cardigan are springy & cotton, and because it’s possible to wear shoes, again – if one jumps carefully from one patch of bare concrete to the next, avoiding the frozen puddles, and keeping a damp cloth in one’s office with which to wipe away the splatters.
Cardigan: house brand at The Bay
Belt: I forget (remixed)
Shoes: Aerosoles (remixed)
2. Next, a more casual outfit worn to chair an evening public panel with a guest lecturer I brought to the city and a faculty member from my institution whom I really hope to work with in future. I had planned to change before the event, but there was so much to do beforehand that I barely made it from campus to pick up the speaker at her hotel on time. So this was it. Panicked or no, I had to chair in jeggings.
Cardigan: Nygard (remixed)
Necklace: mall anchor store
Dress: Chapter One (remixed)
Belt: Mexx (remixed ad nauseum)
Jeggings: impulse purchase by the register (purchased after seeing how awesome Terri’s looked)
Boots: Rieker (remixed)
I also wore this for the painfully awkward dinner with the speakers and a couple of students before the panel. Why are academic dinners so awful? Awkwardness brings out the absolute worst in me; I always feel compelled to break the tension through jokes and silliness. The job market trained me out of these habits, or so I thought. I managed to hold it together this time, but I feel my patience with the strained silences and too-careful small talk waning. But maybe it’s just end-of-term.
How do you tackle the awkwardness, StyleNation?
What strategies do you employ to keep the small talk flowing – but also to keep said talk from becoming painfully tiny and embarrassing?