Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Megastore Recommends: Back-to-School Edition.

Serious Professor. From A Serious Man. 
1. Start slow. Let me ask you, Professor So Serious: why are you in such a hurry? Are you afraid the kids won't think you're serious if you don't scare the bejesus out of them the very first day by having a rigorous, killer discussion and also throwing your professorial weight around, already? Hey, Professor: leave them kids alone, and while you're at it, cut yourself a break too. Is it not August? Is it not, therefore, still summer, if only the last remainder? So go in there, meet the kids, point them in the direction of a syllabus, do a couple of magic tricks, crack a joke, and hightail it outta there. They'll be all, my professor is chill. And you are: you are chill. You're chillin' with a couple of minutes to spare, because you took my advice. You started slow.

[parenthetical note: does the above recommendation make my ass look lazy?]

The Answer.
2. Sandwich. Is the answer to pretty much all the questions on the first day of class. For instance:

On the first day of class, what should I have for lunch? Why, a sandwich.

When will class be over? Just in time to go grab a sandwich.

Where shall I eat my sandwich? On the patio. Near the cafeteria. Where they make the sandwiches.
Do I need to buy the textbook--are you really going to use it? or can I just scam off the class discussions? I don't like your attitude, but I'll feel better after I eat a sandwich.

3. Keep an outfit in reserve. "What shall I wear for the first day?" I asked the historian last night. "Comfortable shoes," he said, sensibly, although not entirely helpfully. (see #4 below for more on this point.) Shoes are important, but what about the clothes? Like every college professor in the land--okay, community college professor in the land--I have been stocking up on teaching outfits since before the weather got hot, so there is truly no shortage of possibilities. But it's August, am I
Or I could just wear this.
right? And thus it is still summer, if only the last remainder, so that means sweaters are for suckers. Ditto boots. Ditto anything that touches the body, basically. So the possibilities are not actually all that robust. As I considered the question, I recognized how I had been wearing, literally, the same four things all summer long, and my outfit assembling skills were thus a little rusty.

I'm sure you know what that means: black. Yes, I took the coward's way out and wore a black skirt, a black shirt, and black shoes. I tried to make up for it with badass accessories, but I'm not sure that the message came across--I might have been too busy contemplating the sandwich I was soon to eat when class was over to convey any simmering badassery.

Anyway, the point is this: even if my outfit today was a little predictable, I still have outfits in reserve. I have backup outfits. Today, I was perfectly presentable and pulled together, and I still have outfits yet untold. Outfits yet to be imagined! It's a good feeling, the people, a good feeling indeed.

The Lord help us if it comes to this.
4. Comfortable shoes, or shoes that live in the neighborhood of comfort. Recently, I have declared to many, many people that I will wear no more uncomfortable shoes forever. This is nonsense, of course, because I have so many, many shoes that are not comfortable. I am parting with them, one two three pairs at a time. (Pro tip: if you're in the "getting rid of uncomfortable shoes" game, I suggest wearing the shoes first, since the actual sense memory of how your feet feel just after you've worn them is a direct motivator.)

Anyway: on the first day of classes, you've got your walk in from the parking lot, schlepping your stuff. You've got your walk up the stairs. You've got your walk to class, you've got your walk back to your office, you've got your walk across the quad to get your sandwich. Your walk back, your walk to the car, etc. That's a lot of walking, Professor Fancy Shoes. So get real, and pack a pair of super comfortable shoes in your bag. You can put them on once you're done with the part of your day that calls for Fancy. That's what I did, and I call it genius.


  1. Not gonna lie, Professor McPhysicsTeacher did not follow your advice. Homeboy... rather, Professor Homeboy was like "Here's your syllabus, now let's cover the first four chapters of the book." Please post this blog in common areas for professors.

  2. Brilliant. Every bit.

  3. I am 100% with you on the "let's put our toes in the water" policy for the first day of class. We have plenty of time for deep-water swimming. The shoes? I approve. Clothes? I'm getting so cheap in my olden times. Only 25% off with faculty discount on Thursday at the Thrift Store--which happens to be today. May I find outfits that will be no match for your finer choices.

  4. I agree, except the shoes. I wear fancy shoes all day everyday. My advice is to invest in a pair of comfortable fancy shoes. And double bonus when it snows i don't go to class because the people who plow and salt the walks at the U are Douche-bags and think that they should clear the walks three days after it snows. For further clarification on why shoes mean everything watch Kinky Boots.

  5. You excel at badassery blogging. Let it be said.



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