28 January 2009

Flimsy Stockings and Strong Support

Today was another one of those days of which we've already had too many this year: snow that fell in the wee hours of morning turned to sleet and slush by the middle of the day. I guess, in some way, it's an improvement over the last few days, when it wasn't even warm enough for snow to turn to sleet.

Now, any sensible woman of my age would've worn pants today. But who said I was that kind of woman? Instead, I wore a silk skirt printed in a sort of houndstooth pattern of blue, gray and black. With it I wore a charcoal gray turtleneck under a long cardigan-like sweater in a lighter shade of gray with a kind of pewter-colored sash.

So far, a nice winter outfit. I got compliments on it. And the sheer black tights worked with it. Well, I should say coordinated: They didn't work so well. I don't know how it happened, but by the time I got to school there was a big hole on the inside of the left calf.

Is it me, or do black panty hose tear or develop runs more easily than hoiery in any other color?

I made a joke about it with the first class I saw today. "If you want extra credit, don't notice the tear in my black pantyhose." A couple of the female students hummed and nodded knowingly. I guess it's one of those things about being a woman that nobody teaches you.

At least it was a cheap pair of panty hose.

Anyway...I don't think you came to this site to read about my wardrobe malfunctions. I certainly don't look as good in them as Janet Jackson did in hers during the Super Bowl halftime show a few years ago. Trust me, you'd rather've seen her outfit come undone than to see me lose the clothes I'm wearing.

About the class: It's the one about which I've been nervous. I may not have had reason to be. As I looked at the students and answered their questions, I realized something: They want to be there. It's not like the composition or research writing class all students at the college are required to take. I'd forgotten that not all classes are like that.

Also, I saw a few students who'd taken other classes with me. One took the Intro to Literature class with me four years ago, during my first semester at the college. She's actually one of the more intelligent and perceptive, if not happiest, students I've had. So, you can imagine how baffled I was when she wondered, "You're not going to hold what I did in that class against me?"

"What? The excellent work?"

"OK. I won't worry about it." She actually smiled.

Whatever I was supposed to hold against her, I've long since forgotten. I'm so sorry to disappoint her. She'll live with it, though.

I could feel her and that class energizing me. I may not be a hip-hop expert and I am making up the course as I go along. But any teacher who gets energy from his or her students will do all right. I hope that's the case for me, in that class.

So Poetics and Rhetoric of Hip-Hop here I come. I've told the students that most of them know more hip-hop songs than I do, and they could use songs that aren't mentioned in class as part of their papers and presentations. "So you're going to teach me, too. That's the dirty little secret of teachers: That's what we become in order to learn.

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