Monday, January 22, 2007

My Body, My Self

There are some basic teaching tips that every teacher-to-be learns early on. Don't leave a group of five-year-olds alone for longer than thirty seconds. Don't give a 16-year-old a choice if you're not okay with both possible outcomes. And don't ever single out a student for a physical distinction.

By that last one, I mean that you just never know what your students might be self-conscious about, so it's best to err on the side of caution. Don't say something like, "Wow, your hair is very curly!" For all you know, that kid has been teased for years about her hair, and your bringing it up is just going to haunt her. It's just not something you should ever do.

You'd think experienced teachers would know that, right? But apparently not. Today in my class (my own class at college, not the class I teach at high school), I volunteered to take notes on the board. So I stood up to walk to the board, and as I'm standing there, with the whole class watching, she says, "God, you're really tall!" Um, yes, I am, and thank you for pointing that out to everyone so they can all stare at me. Good times, really.


And with that, let's move on with the TMI Meme we started yesterday. Time for PART TWO: APPEARANCES

1. Insert a picture of yourself here:

Um, okay. Because you commanded so forcefully, and I do like forceful.

2. How important is the way you look to you?

Very. It comes part and parcel with being insecure and self-centered. It also makes being self-critical much easier, ‘cause boy is there a lot to criticize.

3. How self-conscious are you when it comes to your appearance?

Again, very. VERY. All the time.

4. How tall/short are you?

Tall enough that people comment on it in the middle of class. I’m about five-nine short. But I like to wear heels, and that often gets me closer to about six feet.

5. What color hair do you have?

Check the picture. It’s brown. Plain, ordinary brown. Except for the random auburn and blonde highlights.

6. How long is it?

Very short. Round about my ears. But then, you can see that in the picture, too.

7. What would you call your body shape?

What would *I* call it? Ugly. What would most people call it? Um… I actually don’t know. I don’t often ask. My roommate claims hourglass, and J. concurs. What would you call it?

8. Are you happy with it?

No. I’m fighting a constant battle these days between being thrilled about dropping pounds and being concerned about the numbers on the scale. Currently, the thrilled part is still winning. I think round about 120 the concerned part will take a much larger role.

9. How do you dress, and why?

For school, I generally dress fairly nicely – slacks or skirt with a blouse, sweater, etc. For my own classes or hanging out, I’m a fan of jeans and any comfortable top. Why? Because I like to, and it’s none of your damn business beyond that.

10. How long ago did you start dressing this way?

When I got a teaching job for the nice clothes. For the casual, it’s pretty much always been that way.

11. Do your friends dress similarly to you?

For the casual, yes. Many of my friends don’t have jobs with strict dress codes, though, so they often have the same wardrobe for work and leisure activities, whereas mine differs.

12. How is the way you dress reflective of your personality?

I like lots of variety, and I like to be put together and coordinated. Probably so that I won’t criticize myself too harshly.

13. What parts of your appearance do people compliment?

Someone once told me my eyes were pretty (though admittedly lately they’ve been red and blotchy from crying so much). Many people comment on the length of my legs, but usually in less of a “Wow, hot legs!” sense and more of a “Those are freakishly long!” way. And my new haircut has gotten tons of attention.

14. What parts of your appearance do people insult?

Depends what people we're talking about here. My brother? Pretty much all parts. My friends? None (to my face). Myself? Everything, pretty much all the time.

[More to come tomorrow.]


Day 22 of SaBloBoMo: The Mallory novels by Johanna Lindsey

As with the Cynster novels of Day 15, this is a series of historical romance novels centered on a family in England. The third novel of the series, Gentle Rogue (yes, the name is so stereotypical trashy romance novel, I know), was the first historical romance I ever read, and I loved it so much that I was hooked. Completely.

I love the characters in these novels, because they're all very witty and sarcastic, but underneath they are completely loyal and supportive of each other. Highlights of the various storylines include: the brother who kidnaps his neice and takes her pirating, the sister who saves herself from her brothers' fury by threatening to drop their priceless Ming vase, and the nephew who accidentally hits on his uncle's new wife before knowing who she is. Totally awesome books - probably my favorite romance novels of all time.


Dallas Blue said...

I'm 5'8 and people don't often say "Holy Crap, you're tall." Does that one inch make a huge difference?

Ho hum.

You're beautiful. Bugger off to your stupid professor.

Anonymous said...

I think you're super cute. And one of my many talents as a mouse is being cute, so I should know.

Anonymous said...

Doh! Franz beat me to it!

Ok, well then. He might've been first, but can he wield compliments and brandish French phrases of delight with my grace? No: he cannot.

Mademoiselle, vous ĂȘtes beau.

LaLa said...

I hate the tall comments too. I am 5' 11 or something like that. I get SO bored of the comments...

"What's the weather like up there?" (Nicer than where you are little man)

"Someone should put a brick on your head" (Not if I embed it in you skull first)

"Smoking stunts your growth, haha" (Well, that is obviously not concerning me) (And yes, I want to give up)

My vote is going for hourglass! Something along the lines of your body is what I am trying to achieve!

Amanda said...

I'm 5'10" bare foot. I love heels. I love my height. I didn't always, "No, actually I don't play basketball. Tell me, do you assemble nano devices with those pygmy hands of yours?" My friends in school were about 5 foot even, which now makes me wonder how I could have ever felt abnormal. 5', that's oddly short!

I say you have a weird prof...probably has a foot fetish and was trying to cover for what was really going on inside his/her head.

Caffeinated Librarian said...

Honey, your prof was simply commenting on your height. For all you know she could be a lesbian who thinks that tall women are irresistibly sexy.

Two links for you:

and (not to toot my own horn, but I reading your meme made me think of an old post)!A31D5515F954F70C!378.entry

Seems to be a common view among we women, huh?

Caffeinated Librarian said...

Well, daggnabbit. Let's try this again:




Anonymous said...

I think you should write an entry on why your physical appearance matters to you.

No doubt some might call me a very pragmatic kangaroo, but when it comes to physical appearances, my rule is simple: Be, and therefore look, as healthy and fit as one's body allows.

Anonymous said...

#13 is most definitely NOT true. You didn't get the nickname "leggs" because people thought they were freakish in any way. And every comment I heard included the word "hot", generally followed by an embarrassed "sorry" because they realized they were talking to your mother.
Here's another suggestion to try: every time you think or say a negative comment about yourself immediately follow it up with "cancel that" and then think a positive one (and no cheating by making it positively negative). I love you.

Teacher Anonymous said...

My mom is 5'9" and always figured that my sister and I would grow up to about the same height. I think she was dissapointed when we didn't (I certainly was). As my family is all rather tall (my mom had a pair of maiden great-aunts who, as shrunken down old ladies were still over 6' tall), my 5'6" height (average, really) makes me feel positively short. My grandmother is still taller than I am. On the up side, being at a university full of Asian people has definitely made me feel a bit more confident about my height.

Teacher Anonymous said...

My sister has settled on wearing tall shoes in order to achieve her desired height, possibly in an effort to dwarf me, since I'm forever pointing out that she's my little sister and 1" shorter.

Lara said...

sassy - well, i admit that i was wearing wedge heels. but damnit, i should be able to wear heels without being mocked.

franz - awww, thanks. *squeak* to you.

stephen - um... beau? really? hrm...

lala - yeah, i decided belatedly that i totally should have responded to her, "god, you are really tall!" with "wow, you are really not!" ha! haha! i crack myself up.

amanda - good for you for loving it. maybe someday i'll get there too. the pygmy hands remark had me laughing out loud. and a foot fetish, huh? you may be on to something there...

CL - thank you for the links. you can toot your own horn in my comments section all you want, especially when it's pertinent to my own horn-tooting blog (that was a weird sentence). and yes, sadly, the view is indeed common among many women.

kaitlin - okay, so are you just commenting multiple times per post now, or are others just imitating the original animal commenter style? and maybe i will, but i'm not sure the answer is all that interesting. i'll have to consider it more carefully.

mom - people talk to you about my legs? that's mildly disturbing. and yeah, my doc and i are going to be working a lot on self-esteem issues, so hopefully they'll start getting better. i'm trying.

teacher anonymous - i outgrew both my parents eventually, but both my grandfathers were/are 6'4". good times. your sister has a good idea there, but i can't necessarily do anything for the opposite direction. :-P

Anonymous said...

By my count I wrote one comment. I cannot speak for the other animals. I confess I find it rather odd your blog attracts so many.

Speaking of animals, I advise you to stay far away from that no-good Stephan the raccoon. French indeed! No doubt he picked up a few useful words while stalking the ladies from his perch in the English laurel near the Language Corner.