Professional or Waiter?

Friday morning I wore the “super-duper” professional outfit that I had planned to wear on Thursday, but didn’t.  I wanted to wear something that looked nice, but that was also comfortable.  And, to be honest, I didn’t shave my legs so pants was a good option.

Class was good; we covered the chapter on organizational strategies and informative speaking.  My Friday class is just now getting to this chapter.  I covered it earlier in the semester in my T/TR class, which I think made a little more sense, but hindsight is always 20/20.  For my Friday class, it ended up being a nice review.  Some of the things in the chapter they knew and were spot on, but then there were a few things that had slipped their mind.  So, all in all, it was good.

Blue button-up: J.C. Penney. Pearl drop earrings: J.C. Penney. Black vest: unknown. Black dress pants: J.C. Penney.  3 Strand pearl bracelet: Elder Beerman.  Silver Watch: Fossil. Pandora bracelet and charms: Gifts. Black reversible belt: Wal-Mart. Gray and black shoes: Payless.

After my students took their quiz over last weeks chapters and I lectured over the two chapters for this week, we had a little bit of time left.  I was able to show them some video examples of informative speeches.  I was glad that I was able to do this because next week we have 3 chapters on the syllabus to go over and I am pretty certain that there won’t be any time left to spare.  For my T/TR class, however, we will be watching video examples on Tuesday since we only have one chapter to cover.

It’s a little difficult having a different schedule for each class, but when I was planning the syllabus there were reasons why I chose to have different schedules.  I am pleasantly surprised that my Friday class is doing so well.  During the Spring semester my Friday class struggled a lot with the material.  That is the driving force behind the reasons why there are a different number of speeches in my Friday class and my T/TR class.  But, this group of students is on the ball and seem to be taking the time to read the chapters and do their homework.  Only time will tell.

What do you think? Do you like this outfit? Does it say professional or waiter to you? I also debated with the shoes. Originally, I had planned this outfit in my head with my black booties, but then I thought about my black oxford-esque shoes. Ultimately, I chose these gray and black shoes because the heel height was right and I thought they looked nice.
Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
-Carla

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50 Shades of Grey

I left my first day outfit up to chance and asked all of you to vote.  Sadly, the outfit that I thought was the best first day outfit did not win, but that didn’t deter me from wearing it on the 2nd day of class with my T/TR students.

The 2nd day of class was good.  It’s very hard to get a good read on people the first couple of days– everyone is trying to get situated.  I was sad to see that after Tuesday’s class I had 3 students drop.  Coincidentally, all 3 of the students sat in the front row the first night of class.  (I swear that I brushed my teeth and wore deoderant.)  I am trying not to take it personally, though.  I try to give my students and honest and realistic snapshot of what the class is about and the expectations for the semester.  It is better for students to drop right away if it’s not what they thought that it was, or they discover that now is not the best time to be taking the course.

The course is very demanding with writing the outlines and delivering the speeches, so I always tell students to take an honest assessment of their other classes and lives in general.  If they have another class that they anticipate is going to be very difficult, or they have a lot of responsibilities outside of school–work, family, etc., they really need to be honest about their chances of success.  And, that is the goal– to succeed.

The second night we talked about The Informative Speech process.  This new textbook breaks it down into a 5 step process.  It is also a good overview for the process of writing a speech.  It starts to get them familiar with some of the terminology that they are going to be learning: general purpose, specific purpose, central idea and the steps that they are going to take to complete the process.

The other nice thing is that it creates some redundancy.  They have heard me say some of this information from the Overview chapter we covered on Tuesday and the Informative speech chapter on Thursday.  They are also going to hear it again when we talk about Selecting a Topic and Purpose.  I hope that this redundancy means that they are going to retain this information!

I liked this outfit.  I did add a 3/4 sleeved black cardigan, but my camera battery died and I didn’t get any pictures with the cardigan on.  Oh well, maybe next time!

Grey dress: (thrifted.) Silver hoops: J.C. Penney. Pink belt: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Grey pointy-toed slingback pumps: (thrifted.)

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, why yes that is a 1980’s style banana clip that I am rocking!  Yes, you can still by them new.  Check out your local Wal-Mart.  I took a side shot for you so you could see my banana clip in all its unbridled awesomeness.

What do you think? Do you have a more favorably reaction to this outfit now that you’ve seen how I styled it? Or, are you sticking by your original number 1 pick?
-Carla

Copy Cat

 

Every semester starts out the same.  I am filled with many hopes and desires and feeling optimistic about the challenges that lie ahead.  But, somewhere in the middle, both the students and I start to wear thin.  Once we get to the end, we are just ready for it all to be over.  But, I have to start thinking about the next semester before the one that I am in is even over!  That is both good and bad.  Sometimes it can be all to easy to just give up on the current semester and turn your attention and focus towards starting anew with the next semester.  But, pulling it together and pushing through those roadblocks shows determination and perseverance.

I think that for Fall semester I am going to have to be more proactive and schedule a massage, or three, during those middle of the semester weeks that are particularly challenging.  I experienced the same thing with the Fall ’11 and Spring ’12 semesters.

Since Monday was the second to last day with my students I wanted to wear something that was a little more professional and classic.  And what better than a crisp white button-up shirt and khaki skirt?  The inspiration for this outfit comes from dual sources: Pinterest and my BF.  When I asked him what I should wear on Monday he said, “a pencil skirt and button up shirt.”  Which, is pretty much his standard answer.  (But that’s o.k., because it is one of my favorite outfit formula’s, too!)

I could have embellished with different jewelry, but since I’ve gotten this J.Crew knock-off bubble necklace I have only worn it once.  I wanted to wear it with contrasting colors of coral and salmon, but that didn’t pan out a few weeks back.  Although my outfit is very similar to the inspiration photo, it isn’t quite the same.  I chose to go with gold hoop earrings and my gold watch, while the inspiration photo pulls in more pops of turquoise with the bracelet and clutch.

Monday July 23, 2012
White button-up shirt: J.C. Penney. Bubble necklace: E-bay. Gold hoop earrings: Charlotte Russe. Khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Brown pointy-toed shoes: (thrifted.)

On Monday, I finished discussing Chapter 14: argumentation.  We discussed fallacies in reasoning and talked about how and why the textbook makes a distinction between persuasion and argumentation.  Then, I gave them a clean copy of a student’s outline and asked them to go through it and grade it using the same grading sheet that I use.  This is the activity that I tried a few week back that failed, miserably.

This time, it worked a little better.  Sadly, they finished the first one quickly, so I thought that they would have time to do a second one, but they were just able to finish it.  This way, each student received two peer-review sheets for their outlines and my preliminary grade sheet.  I should have left more time for discussion about the grading, but I think that it was still helpful–both for the students to practice giving and receiving feedback.  And, it was a dramatic improvement upon last time, so I am going to place it in the W-in category.

Wednesday will be my last day with these students.  Although I am glad that it will be over– it was a tough semester, it’s always a bittersweet ending!  They are required to dress professionally for their final speech, and I will be taking it easy in student wear–re: jeans and a t-shirt.  It’s a bit of fun little role reversal.

What do you think?  Do you like my interpretation of the inspiration photo?  Do you try to re-create outfits that you see on Pinterest, in magazines, or on other people?  Where do you draw inspiration from?

Salmon: It’s Not Just for Dinner

After a few rough days last week I really wanted to start fresh on Monday morning.  Alas, that didn’t exactly happen.  Instead, all of the tension that had been steadily mounting erupted into an overflow.  This resulted in a student speaking with the department chair about her frustrations and later that same day, myself going and speaking to my department chair about the situation.  And that is really all that I want to say about that!

We’ve had a break in the weather since last weeks unbearable temps of 95+ and have returned to our normal summer temperatures of mid-80’s.  And I am thankful.  Although those 90 degree days can be nice if you have nothing better to do than go hang out at the pool, they make trying to accomplish anything else–even sleep!– all but impossible.  And, I can’t deny that the decrease in heat and humidity is much better for my hair– I was having a great hair day on Monday which made me super-duper excited.

I decided to wear this aztec-y jersey printed tank top that I purchased a while back from Target.  I knew when I bought it that it was going to have lots of remix possibilities.  I’ve worn it several times and each time I’ve managed to wear it just a little bit differently.  (See here.) I love the color palette, the cut and style, and the fabric– it’s like wearing a super soft t-shirt.  Plus, I can dress it up for school, or just throw it on with denim shorts for a perfect summer look.  If I had to pick one piece that I think defines my Summer style it would be between this shirt and my printed khaki shorts from Old Navy.

This time around, instead of bringing out the yellow-gold hues, I played up the pinks and peaches.  I paired it with my blush colored trousers and salmon-y cardigan.  (For other ways that I’ve worn these trousers see here and here.)  I went with brown shoes and silver-toned jewelry instead of gold.  I also added my wooden bead-bauble-y necklace.  I was a little unsure about the necklace with the ruffle detail of the shirt, so I photographed it both with and without the necklace and (just like last time) I liked it better with the necklace.  It just feels like a more finished product.

Savvy readers will also notice that I have layered my necklaces, again.  This time I am wearing a silver rope chain in addition to the orangish wooden necklace.  This is a styling detail that I am really in love with right now.

Monday July 9, 2012
Salmon cardigan: Target. Ruffled tank top: Target. Wooden bead necklace: (thrifted.) Silver necklace: gift from grandma. Earrings: gift from bf. Blush colored trousers: (thrifted.) Brown pointy toed heels: (thrifted.) Silver watch: Fossil.


After class I spent some time talking to a faculty member about my class and then headed towards the main campus to speak with my department chair.  After a mentally exhausting day I needed to decompress.  For me, this meant stopping at J.C. Penney on my way home to do a bit of shopping.  I did pick up two new items, a sleeveless gold cowl-neck top and a silver cuff bracelet.  While shopping, I remembered that it was a co-worker’s last day at my other job.  I quickly texted another co-worker to see if she wanted to meet up and say a quick good-bye.

She was just leaving work for the day and agreed to meet me in about 30 minutes.  I made a quick stop to Wal-Mart to pick up a card and then met my friend at work.  Sadly, our co-worker had already left for the day.  But, it worked out fine in the end because my friend and I got to spend some QT together have a cocktail and an appetizer on the patio.

Since we have to wear uniforms to work, this was (possibly) the first time that my co-workers had seen me in dress up clothes.  It was fun to see their reaction.  I got a lot of compliments on my outfit, necklace, and shoes.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that it made me feel great–especially since I wasn’t really trying to go there dressed to the nines.  It just so happened that I was having a good hair day and looked polished and put together.

It’s times like these that make me happy that I put in the time and effort to pick out outfits and that I share them with you through this blog.  The idea that the way we dress does, indeed, make a difference is constantly reinforced.

How many times do you run in to an ex, old boss, or former acquaintance and say “Darn, I wish I didn’t look so put together and polished right now?” NEVER, right? It’s usually more like, “Darn, I wish I wouldn’t have ran out of the house looking like this!”

Meet the President Shoes

Thursday night was date night for my BF and I.  Even though he had off some extra days in the beginning of the week for the 4th of July holiday, he spent most of his time off chillin’ out maxin’, relaxin’ all cool.  On Thursday we decided to go to dinner at our local Red Lobster.  For whatever reason, this is not a restaurant that we frequent so it kind of feels a little bit special when we do go there.

Also, President Obama was recently in town and staying at a hotel near our apartment.  We weren’t sure what time he was going to be rolling through town, but we wanted to stick close to home so we could see the motorcade.

We finished up dinner around 8 o’clock.  We thought that Obama would be through around 7:30, but we could see from the window of the restaurant that they had not put up the barricades, yet.  After dinner we left the restaurant and meandered outside.  We walked over to a grassy area and hung out, waiting to see the President drive by.  While we were waiting more and more people started to show up. Most people thought that there were fireworks or that something bad had happened when they saw the “do not cross” police tape.  Several people asked us what was going on and when we told them, they asked when?  But, no one really seemed to know.

Luckily, it wasn’t too terribly hot outside.  All-in-all we would end up waiting about two hours to see the President and his entourage drive down the road.  Sadly, it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be.  But, we had reached a certain point where we had invested so much time that there was no way that we were going to leave without seeing the spectacle.  And, because we couldn’t.  They closed the street when he got close.

I chose my outfit more for dinner than to see the President, but that doesn’t make for a very interesting title.  My BF talked me into getting these shoes two weeks ago and I have been trying to create an outfit around them.  I had a whole different outfit planned, but I got makeup on my white shirt and it had to be laundered.

White button-up: Old Navy. Gold necklaces: Target. Long gold necklace: J.C. Penney. Brown belt: Wal-Mart. Jeans: Old Navy. Gold shoes: Payless. Gold Watch: Wal-Mart. Gold earrings: Target.

I’m layering my necklaces, again.  But, I’m kind of cheating.  I bought this necklace and earring set at Target a few days ago.  Although it looks like two necklaces, it’s actually only one.  Necklace layering made easy! Not that it’s that hard.

Do you think that the President would have approved of my outfit?

All About the Bling!

Last Saturday, I received my knock-off J. Crew Bubble necklace in the mail.  I purchased it off e-bay for $15.  There were several retailers to choose from and a myriad of colors available.  I chose a turquoise/minty color.  They also had a hot pink one that I was really fond of, but I wanted to just order one to start with in case it wasn’t everything that I had hoped it would be.

Sadly, I do have to admit that my longing for this necklace is due to its popularity with other style bloggers that I follow.  I have seen this necklace on nearly every one of these girls and hundreds of pins on Pinterest.  I have also read a handful of DIY posts on this iconic necklace, and even tried to replicate it myself.  (It didn’t work.  I was very sad.)

But it felt like Christmas when it came.  And I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that on Monday I wanted to create an outfit that hinged on this necklace.  First, I paired it with a white button-up shirt and a coral knife pleated skirt.  However, I couldn’t find my wide brown belt to finish off the look, the shirt wasn’t staying tucked in to the skirt, and the skirt was more sheer than I seem to recall.  I knew that all these little annoyances would make me uncomfortable and that is something that I just won’t put up with.  So, I changed.

Instead, I wore this mod-looking dress that I thrifted a while back.  The navy, white, and mint seemed perfect for a warm summer day.  And, it was a near match to my new necklace!  I accessorized with a tan and gold belt, nude pumps, and a gold watch and hoop earrings.  To top off the look I added some coral lipstick.  I actually wore a white short-sleeved cardigan over the dress while teaching–my classroom is air-conditioned, thank goodness, but I neglected to take any photo’s with the cardigan on.  Mea culpa.

Dress: (thrifted.) Necklace: e-bay. Belt: (thrifted.) Gold earrings: Charlotte Russe. Gold watch: Wal-Mart. Nude pumps: Target.

Do you ever do that? Do you create an entire outfit around one piece or accessory? Sometimes, I find it easier to build an outfit when I have a starting point. I think the next time I wear this necklace, I want to wear it with contrasting colors.

Debby and Wrinkles

This week we’re having  a cold snap in our neck of the woods due to tropical storm Debby.  I mean, if 75 degrees in the summertime is cold.  Of course when the days preceding are in the 90’s the twenty degree difference is bound to make people turn off their air conditioners and put on pants!

And I was no exception.  Sunday night I ironed out the horizontal crease in my thrifted white trousers so that I could wear them on Monday.  Trouble is, I didn’t quite iron out some of the other wrinkles in the material.  When I put the pants on Monday morning I deluded myself into thinking that with a quick spray of Febreze, the wrinkles would just fall out.  It didn’t work.  And I wore them anyway.

I paired them with my blue silk blouse.  The last time I wore this shirt I went with brown and gold accessories, so this time I decided to switch it up and pair it with cool silver and pearl jewelry.  I had some trouble with my shoes, though.  I tried on about 7 or 8 pairs, comparing them to each other and trying to find the best one.  My BF helped for the first three pairs, but then he conceded.  Ultimately, I settled on my blush patent leather wedges because they had silver toned accents and because they have yet to make their blog debut.

Blue silk button-up: (thrifted.) Pearl earrings: J.C. Penney. Camisole: gift from mother-in-law. Pearl necklace: unknown. Silver zodiac necklace: Target. Pandora bracelet and charms: gift(s). Silver watch: Fossil. White pants: (thrifted.) Wedges: Target.

The outfit was o.k.  It looked better in my head.  I wanted to wear the shirt tucked in for a tailored look, but it didn’t look quite right.  Also, the shoes just felt off.  I did like the idea of the outfit, though.  Also, I am layering my necklaces, again.  This is a look that I am starting to really dig.  Lastly, I tried to echo the red-orange toe nail polish with a similar hued lipstick.

In class we covered chapter 10: delivery.  I’m doing things a bit different from normal.  In the past, I have covered some of the information, the students gave their first speech, then I expanded upon their knowledge with the chapters on wording and delivery.  This way, they didn’t get too apprehensive about delivering their first speech.  But, since this is an 8-week accelerated course, it was a bit if a challenge to fit everything in.  This time around, I have also placed more emphasis on the outline.  I will have collected it and given feedback twice.  The third submission they will receive their final grade.  I think this is good because it allows them to do well on one of their first big assignments.  (Although, I get the feeling that they have a different opinion.)

I tried to give them everything that they needed to prepare for their first speech.  However, I was having some technological difficulties that really put a wrinkle in things!  I had planned to show them two examples of informative speeches so that we could critique them and they could get a good sense of what they are expected to produce.  But, the sound wasn’t cooperating and we only had time to watch the “needs improvement” version of one of the speeches.  I still made use of the 20 minutes before the building administrator got it working, but it wasn’t what I had planned.

What do you think?  Are there times where things don’t turn out the way you plan and you just have to roll with the punches?  Is it something that you are able to do gracefully, or do wrinkles in your day get you all in a tizzy?

P.S. Please go comment on my 100th post so that I can give away this $10 Starbucks gift card.  (I’d really like to reach 10 comments on my 100th post before I reach my 200th post.)