Swept Under

If it seems like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, don’t worry I can assure you that I haven’t.  But, it does sort of feel that way.  I’m at the point in the semester where things start to move faster and the first big assignment is due.  My students dread it and so do I!  It kind of feels like getting swept off your feet by a big wave.  You can see it way out there and as it gets closer you try to prepare yourself for it, but sometimes you just can’t jump high enough and you get swept under.  That’s how I’ve been feeling this past week.

Some how, some way I’ve been slowly getting behind on things– prepping lectures, making quizzes, getting the next big speech assignment packet sent to the printers, blogging, etc.  And it’s not even like I don’t have time– it’s that I don’t have motivation!  I seriously spent like 5 hours catching up on the Fall premieres of Dancing with the Stars, Castle, Criminal Minds, and a few other shows.  I know in a sense that I probably needed that time to just sort of veg out– I can’t shake that nagging feeling that I should be doing something more productive–laundry, dishes, practicing for the upcoming flair competition.  I’m just feeling so repressed by all of items on my iCalendar.  Everyday it’s something.  Tuesday nights I teach, Wednesday nights I close down the bar, Thursday nights I teach, Friday morning I teach and then work at the bar that night, Saturday morning I usually do chores and work at the bar, Sunday morning I open the bar, Monday night I close the bar and then we start all over.

After I get home from work (teaching or the bar) I try to spend a few moments of quality time with my BF.  Usually I have a day off from the bar in there somewhere– mostly Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and that becomes “date night” with the BF.  But, everyday it is something.  And on top of my work schedule there’s always extra meetings at school to attend.

In order to catch back up, you are going to get a two for one post!  This week has really started to feel like Fall and to me that means layering.  When I leave for school in the afternoons the sun is out and the weather can feel mild, but I know when the sun goes down that the temps are going to fall and when I come out of the building at 9pm its going to be a bit chilly-willy.

Black blazer: (thrifted.) Flowered print shirt: Wal-Mart. Coral earrings: (thrifted.) Red belt: (thrifted.) Black shorts: Target. Silver watch: Fossil. Button ring: self-made. Black booties: Dillard’s.

I have an entire Pinterest board filled with “Winter Shorts.”  I don’t know why, but I love the look of wearing shorts with tights and booties.  So, I thought that it was time that I re-created this look (again.)  I wore these shorts last Spring in an off-season way, but I wasn’t entirely in love with the look.  This time, I wore sheer black pantyhose instead of opaque tights and I think that it turned out a lot better.

When I got home from class my BF said, “You’re wearing shorts?!”  To which I responded, yes.  But if you think about it, wearing shorts is sort of just like wearing a skirt in the Fall.  And nobody thinks twice about a woman wearing a skirt.  Class that night is sort of a blur at this point.  I remember that we talked about evaluating speeches and watched some video’s, but that is about all.

Thursday is a little bit more memorable in my mind. Again, it was a day with Fall weather and layers were in order. I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to wear, but I knew that I wanted to wear a dress and “Fall-erize” it. I tried on a few of my dresses and added layers underneath or over, and in the end I ended up with this purple maxi-dress. Underneath of it, I have a long-sleeved light purple shirt. This is to give a little more coverage in the bust, and some additional warmth. Then, I added the brown jacket and the scarf that I tied to make it an infinity scarf. I was o.k. with the outfit, but I can’t say that I really loved it. I just sort of ran out of time and had a heaping mound of clothes piling up on the bed. Oops.

Purple maxi-dress: gift. Light purple scoop neck t-shirt: Old Navy. Purple scarf: Wal-Mart. Brown jacket: unknown. Bronze hoops: Charlotte Russe. Gold Watch: Wal-Mart. Brown boots: Old Navy.

Thursday night was not the best night of the semester.  Apparently, there were two questions in the online activity that the computer marked wrong, even though the students gave the right answer.  I had one student e-mail me to tell me about it, and then another.  I looked in to it and discovered that these two students were correct.  I responded to them both via e-mail and asked them not to mention it to the other students– I was curious to see how many of them were really paying attention and caught the mistake.

But, neither of the students had read my response e-mail and one of them came into the class blabbering to everyone about the mistake.  This got other students in on the bandwagon and had everyone whipped up into a frenzy before class even started.  And, they were all worked up to the tune of a total of one point.  The questions are worth 1/2 a point each.  Now, in the course there are a total of 1,775 points on the table.  So, 1 point is .08%.  It’s not even one percent of their overall grade!  Anyway, all they wanted to do was to focus on this and not on the lecture material.  They finally forced my hand and I had to address it at the beginning of class, rather than during the lecture when we covered the material that the questions were over.  I was thoroughly annoyed.  And, I didn’t hide my annoyance very well.

I also had an activity planned for them to practice impromptu speaking.  I come up with random questions like, What did you want to be when you were little and why?  The students go up to the front of the classroom and pick a question at random and then take a few minutes to answer the question.  All the questions are pretty silly and funny.  Mostly, it’s designed to give the students some practice with impromptu speaking and get them a little bit used to speaking in front of the class before their first speech on Tuesday.

But, they were all in a complain-y mood over the two questions on the online activity, so they were being sourpusses and didn’t want to play the funny question game.  One student in particular who went up there got a question about dressing up for Halloween and he gave every excuse as to why he couldn’t answer the question.  I mean, he totally could have just made something up, described a friends costume, a costume that he would really like to do, etc.  But, instead he wanted to be a stick in the mud and take all the fun out of the game.

It was just one of those nights that takes all the wind out of your sails.  I have them every once in a while.  What do you do on days like that?  Are you good at hiding your annoyance?  I can’t imaging what teachers of crazy hormonal teenagers do in situations like this!

-Carla

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Versatility

I’m just going to throw this out there and say that I shop too much.  I know that I will regret saying that at some point, but it is true.  Now, I am not as bad as some people out there in the world, but I can admit that I own more things than I really need.  But, it’s hard to resist that siren song of new clothes and trends.

So, I try very, very hard to be mindful of the items that I purchase.  And, I certainly make sure that I am not breaking the bank with my spending habits.  But, truth be told, I often buy new things and I am so excited to wear them as soon as I bring them home.  And then I look in my closet and I see all these other wonderful items of clothing that I haven’t even worn yet!  I’m not one of those people who looks in my closet and thinks, I have nothing to wear!  I look into my closet and I think, Ahhh, I have so many things to wear and so little time to wear them all!  Which, could explain why I often change so many times throughout the day.

I also really like the challenge of coming up with different ways to style a piece of clothing.  Sure, some items are easier than others, but that just makes it fun.  And not all of my styling idea’s come from my own mind– many of them are idea’s that I get from fashion magazines, television, Pinterest, other bloggers, etc.  Here are the recent additions from my closet on my last shopping trip.  (I can justify each and every one of these purchases, y’all!)

(Clockwise from Top) Printed Cowl Neck Top: Target on-sale $9, Denim Colored Pencil Skirt: Target clearance $12, Printed Ruffled Tank (magenta/black): Target on-sale $12, Purple and Black Dress: (thrifted) $4

As you can see, I went on a min-shopping trip to Target and the thrift store. The printed cowl neck top has been in stores for a few weeks now, but they just went on-sale for $9.  There were two color options and I chose the magenta, mustard yellow, and cream because I knew it would fit into my closet well.  I could think of a few different ways to wear this top for Fall and for Spring.  I could pair this with my mustard cardigan or a cream-colored cardigan and jeans or khaki pants for Fall.  For a more Spring time outfit, I could play off of the white/cream and wear it with white pants or a khaki skirt.  I could even see layering it under a sweater or a button-down for a Winter-y version.

The second item, a denim colored pencil skirt, has been on my wish list for some time now.  I love the pencil skirts from Target.  I have one in black and khaki and they fit very well and are staples of my closet.  I have a denim colored pair of trouser pants from Target that I get a lot of use out of, and I knew that a skirt in the same color/fabrication would work well in my closet.  Basically, any outfit that I’ve worn with those pants can be worn with this skirt.  Plus, this girl fueled my desire for a denim-colored pencil skirt.  And, it was on clearance. And my size.  That’s like a fashion rule that you have to buy it.

This third item won its way into my cart because it is the same cut and style as this tank top, albeit a different print.  Again, my brain immediately started counting the outfits that I could create with this top.  I could wear it with black dress pants/black skinny pants/black pencil skirt, jeans/denim shorts/denim skirt, or blue pants/gray pants/white pants.  And those are just the bottom choices.  There are a number of toppers that I could wear over the tank top: black cardigan, royal blue cardigan, mustard cardigan, white cardigan, black blazer, blue blazer, magenta button up, white button up, or a black button up.  And, not to mention that I could layer a black tissue turtleneck under it for a Fall option, and a cardigan or blazer over it with the turtleneck for a Winter option.  I mean, that’s worth $12, right?  I knew you’d agree.  This is why we’re friends.

The last new item may have the least amount of remix possibilities, but I have been on the search for dresses.  I mean, with a dress there is barely any thinking involved.  You just pull it over your head and you’re good to go.  I mean, you may want to put on some shoes, too.  I could see this dress as is, with a black cardigan or black blazer, and maybe a black or purple sweater over it, so just the print shows on the skirt.  I could also layer under it with a black v-neck t-shirt or turtleneck.  I can see this with black tights and booties for Fall, or black tights, over the knee socks, and knee-high boots for Winter, or with an open-toed sandal or black wedges for Spring.  I could even wear my purple peep toed pumps with this dress!  The only downfall of this dress is that I don’t currently have a cardigan or sweater that is the same shade of purple, but I don’t think that would necessarily stop me from wearing this purple cardigan with the dress.

In case you weren’t convinced, here are some outfits that I created with the printed cowl neck top.  These first two are casual outfits.  And, the one on the left I have actually already worn.

(L to R) Mustard cardigan: Target. Printed cowl neck top: Target. Skinny Khaki’s: J.C. Penney. Brown boots: Old Navy.
Printed cowl neck top: Target. White jeans: (thrifted.) Brown penny-loafers: Old Navy.

I originally purchased this top with my everyday wardrobe in mind, but after getting it home I felt that the cowl neck top took this t-shirt up a notch and I was curious to see if I could make this piece work for my professional wardrobe as well.  Here are the results: 3 professional outfits with this printed cowl neck top.

(L to R) Printed cowl neck top: Target. Light khaki skirt: (thrifted.) Magenta belt: Target. Brown pointy toed shoes: (thrifted.) Burgundy open toed pumps: (thrifted.)
Printed cowl neck top: Target. Cream colored cardigan: Old Navy. Brown dress pants: Bitten (Steve n’ Barry’s). Brown round toe pumps: (thrifted.) Burgundy open toed pumps: (thrifted.)
Magenta button up: J.C. Penney. Printed cowl neck top: target. Denim colored skirt: Target. Brown heeled boots: unknown. Brown round toe pumps: (thrifted.)

So there you have it!  Self-imposed challenge, complete.  Oh, and elements from these three dressy items made up my outfit that I wore to class on Tuesday night.  So, stay tuned for that– it’s coming up shortly.

What do you think?  Do you ever play this game when you are buying clothes?  Or do you just go all willy-nilly and buy whatever happens to strike your fancy at that particular moment whether it fits in your closet or not?  Do you make purchases based on how you actually dress, or how you wish you dressed?  Sound off below– I love reading your comments.  And, I wouldn’t mind if you pinned my outfits, either!

-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?