I find myself shifting among various personae with regard to dress. Sometimes I want to feel my connection to the late sixties, to the radical politics that inspired me as a student. I wear jeans on those days, and sometimes even dig an old blue work shirt from the closet. I also have a few billowing shirts like those worn by Russian peasants, and I wear these whenever I lecture on Walt Whitman, considering them as a kind of teaching aid. Whenever I lecture on T.S. Eliot, I try for a more formal manner of dress. Eliot, after all, was a London publisher by profession, and he favored traditional suits with a bowler hat and rolled umbrella as accessories. Last year when teaching The Waste Land I put on an old pinstripe, and it felt right in that context. For the most part, I find myself most comfortable in something from the L.L. Bean catalogue.Ah, academia.
Jay Parini, The Art of Teaching (New York, Oxford University Press, 2005)
Thursday, August 3, 2006
By Michael Leddy at 4:12 PM