Early modernist here so I can legitimately use the term “kempt” whereas those poor folks who don’t at least mentally reside for a good chunk of the year in premodern texts are stuck with only the inelegant “unkempt”. (Check out this fun explanation of the shift in the decline of kempt and the rise of unkempt.)
Bardiac posted about pre-semester rituals – hers include a hair cut which is top of my to-do list for Tuesday. I fail to get hair cuts during term time so if I don’t do this now, I’ll look a lot like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo within a month or two, minus the stubble, of course!
I don’t aspire to the fashionista heights of blogworthy professorial fashion but I do believe in the power of kempt. Whether you’re rocking the jeans and turtlenecks in the manner of the late Steve Jobs or something a bit more fashion-forward, it behooves a professor to have clothes that are clean and relatively tidy. I’ve culled the wardrobe this summer, ditching the threadbare jeans and shirts along with the items that just never worked (why did I think that pale tan was ever a good colour on me? It isn’t!). I added a few new tops and a skirt or two.
But the number one rule of being kempt? Forgoing those messy condiments during term-time lunches. No more soy sauce, ketchup or, heaven forbid!, mustard. Because there’s nothing more guaranteed to mess up your look than a mustard stain on your shirtfront.
How do you keep it together when in front of the classroom or out in the field?