Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A bit out of place

I had an algebra exam yesterday which required me to make a rare appearance on campus (my class is online). The last time I was on campus, the experience was fairly painful, especially considering it was for orientation and therefore the fact that I was a "new" student was pretty clear. There was no pretending that I knew where I was going and what I should be doing. Let's also talk about my outfit the day of orientation. I knew that there was a possibility on orientation day that I would be in front of some of the nursing school advisors. I didn't want to show up in jeans and I rarely wear dress pants and therefore didn't have any that fit me or are stylish. A skirt or dress was my only option and it was chilly that day so I wore a pair of suede boots. This whole ensemble was a poor idea for several reasons. First, I was on a college campus. Which meant I had to walk. A lot. In high-heeled boots. And they made a lot of noise click-clacking along the brick sidewalks, inadvertently drawing lots of attention. Secondly, my skirt was pleated, people. Pleated. Not only did I look kind of like a dork, it also caused the skirt to billow out and get stuck on people's laps when I was side-stepping through the rows to get to my seat during orientation. And thirdly, and perhaps most embarrassing of all, I realized the moment I stepped out of the parking garage that I looked like an instructor, not a student.

During orientation, I was pleased to see that many of the students that were present were not 17-year-old freshmen, although I'm sure most were between the ages of 19 and 24. Which I have to admit was better than seeing a sea of 17-year-old, freshly scrubbed and glowing Noxema faces. I was especially pleased to see an older woman sitting a few rows in front of me. She even had plenty of gray hair, which I happily realized made her older than me! Maybe we could meet up sometime in the adult student lounge! And then I saw her son sitting next to her. Her almost-adult-old-enough-to-be-in-college son. We won't be meeting up in the lounge.

I decided to give up on scouring the audience for people as old as or older than me and busied myself with rummaging through my tote bag for my notebook and pen. As the program began and I sat with my pen poised over my brand-new notebook, I quickly realized I was the only one taking notes. Minus another point for me.

So that is why I try to avoid going on campus, and luckily for me, I've been able to stay away almost all semester since my class is done online. But my exam yesterday was on campus and so off I went, unfortunately repeating my most important mistake of my last appearance...since I had to head to a dinner with some women from my synagogue immediately after my exam, I dressed up. Again. This time, I had some stylish and correctly sized dress pants to put on, so no skirts or boots, but because I am so short, I like for my dress pants to be long so I look a little taller. Which requires me to wear high heels. There I was, once again, toddling through campus in high heels, breaking my feet and looking like an instructor. I am vowing next time I visit campus to wear my rattiest pair of jeans and sneakers.

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