Monday, September 14, 2009

Appropriate Attire

“[T]he bicycle will accomplish more for women's sensible dress than all the reform movements that have ever been waged.”

Author Unknown, from Demerarest's Family Magazine, 1895

At about 5:35AM my phone sounded, and I was asked to report to the same job as I did last week. On Friday, I had briefly thought of setting up plans for the substitute on Monday, and now that I was that sub, I wished that I had. I didn’t know if I’d even have the same students. How did this block schedule work, anyway?

Happy that I knew exactly where to go this time, I hopped on my bicycle at 7:30AM. After making a turn onto Broadway, I realized that I had a problem. My purple dress with the elastic bottom that normally reached my knees was riding up at an alarming rate. I asked myself, why didn't I wear leggings or tights? Then I reminded myself that it was forecasted to be eighty-degrees. I stood while pedaling and used my right hand to push the dress back into place while trying to steer with my left (and not veer into traffic), but soon it made it’s way up again. The high school is on Broadway, and many students walk to school on this street. What if a student recognized me in what was now turning into a micro-mini? Constant tugging at my dress slowed me down, prolonging the distress. During my mortifying ride, I comforted myself that though it wasn’t funny at the moment; it might a funny story for my blog. The end of the trip was downhill, so I kept my knees together until I landed at the first bicycle stand I could find, and then headed to class.

No lesson plans left for me this time, but I quickly set everything up for the students to continue where they had left off. Two teachers and two deans stopped in to make sure I was prepared. I was happy to hear that a new teacher had been hired. Hopefully the students wouldn’t turn on for having to do another boring assignment if they had the prospect of an extended term substitute on the way (The day actually went well). One dean seemed happy with me, and said he’d keep me in mind if any Social Studies Sub jobs opened.

Then the announcements began, telling us that the fire drill (what?), which was scheduled for the morning had been moved to the afternoon. I found out the procedure from a nearby teacher, and read the instructions about where to bring the students, which meant meandering through the school's maze (luckily the room is in a stairwell) and crossing the street. Great. I was hoping it would occur when I didn’t have a class. I planned to take my bicycle home when I had a break (and when there would be less witnesses on the road), and return to the school with the car. But the fire drill happened fourth-period, and involved fifteen-minutes of teachers periodically saying, "Stay on the sidewalk," as we walked, and then waited two blocks away from the school. Out in the heat, I was glad to be wearing a dress without tights.

I learned a valuable lesson today. In my first blog entry, I had written that I had three clothing options for each day. Although I had ridden my bicycle to work before, I’d never worn an inappropriate riding outfit until today. Now, I have to make sure that if I plan to use my bicycle, I should refrain from flashing, so I’ll wear pants.

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