During the flurry of exams and paper-writing that heralds the end of the semester, each student develops a pattern. Some retreat into their rooms, garbed in the same sweatpants for days on end, whilst they pour themselves into their labours.

I myself have always found it demoralizing not to get dressed in the morning. Besides, since I refused to go to the library in my pajamas, I always ended up having to put pants on at some point. (And in the winter, my pajamas would have ended up all icy, which takes all the enjoyment out of lounging in them.)

This year, however, I found myself changing into my pajama pants as soon as I got home. Not for laziness, although they are comfortable; to combat the heat differential between the university classrooms and the house. I don’t consider our flat much colder than is reasonable, but the university keeps the rooms at a temperature that makes litter distinction between summer and winter; business casual clothes are a comfortable weight for most rooms. (A t-shirt suffices for the library, which is blasting hot.)

But now, I have found the solution! Like Jo, with her scribbling suit of black apron and jaunty hat, I have found a suit to suit me, one that won’t embarrass me if I have to go to the door or to the library. In a well-tailored, floor- length plaid flannel skirt, topped a warm shirt, I research in comfort, unperturbed by considerations of interruption or the inconvenience of remembering to put on pants before I go for coffee. (I almost forgot a few days ago, and as I live off-campus, that sort of thing is really not done.) As I said to NTS, if I’m going to be dressed in plaid flannel all the time, it should at least be real clothes.

And one mustn’t forget the hat! A modified brown bomber, it keeps my hair from puffing up like a mushroom when I step out of the shower.

And that is your glimpse of the elusuve scholar in her den. Savor it, for who knows when the beast will next emerge?

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