Barefoot in the Faculty Lounge

In my infinite wisdom, I decided to wear my (fake) snakeskin peep toe stilettos this morning. Why? Well, I was teaching my first summer class of the semester. And my experience with summer semesters is that the students don’t really want to be there, even less so than regular-semester students.

As such, I decided to head them off at the pass with my very best power suit (to show them that I mean business), and orange juice and donuts (to show that I am nice and approachable and care about their well being).

I teach in heels all the time. I like heels. They make me feel older and more put together than I actually am and usually, they’re not a problem. But I failed to take into account that this morning’s lecture, on account of the condensed summer schedule, was a four hour lecture. Four hours and five minutes, to be precise.


I also failed to predict that the computer would not be working, that the projector would be upside down (how does a projector even get upside down???), that the IT folks wouldn’t actually be answering their phones at 7:45am, that I would spill my travel mug of Echinacea tea not once but twice (including directly on top of my flash drive) and that my delivery of first day handouts from the print shop would be three and a half hours late, forcing me to run up and down the stairs every 45 minutes to check my mail box.

(Thank God for films and small group discussions.)

And yet somehow, none of my students left early. None of them fell asleep. None of them even checked their phones during class. They even managed to guess the four-subfields of North American anthropology on their very first day of class without any help from me (well, okay, I did have to do a little humming of the Indiana Jones theme song to steer towards “archaeology” but they managed “physical” “linguistic” and “cultural” all on their own.)

It was a minor miracle. Seventh time’s a charm perhaps?

7 Responses to “Barefoot in the Faculty Lounge”

  1. chelseabrookeofficial

    So true. I teach part time at a college as well and tend to have 4 hour classes as well. How do you cope with vocal weariness? I tend to lose my voice by the end of the class.

    • Kat Richter

      It’s funny you should bring that up. I’ve actually been teaching back-to-back dance classes for years (and mainly tap, where the shoes are loud so the music has to be loud, and since the music is loud, your voice has to be loud) so my voice is pretty strong at this point. I usually have time off in August though, and whenever I go back to teaching again in September, I can tell my vocal chords aren’t as strong as they used to be. It usually takes me a few weeks (and lots of Throat Coat tea) to get back to peak performance 🙂 What subject do you teach?

      • Kat Richter

        PS: I also make my students read a LOT. I’ll even have them read the text on my own PowerPoint, especially if I can see they’re starting to drift.

        • chelseabrookeofficial

          I teach music and art classes. I’m a classical singer and yet, teaching a 4 hour music history class always kills my voice. Maybe I’ll try Throat Coat and more student reading. 🙂

  2. Khai

    I used to have a history professor who wore sensible shoes most of the time, but wore heels when she was excited about the lectures. It got to where my hand would cramp in anticipation of all the notes I’d be writing if she was wearing anything higher than a one inch heel.


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