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student evaluation

Kirk Nechamkin knechamk at panix.com
Mon Jul 15 07:21:24 EST 1996

cboake at utk.edu wrote:

: student wrote "colorless dress of instructor."  This leads to interesting
: speculation (beyond the obvious of whether male faculty ever receive
: similar comments): Should I have dressed like the majority of students, in
: old t-shirts and jeans?  Should I emulate my elegant colleagues in the art
: dept?  Should I emulate colleagues in my own dept, who wear jeans and
: t-shirts?  Would the student have stayed awake if I had worn gaudy
: clothes?  Were my clothes in fact colorless or did this student only come
: to class just before my laundry days?  Should I make sure to wear bright
: clothes on days that I give tests?

You shouldn't worry a damn bit about your attire. The truth of the matter
is that students will always manage to complain about something, and if
the best they can do is the clothing you wear, than I would say you're
doing a hell of a job teaching. Don't worry about what they think.

If there's is something particular about the way you dress -- such
as black pants and a black shirt, or anything else that would markedly
contrast that which other faculty are wearing -- for whatever personal 
reasons you may have -- then it is understandable how some students are
going take exception. Don't worry about it; its completely normal on
their part, and there isn't much you can do about it. In my opinion, 
there is NO REASON for an instructor to have to conform to any standard
set by the all-too-present minds of youths. I somehow get the impression
that you are not teaching at a State University, because if you had been,
you'd realize that professors there are generaly individualists -- and 
the codes very lenient.

As for your comment about students being overly critical of women's
dress, where in speculation you posed that such might not have been
a problem for a man, I must remark by saying that I do not agree
with you. In fact, I think the converses is true -- and I think
women can get away with things that no man would, and hence, men's
clothing, as a rule, is less varied. If you take a gander, you'll
discover that even men's formal attire is very simple, and very
infrequently loud. Women don't even have to match. So, for women
to always assume that the grass is greener on the other side, I 
don't think they have give it enough consideration.

-Kirk Nechamkn | National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM) http://www.ncfm.org/

: Chris Boake
: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
: Univ. of Tennessee

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