Tag Archive | teaching

My favorite white, because class prep sucks

A couple of years ago, I spent a few semesters teaching remotely. It suuuucked. I mean everyone knows this by now, nobody liked that part. I was trying to work remotely while also proctoring virtual kindergarten part of the day, and it was a very serious hit to my productivity and my teaching quality, but what could we do?

Anyway, when kids are actually in school and I’m not teaching, working from home occasionally is nice, so now we both do it one day a week. Last semester we did it on Thursdays, now we’re doing it on Wednesdays out of deference to my teaching schedule. Unfortunately, I handle change about as well as your average three-year-old, and I cannot stop thinking it’s almost Friday when we spend the day at home. Which means I forgot I have to teach tomorrow. And now that I’ve remembered, the strength of the don’t wanna vibes would also put the average toddler to shame. So I will talk about nail polish.

White nail polish is a classic, not to mention being a nice underlayer for all kinds of shiny toppers and nail art. (It’s also usually a pain, and tends to be sheer, streaky, or both—this is three coats.) Unfortunately, stark white looks terrible on me, like I went nuts with a bottle of correction fluid. So I was a little surprised and very pleased when I discovered that OPI It’s In the Cloud looks pretty good:

Kinda white! Kinda. I think the little decoration stickers are from Kiss.

It reads as white from any distance, but it’s really a beigy, greigy off-white that is somehow usually quite flattering on me. Today I have had lobster hands (possibly because it’s finally warming up), but I’m still enjoying it, and it makes a pretty base for all kinds of little rhinestone-type embellishments. (I originally typed “whinestone,” which I frankly kind of want to keep in deference to where my head is right now.)

Now I guess I have talked about nail polish. I guess I’ll go do at least some minimal class prep before morning. I guess. Ughhghhgghhg.

Edited to add: Looking through old photos, I’ve used this polish as the base for various nail art additions at least 3 times before:

I don’t think the photos need another whole post, though.
Pretty sure I did these with individual rhinestones and studs and tweezers.
I really like the combo, apparently.

Shiny green things – a PWI of sorts

Sally Hansen Color Foils came out with much fanfare when I was graduating from grad school, and I bought the set of 7 as a graduation gift to myself. (I skipped the silver, which AFAIK is identical to OPI Push and Shove.) These are a very weird polish that goes on looking like a normal polish, then gradually dry down to a very shiny, almost chrome-y finish. There are no true chrome polishes—anything shinier than this is some form of nail wrap or powder—but they are unexpectedly shiny when freshly applied. Weirdly, they are dulled by top coats, so they don’t last long, but overall it’s a fun, geeky effect.

Up close you can see how uneven it is, but from any distance not so much. I’m pretty sure this is Cutting Hedge, unless they’ve changed the names. I could go check the bottle but it’s way over theeeere.

I’m teaching a required undergraduate class this semester, and it’s definitely a different experience from teaching grad students. I find I worry more about being taken seriously when I have painted nails or don’t choose my work outfits carefully. It’s been a stressful semester, partly because I haven’t taught this class in seven years, partly because we’re still doing intro stuff and haven’t gotten to the fun content yet. Teaching can absorb an arbitrary amount of time, so it’s always a calculation when to cut off the time spent on it in order to focus on the things we’re actually, you know, incentivized to do. I try to put in enough time to be fair to my students but not so much that it’s unfair to me, but that’s not an easy heuristic to actually apply.

So… I dunno if I’ll go to class with really shiny nails or not, but ultimately that shouldn’t be a first-order consideration. On the other hand, that kind of thing has an outsized effect on people’s perception of you, which is dumb. I have had several students tell me over the years that I’ve inspired them to paint their nails, or explicitly that I make them feel okay about painting their nails. It wouldn’t be such a strong effect if I had more female colleagues, I suppose. Sigh.