March 20, 2012

March 20, 2012

In the Spirit

Friend-of-blog M* recently wrote about the banes that were our college’s dress code and Spirit Weeks. Now, in fairness to M, she was much more well-connected and spirited than I ever was. My problem with Spirit Weeks is they generally involve at least one instance of “let’s all gather in the gym and toss around giant bouncy balls.” I’m very (VERY) anti-things-coming-at-my-face, so this sort of thing is sheer torture. It’s not bad enough that we’re throwing balls at each other; they have to be FOUR FEET IN DIAMETER? REALLY?

But, anyway, Spirit Week. In which I could usually get on board with Color Day or Career Day. (Though judging by my Facebook timeline, many of my classmates would’ve been better served by accessorizing with a carseat.) I have clothes in several of the colors, and certainly a wardrobe befitting a federal government analyst. (Wait, so I knew even then what I wanted to become as an adult? YOU. BETCHA.) Clone Day, though, was a whole other story. You had to find a friend willing and able to dress in conjunction with you. Look carefully and you’ll find at least three chances for failure in that sentence.

Kudos to those who rocked it out, though. Who covered themselves in duct tape, or leisure suits**, or bear skin rugs. Those people knew that they were literally living the best years of their life right then, and they owned it. Even though we were at a fundamentalist institution (I chose both of those words very carefully), they did what they could. Those of you who went to state schools don’t understand. You hear the phrase “dress code” and think “collared shirts.” Here are actual sentences from my school’s dress code regarding shirts allowed in classes:

- Athletic cut polo shirts and t-shirts with writing are not permitted.
- Sweatshirts and sweatshirt “hoodies” are not permitted.
- Blouses/shirts must be tucked in unless designed to be worn untucked. Untucked blouses and tops must fall at least 4 inches below the top of the skirt or slacks. Tops must always be long enough to cover skin at all times—no matter what the activity.
- Necklines may not be lower than 3 fingers from the collarbone in front and 5 fingers from the base of the neck in back.
- Sleeveless garments are not permitted for any level of dress (unless it is part of an athletic uniform).
- Sleeves must have material that is connected to all parts of the arm hole opening.
- Cap sleeves must be at least 3 fingers from the shoulder edge.
- All clothing and T-shirt logos must be in good taste.

And that’s just the shirt section! We haven’t even gotten to bottoms yet!

But anyhoo, suffice to say that these stringent guidelines spurred my classmates to even higher levels of creativity. (Not me, because I was just standing in the back of the gym trying not to get beaned by a giant bouncy ball.)

Whether these Spirit Weeks did in fact induce Spirit, I cannot say. I feel like it was more of a “you had to be there” kinda thing, and I was definitely doing my best to avoid being there.

(Where’s the Spirit Week that involves feats of acadmic prowess and quiet boardgame play? I’d be all over that!)

* I’ve decided to start referring to blog acquaintances with single letters. I don’t know why. Seems a bit more glamorous.
**Anyone watching 30 Rock? Kenneth’s new “real job” wardrobe kills me. Every time he pops up on-screen looking like the old guy from “Three’s Company,” I cannot stop laughing.

1 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke:

I wholeheartedly support your new method of referring to cohorts, if only for the purely selfish reason it makes me sound like a James Bond badass.

Meanwhile, I found at least 2 rules I was unaware of. FOUR INCHES!? I guarantee I never once was in compliance with that guideline. My short legs means my shirts would have had to've been halfway to my knees!

'Material that is connected to all parts of the arm hole opening' . . . I cannot read that and not laugh.