Go Ducks!


Urgency Day 304

500 Things Items 193-195: 3 Pairs of Gloves

  • History: Bought for a different winter reality
  • Value: More fashion than function
  • Parting Pain: None
  • Un-possessing: Donations

Back in my callow youth, I was a Duck.

Well, sort of:

  • Callow? Probably.
  • Youth? Seems like it now, but my late twenties.
  • Duck? Oh yeah! In grad school, at the University of Oregon:

Go Ducks!

The first time I had to deliver a lecture to a section of 300 undergrads, I was also a chicken.

Dr. Bishop, my graduate advisor, gave me three sage pieces of advice for a successful lecture:

  1. Know your material cold.
  2. Open with a joke.
  3. Have no more than 3 main points and hammer them home.

Lulu, my graduate advisor, gave me one crucial piece of pre-lecture advice which I value to this day:

Paint your fingernails the most lurid shade you can find.

Lulu was the students’ affectionate nickname for Dr. Bishop. It was a version of her given name but also characterized much of the subversive wisdom she dispensed.

“Skip the meeting; go out for ice cream!”

That’s a Lulu.

She’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever known.

Her theory with the vivid fingernails had two parts: there was the obvious audience-distraction factor as you gesture and point; and the less obvious internal-silliness check. She really wanted us to remember that one lecture didn’t make or break us.

“Mistakes will be made.”

Wave them off in the passive voice and with ridiculously garish digits.

I’ve spent the last ten or so years trying to hide my hands. I wish I had my sister’s elegant fingers or my son’s talented fingers. I have my darling mom’s arthritic fingers. They work; they’re competent, and for that, I am grateful. The pain and swelling has even significantly improved, since I went to a gluten-free diet. I still don’t want to call attention to them.

So it’s easy to get rid of the attention-getting gloves featured today. Plus, I live in Chicago, where cute little knit gloves are just plain foolish.

And there’s a big difference between a Lulu and a fool.


One Response to “Go Ducks!”

  1. melanie Says:

    It’s nice to know that my orange nail polish will come in handy one day.

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