“style”

Studying is going well, so I’ve started thinking ahead to school and the immediate (post-LSAT) parts of getting there. Mostly I’ve been thinking about campus visits, real ones, not the fake “show up on campus, wander around alone, be intimidated, and run away” ones I’ve done already. And not only am I intimidated by the need to speak well and behave normally to  impress the people I’d actually be engaging with, I need to appear to be the put-together non-traditional adult student I’m trying tell them I am.

This is where my “wardrobe” comes in. “Wardrobe.” I don’t really have one. I have a collection of pants, shirts, and skirts, most of which are around a decade old and are starting to show their age. Not just in worn spots, holes, fading, stretching, and outdated style, but because they’re from high school and actually have the year printed on them (and that year is 2004 or earlier, though I do have a few from the ten or so years after that that I go from siblings who were still in high school). Oh yes, I graduated high school eleven (11!) years ago and still wear many of the same shirts I wore during the Bush administration.

Honestly, most of the clothes I wear today are mass-printed high school quiz bowl and marching band t-shirts paired with jeans that are at least five years old. To be even more honest, since I’m a SAHM now most days I wear yoga pants, gym shorts, or pj bottoms with a worn out old t-shirt or sweatshirt, depending on the weather.  My kids know we or I am leaving the house because I’ve put on jeans. As in, I change into real pants and my two -year-old immediately exclaims, “Mama go work!? We go car ride!?” (I freelance edit and study at the library, so we tell them I’m going to work when I leave the house for whatever reason.)

I have a few things I bought when I had a full-time job, but even then I couldn’t afford much because I knew was going to grad school right after that job ended so I needed to save my money. So I do have a few “dressier” things, but “dressy” feels like a stretch, inasmuch as the only thing that earns them that description is the fact that they’re not jeans or t-shirts. So they’re not necessarily very nice. Though I can’t really commit to that analysis since I’m not totally clear on what constitutes “nice.”

The point of this all is that I need new clothes, but I don’t know what to get or how to get it. I also have almost no money to spend on clothes. I love style blogs, but when they say things like, “This top was on super clearance! Only $50!” I just cannot begin to relate. I don’t have $50 for a top. I can’t really afford to spend over $30 on jeans, and even if I could, spending that much money on that kind of thing makes my stomach turn.  Unless I’m absolutely in love with it, I can’t even handle full-price Target. (I fell in love with this. It just makes me happy, so I went for it. But normally, NO.) It’s just too much to spend on me looking and feeling better about myself when I have two kids, student debt, and a single-income household.

So I’m thinking of adding a feature to this site where I attempt to dress for the role I’m trying to get to intellectually. I’m not sure how to do it, but I know it needs to be done. I can’t walk onto a campus and say “let me in and give me lots of money!” when I look sloppy, lazy, and apathetic.  Torn and worn-out jeans and an old t-shirt does not have the appearance of a good investment. I already need a high LSAT to compensate for my low GPA. I don’t know if I could get an LSAT high enough to compensate for low GPA and the appearance of lazy, slopping, apathetic thirty-plus year old. I care and I want to look like I care. But I have approximately $0 to spend.

Wish me luck and help me out? I need advice.

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Away from home and library

Click for image original source

Yesterday I was supposed to meet a client at a local coffee place, or so I thought. I wasn’t sure she had gotten the email, but I decided to go anyway. I figured I could arrive early, study til she came, then keep studying until they closed after she left. Or, if she didn’t come, I’d just study until they closed.

It turns out she didn’t get the email, so I texted her and we rescheduled. This gave me, in theory, several hours of uninterrupted study time since it turns out coffee shops, or at least this one, aren’t very busy and are actually pretty quiet at dinner time.

So I ordered myself a way overpriced chicken Caesar wrap and set to studying. I made it through several pages of the logical reasoning book and felt like I made some progress, even if it is very slow. I planned to stay long enough to finish a chapter of that and do a “game” or two, but it’s just too cold there.

I learned the hard way that when I’m so cold my jaw is chattering and my nose is dripping I can’t focus. I read things over and over and they weren’t sinking in or sticking like they usually do.

There’s a reason grad students flock to these places (there was a medical student next to me and a theology student a few tables over), and there’s a reason they’re all wearing layers and drinking hot beverages.

Lesson learned.