Although I realize that all my life my appearance has offended people beginning with my parents, I think I have underestimated how it has determined so much in my life. If I consider only my sojourn in Holland Michigan I realize that not “looking the part” has distanced me from some possible colleagues.
I guess this goes back to when I left Detroit in 85 or so. In Detroit I didn’t stand out. Even some of my profs had leftover hair styles from the 60s and 70s. And there were many older students like myself. One prof might have considered teaching me composition if I had not offended him in another way from the moment we laid eyes on each other.
He was giving his first lecture to a theory zip type class where holes in understanding and terminology were to be rectified. He must have disliked me on sight. I sat in the back agreeing with his comments and smiling at his sarcasm when he said to the group something about thinking they didn’t this information. He probably thought I was smugly smiling because he directed his comments directly to me and said snidely that I didn’t think I needed to study the content of the course.
I was furious but remained silent. Unfortunately, instead of reaching out to him in a way that would flatter him and bring us closer as colleagues in the next class I didn’t bother to raise my hand but instantly answered every question he put to the group. He finally had to ask me to be quiet.
Later he hired me to help copy music for a composition he was having performed by the Detroit Symphony. I was very uneasy about this. As I recall I needed the money but didn’t feel qualified to make scores for symphonic players. I had just begun learning how to copy music with a pen. The teacher was clear. He needed me no matter how bad I did the job. I think it was at this point but it may have been in another context when this same teacher told me he would not accept me as a student of composition.
I hadn’t asked him to, but it’s probably another case of my lack of social skills winding me up where I have spent most of life happily: on the outside.
I now believe that if I had cut my hair and paid more attention to my appearance and clothes my connection with Holland and Western Michigan would have been drastically different. I don’t regret this because I am very happy with how things have turned out here.
I have long felt that my hair style and sloppiness are similar to how men sometimes clung to styles long after they were in fashion and look silly.
In addition, I have consciously chosen paths of behavior inconsistent with fitting in and self promotion.
Yesterday I updated my WordPress version of software that I use to edit my web site. It looks like a bit of steep learning curve since I can’t get the dam software to do quite what I usually do this morning. Oh well. I’ll have to delve in the help menus which I usually generally ignore until I have a problem.
I’m having difficulty importing graphics. The way one does this is all different in the new version. Also, it doesn’t give a running tally of words written which I find useful. I’m sure all of this is doable. I will just have to learn how to do it.
Today is “date day” and it is a beautiful day. Right now it’s in the 60s and it should be lovely down at the beach by the time we get there.
I managed to get the pic above in this post, but all my other interests like word count seem to require installing plug ins and extra little programs. What a pain!
Also the help menus so far are just public forums. I will look for some tutorials.
Over and out for today.