Friday, October 07, 2011

Pumpkin Lattes and Professor Pants

The fact that it’s October means I’m pretty much into pumpkin everything these days. As I type this, I’m nibbling away at the season’s first batch of pumpkin bread, and wearing a pumpkin colored shirt. I’m also pretty into my new job as a professor at the university at which I earned my masters degree and which served as the setting for oh, so many of my 2008 and 2009 posts. I realize that when I was last blogging regularly, I was an elementary art teacher, and Regular Readers may note a gap in the narrative, but trading in my paints and smock for papers and textbooks is a story for another day.

So what could be more fitting than to celebrate my penchant for pumpkin and my passion for my new post at the university than to sit in the campus Starbucks with a steaming pumpkin latte while grading my first round of papers? I plunked down my five bucks, and sat down to crank out a couple papers before a professor meeting which I was expected to attend. In light of the meeting, I had opted to wear a semi-expensive pair of pants I’d recently purchased for an interview for a job I almost took, but didn’t, a story which is, again, best withheld for another post. As most of my colleagues actually double as my former professors, I always like to make a good impression, partly so they feel like they did a good job, and also so they can adjust to seeing me as something other than the points-hungry student in the Eeyore T-shirt waving her hand aloft from the front row.

Alas, it was meeting time, and I found myself with a still mostly full latte. I grabbed my papers, headed out the door and down the cement steps toward the cross-campus meeting. It’s hard to say exactly what happened next. I seem to remember making some sort of adjustment to the drape of the interview –slacks-turned-professor-pants and, be it a shift in balance, a gap in concentration, or just plain clumsiness no one can say. All that I can say is that next thing I knew, warm latte was raining down from above, and splashing into Jackson-Pollock-like splatters across the Professor Pants.

Fortunately, I was carrying a very large handbag which I gamely positioned across my waist. If I really were as bright as my former- professors-turned-colleagues would have hoped, I would have sat in the back, by the door, but I suppose walking into a classroom filled with professors caused my instincts to kick in, and I marched to the front row. After possibly waving my hand in the air one too many times, I realized the meeting was running long and I actually had to leave, which of course meant walking through the middle of the assemblage with a large bag positioned awkwardly across my midsection.

o make matters worse, the stain took on a reddish hue, the likes of which I hadn’t seen since the Warm Colors Unit I taught in my art room last spring. After 24 hours of intense Oxy-Clean action, I was still looking at stains that seemed more likely to result from a Bad Kool-Aid Episode at a preschool than a bobble with some errant brew.

As disturbing as that was for the pants, I was perhaps, as somewhat of a purist, even more upset as I pondered what went into the latte to produce such a stain. I decided to try my hand at home lattes, which seemed not only a more nutritionally sound option, but considering my balancing skills, safer, and less expensive all around. Accordingly, I have been tweaking with home versions of the pumpkin spice latte, using the linked recipe as a base. So far, my taste buds and my clothes are happier.

Oh—and, happily, my clothes still include the Professor Pants, which came (almost) completely clean after a second day in the Oxy-Clean. I’m wearing them now—they pair perfectly with the pumpkin shirt.


5thsister said...

I thought stuff like this only happened to me! Can't wait to hear your "stories for another day"! It is so good seeing and reading you again.

blueviolet said...

You make me laugh! Two days of soaking would have me wondering just what the heck was in that concoction too. Good thing you carry a big bag!


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