Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Old Fashioned Girl in College

Emmaline is into her third week of college, and everything is going well. She enjoys her classes and her teachers. I like to say that she is majoring in P. E.--Personal Enrichment--because the bulk of her classes are music and acting. She's taking music theory, sight singing and ear training, private piano, private voice, and starting Friday she'll be taking opera workshop.

Before classes started, I thought that maybe she should "dress down" somewhat from her normal style so as not to draw unwanted attention to herself, but she didn't change, and it has not been a problem. I took the photo above as Emmaline was leaving for school yesterday. She has long admired what she calls the "frizzy bangs" and up-dos of the 19th century. She achieved that look yesterday by accident and was pleased with the result.

When Nathaniel saw the picture, he said, "She wore that to college?!!!! Why don't you just put her in a time machine and send her back where she belongs?" I laughed, but his strong reaction kind of worried me. I was afraid that Emma might get some negative comments or face ridicule from the other students. Happily that was not the case. When we met in the afternoon to journey to Scottish Country Dance ball prep classes, she said that she had received a lot of compliments on her hair. I was relieved.

She has gotten some politely-asked questions. The young man who sits next to her in music theory has already asked her if she is Pentecostal. She said, "Why? Because I have long hair and wear dresses?" He answered in the affirmative, and she assured him that she is Catholic. Other students seem to think she is older than 17 because of the way she dresses. She doesn't fit neatly in the little freshman box, but no one seems to hold it against her.

It's interesting to see how the way she dresses affects some things. She volunteered to be the "raw material" in a machine skit in her acting class. She had to go down the manufacturing line as other students "crafted" her. What product did she become? A teapot. That was decided on because one of the students said her flowery dress reminded her of a tea cosy. When Emma got to the end of the line, she did the "I'm a Little Teapot tip-me-over-and-pour-me-out" move. When she told me about it, I immediately remembered a photo of her on her bed when she was about three years old, "reading" her "I'm a Little Teapot" board book. Oh, how she loved that book and song! I had no idea at the time that it was college prep.

One of the most surprising things that has happened occurred on the first day. The acting class students had to do the "trust" exercise, where each student falls backward from a height, trusting that his fellows will catch him. The usual prop for the students to fall from was not in the classroom, so the teacher said that they would just use chairs. Emmaline pointed out that there was a kind of platform attached to the wall that was about four feet off the ground. The teacher said, "Fine. You go first." She promptly climbed up there and fell backwards into the waiting arms of her classmates.

But here's the strange thing. There are 25 other students in the class and not one would do what she did. I always thought that Emma was too trusting; that was one of the reasons I was so worried about her going to college. Now it has been confirmed.

In an upcoming skit, she is to be Little Red Riding Hood. I wish that fairy tale would quit coming up in relation to Emma! I've already written about a bad experience she had with a Hispanic man who tried to get her in the "woods" of the mall.

Of course I'm not worrying. I found out that Jesus is her seatmate in her English class. What could go wrong?


Fotofule said...

A beautiful photo! And it's lovely that all those young folks are getting a lesson in why we shouldn't pigeonhole. People are too wonderful and diverse to poke in a box.

So proud of her!

Wendy Haught said...

Thanks, B.

Every time I look at the pic, I think she looks like a kindergarten teacher.

At ball practice last night, Thomas Ladner thought she looked like a librarian! LOL! We put his glasses on her and perched them on the end of her nose. Hilarious!

Matterhorn said...

How lovely! Best wishes to the young lady.

Emily G. said...

Emma looks beautiful in that picture. I'm really impressed and delighted that she has stuck to her personal style out in college and not compromised in order to look more 'normal'. I think it's good for the other students to see that she is not afraid to be herself and wear what she wants. Maybe someone will learn from her.

It sounds like she is taking some nice classes. I went to a huge university that didn't offer stuff like that, or did and you had to be a particular major to do it. She's doing what I wanted to do in school...minus the French classes. :)

PS Sweetheart necklines are so elegant. My favourite shape, though hard to come by any more. I love that dress.

Wendy Haught said...

Thanks, Matterhorn! I'll tell her.

Wendy Haught said...

Hi Emily!

Oh, she was never going to wear something that she wouldn't normally wear. She doesn't own any pants or shorts. I just thought that she might want to wear her more casual styles. Luckily she doesn't have to walk too much so she is enjoying wearing dresses and heels. I'm glad for her.

Yes, her classes are great. I forgot to add chorale to the list. She'll be taking a foreign language eventually, probably French or Italian.

I love the dress too. She got it several years ago from a Goodwill store in Florida. Since then we found a blue one just like it right here in Houston. I don't ever see sweetheart necklines on new dresses either. Probably these dresses are ten or fifteen years old!

Emily G. said...

Who cares how old the dresses are if they are still lovely?

I knew Emma was just going to go for more casual if she dressed differently at all. I'm still glad to see she is wearing what she likes. She has such a fun looking wardrobe. You have to wear all those dresses when you can...after you have babies you have to wear nursing accessable stuff. I wish I'd worn more dresses in my pre-nursing days, and the days when I had a nice defined waistline...

Okay, I need to know about that lipstick. It's the perfect shade of red. Mine is an Estee Lauder I got at Goodwill years ago (gross I know but I fell in love), and it's very dark red. It stains badly so if a little goes off your lips you get a red splotch on your face skin. What is the brand/colour of Emmas? I think I need one.

Kristyn said...

She's such a beautiful young lady. You must be extremely proud. (If you happen to find a time machine, I will volunteer for the first trip!)

Wendy Haught said...


In this post's photo, Emma is wearing a lip gloss by Color Institute that she received as a gift several years ago. Unfortunately the name of the shade has worn off. It came in a set of several other colors. It's very pretty, but it needs constant re-application.

In the Red Lipstick Day photo, Emma is wearing a lipstick shade by Sephora called Nice Knickers. We got it at Penneys after trying several there.

Good luck! Maybe there's an unused gift set of the Color Institute lip gloss at your Good Will! The Sephora lipstick was $12.

Wendy Haught said...

Dear Kristyn,

Thank you!

Yes, if I get a hold of a time machine, I'll let you know!

Wendy Haught said...

Update on red lipstick shades:

The Sephora brand lipstick that Emma is wearing in the Red Lipstick day post is called "Rouge", not Nice Knickers. Nice Knickers is a pink one.

She was able to make out the name "Sugarplum" on the tube of Color Institute lip gloss that she is wearing in the Old Fashioned Girl post.

Sorry for the confusion.