Hagioscope

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

class act

You know my quarter-time gig with Online U? Every term, they have a big in-person meet-up called a residency. You know, to add the human touch to those cyberdiplomas. This year the residency is right here in town — on the campus of the U of MN, in fact; right next door to the building in which I work, in further fact. And apparently I’ve “volunteered” to present a seminar on using Word templates and style sheets.

Um, hooray for me?

And apparently the seminar is nearly three hours long. BOO! BOO, I say!

Everybody knows that Word templates and style sheets are fascinating beyond measure, and we could easily spend the entire week basking in their intricacies. I think that goes without saying. And goodness knows I can flap my yap for marathon durations, especially when the Q&A gets going and the participants essentially do the work for me. These are not problems.

No, what concerns me is the fact that I’m going to sweat, and it’s going to show. I perspire if I think too hard, or if it’s summertime, or if it’s humid, or if I’m nervous, and at least two of these conditions will be met during the seminar. So while I should be preparing my presentation and writing my abstract, instead I’m obsessing about the ignominy of pit stains.

I’m no stranger to this phenomenon, of course. I’ve been a sweater all my life, and I’ve developed ways of working around it. Problem is, I’m not sure they’ll work in this situation.

Strategy 1: Wear black so the wet doesn’t show.
That’s fine in a martial arts class, but I don’t think my wardrobe of kung fu school t-shirts is quite professional enough for a room full of Ph.D. wannabes. I also don’t have any summer clothes in black. Maybe this is an excuse to go shopping?

Strategy 2: Wear layers so the underneath shirt absorbs the sweat.
Layers? In mid-July?

Strategy 3: Keep arms glued to my sides at all times.
Can’t. I try to use big, confident gestures when I do public speaking so people think I know what the heck I’m talking about. Also, if technology is on my side, I will frequently point to an overhead screen illustrating my speech. Arms will rise.

Strategy 4: Install dress shields.
Dress shields, as they’re quaintly called, are sanitary pads for your pits. (The name dates from the days when ladies wore dresses all the time, but antiperspirant hadn’t necessarily been invented yet.) You peel the backing from the self-adhesive strips and press the absorbent pads to the underarms of your clothing.

Charming, no? No. Shields help, as long as you stick them in the right place, and as long as they don’t slip and/or crumple — which mine have a tendency to do when they get soaked. While this strategy is a go (Shields up!), I don’t want it to be my only hope. And I always worry that the shield is going to show and everyone will know I’m all wet anyway.

And speaking of antiperspirants, using one seems like a no-brainer, right? Yeah. I paint myself with an antiperspirant/deodorant every morning. It only does half the job, though: it keeps me unstinky, but I’ve yet to find one that will stop the sweat.

Strategy 5: Insist that the room be nice and cool.
Doesn’t matter how cool the room is. I’ll be nervous up there, and when I’m nervous, I sweat. I can sweat while shivering. Special talent.

Quite the dilemma, isn’t it. So all pit-protecting suggestions are welcome. And if you have any favorite tips and tricks for using templates and style sheets, I’d love to hear those, too.

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2 Comments:

  • I bet you have tried a bunch, but the Secret Clinical Antiperspirant has been great for me, and you apply at night before bed, which, with this product at least gives extra protection.

    In theory you could apply your regular deodorant/antiperspirant in the morning after your shower for extra protection.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:19 PM  

  • I think the whole sweat factor comes with the name Kim! I've got the issue when I do my Pampered Chef shows...now how gross is that... let me chop your food up while I drip sweat on it... It's not that bad but still ick! And my deal is my head sweats, not my pits.

    So I don't really have any advice for your pits but I did learn a tip when I was working in retail that may help some of your readers. If you are a person who gets "chub rub" while you wear skirts or dresses, apply the white stick variety of pit stick to that area while you are dressing. This helps your "chub" to not rub and instead it will glide and not cause any friction!

    I tried it, on my wedding day of all days because you rarely see me in a dress/skirt. If you do, there is a ton of laundry to do! Anyways, it works like a charm and even my bridesmaids were up for the challenge and were surprised!

    By Blogger MrsThompson, at 9:10 AM  

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