As the end of the semester appears on the horizon, there may be many of you who, whether through TA positions, a small seminar class, or general enthusiasm for a class’s subject (nerd), will find yourselves invited to a professor’s home for a bit of discussion and light refreshment. This is particularly true for professors who live on College Hill, as moving class to their abode adds only a few minutes to the commute. You may be chomping at the bit to witness the colonial beauty of your instructor’s residence, but, like all things Puritan, visiting a professor’s house isn’t fun and games. It’s fraught with the risk of eternal damnation for the image you’ve carefully crafted throughout a semester’s worth of class meetings. Here are a few conundrums you may encounter, and my recommendations for how to react.
What ought you wear to a professor’s home? Clearly it ought to be something fairly nice. This means that your “(Blood Alcohol) Concentration Advisor” tank from Spring Weekend is a non-starter. At the same time, you shouldn’t overdress. your get-together is probably taking the place of a normal day of class, so black tie is a bit much. You can get a clue as to what’s acceptable by comparing your clothing to what your professor usually wears to class, and see if you can approximately mimic their sartorial formality. Alternatively, you can damn the torpedoes, show up in pajama pants, and act like everything’s cool (it isn’t).
Food: How Much is Too Much?
Your professor will likely provide you with, at the very least, a plate of cookies or crackers to snack upon whilst you either have a relatively normal class or else relax and discuss whatever subject you and your classmates settle on for the day. Typically, cookies are the food of choice.
No white chocolate macadamia nut? The knave!