At the risk of revealing how little read this blog actually is and/or providing conclusive evidence that democracy just doesn’t work… Please take a moment to vote on what has to be seen as the question of the day: Should I keep my J-Term beard?
Now, long-time readers of this blog may remember that, thirteen months ago, I devoted an entire post to convincing myself that I needed to give up my delusions and just shave, darn it. Or as I put it at the time:
…some deluded corner of your grading-addled mind has convinced itself that the beard is starting to look good. Ben Affleck-in-Argo good….
But you’ve been through this before. Remember the three months you lived in France doing dissertation research? When you decided you’d “look more European” if you’d stop shaving? You were so worried that customs at JFK wouldn’t recognize you from your passport photo… No problem with the government, your dad didn’t even notice anything was different, and your sister couldn’t stop laughing.
And yet here we are. Taking a hirsute selfie in the middle of giving my World War II students their final exam. While wearing a jingoistic trucker hat (“Back to Back World War Champs”), given me by a few of my World War I students last year.
Reaction to the picture on Facebook was mixed yesterday:
- “Thank you. That is an amazing photo,” enthused one alum
- “Oh MY,” said one bearded co-academic
- “You look like Uncle Bob & my dad!!” exclaimed my cousin Mary, referring to two of my hairier uncles
“What a PUNK!”, said my wife.
And perhaps her opinion should carry the day. Perhaps one scratchy January is long enough and this experiment in self-redefinition should end.
But as the chairperson of the Bethel History Department, I feel like there’s a bit of an institutional obligation to keep my razor sheathed. Here are two of my long-serving predecessors in that position, both recently retired, plus a shot of the entire department from a generation back:
So I need some help from my readers. Should what happens in January stay in January, or have I discovered a new look? Polls will close this time tomorrow, so please vote early and often!