Saturday, April 28, 2007

Applied Combinatorics

When I was in grad school, a friend and I noticed that one of our professors would appear multiple days a row in the same outfit. In one case, he showed up in the same outfit for a week, and only changed suddenly at the end of the week when he hosted a visitor to the school. (I hypothesized that a conversation in his household that morning probably started with "You are not wearing the same thing you've had on all week while your friend is visiting...")

This may have left me a little paranoid about what I wear to class. Sometimes (like this semester) I try to keep track of what I've worn to different classes over the course of the semester. This leaves me figuring out how to arrange my sartorial schedule to have the fewest number of repeats for each class. Fortunately, I have several classes this semester which only meet once a week, and that makes it possible to make it look like even I have a wide and varied wardrobe.

I was very relieved when the weather improved enough that I could wear some short sleeved shirts, because I was running out of long sleeved shirts for my twice a week class. Then it got cruddy again. We're down to the last week of classes, and I'm barely able to wear my warm weather clothes. At least I'm ready for my summer classes.

On the other hand, it occurs to me that this may not be necessary at all. I usually can't remember what anyone I know was wearing the previous day, so I'm not sure I'd notice if anyone was repeating. A professor in Psychology even assured me that people are very unlikely to remember. Still, I'll try not to wear the same thing all week. It'll only make future professors paranoid.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Heya John...

I kept a list of what I wore each day on a piece of scratch paper one quarter and managed not to wear the same combination of shirt and pants for 21 class meetings.

I only did that once, to see if I could. Now I make sure not to wear the same colors both classes in any given week.

Ben, that guy from Oberlin