October 29, 2009

Tutorial: Halloween Costumes for Academics

Most people can dress up as whatever/whoever they want for Halloween.

If you are an English professor/Humanities graduate student/undergraduate English major/enrolled in A.P. English in high school, however, your costume options are a bit more limited. The unspoken expectation is that you will dress up as a character from a novel. You get extra points if you pick a novel that is out of print, was written in England before 1950, or has won the Pulitzer Prize.

Example:

Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird= Good

The Whale from Moby Dick= Better

Susan from The Mayor of Casterbridge= Best

Take note: The point of dressing like characters from books that (sadly) few people read anymore is to show the world that you are A) not weird and B) have interests outside of literature.

This year, I'm going to push the envelope by dressing up as a medieval manuscript...one that is written in fourteenth-century Law French.


It goes without saying that I am going to be the most popular girl at the Halloween party that I'm attending this weekend. If I wasn't already married (darn it!), I could probably talk Mr. Darcy or Piggy from Lord of the Flies into taking me on a date.

22 comments

TheQueen@TerrorsInTiaras said...

Fabulous. Your husband should go as a text message. You know, an "opposites attract" sort of thing. Or a "look what happens when you start to relax in the quality of the printed word--pretty soon you're down to three letters to express a sonnet" sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

who wouldn't accept a date from Mr. Darcy, married or not!

mindij said...

Thanks for the early morning laugh-snort.

That Kind of Girl said...

Too funny! Although, the Mayor of Casterbridge joke hit a little too close to home, as I went as Tess of the D'urbervilles (Tess Durbeyfield? Is it being over-familiar to call her thus?) one year. Not too many people got it...

Other unsuccessful esoteric costumes: Natasha from War and Peace, Carl Bernstein, and -- from ages 13 through 16 -- Ophelia. Siiigh.

Renny said...

J'adore. Cette une bonne idee. :)

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

Perrrrfectly normal. Yep. Don't let anybody tell you differently.

Carolyn said...

Pleeeeeeese...oh pleeeeeeeese..post a picture..PLEASE!

Janille said...

My daughter has been Fancy Nancy at several Halloween events already - maybe a budding obscure book costume dresser of the future?

Meeko Fabulous said...

Ok . . . You have to post pictures! I gotta see this . . .

Ruthykins said...

as an elementary student i once dressed as ramona quimby. i was really excited till i realized that i usually dressed like her anyway, so i didn't get a costume. i think i wore a sign around my neck that said ramona.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

HOT!!!!

Anonymous said...

As the proud college graduate with a bachelor's in English, I love this entry. I'm going to show it to my mom to prove that you can do something with an English degree! :)

prettybyrdie said...

My favorite costume ever, my friend dressed as Calvin and I went as Hobbes in 4th grade. We had a red wagon and everything. Also went as Repocheap the mouse from Narnia in 2nd grade.

Angie said...

If you invite me I will come as....hm, was going to throw somebody obscure and literary in there but nothing's coming to my head so.. Anyhoo-I hope you're wearing asandwich board because everyone should at some point.

thetallgrl said...

I'm taping Smarties candies to my jeans and going as a "smartypants." Not exactly deep...but cheap!

Gabrielle Mappone said...

I like the comment that your hubby should go as a text message. How about go worse yet, and be a cell phone with a text message. Google "TFLN" its a website (Texts from last night) they had posted a photo of someone as an iPhone with these horrible text messages on it. (Think drinking and dialing, but texting instead). Just shows how low a society we have become and it would be the perfect opposite to your perfect costume! Good Luck!

boisegrammy said...

I am a long-time reader of your blog but this is the first time I have posted. A son once dressed as a serial killer (for work) with small cereal boxes ripped open, some with plastic knives in them, stapled to a T-shirt. This year a daughter is going to work (mandatory costumes) as the Paper Bag Princess. This was a book she loved as a young girl for the great message it presents to young women.

Two grandsons are dressing as an egg and a chicken. They are both arguing as to which comes first.

JennyC said...

Just to spice things up, I like to dress up as Hester Prynne (The Scarlet Letter) for Halloween. Talk about getting a date- that's sure to do it.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you have normal written all over you! (hahahahah! get it- written all over you!).
Anyway, I was a chicken for Halloween and it worked out really well.
Have fun!
Deb

Tracey in Calgary said...

I am still traumatized from seeing Lord of the Flies with my class when I lived in England, I must have been 11 or 12. Traumatized.

Zillah said...

i dare you to go next year as a page from hildegard's scivias. double dare you!

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