How to re-fuel your aesthetics (Part 2 of 3 in November mini-series)
My Muses for Personal Aesthetics
Each and every one of us have our favourite ways to refuel our personal aesthetics. This post is about three women who continue to refuel mine – and are current as ever.
These three women impacted my early decisions about what I wanted to do in life. So here is my tribute to the language I love, to having (serious) fun with knowledge, colour and what we wear.
Catwalk in the classroom: communication and the power of first impression
Slender, whimsical, elegant, fun; she felt good wearing her wide skirts. I still recall that they were ‘50s-style skirts with innovative elements, some with organza. She would stand up on the desk – yes, the teachers’ desk – and let us see her in her all in splendour. That was her own catwalk, and she was cut out for just that! At that time, it was the best she could have hoped for – creating magic by communicating a great attitude and a memorable presentation. She had learned that, once she had done her ‘number’, we would pay attention; we all settled down to verbs and infinitives. English was so much fun with her as a teacher!
Her aesthetic was all about capturing the room, harnessing the power of a first impression and being creatively engaging.
Inimitable: a bit more severe fun
We sat at our tiny desks in her living room. She, imperious on a sumptuous couch surrounded by books perilously towering at the height of her couch, and all within easy reach. There was a miniature train on a table; little did I realise how vital that train would be in what I was about to experience for the next few years.
Tanti F. was the most memorable person I had ever met. She had lived in England for 25 years since the second world war with her husband, an illustrious doctor in London. Not a teacher by training, she had massive talent as a sponge for anything and everything that had made an impression on her while living abroad; she took it home to Transylvania and shared it with young minds like mine.
The train set was to help us learn the word order and verbs in this foreign language of English: each carriage had its function. I can even see them now and have always felt good about verbs and tenses because of her unique approach to teaching.
To this day, I can’t understand why so many people misuse apostrophes. I know that Tanti F would turn in ‘where she is now’ if she thought we didn’t know how to use them properly.
She was very strict about achievement so, at that the first lesson, she set down her rules. If we got an eight on a test and met her in the street, we were supposed to go to the other side of the road. She would understand why … and not judge us!
If we got a 9, we could greet her in the street by nodding. Getting a ten – we needed to stop and make conversation.
This aesthetic was about the power of presence, the mingling of cultures and the benefit of rules and structure.
The courage of colour: all I needed to know about self-expression
Her husband had been a diplomat, and she had lived in countries far away. She always spoke her mind and could see through everything; she knew where we were in our learning and lives. It matched my 16-year-old mind – and that was something else!
She not only knew the history and economics of the world and made it enjoyable, but she knew the power of colour and wore it like no other that I had ever met: red, coral and hot pinks together, or with yellow, cream and orange. She was exquisite.
I knew immediately that I wanted to go deeper into learning about people and economies, culminating in setting up and running a socio-demographic/economics company. I’ve also experimented with colours for what I have worn ever since.
Her aesthetic was all about colour, a boldness that was beautiful in its own right.
Aesthetics are still a big interest
My interest in character analysis started when I was nearly ten and has grown ever since; it was all nurtured by my muses, who were dressing elegantly and communicating beautifully. Not that this would matter for everybody – but it did for me.
What they were wearing was ‘talking’ to us as young, curious girls. That is where my story of colour, outfits and the world originated.
They showed us how they lived their lives and did it so well – all while teaching us how to use verbs and tenses, facts and figures, prepositions and adverbs. Learning was an absolute no-brainer.
Which are your most fun ways to refuel your aesthetics? Hop over to The Rising Network Facebook page or LinkedIn page to join the conversation!
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