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My first year teaching, I taught 4th graders. I then followed them to 5th grade, then 6th.

These same kids are now 7th graders. I'm not in the classroom anymore - most of my day is spent riding a desk - but I still make time to visit that class.

Today, I noticed that about half of them were wearing mismatched socks. You can easilly tell that these particular kids have been mine for 3 years straight.

I was wearing mismatched socks as well. When the higher-ups questioned me about it, I said that my one white and one black sock was a Taoist religious expression, symbolizing yin and yang - an expression of the dual nature of man and my personal attempts to strive for balance. Their eyes glazed over and they let me go on my way. Point: EC.


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‚ÄčI wear odd socks too, but they are both black, because I am an anarchical, anti-authoritarian, libertine non-conformist.

I just love your religious reason for wearing odd socks.

Way back in 1970, I wrote a play with the lead character being played by two actors, one dressed in white, the other in black. This representation was multi-faceted with references to the Socratic white and black horses, Taoist yin and yang, the conscious and the unconscious minds, and of course, the character's identity crisis.

The audiences of the day were baffled because they mistook the two actors as alter egos of the character instead of being the two sides of the one person - the yin and the yang. Nevetheless, it played to packed houses for weeks, and I still meet people who tell me they saw the play and it altered their lives.

If I had thought of it I would have had the actors wear odd socks.

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My problem with wearing one white sock and one black one, aside from the rampant nonconformity issue which is much more attractive on the younger set, is that all my white socks are of the sweat sock variety, i.e., thick and absorbent and made of heavy cotton, while by black socks are dress socks, silky and thin to the point of emaciation.

Should I wear these synchronously, I'd be walking like a drunken sailor and probably soon do my groin an injury. Besides which, and what is really the point here, I already have enough people claiming I'm unbalanced. I don't need to prove it to them.

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Probably not. I'm uncertain with most things. And this, turning mismatched socks into motivation for youthful scholars does make me scratch my head such that folicle deterioration becomes an annoyance.


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