Friday, December 12, 2008

So Cold!

My new job includes new responsibilities. Most of them just require tackling the learning curve. One, however, requires additional wardrobe.

Our middle school students are not allowed off "campus" for lunch. They can bring from home or eat school lunch and then can, usually, go outside to play in the yard. Both the cafeteria and the yard have to be supervised. Finding staff volunteers for yard duty is not easy. The main reason? The weather.

The kids have to go out as long as it's not raining (or snowing). Trust me. I kept them in on Monday because it was below freezing. I regretted it 10 minutes into the period. These are middle school kids. They have LOTS of energy. And they need to burn it off during recess. When they don't ... beware!

But back to the weather.

Very few days are picture perfect and the person manning the yard has to be prepared. During the mid fall and mid spring it's easy. Sunblock, a hat and a lightweight jacket do the trick. Early fall and late spring are even easier -- just the hat and sunblock. Add some knitting and it's easy duty.

This time of year, however, it's tough. The kids are running around but the duty person tends to stand still or walk slowly around the perimeter. Not enough exercise to really keep warm.

Then there's the issue of clothing. The school is over heated and I often ride my bike to work. Both of these factors are totally incompatible with yard duty right now.

I've stashed a hat, scarf and fingerless mitts in my work closet and even purchased a warm jacket just for yard duty. Gloves or mittens are always available no matter how I got to work. My problem areas are my legs and feet.

If I wear heavy slacks then I am too warm in the building -- the same goes for long undies under light slacks. I also tend to wear dress shoes, read: nice,thin flats or heels, with hose. Totally and completely incompatible with cold sidewalks.

And I like to wear skirts.

Do you see my problem?

I'm already changing clothes twice during the day. Once from biking gear to work clothes and then back again (and then into "house" clothes once home). Time permitting, and it rarely does, I'm willing to change my bottoms if I have to but now I need to figure out the right kind of bottoms.

I've heard about flannel lined jeans (and a quick google shows where I can get some) but does anyone out there have any experience with them? Brands to avoid? Or to run for?

I know that a new pair of Dansko clogs are in my future with the old ones going to live at work for quick, warmish, footwear. And wool socks are a given.

I'll figure it out.

Except on the days without time or when I'm not expecting to have to go out. Like today. When I wound up outside in 35 degree weather wearing wool socks, bike shoes, a cute pleated skirt and stockings.

Yes, I was shivering when I finally got back inside. But the kids were happy. And that's all that really matters. Right?


Joy said...

RE flannel lined jeans, think snow pants and try them on first! They can be bulky almost to the point of can't move :)

Cookie said...

Have you thought of the tights that runners wear in the winter? They fit like tights, so you might be able to pull them on under a skirt and pretend like they are really dark stockings. Just a thought.

I hope you can figure something out and quickly!


Penny said...

Bean's been making them as long as I can remember so they can't be bad right? (I have no idea)

I was a large fan of "ice skating tights" when I ran cross country & track in high school... something like these, the microfibre the key element. It let me wear my uniform (the brief kind) and stay warm. Good for my already short and tight hamstrings.

If you wore running tights they'd be too warm even with a skirt over them inside. At least that's my belief. Then again I only bought the cheap ones because I'd destroy them with my spikes...

Good luck!

ikkinlala said...

I don't really have any advice (I've never been in a situation where I had to stand around outside much), but good luck with finding something that works!