Daily Dean

February 25, 2014 Previous day Next day
David Howell

The Daily Dean: Ties

Posted by David Howell Feb 25, 2014

When I became Dean of Students, I decided to become a "tie guy"--one of those guys that always wears a tie to work. I've tried making the conversion several times during the course of my career, but this is the first time it stuck. I've been wondering why this is the case--why now. And I think it has come down to this: it's not about learning how to tie a tie (something, by the way, that I'm still trying to figure out). It's about learning how to wear it. I want to best represent my students and staff, and dressing as professional as I possibly can is part of that process.

I also wonder what is lost in the process of dawning the tie--if the attire creates some sort of visual separation between me and students. But I think it gets back to that notion of "learning how to wear the tie." If I'm comfortable wearing it, then it's not that big of a deal; it becomes a big deal if I let it become a big deal.

I've been wearing a tie to work every day for about 6 months now. I think it gets easier every day; I'm less self-aware of the strip of cloth around my neck. And maybe, a year from now, or years from now, I'll be less aware. And, maybe, I'll have some nicer ties.