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Syllabus Revision Thursday. . .

The upper half this morning includes a newly acquired L.L. Bean navy crewneck sweater in Shetland wool that was purchased on sale worn over a heavy Bass ocbd that I purchased a year or so ago at one of my old thrift/charity store haunts back in Central Illinois.

Cold with a bit of snow on the ground here in Lower Michigan lately, which provides a good excuse to don an oxfordcloth shirt and a crewneck sweater along with a pair of corduroy jeans. . .  as if one ever needed an excuse to do so.  These kinds of items are my "at home" uniform from October through mid-April each year, although I often substitute either a rugby shirt, or Norwegian sweater on the top as previous photographs here at Classic Style for the Average Guy will attest.

Classes begin for the new semester next Monday, so I have been busily updating old course syllabi this week to make the courses and syllabi I developed in my previous position better fit current requirements here at MSU.  Not difficult, really, but time consuming we might say.  Still, I had time to order the Young Master a couple of new shirts on clearance earlier this morning -- a blue and white university stripe ocbd and a red Tattersall button-down -- once he left for school since an email came to my in-box from Janie and Jack

Janie and Jack is an online clothing outlet we learned about through good ol' Mom ("Granny" to the Young Master) several years ago when our son was just a baby.  They provide good quality, classic clothing for boys and girls from newborns through about 12 years of age, the kinds of things you won't find, for example, at places like The Children's Store, The Gap, or Old Navy

Naturally, you'll want to avoid going overboard with Janie and Jack items, or else you will end up with children that resemble Thurston and Lovey Howell from the old Gilligan's Island TV series.  However, a few carefully chosen, understated clearance items, purchased two-four times a year, add a pleasing, nicely groomed appearance to a child and his, or her wardrobe.  At least as far as school clothes and attire for special occasions are concerned. 

Although children outgrow their clothes in the blink of an eye, there is no reason why, once they are out of diapers, our boys and girls cannot grow up wearing something else besides the ubiquitous sweatpants, cargo shorts, t-shirts, sneakers, and pajama bottoms worn 27/7 by so many people of all ages.  Ugh!  Remember, it's never too early to begin imparting at least a veneer of polish and sophistication to our children.  Besides teaching them common decency, good habits, and pleasant manners, we can achieve that polish and sophistication -- or at least get a bit closer to it -- by cultivating at a young age the habit of dressing presentably (surprise!).  How can anyone take issue with that?  

Too many people do of course.  But the all-too-commonly heard excuse that, "We should just let kids be kids" is exactly that.  A very weak excuse.  The practice of presenting oneself better than what has become the accepted and extremely sad average by this point in history starts in childhood, or, rather, it ought to.  Like the study of foreign languages, the sooner, the better as far as I am concerned.  Start now.  If you wait until kids are 11 or 12, you miss the boat on a lot of things.  Play with your Legos and Transformers, or out on the backyard swingset, in the treehouse, or in the sandbox (in older playclothes)  all you want, but you needn't look like you have just crawled out from beneath Oscar the Grouch's garbage can while you do it.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

And the lower half, featuring "Gunnlaug", one of our two feline family members.  She routinely joins me down here in my basement den once morning feeding time has come and gone.  After the Young Master was safely on the school bus this morning, I headed inside and swapped my L.L. Bean duck shoes and ski socks for these Sperry dock-siders.


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