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O Captain My Captain

Both my parents were public school teachers.

I went to public schools. Of course teacher’s don’t have to be public to be cool, but it helps a little.wilson

I’m a big fan of teachers. I think more people should be fans of teachers. In fact, if I ruled the world (just you wait) teacher salaries would start at $100,000 per year. We would only accept the best, probably with master’s degrees from well-funded, well-practiced colleges. But I don’t rule the world and whoever it is that does won’t return my calls.

So until my master plan comes into play I will have to do smaller things, like recognize those who recognize great teachers. May I present the Milken Educator Awards.

CIMG8947I don’t know any of these winners and that is sad. Not sad in the way that I should know everyone, but in the way that good teachers should be famous. If you know someone as cool as those folks over here, nominate them.

Sir, we have not met, but I’m cool with giving educators their due.IMG_5462

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Monkey Suit: because its summer

My niece is getting married this summer. I’ve never met the guy. She’s a smart girl so I’m sure he’s great but I’m not so sure about all of this. I am however sure that he has nothing to do with the point of this post so right at the beginning, I’ve already digressed. Typical.

The point is that the reception is outside. Summer wedding outside; what to wear?montgomerymeninsuits

My family is not a formal bunch by anyone’s measure. We may be a little better put together than those with whom we associated coming up, but that bar can’t get any lower. So really, the only one who will care at all what I wear- is me. But I do care. I think we have gone over this before. I may be digressing again.

It must be a suit. I know it’s summer and outside, but it’s a wedding for heaven’s sake. And yes, wear the jacket. The fact that I even felt I had to justify that statement shows just how low that bar is set.

My closet is always just a tad deficient, and I may not be in a position to fix that right now, but in the spirit of weddings and love, allow me to dream just a little.SUIT_Cotton_Linen_Whipcord_Grey_003

I said a “little” so I’m not going to go all bespoke here, but there is still room for reaching without reaching all the way to the stars. I’d be happy to reach for the laptop and order a suit from Bonobos.

Yup, the pants guys make suits.

I don’t just want a suit. I want a cotton/linen blend, lightweight, light colored, summer suit.SUIT_CottonLinen_Almond_Slim_Group_050_(2) (2)

I also want a light colored, slightly playful, but not too much, pocket square to add a little flair. Bonobos makes those too.PKTSQ_HudsonDot_Linen_Carnation_382

I actually made some myself out of a pair of Bonobos pants I owned that met an untimely demise due to rambunctious behavior and a can of paint.destroinside

I suggest you order them as pocket squares rather than pants. Cheaper that way. Less work too.

The rational side of me knows that as a Californian, such a suit could be worn year round. That adds value right?

Just remember, especially when wearing light colored suits; your tie should always be darker than your shirt, and it’s probably best to stick to light colored shirts the pocket square should not exactly match your tie. It can match your shirt, but not your tie.PKTSQ_AnchorWave_Linen_NavyBlazer_377

Come to think of it… 50 bucks says half of the guys won’t be wearing suits but will wear ties. So I think I’ll wear a suit but not a tie. Unless I wear it in my pocket as a pocket square.

New rule: your pocket square can match your tie if it is in fact, your tie.IMG_3463

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As I Slept

Last night I dreamt about the Ocean.

We were preparing to launch our various vessels from underneath a pier. Mine was a barrowed paddle board. I had hoped for a kayak.

The venture was proposed by someone else in our group, all of us men, but I cannot recall any faces. They were friends, some brothers-in-law, and all of them new relations to me. I was new to the area, knew nothing of the water, but this was all brushed off as old hat to them.

“Let’s go out on the water. It will be fun.”surrealbeach

It was to be a simple day of floating and paddling about on the blue. I have been wanting some of that since I moved here. Not the floating and paddling per-se, but just some doing. I don’t do enough; mostly I sit, read, and settle.

As we approached the shore I was surprised by what I saw. The beach and sand sloped steeply down from us, but the waves as they rose and rushed out, were ten stories tall. Yes, the waves were going away. They were tall and rough and strangely headed out to sea and not the shore. From my vantage up above I watched the arched backs of the breakers with little people bobbing about, looking like ants.

The water and sky were a blackish blue, lined with hard shadows like an HDR landscape run amuck. As I stood and marveled at what I thought looked quite severe, the others quickly and jauntily unloaded their two, ten person row boats and moved quickly down the slope to a pier jutting out into the heaving mass. I shouldered my borrowed paddle board and followed.surrealwaves

We did not go out onto the pier but under it instead. I hopped from rock to boulder watching as the well drilled crews in front steadied their boats and began loading up the oars. The dark water bubbled around, pushing and pulling like waves do, spitting foam and spray, not white but grey.

They were happy and busy and paying me no mind.

I was afraid.

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Kennesaw State: its in Georgia

Kennesaw State has come a long way in a short time, and you can see it.dorm towers

It is located in a suburb just northwest of Atlanta and it looks it. No collegiate gothic arches and stone work, lots of vinyl siding.ampitheatre

My wife attended KSU for her first two college years, hardly any of what you see there now, was there then.
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The doors opened in 1963, then it changed names, then it changed names again. It was, and a little bit still is, local. Not bad but not exceptionally rigorous.  But they are working hard to change that.baseball cart

KSU has an ace up its sleeve regarding its continual makeover. Ty Pennington, host of Extreme Home Makeover Home Edition, tops the school’s alumni list.

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Photo Essay: I Saw This Coming

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And then….

 

 

 

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St. Joe’s

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Founded 1851. Jesuit. 8,100 students. Business.

 

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Radcliffe, the lost sister

Books, tweed, scarves, glasses, rowing, and bicycles. Cambridge.radcliffe

I went looking for Radcliffe but all I got was Harvard. The sign at the gate still says Radcliffe but once inside it is all Harvard.stairway

What was once a sister school to its Ivy male equivalent, is now just part of one co-ed whole. No distinction other than a sign on an old brick wall.jake library

W.A.S.P.y blue bloods still swarm around but it is no longer a singular hive. This is a good thing but still I feel a little loss on behalf of Radcliffe.equations

No. That isn’t true. I don’t know Radcliffe and I cannot mourn for her. We never really met. Really, I’m just a little perturbed that in my quest to collect pennants from all seven sisters, they no longer manufacture one for a school that was absorbed long ago.

front of librarySo I settle for Harvard. Typing that phrase makes me smirk.  So, like a suitor late to the dance, the music has already started, I see Radcliffe has gone off with another. I look a little to the left, “Sup Barnard? How you doin’?”

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F.A.M.U.

Magnolia trees and dogwood blossoms paint a grand southern picture, but sprinkle in some Spanish moss and that picture becomes a masterful portrait. In the heart of one such portrait sits Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, or FAMU.
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FAMU is one of only a handful of historically black colleges or universities that are public institutions. This means they receive tax payer’s money. Recently they have also received a lot of publicity over a little hazing incident. The hazing was carried out not by the football team or even a fraternity… it was the band.

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Now to be fair this isn’t just any band, it is arguably THE band when it comes to college marching bands. They aren’t limited to football games and local parades, they are more along the lines of presidential inaugurations and Superbowl half times. Some members of said band were dangerously foolish, but it would be foolish to forget how good these guys are.

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Foolish to haze, foolish to forget, and it would also be foolish to assume that while history has proven that separate is inherently unequal, this does not mean that all black institutions hailing from the days of segregation were poor quality. The may have indeed been, and are, poor in funding, but not in product.

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Headlines cry out about the education and performance gap between black and white, inspiring armies of experts to investigate why black folks lag. If these experts would rather look the other way, and find out why the black folks who succeed do so when so many others don’t, they would do well to look at FAMU.

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Florida State University

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Spelman College

My Wife’s best friend went to Spelman. So did Whitley, Dwayne Wayne, and Marissa Tome’…. sorta.arch

It is the HBCU (historically black college or university) version of Wellesley, and also the inspiration for Cosby’s fictional Hilman College in the sitcom Its A Different World.chapel

Founded in 1881, a time when neither women nor Black people were encouraged to pursue higher education. This sort of one-off origin, the kind of historical consolation prize that would lead one to think less of a place, does not apply to Spelman. It lists among the top 50 producers of Fulbright Scholars, second in production of black bacheloriates who go on to med school, and is the Alma Mater of the Dean of Harvard.

It does not to need to prove its bone fides.AKA

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