Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I play rugby for the club team at my school, and in the spring we often have to practice at 6 AM, because there's snow outside and not a lot of room inside. I have 8 o'clock classes every day, and generally this means that I go directly from practice to class. The first couple of times I did this, I just put sweatpants on over my shorts and sneakers. But I quickly realized that I wasn't comfortable sitting in class in gym clothes. I never go to class in my pajamas, or in sweatpants. The most casual I get is jeans and a t-shirt. There might not be a whole lot of difference between sweatpants and jeans, but in my mind I am not prepared for class if I haven't put on real pants first.

I recently ran across this quote by Theodore Dalrymple in In Character:

For many years I believed that how a man dressed was unimportant; it was the man within that counted, not the man without. My belief excused me for being myself rather scruffily dressed, which was very easy and convenient for me in terms of effort required. But I now think that I was mistaken, for it does not follow from the fact that outward appearance is not all-important that it is of no importance at all.

The small matter of cleaning one's shoes, for example, is not one of vanity alone, though of course it can be carried on to the point of vanity and even obsession and fetish. It is, rather, a discipline and a small sign that one is prepared to go to some trouble for the good opinion and satisfaction of others. It is a recognition that one lives in a social world. That is why total informality of dress is a sign of advancing egotism.

That is exactly how I feel. If I can't be bothered to get dressed before going to class what does that say about my opinion of the class, my professor, and my fellow students? I respect them, and the least I can do is put on a proper pair of pants before showing up in class. A professor wouldn't teach a class in sweats, we as students owe them the same respect.

On a completely different note - I am almost done with my sweater. I have finished all the pieces and cut the steek, now I just need to assemble it and figure out some kind of closure. I'm thinking maybe a knitted on band and collar, with mitered corners, but I want the collar to be green, and I'm not sure if having the band green too would be weird looking. We shall see.