the honor roll

. . . is about direction.
I spent the majority of my youth chasing labels such as special, gifted, talented.  Mostly it seemed that classmates’ names printed Student of the Month card stock were names that were respected, revered, valued.  I wanted that.  I wanted my laminated name placard rising above my peers’ on the book report log.  I wanted to earn a field trip to a live taping of “All That” in eighth grade.  I wanted a parking permit for the staff lot.  But I never made it past halfway up the Reader Board.  I never spoke French with Pierre Escargot.  My ‘91 Toyota Previa never spent a school day out of the wastelands of student parking.

. . . is about dedication.
These days, I’ll be proud to say that I’ve revised this skewed perspective, and prouder to admit myself a perpetual schoolboy.  A true egghead for the learning process.  For there is so much to learn in this beautiful world, and so many to teach me.  I might ramble something rhapsodic about the Sunday evening shoe shine, or impart what I’ve gleaned from studying my wife’s effortlessly nimble fingers churning out knickknacks.  Whatever the subject, the foci will be willful admission of my ignorance, paired with an unquenchability for more.

. . . is about distinction.
This is the honor roll.  A document of a young man curious about style, for all its dignity and devil-may-care attitudes.  In between fabric choices and silhouettes, there’s a living history and poetry to the clothes we wear, and I want to learn everything about it.  From experts, from artisans, from apprentices.  From these teachers.  One day I will pass on the knowledge I’ve gathered, but right now, I just want to sit down.  I want to draw out my pen and notebook.  I want to listen.  I want to learn.

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