Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Question: What habits from prep school do you still have today?

Photo by Salt Water New England
For those who went to prep school, either as a day student or as a boarder, what habits, good or bad, did you pick up that remain with you today?

64 comments:

  1. As a 21st century prep school graduate, one differentiator is that I’m comfortable wearing pants even on the hottest of days!

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  2. I still wear Bass Weejuns out and about.

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  3. As a 20th century prep graduate, I'm comfortable wearing shorts, even on cold days, with wool rag socks and Bean bluchers. Also, I never appear without a belt or an white crew neck undershirt.

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  4. I wear the Top siders and I wear the clogs. I make sure I have white turtlenecks and crewneck sweaters. Despite having to wear a uniform (a plaid skirt), I still love tartan and plaid.

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  5. Good study habits. Churchgoing. Respect for authority -- even if we did not show it then.

    Ironic attitude and a tendency toward sarcastic remarks. Never too early for a drink.

    Layering. Tendency to over-dress for informal events and under-dress for formal ones.

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    1. Dear Sartre, I would have thought your school memory was encapsulated in your witty remark, 'I have no need for good souls: an accomplice is what I wanted'.

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    2. Indeed! You just described me.

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  6. rolled sleeves rather than short sleeved button downs, boat shoes (no socks), and layering

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  7. Catholic Girls Day School - fear of being late.

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    1. Not to mention nuns with rulers.

      MaryAnne

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  8. Other than dress, which has changed very little - short pants and I still tuck my tie inside my shirt at lunch.

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  9. Being over prepared! :)

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    1. That's it!! That is what I see in my husband and sister-in-law.

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  10. In my kindergarten school picture I'm wearing a blue blazer, an OCBD, and a repp bow tie. I wore the same ensemble throughout my school years. And as I sit here about to teach my next class at a New England boarding school, I'm still wearing it. Semper eadem.

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  11. Oxford Cloth Button Down shirt unless there's a reason not to. Work hard, play hard.

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  12. While my "prep" school was a rural high school in south central Illinois, way more years than I want to admit later, I am still wearing Weejuns, dirty canvas sneakers, khakis and OCBD shirts.

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  13. Trying too hard . . .

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  14. Clogs, khakis, OCBD shirts and Clinique makeup. Good manners and thank you notes.

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  15. Decorum at all costs- not oversharing thoughts and feelings because really, in the end, nobody cares. Today there is a tendency to reveal too much, how much one makes, what something costs, and on and on. It becomes exhausting to pretend to care. I don't and find my eyes glaze over much of the time.

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    1. Agree completely. People today, especially the young, have an overwhelming need to share everything with everyone. Although I did not go go boarding school, I was taught that one doesn't talk about personal matters in public, especially politics and/or religion. If more people adhered to that modest principle today, perhaps we wouldn't be so divided.

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  16. Went to a Southern military boarding school. Lord of the Flies environment. Learned to trust my gut instinct about people. Still do a military tuck for my shirts. No patience for bullies. Keep shoes either shined, or, for boat shoes, leather clean and supple.

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    1. J - So very true... I did not attend a prep school but did go to college at The Citadel and think the experience there was very much mid twentieth century prep school. I've found myself nodding along in agreement to 90% of these comments. "Lord of the Flies" indeed!

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  17. My years in prep school taught me that it is better to swim than to sink, that I'd only be fooling myself if I thought I was either unique or particularly special, that nobody likes a contrarian or a complainer, and that downers get left behind.

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  18. Weejuns. Wool. Button downs. LL Bean sweaters. Voracious reading. An absolute solidarity with my classmates that never wanes. Observing before engaging. Decorum. Being polite even when those around me are rude. And unfortunately, the smirk and nod.

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  19. Crack of dawn run across the park; shower & head out with wet hair. Dressing in layers. Practice to make things look easy. Putting people at ease.

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  20. Still brush my teeth in the shower.

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  21. Practice, practice, practice. Weejuns, tartan, pearls, crisp white blouses, camel polo coat. Be polite and never make someone uncomfortable. And as dear Michael Rowe said eating quickly! cheers

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  22. I over-dress for drinks parties and lunch . I find it difficult to go casual. My father instilled this upon me and I'll stay with it to the grave .........

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  23. 67 years old. Today at work...Blue blazer, Khakis, OCBD, crew neck sweater, Sperrys Camel wool topcoat....some things never change

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  24. Glad to see no one wrote “smoking” :)

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    1. I didn't mention it because I quit! :D Our "Stoop Group" would smoke or simply sit and chat on the nearby brownstone stairs between classes. When it was nice out we'd walk to Central Park at lunch.

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    2. We had a smoking lounge! Granted it was an outdoor courtyard, only open to upperclassmen but still - smoking in high school - yikes!

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    3. Our headmaster smoked cigars in his office and the elevator operator smoked a pipe right in the elevator. We did have a student lounge but no smoking was permitted in there.

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  25. A heavy reliance on the wonders of shoe goo, formerly motivated by a scheme to use the money for new loafers to buy beer. Pairing foul weather gear with blazers and suits which is likely not a great look on an adult. Overall preference for repairing and holding onto things rather than replace...now as a lawyer I wear the same blazers from my senior year (thankfully my mother always bought a size too big) and use the same back pack.

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  26. I did not attend prep school.
    Please forgive me for using this opportunity to say to Reggie Darling that I am so happy to see his comment. I followed his blog for years, and then it suddenly stopped. I'm telling myself that because he commented here, he must be doing at least okay. I learned a number of things from Reggie's writing. I'm just about to finish my last bottle of Caldrea Mandarin Vetiver dish soap. I learned about this soap from Reggie, and I've enjoyed using it for years. Sadly, it has been discontinued. I think I will try Mrs. Meyers Lemon. Thank you, Reggie for being you. If this comment is too off-topic Muffie can delete it. Also, I'm Anonymous, not because I want to be anonymous, but because I am barely computer literate, and I don't have accounts at places like Google.

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  27. The impulse to vomit at the sight of overcooked green vegetables, especially stuffed peppers. During winter term they appeared way too often at dinner or supper. Except for fresh salad greens, tomatoes and shredded carrots that torture ruined vegetables for me for life.

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    1. Oh mercy! I had blocked out the memory of stuffed bell peppers. So vile!

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  28. That's where I learned the truth - that a uniform, the color navy blue, plaids and tartans, all these will keep you well turned out, appropriate and at your ease.

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  29. Smoking actual oval-shaped cigarettes (“English Ovals”), during my one year of prep school, is a reminder of how pretentious a 14 year old can be.

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  30. Manners, pearls, the utility of a well made navy blazer, understated makeup, and always pushing my chair back into place after rising from a desk or dining table.

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  31. I went to a bohemian prep school. I still wear a beret.

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  32. Catholic all-boys prep school. I call everyone "Sir," "Ma'am," or "Father."

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  33. Because we were somewhat isolated from civilization, we kept in touch through newspapers and classroom discussion of current events. I've been an avid consumer of news ever since. I'm constantly shocked to meet people who know little about the world, unless we go to war with a particular country.

    MGC

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  34. • The habitual use of "sir" to any male older than I.
    • A certain fondness for navy blazers, OCBD shirts, khaki slacks, loafers as an all-occasions dress code.
    • Always, always having three or four books going at once. (I know it sounds snobby, but ink-on-paper is where I go for relaxation.)

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  35. Thank you, Muffie.

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  36. To nearly "All the above" I'll add my love of outdoor sports. I spend a good portion of everyday every season outdoors.
    Suzanne

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  37. the craaaak! of that disc on ashwood
    wind in the trees
    showers of ice shavings

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  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  39. Poise and Balance: how to deftly shimmy up a fire escape at night. The wonders of WD-40.

    True Appreciativeness of The Three Food Groups: any coffee with cream and sugar.

    Financial Analyst: How to spend all your money at least seven times before purchasing a thing or better yet the current rate of loaning yours.

    Limits and Liabilities: stuffing your dirty laundry bag, spatial awareness of one’s car trunk, a sibling’s hot date. Actual hours of sleep needed.

    Cultivated varieties and social graces: able to adapt to whomever, whatever, whenever, and why… ever. Asset for not getting beat up or for accessing the future Corporate Opportunities.

    Phobias: a large amount of flowing black material, thick wooden rulers, etymology, squeaky highlighters, grey stringy or slimy vegetables.

    Velocity: cafeteria meals, mid terms, Friday nights, quantities of beer, economics, bad pizza, the laws of gravity…life.

    Currents: AC and DC, government, early morning rowing, campus politics.

    Pre Majors: theories vs. career options, financial aid, technological solutions, purgatory, practicality, hereditary, advancing holidays…Begging & Groveling 101.

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  40. Perseverance and resilience

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  41. This has been an enjoyable read. Thank you : )

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  42. A uniform that I wore to Catholic Schools some 40 years ago I still wear. Navy Blazer, gray slacks, white button down and blue tie. I mix things up now with khakis and rep ties. At 61 I still call people Mr. or Mrs. when I meet them.

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  43. Bed-making, deference and adherence to the rules of grammar.

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  44. I'd have to say a love of rowing... and vodka.

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  45. Wonderful post, I remember my catholic school!!! Good manners, good grammar...

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  46. Hubby, an Old Etonian, has highly polished shoes and manners, a clean white handkerchief at all times and all apparel from 'meh tailor'.

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  47. Can't go on with the day unless the room is in pristine order. God, I mis the UK.

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  48. Was this picture taken at The Gunnery?? Sure looks like it! That's where I went!

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