Dear Tim Gunn,
I love you. Like a tween at a Bieber concert, I think you are fabulous. When I first started watching Project Runway, I loved how you worked with, what I feel, were your students. You could have been like Simon from Idol and made these people cry. You could have been snarky and told them how you would do it and how they were wrong. But you didn't. You told them to make it work. You took the high road when Santino mocked you. You always took the role of the gentleman and even when bitchy Kenley ignored you and gave you such attitude I wanted to smack that red lipstick off her stuck up face, you never yelled at her, you never gave her attitude back. And you know what? She looked like a pestilent child and you looked like the smart respectable gentleman. So when I saw you promoting a book on Life Rules, I knew that I had to read it. I don't want to be a Kenley. I want to make it work.
The book is very interesting. It's part memoir, part life lesson, but all conversation. It feels like a letter sent out to friends. It's very candid and open, but does jump around. Sometimes I forgot the main idea of the chapter but it always came back around. I was so glad it wasn't Dr. Laura preachy. The last thing I needed was someone telling me all the things I'm doing wrong and all the things I should be doing. These are just some basic rules of being nice and a good person. Nothing will rock your world and nothing will take a giant leap of faith to make a position change in your life.
We need to talk about manners because as a teacher, I can tell you, our future has no manners. The students now a days are awful. There is no respect, there is no kindness, no class. They don't say please or thank you. They don't put someone else's needs before themselves or even think of others at all. They do thinks that physically hurt each other and they don't care. They have no respect or fear for their teachers, principals or dean. They speak in rude, mean tones. Now let me say this, I have at least 5 sweet, kind students who are taught manners. But that is 5 out of 20. I have one who is completely respectful and has fantastic manners. He has a terrible home situation which makes me wonder if manners are genetic.
So I am trying to take the Tim Gunn way in my classroom. I try and say "Make It Work" when they don't know what to do. They look at me strangely and grumble about getting help, but ultimately they figure it out. I try to teach Karma in a way that they understand. I tell them, when you do good things, good things happen to you. So when they are quietly working when a teacher is talking to me or line up without me asking I take them to extra recess. When one of them does something nice, I give them tickets for no reason. I hope it leaves an impact.
There was only one part of this book that rocked my world. It's not what you think. I'm not a fashionista by any means. I'm no future contestant on Project Runway. I don't take risks or follow Vogue. But there is one thing I do know, you never wear black and brown together. So in the chapters about fashion, the fact that Tim Gunn, who I see as the fashion expert, who to me is the epitome of style writes that it's okay to wear black and brown, I don't know what to do. Since I read that chapter, I see THEM mixed (black and brown clothes and accessories) every where. I saw a girl in a beautiful long black sweater, skinny jeans and long brown boots. She looked awesome. I think, that looks great. I look in my closet. I see a cute brown top with nice black pants. Can't do it. I can't do it. I may have worn the side pony tail and jelly shoes, but I knew that black pants had any color but brown and brown pants had any color but black. I can't do it. The only way I'll wear brown and black if it Tim Gunn picks out the outfit himself. And that's a promise.
Overall, this is a sweet, charming book like I picture Gunn himself is. A conversation that sometimes veers away but always makes you smile. Thank you for this kind and enjoyable moment.
Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work