Friday, January 21, 2011

"Day of Manners."

Four times per year, our school embraces a “Day of Manners” when our students dress up in their “Dress Uniform” and where my seventh and eighth graders in particular review or learn proper etiquette. Our students are fortunate to have the guidance of our guest expert, Mrs. Marsh, previously an etiquette coach on the popular series Bridezilla, who covers topics such as how to make a good first impression, dining etiquette, and today how to initiate and partake in polite conversation. Mrs. Marsh, in addition to holding the rapt attention of thirty thirteen-year-olds, spoke eloquently about the simple ways we can improve our etiquette. I enjoy these quarterly reminders of what is expected of us all by our elders. I thought I’d share some of the common courtesies that we’d all appreciate experiencing on a daily basis that I know we often forget. (Complied by myself and my colleagues at lunch today.)

“Good manners open doors that the best education cannot.” –Clarence Thomas.

Cell Phone courtesies ‘Don’ts’:
1. Don’t text and drive: keep your phone in the trunk if you are guilty.
2. Don’t text (or use a phone) at an event, or movie theater, church, etc...
3. Don’t have a private conversation in a public place.
4. Don’t use a phone while having a conversation with someone else.
5. Don’t use a phone while standing in line for anything.

Driving courtesies we should remember:
1. Please use your turn signal (blinker).
2. Refrain from “cutting people off”.
3. Refrain from driving slowly in the left lane of the highway.
4. Refrain from “rubbernecking”(slowing down to look at an accident).
5. Refrain from tailgating.
6. Refrain from using a cell phone at all while driving.
7. Refrain from using headphones while driving (this is illegal).
8. Driving aggressively. (Weaving through lanes, speeding 20+ mph over speed limit).

Workplace Etiquette: There’s a great list of office etiquette here… 
1. Don’t take other people’s food/stuff.
2. Replace whatever you borrow.
3. Keep the toxic language rants to yourself.
4. Leave the space the way you found it.
5. Hitting "Reply All" to show off your amazing opinion: no one cares.

General Etiquette:
1. Knock on the door before you come into a room.
2. Don’t block an entryway, or hallway during a conversation.
3. Hold the door for someone behind you.
               View more proper mannerisms here…

“When a man points a finger at someone else,
he should remember that four of his fingers are pointing at himself.”
–Louis Nizer

So, I think we all have some work to do, myself included: but I think it’s important to relearn and remind ourselves about the difference between animals and humans: good manners.

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