Library media teacher Laura Utile and library specialist Verna Grant were standing in the corner behind the desks of the librarians when they noticed a group of boys watching a YouTube video and struggling with a tie.
That’s when the “Bring your tie to school” library event, was created.
It took a week and a half for Utile and Grant to organize the event, which they then advertised on SchoolLoop. They created the event in hopes of educating MVHS students on how to properly wear a tie for Homecoming and other formal presentations.
“The idea came because we saw some students struggling and trying to tie a tie, and we thought: what could we do to help other people,” Utile said. “Homecoming is coming up. The kids might need to tie ties for the homecoming dance, [so we thought]that we have a tie a tie day.”
The event was held throughout the day on Friday Oct. 6, drop-in style. Posters with clear instructions on the procedures and mirrors attracted many curious learners, including junior Sabrina Stone.
“I guess it was kind of like ‘Oh, that’s cool I guess, I’ll just stop by […] and learn how to tie a tie, and it seemed pretty easy for me,” Stone said.
In hopes of attracting more attention to the exhibit, Utile gave a small speech at the start of every period in order to intrigue the students who had ideas of dressing up for the senior’s homecoming theme, Harry Potter.
Although the event didn’t attract a crowd, a few people came in each period either out of curiosity or because they wanted help with ties they planned on wearing to Homecoming. But more students attended the session near the end of the day, since there was an MVHS cross country meeting held in the library which included sophomore Steven Ho, who had previously known how to tie a tie because he was in FBLA his freshman year but had forgotten the process. He felt that the experience and opportunity was beneficial.
“There is a lot of formal stuff that happens,” Ho said. “Whether it’s in their [the students] personal lives or school, like junior prom or senior ball, a lot of people still don’t know how to tie their ties, so this will be a good place to learn.”
While the event’s main goal was to help students get ready for Homecoming, it also helped many students prepare for formal presentations and for clubs like Mock Trial and Speech and Debate.
The experience was very useful for many students as following along with a video can be quite challenging, and by having one-on-one teaching, the learning process was much easier. They had a poster board with instructions as well as a Chromebook open with a video showing how to tie a bow tie. Using the website ties.com Utile and Grant were able to teach the four-in-hand, a basic type of knot. The knot is simple and easy to follow for many and cleared doubts on the subject matter.
“I didn’t know how to tie a tie, but I remember needing to tie a tie before and my parents did it for me, so I wanted to learn how to do [it],” Stone said.
However, Utile says that other parents do not know how to tie a tie, since dress wear has become increasingly casual.
“[Students are] not the only ones struggling with how to tie a tie, and it’s not a skill you learn in school necessarily,” Utile said. “It’s not necessary that your parents know how to tie a tie either because work has gotten a little more casual now than in the past where people would always go to work with ties on.”
Utile hopes that students were able to take away some valuable information about the experience for the future, whether it be for work or just for a presentation.
“[I want students] feeling that they can try to do it,” Utile said. “They’ve seen how one tie can be done and then they might want to learn […] different types of knots so they might decide, I want to learn the different types of knots and they have to go out and try something new.”