Yesterday was the final faculty meeting at school, meaning that the summer has officially begun. That noise you hear in the background is the teachers cheering more loudly than the students. Yes, the time of the beach, of reading books, of writing papers and doing research, of sitting by the pool with the kids, of fishing with dad and brother, of napping with the Tigers or Nats game in the background (when you are supposed to be attending to that long list of home improvement and repair chores) is really and truly here. Mostly, this is a cause for celebration in my mind because that modern torture device of sartorial custom, the necktie, must now loosen its Satanic hold over my throat. Except for a few dressy occasions, my neckties are now consigned to the closet until that dreaded day in the fall when I have to tighten the noose once again. When it rolls around, I will have this diagram to remind myself of how to tie one of the infernal things.