|my lesson plan book from teaching 7th grade, an article on Ben Franklin, and materials for a Chinese New Year lesson|
I have two four drawer filing cabinets full of teaching stuff I'm most likely never going to use. I had collected the stuff over years, from when I started my master's degree in 2001 all the way through 2008, when I had finally had enough of looking for a teaching job and I decided that I (and my family) needed some normalcy again.
But what to do with all that junk?
For a good six months, I couldn't even look at it. The thought was depressing. All that work. (I particularly loved the props for the Chinese New Year lesson I did for my "Teaching Social Studies" class.) All that time. All those hopes... I had put so much effort into making and collecting the stuff - getting rid of it is like acknowledging that it was a useless effort.
I guess in many circumstances, eventually, there comes a time when you feel the weight of all that "stuff," and you know you have to purge it from your life, but it's still difficult. I have a friend who would most certainly tell me to not even look through it - "just throw it out," but there have been times in my life when I've done that, and down the road, I've regretted not looking through it first - the stuff almost gains more importance when you're not exactly sure what was in there.
For me, sometimes the "stuff" is proof that I was there. "I have ____, therefore I am ______." I am working on overcoming this belief, but to quote Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride, "Slow going, eh?"
This weekend, I finally started on the filing cabinets. Amid the tossing I took a trip down memory lane. It was nostalgic, and yes, I am still a bit bitter over certain things, but I am ready to move on. And you know, today, I do feel a bit lighter.