Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Purging (painfully) and Moving On

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.

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