My Beautiful Wickedness

Operation Purge My Life of Crap
August 10, 2007, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today was a day set aside to deal with a roomful of crap, specifically my office. I’d been putting it off, since coming to terms with one’s stuff is always at the root of it coming to terms with one’s life. It’s time to mourn what must be mourned (I really have graduated with my PhD and I no longer have that big circle of grad school friends to sit with me over coffee and talk over our latest big idea), acknowledge that I’ve outgrown some of the projects that will never come to completion in published form (sorry, American Home Missionary Society Article!), and start making room for new growth.

Three big garbage bags of throwaways and three big boxes of giveaways later, the room is feeling a little lighter. I moved in another small bookcase to give me the shelving that I needed, but I have to go through the titles in the room and move about half the books to my school office where they will be of greater utility. That way, I’ll have some space to put new books in my office as I acquire them. I’ve set up hanging files that reflect the next semester — the courses I’m teaching, the reviews and articles I’m supposed to be turning in this fall, the committees on which I serve on-campus and in my professional organizations, the program I’m directing, the student organizations that I’m mentoring, and the theses students and independent study students that I’m advising. I have a bad habit of just stacking paper (because it’s flat!) and then things are impossible to find. I’m hoping that I can dump paper in the files and at least keep it together so I can find it readily the next time I need it. I’ve vacuumed and dusted for the first time in months. I’ve moved in a lamp so that I can have better light (necessary as my eyes age, seemingly faster than the rest of me.)

I still haven’t tackled the filing cabinets. Big messes lurk there and a lot of emotional upheaval as I have to come to grips with courses I’m never going to teach or take again, professors who have since died or retired, disappointed hopes in the form of job interviews that went badly and post-doc finalist interviews that just didn’t pan out, grad school memories good and bad). I’m going to blitz a couple of drawers between now and pre-season football time. (Chili’s already in the crockpot. It’s been very cool here today — 60ish — so I am going to pretend it’s fall.) I’ll do the rest a drawer at a time in the next week.

Is it weird to miss going to school? I really miss taking graduate classes.


2 Comments so far
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I don’t think it’s weird at all. I recall it wistfully, even after twelve years–not classes as much as seminars, discussing readings, presenting our research in progress, working on collaborative projects together. But I had my firstborn the same year I defended my diss. And we moved across the country that year too. So a lot of other changes are wrapped up in leaving all that behind, so much that hard to figure which parts I truly “miss.”

Comment by Penny

No, it isn’t weird at all…when I realized a month ago that I had drifted so far off my usual beam that I *didn’t read books anymore* because of some weird mental construct in my head about not having the time…I went out and bought six right away and am now happily immersed in just *reading* for the first time in a decade…

Comment by imfunny2

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