My Beautiful Wickedness


A drawback to the method
July 1, 2008, 10:39 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One of the costs of being a full-contact teacher is that once something got out of place, it stays there for months. That cardboard box filled with lecture notes that I put in the dining room in February is still there, only more full now.  The scrapbook that was supposed to be worked on every weekend lays in earnest pieces over in a corner.  I tend towards accumulating piles and having a child that has a lot of things and who has inherited my hoarding impulse just makes it worse. When pressed for time, I’ve been known to stuff things in a closet or behind a bench or something just to get it out of sight. Out of sight becomes out of mind.  Out of mind becomes “what was I thinking?”  Well…this past few weeks, I’ve been digging out and repenting of that method.

The room-emptying of yesterday has been complicated by a vast reservoir of lurking junk that I had forgotten all about in my dining room. Bags of student final exams half a decade old (they never pick them up, never…so they wind up lugged back home because the college has a records retention policy) that have to be put through the shredder. A gunked-up children’s pottery wheel that Kid found way too challenging and I found to be the very definition of “parenting hell.”  Lots of kid art projects that need a better final resting place than stuffed behind an old chapel pew. Detritus from my  78 rpm collection. Crap, crap, and more crap. Luckily, the year of getting rid of clutter (obviously carried forward into 2008 ) has hardened me to what has to be done next. I’m loading up the car for a grand redistribution of furniture and folderol; the big green box can have the smaller household goods and the clothes that can’t be recycled into quilts and Goodwill can have the rest. I am happier with less and I have to let go of my hoarding behaviors if I’m to live the kind of life I really want.  

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10 Comments so far
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You’ve got a chapel pew in your house? Too cool. Promise that you won’t get rid of it in your de-cluttering spree …….

Comment by RockyCat

Yes, I’ve got a chapel pew — I teach at a college that got rid of its chapel about ten years ago and the former owner (also a faculty member) took one of the pews. The house came with this memorabilia and it was a condition of getting the house that we keep the pew. Unfortunately, she left it out on the outside porch for a while and the finish got dinged up on the front. We moved it inside but it’s proved to be a powerful junk magnet in our dining room and now that the dining room is being transformed into studio space, it can’t stay. We will be relocating it to our front porch (which is enclosed) later today, where it will get less traffic and also less piled. On my long list of things I have to do someday is “refinish the pew,” but “finish the book” comes before that.

Comment by bridgett

Bridgett:

Pottery wheel + shredded final exams = paperclay vessels. All you need is a ton or so of clay, a nice gas reduction kiln with oneathem 900# propane tanks in the backyard and…oh, that’s right you’re trying to de-crap, not re-crap the house. Nevermind.

Comment by democommie

I’ll leave that to my husband’s aunt, who is a potter up in the Finger Lakes. I bet you probably have seen her work — Joann Searle is her name. In fact, she’s having an open house in Naples, NY (Yates County) on July 12, 11-4. Worth a trip! (315) 536-4641.

Comment by bridgett

Bridgett:

I would love to, unfortunately I will be in an airplane at that time, flying back from Denver to Syracuse (I’m leaving in the morning). The day after I get back I’m going down to the Grey Fox Blue Grass Festival.

Comment by democommie

If you’re organizing, would you like to help me move into a new office next week? I’m absolutely dreading the clean-out process and I’ve only been in there for 2 years!

Comment by Angela Gordon

I’d be happy to help. Let me know when and where. There’s few move-out problems that a garbage bag won’t resolve.

Comment by bridgett

Denver? You’re about six weeks too early, dude!

Comment by bridgett

Tom will apparently be out of his office tomorrow. We’ve contacted ITS to move computers. His office rocks as it’s bigger AND has its own closet. I’m going in this weekend to start pulling crap out of drawers, etc. I figure that the textbooks, we’ll just pile on a handtruck and walk them down the hall.

Ack! Anxiety kicking in!

Comment by Angela Gordon

No problem! Drop me an e-mail through my college account to let me know what day and time you figure you’re ready for the help…it goes a lot faster with two people working on it.

Moran is old, ratty, and needs a paint job inside, but my office has a closet, tons of shelving, plenty of filing cabinets, and great windows. The former tenant also left a Persian rug, so that’s pretty nice. I’ve done little to personalize my surroundings, but I recently acquired some nice period-appropriate Currier and Ives prints that I plan to hang. Since I live only a few blocks from campus, I do a lot of my work at home, so I use my office more as a camp than as a lodge.

Comment by bridgett




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