How do you pack memories?

14 May

I’m a cluttery person.  I like to have whatever I’m working within reach.  Right now, that’s book fair financials and a ship-back bill of lading, it’s the password to a science teacher’s ning, the latest School Library Journal, the last two years’ “State of the Library” reports and the missing books and fines list. 

Surrounding my cluttery desk, I keep memento clutter from 26 years in education:  a silly postcard from “The Phantom”–a teacher from the first building I taught in, who made it their mission to leave day-brighteners in mailboxes.  A whale that hung over a group to identify them for an interdisciplinary unit.  A name badge from a conference, decorated with “badge-bling.”  Journals I kept and wrote in during free-write time with my literacy students.  Magic wands that used to cast good spelling spells and a bee puppet–the “spelling bee.”  Pictures of team 7-1, known as 7-wonderful.  Posters made by former students.  Pictures of me and the literacy team from RMS and Will Hobbs from nearly 20 years ago, along with a picture of Will from his visit to MGMS this year.  Writing books, Science books, Librarian books, novels, picture books and some from my bachelor’s degree a million years ago.  Stuffed gators (this school’s mascot), a plush Babymouse, a plush Skippyjon Jones, and a vampire bear used to promote “books with bite” last year.  A signed Nancy Pearl action figure (with magic shushing action) and her library.  Really, more stuff than should fit into my tiny office.

The memories attached to these things are making it hard to pack them up.  I just can’t bear the thought of putting my memories in a box that will likely end up in storage.  It just seems so final.  I’ve given away a few things to good homes, comforted knowing they’ll go on amusing those I’ve gifted them to.  I know the giant stuffed snake will be happy with the boy who admired it these last three years. 

I’m not making much progress cleaning out my office.  I have great intentions, but fewer days all the time to pack.  Logical me thinks it would be a great idea to bring a box home each night.  Boxes brought home so far?  None.  It’s gotta happen, though.  Soon.  26 years of stuff to pack, along with the people, the places, the events, the laughs and the tears.

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4 Responses to “How do you pack memories?”

  1. chris (infoDivaBronx) May 15, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    omg I can feel your angst…
    This makes me remember my very first year of teaching (21 yrs ago)…a retiring teacher gave me her favorite pair of scissors…They are the BEST scissors I’ve ever seen. I still use them at work! I lock them in my desk drawer so they won’t “walk away”. I will give them to a new teacher when I retire.
    Thanks for the post.

    • secondcupofcoffee May 16, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

      That’s so cool. I used to have a paper punch given to me by a teacher I taught with my first year. He was one of the funniest, silliest people I’ve ever met, and helped me survive that first year of teaching. He died suddenly during my third year, so I kept the punch long after it quit working. Funny how memories get tied up in inanimate objects.

  2. Carol May 16, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    Perhaps you could scan or photograph those things that you cherish but are “ready” to give up rather than pack in a box… Will have to decide what I need to do that with, as well.

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