So I’ve been trying to tackle my office in bits and spurts. I have been in the same space for eight years and have certainly built up a steady accretion of papers, books, and assorted detritus over the years. I dumped a bunch of journals two weeks back, spurred on by the recognition that they held little enduring value (other than as some sort of ego support for my professional identity), but there’s still lots more to clear out.
Today I went through some file cabinet drawers, tossing away yellowed photocopies of articles and essays, handouts I haven’t used in years, etc. I found two, thick manilla envelopes filled with journal tear sheets–reprints of articles I had published back in the 1990s. I can’t think of a reason why I would need 25 print copies of an article when I could email a PDF to anyone who might request a copy (now there’s a thought!) far more easily.
But then I unearthed what must truly be the epitome of an office supply well past its expiration date: ten years’ worth of weekly calendars! I am sure I held onto these documents on the thought that some day in the future, I might want to look back at what I was doing on a random day twelve years ago….
No, I didn’t flip open to April 22, 2002 to have a little peek. Instead, I threw away the whole lot of them, without cracking a single page.
Perhaps some of you might argue that there is some historical value to documents like these old calendars–I mean: what better way to capture the minute details of a college administrator’s daily life than to have access to such precious records?