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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Papers, Papers, Papers

Dhaka, Bangladesh 2003
I'm having a problem with papers! Namely, I have a lot of trouble throwing them out.  In Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she mentions to throw out all your paperwork.  Really, it's brilliant.  I thought, "Wow, no more binders and stacks of paper with post-its notes and file folders and...that's impossible."  Could this really work for a teacher? I guess if you work in a cutting edge school where kids have iPads and laptops. I've always dreamt of a paperless classroom.  Okay, it is probably not going to happen for a long time.  I guess that's fine because deep down, I love paper. I just to make paper. I've visited villages in Chiang Mia, Thailand that made paper. I have a big hoard of handmade paper from India and Bangladesh. I stuffed that paper into suitcases that I dragged 8,000 miles home. I wrapped my handmade soap in paper, torn it and glued it into cards and scrapbooks, and I've spent quite a bit buying expensive watercolor and drawing paper. I needed it to have a tooth, a little bit of roughness. Jeez, I am obsessed with paper. I've gotten so many little notes, cards, and letters from students over the years. I posted their drawings and played with the origami frogs and cranes they've made me. I love making awesome handouts and picking scented stickers to put on tests or in journals. And pens! I like to write with a fountain pen in blue ink. I can't wait to get those new ink joy gel pens. I love to write.  I have so many journals and notebooks.

YET I hate looking for something in my papers. I often do find it after a prolonged struggle.  I have so many folders, file folders, binders, and piles. That's what I detest.  Can I just scan everything and throw out the original? Or take a picture of it and put it in my dropbox?  I often plan on retyping my favorite handouts in cute fonts and then selling everything on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Is that even worth it?  Did I give up on selling things?  Do I have anything left to offer? Are my ideas even good?

I just don't know anymore. All I know is that I have some papers I can't get rid of.  I packed away my hole puncher and I just don't know what to do.