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What Happens to One's Education? 


Monday, July 17, 2006

As I face the combination of my vast household with that of Matt's, my entire life, books, photos, art, clothing, music, kitchenware, must now fit into a Tokyo-sized apartment. Since most of my expansion occurred during 2000-2002 - when I was living in an on-location Tokyo-sized apartment - I am painfully aware that my stuff can fit in said apartment but that Matt also has enough stuff to fit into said apartment. Surely we can't buy two of said apartments.

My rules are I am keeping everything. Anything from my travels or in a foreign language will be protected as if I were a lioness wielding a red hot poker. Thus my non-English language books, the majority of my books, are safe, as is my humble collection of folkart: Romanian glass icons, Ethiopian religious symbols, Peruvian clayworks, Chinese basketware and so on. No art books can leave my possession either (or indeed, be lent out). Photos, impossible, as is my correspondence. As for clothes - ha!

My concession are a few books that I will recycle via secondhand bookshops and friends. Truly I will never reread that book about the Dutch torturing the English in 17th century Indonesia nor that horrid history of bananas.

Then there is the bigger issue at hand.

What does one do with their university class notes?

This, as Cheryl the Red and I discussed, is all we have of our education. Thousands of dollars, years of work, what do you do with it a decade or more after you've graduated?

Art history, for example, represents one of my very deepest interests. Spanish, French and German hark back to a time I could say I was multilingual. Chinese, why those eight years of fervent studying, almost a third of my life, would turn to tragedy if they were lost. And Classical Chinese, there's the only class for which I ever got a C and the only test I ever failed - the Museum of Me needs my failures as well as my triumphs.

As I explained to Cheryl, my goal is to put aside one hour each week and re-write my notes into a notebook, condensing the lessons. I will clip out the drawings and glue them into a scrapbook, then recycle the paper.

Comments:
What we did was combine everything (as best we could) for the firs year. Then have a gigantic garage sale of the stuff we had decided we could move on from. It's suprising how much 'useless crap' he has, and how nice your stuff continues to be ! :-)
 
Regarding the class notes, why not type them and save a searchable, digital copy? Or scan them if the typing is too much work. . . .
 
LJ: Good advice. A fortune teller, though, told me that one day I will have a grand house full of all the stuff I've collected on my travels. It's my duty to ensure that her prediction comes true.

Matt: A friend in Romania scanned his comic books - I couldn't do that with my comcis but this might be a good idea for my Chinese notes for which I don't have word processing software anyhow. The typing is good - I'll review my notes and be worthy of my degree again. Thanks!
 
I'm such a packrat... I keep EVERYTHING, and yes, some of my college papers are still at my parents' place. ;) However just tonight I unearthed some of my short stories in draft form... would you believe some of them were from the early '90s and printed out on dot matrix printer! Phew, I think I may have to part with those. ;)
 
No, you've got to keep the dot matrix stuff! That's classic!

I still have my high school poetry on a dot matrix somewhere. I keep trying to work up the courage to go to one of those Teen Angst Poetry Readings...
 
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