Saturday, February 08, 2014

unfinished business

It's been hanging over me, this office clean out. I retired a month ago and I have yet to hand over the keys to my office. (On the upside, I am now officially an emerita which provides for a life long engagement with the university should I want it.)

I don't just want to cart things home if I'm not to ever use them again. Files of papers -- who needs them? Years of course evaluations -- what kind of person sits in her old age and revels in moments of past glory? Text books --  quickly dated. Reprints of old articles, even my old articles -- yawn. And the list continues.

If I had complete confidence that nothing, nothing would ever put me in the classroom again, the job would be easy: one box of mementos, a half dozen favorite books and I'm out of there. But who has such certainty? Someone who has utter confidence in the future. That's not me. 

I do know one thing: I want to finish the job of emptying my office in the quiet of a week-end, when I'm likely to be alone. No one in the halls, no one to distract me.

So after breakfast...

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...despite the fact that it's starting to snow again...

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... and, too, it's cold, I drive to my office and tell myself: this is it: the final sort and purge. Ed has volunteered to come and cart out anything that I take when I'm done (my tail bone makes lifting a bit of a chore). I set to it.

And it doesn't take long. Two hours maybe and I call home: I'm done!

I would say that this is my last look out my office, but it's not. I still have office hours this coming week! But then -- that's it. And, unless something pushes me off course, today surely is my last look inside a classroom.
Hey, this is the one where I had my last class -- I tell Ed. Take a picture!

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At home, I have, as predicted, four boxes of books and papers to unpack. At some later date. There's no rush now. Done, I'm done. Exhale. Smile.