• October 30, 2014
October 31, 2014, 12:58:28 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with your Chronicle username and password
News: Talk online about your experiences as an adjunct, visiting assistant professor, postdoc, or other contract faculty member.
 
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Emptying the Files  (Read 30749 times)
juvenal
Cynical Septuagenarian
Senior member
****
Posts: 639

Juvenal


« on: October 11, 2011, 3:38:52 PM »

I'm a little surprised that there are so few posts from/about the soon-to-be-a-retiree/getting-ready-to-retire in this category.  Is everyone who posts so early in a career that "retirement" is only a misty chimera, not the concrete thing it will someday be for everyone (those who avoid mortality on the way, of course), yet is just around the next bend for some of us, such as me?

A milestone: today I brought two cardboard boxes to my office and spent an hour (an office hour with no student visitors) opening some file drawers and pulling from folders within some of the forty years of ripped-out articles that I thought would be useful references to augment the classroom presentations of my so-called career, but have just lain there unlooked at m.o.l.  I did not even glance at most of the them, but just chucked and chucked, filling the two boxes with maybe thirty pounds or more of paper.

I will probably continue to subscribe to my journals in retirement for the sake of my ongoing interest in my field's discoveries, but no more ripping and filing.

I am certainly not about to consider taking this stuff with me when I say farewell to my office and my school (within the year), but it was a melancholy time.  And there are file drawers, boxes, and binders yet to be purged, so more melancholy is guaranteed.

So much of this represented hopeful plans; so little of it amounted to anything.

Ah, me.

Logged

“[A] daily irritant, unrelieved over a period of time, can interfere more with one's peace of mind than events of national import."
                                    -J. McLaughlin
brixton
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 3,130


« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 3:45:45 PM »

At least you're going through them!  I moved into an office where the previous occupant left me all of his carefully cut out articles, organized neatly in files, by author.  They went back to the sixties.  I felt bad throwing them away.  Such a labor of love... But...
Logged
womanofproperty
Senior member
****
Posts: 916


« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 5:25:37 PM »

My files (when I had them) included articles I had used, not articles I meant to read some day in the future.

I went through my paper files years ago when it became clear that almost all of that stuff was available as a PDF or in back issues of journals that I had access to online. There are a few things I kept as hard copies, but not many.

I found it a very liberating experience.
Logged
glowdart
that's a thing that I keep in the back of my head
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 5,648


« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 6:20:54 PM »

Roast some marshmallows over that stuff, and then chase with a nice snifter of brandy. 

Happy retirement!
Logged
larryc
Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 22,996

Be excellent to each other.


WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 9:53:27 PM »

It is the nature of hopeful plans and actual accomplishments that the first will always be more numerous than the latter. How could it be otherwise? The important thing is that there were accomplishments. The unrealized hopeful plans have now been released in the wild and will find new homes.
Logged

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
fiona
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 14,071


« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 2:38:45 AM »

The files that are specifically about teaching at your school, or students, or other rituals that historians might be interested in, might be worth offering to your school's archives.

I did that when I inherited a huge load in an office that a predecessor hadn't cleaned out. A lot of the stuff, including gradebooks, would be of interest to future generations.

The Fiona
Logged

The Fiona or Them Fionæ or Fiona the Sublime

Professor of Thread Killing, Fiork University
larryc
Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 22,996

Be excellent to each other.


WWW
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 3:41:11 AM »

The files that are specifically about teaching at your school, or students, or other rituals that historians might be interested in, might be worth offering to your school's archives.

I did that when I inherited a huge load in an office that a predecessor hadn't cleaned out. A lot of the stuff, including gradebooks, would be of interest to future generations.

The Fiona

Good point. An archivist recently showed me a hundred-year-old collection of grade books, attendance records, and teacher resumes for some one room schoolhouses. Fascinating stuff.
Logged

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
polly_mer
practice makes perfect
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 37,441

Have you worked on that project today?


« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2011, 8:23:41 PM »

The files that are specifically about teaching at your school, or students, or other rituals that historians might be interested in, might be worth offering to your school's archives.

I did that when I inherited a huge load in an office that a predecessor hadn't cleaned out. A lot of the stuff, including gradebooks, would be of interest to future generations.

The Fiona

Good point. An archivist recently showed me a hundred-year-old collection of grade books, attendance records, and teacher resumes for some one room schoolhouses. Fascinating stuff.

I attended a lecture today where a historian suggested we do just that.  That particular historian wants our major history of physics artifacts like if we have any letters from Feynmann just laying around or if we become the next Einstein and need somewhere to send our notebooks/correspondence/stuff when we die.  That guy is in charge of an archive for the history of physics associated with the American Institute of Physics and is doing interesting things there (http://www.aip.org/history for those who are interested).

However, that guy also recommended that we give the rest of our stuff to the archivists associated with the school/institution since likely our stuff would be more relevant to them.
Logged

I've joined a bizarre cult called JordanCanonicalForm's Witnesses.  I have to go from door to door asking people things like, "Good evening, sir!  Do you have a moment to chat about Linear Transformations?"
westcoastgirl
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 2,380


« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 4:07:16 PM »

This post is older and I"m not even sure why I opened this part of the forum when I haven't even started my job.

But, I will say that your post gave me chills and made me tear up a bit. It was so nicely written.

And, fwiw, I think you had a good question--maybe most of the folks posting are at the beginning/middle of their careers? I don't know.
Logged

Quote from: cgfunmathguy
We're just cyborgs standing in the way of their dreams.
nebo113
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 3,210


« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 9:47:15 PM »

westcoastgirl-- It would be presumptuous of me to advice those new to the academy on how to survive and/or thrive.

I might tell you how to construct a syllabus or how to deal with a disruptive student, but, ultimately, that is not a life.  It is only the minutia of a life. 

Lives are writ large, but on their own blackboard....or these days, whiteboard.

Each of us lives our own life, in our own way.
Logged
nebo113
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 3,210


« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2012, 9:39:17 PM »

I do know the difference between advice and advise, even in retirement.
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.9 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
  • 1255 Twenty-Third St., N.W.
  • Washington, D.C. 20037
subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.