We have begun the process of THROWING AWAY ALL THE THINGS, KENNETH!
Actually, we’ve been doing it for a couple of months now, but this past week I was instructed to go to the storage unit and bring back all the boxes of papers from our various careers that for some reason we thought were worth storing. For some reason. So off I went and returned with fourteen banker’s boxes of folders, notebooks, and books.
The immediate impetus for this was the city’s shredding day last Saturday; we wanted to have everything ready to dump into the chopper. The secondary impetus was an eventual clearing out of the storage unit so that we’re not paying $100/month to keep stuff that apparently we don’t need and never see.
But the overarching impetus is our old friend death-nesting: making those final adjustments to one’s nest and then sliding towards sweet, sweet decay.
I have to say that I was very impressed with my collections. I had lesson plans and research materials from both East Coweta High School and Newnan Crossing Elementary. I had directorial prompt scripts from my entire career. I had the complete collection of the The Line Creek Review, ECHS’s literary magazine that was shoved onto my plate and which I revamped from an annual mausoleum of teen angst poetry into a monthly award-winning magazine.
I had a ton of old music, some of which has never been transferred to actual music files. There were all kinds of News from the Media Center things from Newnan Crossing—my attempts to market my services to the excellent staff of teachers there who were naturally suspicious of this high school guy. There were tons of printouts from Usenet articles on all those new technologies (1993, so you know the fossils I’m talking about).
There were the training presentations for both the Curriculum Liberation Front (ECHS) and the Enriched Thinking Curriculum (NX), my attempts to implement all the current research on brain-based learning, active learning, authentic and performance assessment: all those things that “leaders” have said they want in their schools and in their graduates, yet somehow have legislated against.
Lots and lots of stuff.
And most of it went to the shredder. I have kept some sample lesson plans, the CLF and ETC materials, and a couple of files of memorabilia, but almost all of it was trash. Sic transit gloria mundi and all that.
It was with more curiosity than rue that I went through all those papers. This was not a heart-wrenching ordeal. Mostly I felt affirmed: I was good at this stuff. I still am.
Anyway, I figured I could wring a series of blog posts out of what I found and what I kept. Stay tuned.
 The April editions—in which we parodied some other publication—are still hysterical.
 If your school or school system needs a consultant to kickstart a critical thinking skills component to your curriculum, or help integrate your media center in a more meaningful way, I work cheap. Call me.