Monday, September 6, 2010


I am purging my house of unnecessary clutter. Thus I spent part of today digging through piles of papers I had shoved in plastic stacking shelves at the back of a closet. It was a historical journey of sorts as I was reminded of what seems like a previous life. Here's what I found:

From 1998 - A stack of written evaluations from grade five students who were assessing me as a student teacher. I had asked them to tell me what they liked best about my teaching and what they felt I could improve. Here's my favourite (spelling mistakes intact):

"You aer a good techer. You spek loud so we can her you...You need to be a little striker (stricter). If we are doing math and i said I want an ice crem yoll get it. Your to suff (soft)."
(This is not true. I would not get a child ice cream if he/she asked for it in math class. First of all, it's impractical. There's no ice cream place nearby, and it could drip on the math, which would just be messy. But he did have a point. That softness was the beginning of the end of my teaching career...)

Also from 1998 - Apparently, at some point near graduation from the Bachelor of Education program at Mount Saint Vincent University, I and a few other students committed to create a newsletter on some semi-regular schedule and send out to our fellow graduates. I know this because today I found a stack of self-addressed stamped envelopes from my classmates so that I could send them their first issue. Oops - 12 years late and 20 cents postage short.

From 1999 - A binder from a career counsellor I visited as I attempted to figure out my career path. I didn't find the sessions very helpful, and I don't think I've looked at that binder since. As I went to toss it in the garbage, I looked at the cover. It listed the "job phone lines" for eight Halifax employers. While never having called any of those numbers, I've worked for two of the companies on the list - Maritime Life and Capital Health (listed as the QEII - pre-Capital Health). It's funny where life takes you.

From 2001 - A paper I wrote for a masters level education course. The title: "Online Education: Can the Internet Offer a Viable Educational Option?" Check out the opening line: "As the Internet becomes more a part of daily life, it is not surprising that it is also impacting the realm of adult education." Gee, d'ya think?

As I throw most of these things in the garbage or recycling (except the student comments - I'm keeping those), I'm left wondering what I own now that will 10 years from now bring me the same sense of nostalgia. I know what you're thinking - I could just get rid of things as I go, and save myself the purging later. It's true. And not nearly so interesting.

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