Friday, August 21, 2009

Rare Sight

The top of my office desk!

I spent part of yesterday cleaning my office up. I got rid of old papers and finals students never picked up. (I'm getting way better at getting papers back to students before the end of the semester, finally, but still end up with some.) I put away class materials from last semester, filed teaching notes, rearranged books to put the current semester's texts on my teaching shelf.

It's nice to be able to see my desk. I'm a terrible clutterer. It's genetic. My dad cluttered his desks like mad, too. There'd be piles, but somehow he knew how to find things, usually, I think. I'm not that good.

The taxpayers should be happy when they see my so-old-it's-hip-ultra-retro desk and furniture from the 50s. I'm guessing every piece of office furniture supplied by the university (the wooden rack thing I brought myself) is older than I am. You're welcome, taxpayers. Yes, that's a rotary phone. It works until I need to press a button to talk to someone specific in the registrar's office, and then I have to use my cell phone.

Last evening, my clean desk inspired me to go home and work up the syllabus, calendar, and assignments for one of my classes. Today, the clean desk inspired me to work up the calendar for another class.

I've got two really tough committee assignments this year (and one not too tough one); I ran for one, and then got the other (after I'd been elected to the one) because one of my colleagues claimed to be unable to do it, and I was "next in line" sort of.

I'm not thrilled that this colleague says s/he can't do the committee job. It's pretty essential, and fairly painful. Either s/he's really sick/tired and needs to retire or this is essential to the job. Or maybe s/he just doesn't want to? Or maybe s/he's sick enough that I should feel really horrid for having such ungenerous thoughts. Maybe I should be grateful to be well and healthy and all.

The chair of the committee has publicly said that I've "volunteered" without mentioning the other colleague's refusal. I don't know if the chair knows about the other colleague's refusal. Seems s/he should know, no?

I need to put my resentment about this extra, painful duty behind me and just do the job.

So that's why the clean desk. I need to clean up, get organized, and start the semester with whatever good will and generosity I have, and follow through from there.


  1. That looks exactly like my desk :)

  2. Those desks were made to withstand nuclear attacks, I'm sure, and they'll be left along with cockroaches after the big one hits.

  3. I for one can't get a thing accomplished unless my desk is clear to start with. Yours looks perfect!

    I'll bet you could sell that desk to someone for a pretty penny - retro and all that.... But wny would you? it's great!

  4. I'm going to leave this visible on my laptop as a spur to get me to do the same thing. I've been saying all summer that I needed to clear out my study before I started on the new course. Have I done it? Have I even started!

  5. Maybe I could import some of your desk-clearing energy?