School days

Today’s Booking through Thursday:

Since school is out for the summer (in most places, at least), here’s a school-themed question for the week:

  1. Do you have any old school books? Did you keep yours from college? Old textbooks from garage sales? Old workbooks from classes gone by?
  2. How about your old notes, exams, papers? Do you save them? Or have they long since gone to the great Locker-in-the-sky?

Oh yes indeed! My books and papers from high school and college didn’t stay with me much past graduation, with the exception of my anthropology stuff. Most of that is destined for the recycling bin the next time the basement gets cleaned out. There’s really no point in keeping that stuff–especially the physical anthropology books and papers, which are so old that they probably cite Bishop Ussher as a leader in the field. (Okay, they’re not that old. But still…)

I do still have all of my books, notes, exams, papers, etc., from graduate school. All of them. Included are fairly extensive files of photocopied articles on sense of place, social movements, tourism, ethnic minorities in China, environmentalism, Gastarbeiten in Switzerland, forestry, life narratives, social class, and lots of other topics that were either briefly considered for my doctoral research or actually did make it into my preliminary exams. These articles are all in carefully labeled manila folders–a nice bit of organization that I accomplished during the summer when I was supposed to be writing grant proposals, studying for prelims, and writing my master’s thesis. Ah, the siren call of procrastination…

7 Responses to “School days”

  1. stephanieon 21 Jun 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Man…I wish I had saved more from college. Actually I did. But I left it at my Mom and Dad’s. When they moved, they offered it to me, but I just didn’t have the space. Now, I really wish I had the papers and notes and stuff. I still have lots of pics and some lit books, but that’s it!

  2. Melon 21 Jun 2007 at 5:51 pm

    That sounds like a lot of ground to cover in just a few years. But there isn’t anything more wonderful than being up to your ears in research, in my mind, anyway.

  3. Imperatrixon 21 Jun 2007 at 6:14 pm

    I kept the Physics/math textbooks from college. The English stuff, no (I had visions of doing an English PhD, but my English MA turned me off of the idea for good).

    I do have a box of reports, etc. from when I was in 4th-8th grade. Not much from high school, either. It was so funny to read my elementary stuff. You could definitely see the effect of growing up in an ESL home.

    I have moved 6 times since college: two moves cross country and three moves interstate. So papers and all that were the least of my concern.

    I regret that sometimes.

  4. Frankon 21 Jun 2007 at 10:48 pm

    I still have a few notes and papers (statistics, etc.) and I have some of my geography and almost all of my planning books. Most of that stuff is kept at my office. What I don’t have is a classic article on planning that I would like to incorporate into a course I’m teaching this fall.

    I also have my high school French books and some novels from 20th Century French Lit in college.

  5. Marshaon 21 Jun 2007 at 11:26 pm

    Stephanie: I got rid of my college stuff because I didn’t feel connected to the papers. I, too, sort of wish I still had some of my essays from that time. I don’t think they were particularly good, but they would provide one snapshot of that period of my life.

    Mel: Well, I started grad school hell bent on studying some political economy issue in Switzerland (i.e., the Gasterarbeiten), briefly considered studying ethnicity in China, switched to tourism after my second year (I thought about studying RV culture–and seriously thought about sending a grant proposal to the Winnebago and Airstream companies to see if they’d lend me a vehicle), then landed in the environment/space/class stuff, which is really the only topic on which I spent a significant amount of time and effort.

    Imperatrix: I know that the job market has been very tight for English PhDs for the last ten or fifteen years, so you may have saved yourself some grief there. :)

    Frank: Did you take that 20th-century French lit class with Kernen? Were we in that class together?

  6. Frankon 23 Jun 2007 at 9:37 pm

    Yes, I had Kernen for that class, but I don’t remember whether or not you were in the same class as I was. In fact, I don’t remember anyone from that class for some reason. We read La Peste, L’Immoraliste, Le Noeud de Viperes, and other books I can’t remember (and please excuse all of the spelling errors that I am sure are in there). I don’t know if Madeleine changed the reading list much each semester, but maybe that’s a clue?

  7. Marshaon 24 Jun 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Yup, those are the same books I read! (Do I remember much about them? Well, that’s another story…) I took that class the second semester of my freshman year, right after I’d taken French 202 with Fullerton (do you remember him?). I thought he and Kernen were both great. Actually, the other French teachers I had–Polly and Lee–were also great!