Monday, September 8, 2014

A Neat Desk is a Sign of a Misspent Life.

 A bit of background -- I have never been considered a tidy person.  I am random.  I do my best work in what others perceive as chaos.  My quilting/sewing room isn't insane -- but it isn't neat as a pin, either.  There are people in my department who physically twitch when they see my desk.  The reality is, if I put it away where it belongs, that will be the last place I think to look when I want whatever IT is again.  (And don't go reasoning with me that I will always find something the last place I look for it.  I teach gifted kids, and I'm too wise not to see that logic coming.)

As I get older, I am getting more purposeful about routine.  I need to assure myself that my keys are in (relatively) the same place, I choose clothing the night before, and practice spelling world backwards.  D-L-R-O-W.  The generation above me assures me that this is an important task, and knowing this fact will keep me out of some locked wing in the retirement community reserved for those who apparently have dropped a vowel or misplaced a consonant while completing the backwards WORLD task.  So I practice.

The same sense of routine can not be said for my desk.  

The prompt from Te@chthought today is:

September 8

What's in your desk drawer, and what does it say about you?


One of the reasons I became a teacher is to feed my never-ending love of office supplies.  As long as I can remember, I have become giddy with the arrival of new notebook paper and sharp crayons at Kmart and Target.  Although I don't sing in public, the "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" commercial brings the same sort of excitement to my heart as Christmas.  I love post it notes, and REALLY love when I can find witty ones that can amaze and delight me.  (and maybe some of my freaky friends...)  My current favorites include  "I'd like to help you out...... which way did you come in?"  and "You're not the boss of me!  Oh, wait. You are."  While I've used the first one sporadically, I actually HAVE used the second one with a few administrators.  Some get me more than others.  

I have two desks.  One for which I am totally responsible at the High School, and the other, which I share with Sarah (previously mentioned as my partner in gifted crime) at the Junior High.  Given that Sarah is a highly organized person with a desire for order that must be genetic, it probably will not be hard for you to determine which is located at the high school, and which is at the junior high:

The contents that probably most define  the drawer most controlled by me include:

  • Play Doh  (When teaching the teachings of Plato, of course)
  • A picture of Senator Mike Brubaker, me, and some students from "Senator for a Day"
  • Assorted Binder Clips (which are SOOO COOL!)
  • Post it flags.  I need stock in the Post It for retirement funding.
  • One latex glove for the (alleged) gushing wound that will require pressure to stop the bleeding.  (Issued by the nurse each year)
  • A button, hermetically sealed in a plastic bag that I found when it itched my neck, hanging inside a blouse that I had worn no less than a dozen times.
  • One of many snarky post it notes (previously mentioned)
  • A mechanical/robotic wind up dog.  (No explanation necessary, right?)
  • The Eddie Bauer LIGHT that I can tap on my desk to erase darkness, which I got after the demise of the helium-filled shark.
As a Teacher of the Gifted, the randomness of my desk reflects the randomness of my job.  My students have Gifted Individualized Education Plans (GIEPs) which define their individuality and passions and needs.  There is not a set curriculum -- I teach thought.  And I never know what quirky thing will help me to connect with my students.  (One student, after exploring a clear rubber ball filled with blue liquid and lights that flashed when you bounce it took a sharpie to it and labelled it the "Orb of Confusion."  Why would I NOT save THAT, even if it no longer flashes?)  

Fortunately for me, Te@chthought did not ask for commentary on the smashed paper mache Tinkerbell head, the newspaper bench with a flag of Robin Williams face (created last year, prior to his death), my whiteboard beanie babies covered in marker ink (which make great erasers...) or the 5 bobbleheads from Big Bang Theory.   Those are fodder for another musing.

Because that would leave me having to more than spell WORLD backwards to stay out of the home.


  1. I am still smiling after reading this post and can completely relate to what you've written! Looking forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks for being part of the @TeachThought Blogging Challenge. :-)

  2. Justine was right, his one left me smiling, I give you props for using some of those post-its with admin- nice!

  3. I wish I was (were? -- you tell me) your student!