I’ve been feeling really panicky lately, my heart suddenly racing and breath shaking. Everything is catching up with me--papers to grade, bills to pay, chores to do. Let’s just say, my house is the place where I come each day and drop papers and school clothes on whatever surface is nearby when I collapse. I read on someone’s blog yesterday about a book on organization for creative/artsy brained people. Seems my style. Don’t clean the bathroom. Instead, read a book about how I should clean my bathroom.
I confessed my anxiety to a coworker, the other new (to my school--this is her 6th year) English teacher, and although she has an overflowing plate of her own, she came to my rescue. My Taiwanese super hero in red track pants and red and white striped toe socks swept into my room at 4:30 with a timer and two arms full of manila and hanging folders. My friend didn’t want to chat about my petty annoyances of the day, she wanted to put her head down and...organize.
The process amazed me. Big folders, manila folders, 9th grade drawer, World Lit drawer--her mind worked like I imagine the quadratic formula would work (mostly because that is the only “formula” I remember), quickly, logically and orderly. By the time the turquoise timer dinged at 7:00, we had successfully touched and filed away (read: not just stuffed down into drawers and closets, my heretofore method of choice) every piece of paper I’d stashed away. She had reasonable answers to my every organizationally challenged question. For example, “Where does this parallel structure exercise go? Writing or Grammar? 9th or World because I use it in both classes?” With swift fingers, she did the impossible.
Then she bought me dinner because I can’t find my credit card.
God bless this woman.
Not only does my stuff now have structure, but seeing all that paper categorized and tucked neatly into three full filing cabinets made me realize that I really did do some stuff this semester.