– Sunken treasure?

Where was the scrap of paper on which I had written down the date and time for a long overdue haircut? I remembered inserting that scrap between some others I’ve accumulated in my school bag.

I couldn’t find it.  I took my wallet, notebook, pencil case, and glucose monitor kit out of my bag, and I peered into the morass.  I stirred the papers and other items resting on the bottom. The scrap I had in mind did not float up.

I dumped out the bag onto the floor in the hall. Although I didn’t find what I was looking for, I did find all this: the evidence of an autumn that has flown by.

the things she carried, 12.9.2008

the things she carried, 12.9.2008

Yes, I did style the pile a bit to make the contents distinctly visible and composed.

Here’s the list.  Make of it what you will.

  • notes for a handout on presentations for 2.009, a class
  • grocery store receipt, dated 11.19.08, amount due $149.36
  • hair clip (what Emily calls a “chip clip” for hair)
  • wrinkled, yet clean, tissue
  • dollar
  • coins
  • $10 off coupon to DSW, where I’ve gone twice to search for perfect black boots and failed
  • feedback from Grace’s fall parent/teacher conference, dated 11.12.08 (favorite phrase in it: “pours an abundance of energy”)
  • letter to me on Joslin Clinic stationery
  • receipt from ATM at MIT, dated 10.07.08, in amount of $50
  • green Sharpie
  • white-coated paperclip
  • bandaid (I usually carry enough to share.)
  • Neutrogena chapstick (“The best,” say I.)
  • mustard packet from the snack/sandwich bar at school (an extra from the occasional ham & Swiss sandwich I buy there)
  • scraps of paper, cut into approximate 4 x 6″ squares, on which I first storyboarded a conference presentation I made on 11.22.08
  • agenda of last week’s staff meeting for 2.009

Not junk, not junk at all. Really, artifacts.

And now I’m going to start something from this.  Let’s call it the School Bag Meme.  I tag my blogging and college teaching friends Alex, Dr. Poppy, James, Jan, and Rosemary.  What’s in yours, at this very moment? And how or why did it get there?

8 thoughts on “– Sunken treasure?

  1. Alas, Jane, my bookbag’s contents aren’t nearly as interesting or documentary as yours. But then, I cleaned it out over the weekend in preparation for the many stacks of papers I knew I’d have to stuff into it this week.

    If anything, what I emptied out of it seems to be evidence of my various anxieties:
    three wash-n-dri packets *and* a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer (you can never be too careful!);
    a compact umbrella, in case it rains (something it took me a long time to remember to carry after I moved back from dry, dry Colorado);
    tissues, hand lotion, lip balm, a bottle of Tylenol, and a lone cough drop (which collectively cover a variety of ailments and emergencies);
    a coin purse with change for sodas, snacks, and newspapers, since I almost never carry my wallet to campus;
    the cheesy (but trusty) little clock that I take to class, since I hate wearing a watch;
    a hair pick.

    The only paper in there: a Christmas card from a far-too diligent colleague, which I received almost a week ago.

    The only actual occupation-related items: a couple of cool zebra-striped binder clips that I pilfered from a student portfolio (there were three of them on there, for chrissakes!), a mini stapler, and the big white eraser that I could not do any grading without.

  2. Pingback: Jane’s School Bag Meme « Quota

  3. Okay, which bag? Which pocket?
    I decided on my backpack. There are items I keep there all the time. They are

    a black zippered pouch (3″ x 4″) labeled “my rosary” with a rosary inside. I am not Catholic, nor do I ever use the rosary, but I have thing about always having it with me.

    an oval shaped pill container–about 2″ x 1″ with three compartments for Advil, Aspirin, Tylenol.

    A tape measure that came in my stocking one year.

    A sweet & salty nut granola bar (I try to always have food with me)

    A package of stride spearmint gum. My new favorite gum, but it has the tendency to “melt,” which can cause problems in a bag.

    a small purel bottle, offering a false sense of security.

    a compact mirror, also offering a false sense of security.

    An old usb cord for my IPOD. No IPOD, though.

    A mechanical pencil. .07 lead. No .05 for me. It breaks.

    A pilot precise extra fine point black pen.

    A tin of Altoids Smalls (wintergreen)–they’ve been there forever. I never eat them.

    A notebook with my student’s attendance records, grades, and misc. notes about class prep.

  4. Pingback: School Bag Meme « Poppy Fields

  5. I love what you’ve all done with this so far. So quotidian, and yet fascinating.
    I’ll wait for Alex’s post, and then I’ll sum up the trends and anomalies in your inventories.


  6. I think the reader will realize I am not a mom very quickly.

    Overstuffed Wallet – credit cards organized, receipts unorganized-cards include Matterhorn Mug Club membership card and a USA Synchro Membership. Papers include Ajax’s microchip tracking number.
    Fleece Gloves
    Clementine (yes the fruit)
    Aveeno Chapstick (the best, better than Neutrogena)
    Purple post-it with a coupon code for Ann Taylor loft (20% off – 95000412)
    Eyeglasses in Eyeglass case
    Key to Maine Condo on mini handyman level keychain, promotional item from the Harpoon Brewery BBQ Festival
    4 Lipsticks -yes 4, i can’t believe it, i have worn lipstick once in 2 weeks!
    Car Key-but no housekeys
    Orbit Sangria Gum (this is a new thing – I don’t usually have gum)
    Starbucks receipt, Maine Turnpike
    Swipe Key from Garage
    Pen from AFP Conference “Auctionpay”
    TWO Inhalers
    Crumbs from dog treats-blueberry to be exact
    …and a noseclip, yes-for synchronized swimming!

    –all stuffed in the boutique soft 10×10 purse Jane gave to me 3 years ago.

  7. Pingback: Census: seven bags « Leaf - Stitch - Word

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