Thursday, September 15, 2011

So, What's a Fritter?

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.
Henry David Thoreau
US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)
... and most of it is in our drawers and cabinets.
          US Children's book author (1970 - present)

I should have written this post at the end of the last school year, as I was hauling everything out of my desk to see what I could feasibly rid myself of.  Teachers and writers are pack rats, I think... we follow the motto of "You never know when you might need this."  As a result, the contents of our desks, drawers, cabinets, and closets create inventories of the unseen that would do the Smithsonian credit: Museum of American Paraphernalia.  I dumped my fritters wholesale into a storage tote, planning to carefully sort and organize before returning to school.  The tote, half emptied, is still on my son's train table in the living room, its fritters now in untidy piles and sharing space with Lego Ninjago ninjas, cups containing the remnants of my husband's experiments in making hot apple cider, and several pairs of socks rescued from our 6 month old puppy.

What are my fritters?  From school, at least, they include
  • Motivational stickers - Snoopy, smilies, scratch-n-sniff (the most desireable)
  • Sharpies, multicolored, thick and fine point
  • Notepads of many varieties
  • Reversable wrist brace for when typing starts becoming too much for my tendons
  • Polished leopard stone
  • Unpolished river rock with visible amethyst crystals
  • Letter from the former governor of Connecticut about my first picture book
  • Letter from a former student, now in the Army, when he was twelve and leaving my class
  • Band-Aids
  • Ibuprofin, monster-sized bottle, expired
  • Fork
  • Small yellow plastic penguin - Neopets?
  • Two dozen used manila folders, varying condition
  • "Student of Merit" certificates
  • Four bookmarks
  • Photo of my husband in a hotel room
  • Business card from a reptile breeder
  • "Once Upon a Time" card game
  • Pencils, 5
  • Half-filled boxes of staples, 6
  • Something white, round, and plastic. Inside of a roll of tape?
  • Pre-stamped cards to send to Grandmother
  • Tiny decorative post-it notes I never  use, but keep because they're pretty
  • Packet of tissue that reads "I didn't make the honor role."  (Bought because of the typo - "role" should be "roll")
  • Three journals, nowhere near filled
  • Bella Sara and Magic trading cards
  • Screwdriver shaped like a battery
  • One G.I. Joe comic book
I could go on.  Nothing can be sorted, really, as there are few categories I can lump "like" things into.  Some will wind up going back into the desk... some into my memory box.  Others?  Geez.  I'm telling myself I need to live by the rule that if it hasn't been used in a year, get rid of it.

But... who knows when you'll NEED some of this stuff!


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