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What about all those old notes?

Started by polly_mer, June 06, 2019, 11:03:16 PM

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polly_mer

I still have notes from classes I took as an undergrad.  It's been a couple decades so it's probably safe to toss them.  Right?  Right?!

However, I also have notes from classes I've taught.  Since I've never followed any sort of linear progression in my career, it's not as safe to toss those, right?  Maybe?  Scan them just in case and then stop backing them up once I've been out of the classroom for N years?

What's kicking around your office that you probably don't need, but are certain you will need as soon as you do a true purge?
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

Ruralguy

I have some undergrad stuff from 35 years ago, but tossed most of it about 5 years ago. As a curiosity, I kept one of my 8th grade papers on a science topic I still teach!

As for my notes from classes I only taught a coup,e of times  15-20 years ago? I still have them, but I need more space, so I might get rid of them, finally.

aside

I still have the notebooks full of notes I assembled to study for the doctoral qualifying exams, which were a notorious and brutal hazing process at my institution.  One of them contains outlines pertaining to the history of my field that I have found to be useful, as I am in a field in which history is important.  I don't really know why I've kept the others. Perhaps it's from an irrational fear that if I dispose of them one of the examiners might be conjured up to quiz me.

I also have a file of notes from my undergraduate days that has survived several purges.  It contains my notes and assignments from classes like those I now teach.  During one of my most recent office moves, I finally purged most of my other school-daze notebooks.  I wept, then moved on to sorting my sock drawer.

Juvenal

Somewhere in a box here at home are some binders of materials from courses taught long ago, but I more or less decided last fall to stop adjuncting (done most years since retirement in 2014) and at campus threw out boxes and binderfuls of new old paper accumulated in my adjunct persona.  Then, this spring, post-purge, was wheedled into taking a course this fall.  "Luckily," a lot of the paper "survives" in the form of digital files, so a certain resurrection is possible.  My department chair, since there was a small surplus of offices in our new building, has let me have an office ever since I retired, but continued adjuncting.  "Paper expands to fill the space for stashing it" was all too true.  At least I still have an office where there are some nice empty binders to get me on my way come, well, I suppose August.  Gotta prep!
Cranky septuagenarian

mamselle

Throwing out notes from elementary and high school--to say nothing of various college and teaching files--is anathema.

I'm still working from them.

M.
Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

Reprove not a scorner, lest they hate thee: rebuke the wise, and they will love thee.

Give instruction to the wise, and they will be yet wiser: teach the just, and they will increase in learning.

polly_mer

Quote from: Juvenal on June 07, 2019, 05:47:43 AM
Somewhere in a box here at home are some binders of materials from courses taught long ago, but I more or less decided last fall to stop adjuncting (done most years since retirement in 2014) and at campus threw out boxes and binderfuls of new old paper accumulated in my adjunct persona.  Then, this spring, post-purge, was wheedled into taking a course this fall.  "Luckily," a lot of the paper "survives" in the form of digital files, so a certain resurrection is possible.  My department chair, since there was a small surplus of offices in our new building, has let me have an office ever since I retired, but continued adjuncting.  "Paper expands to fill the space for stashing it" was all too true.  At least I still have an office where there are some nice empty binders to get me on my way come, well, I suppose August.  Gotta prep!

This is exactly my worry!  I threw out some research stuff a decade ago because I was going to be a teacher and now I'm doing that research again.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

Ruralguy

I don't throw out any research notes, though I am thinking of getting rid of some stuff from my thesis days that wouldn't be of much use even if I went into that subfield again.

polly_mer

Quote from: Ruralguy on June 07, 2019, 06:36:14 AM
I don't throw out any research notes, though I am thinking of getting rid of some stuff from my thesis days that wouldn't be of much use even if I went into that subfield again.

I still have binders with all my transparencies from talks I gave during my thesis days.
Quote from: hmaria1609 on June 27, 2019, 07:07:43 PM
Do whatever you want--I'm just the background dancer in your show!

bhiennsona

I kept all of my class notes that were part of my major from my undergrad and grad school days. I wasn't sure why I've kept them, but they are turning out to be useful now that I'm starting to put together my own courses. Granted, it's only been 11 years since I was an undergrad so they might lose their usefulness over time. But I'm planning on scanning the notes at some point so that I can recycle them because they take up quite a bit of space.

apl68

The second time I gave up on trying to complete my dissertation I deliberately destroyed my notes and all but one of my drafts so that I'd never be tempted to try it again.  Since then I've tried to use the surviving draft as a means of scaring prospective PhD students I've met straight (See this complicated-looking document, with hundreds of notes for sources in two languages and multiple centuries?  You're going to have to do a lot BETTER than that to earn your degree!). 

In my office at the library I have folders containing a lot of my work from my library Masters' courses.  Not really useful in my current work, but some of those assignments were kind of fun to do.  I like keeping them around for old times' sake.  I used the Collection Development term project in our actual collection development at work back when I did it.
If any will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
For how does a man profit if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?

Parasaurolophus

I haven't yet chucked any of my coursework notes, but I'm working up to it!

I pretty much won't ever need any of the books in my office until and unless I get rid of them, so they're staying. Besides, I only recently acquired those from retiring faculty members, so their future use still seems like a genuine possibility!

I also inherited a large stamp collection with my last office, so I carted them over to the new office. I definitely don't need them, or a new hobby, but I'm terrified that they'll just get chucked out if they're left in anyone else's care.
I know it's a genus.

AvidReader

I once saved every document I was given, or wrote, in my field, as far back as middle school. For my undergraduate thesis I printed out every article I used (mostly from JSTOR); those lived in two three-inch binders last year. Last summer I finally retyped the bibliography and shredded the paper copies. This summer I hope to do something similar for the printouts I was given in my very broad MA programme. It would be nice to know what I read, but I can probably access electronic copies very easily. (If I've annotated something, it will probably come with me to one of my adjunct schools, where I can scan it to USB stick on their copier).

Like many others, I still sometimes use old materials. I was delighted to find part of an undergraduate essay useful for a lecture I gave this spring.

If I ever land a permanent job in academia, I intend to cross-reference my university library's holdings with my personal library. Lacking institutional access to some of the books I regularly need, I have become a book hoarder.

AR.

hmaria1609

I think I have a few undergrad papers and notes in my home office.  I've kept the textbooks from my days as a library school student.

eigen

I've successively gotten rid of things as I've moved, but I still have some of my undergrad notes, mostly for the things I currently teach.

The ones I've gotten rid of, I did after having incorporated all of the things I wanted from them into my current teaching notes/assignments/etc.

I still have all of my old papers, writings, etc., and have digitized all of them to make them easy to back up. I also found it useful to go back to something not too long ago.
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