Well, my no-blog-at-the-office rule meant that I didn't post at all yesterday -- because I was actually being productive at my office at the U. Not only did I finally sit down and wrestle with my ideas for my new course, thereby making it slightly less daunting, but I cleaned my desk. For the first time since I was hired at Large Urban (this will be my 7th academic season here) I completely emptied every drawer. This is part of my plan to Make the Office Seem New and Inviting to Work In: I've rearranged the furniture and am reorganizing and purging stuff. Among the strange/useless items I found in my desk (an old metal thing circa 1961, like most of our furniture -- Large Urban is woefully underfunded by the state):
  • Large Urban promotional items that I must have received at Faculty Orientation my 1st year, although I have no memory of them: a tie tack, a letter opener, and a mug
  • thank-you cards from 2 secretaries for gifts for their wedding & baby showers
  • at least 3 different little bottles with echinacea capsules in them -- obviously from 3 different cold/flu seasons
  • a box of chalk, which I've never ever used and which is now worthy of museum placement, since our building is completely whiteboarded now
  • some sad-looking teabags of indeterminate age
  • at least 50 interoffice envelopes, thereby proving that they breed in dark corners and are still never available when you need them
  • worst of all: the Aged Cough Drop which had, like a spider, divested itself of its essence, leaving only its still-twisted wrapper glued in place like a discarded exoskeleton. The right side of my middle drawer is now declared No Man's Land for the In-Service office supplies: one brave little stubby pencil already got glued down from the cough drop which managed to spread itself over quite a lot of territory.

I'm feeling so much better having done this. Next week, if my syllabi are done, I'm going to tackle the file cabinet.