I don’t know that I ever fit completely into any of the high school cliques. I played a few sports, played drums in the band, took a few Honors classes and earned above average grades, wrote for the newspaper, rounded out my schedule with art and photography classes, and was inducted into both the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society, all while holding down part-time jobs as a cashier at the local Hinky Dinky supermarket and an assistant teacher at Bethel’s Tutoring Tots Preschool. I hung out with the kids that partied, but never partied myself. I spent my freshman and sophomore years in a long-term relationship and my junior and senior years running from relationships. I guess you could say I was something of a contradiction.

But, if I was really going to be classified, you could say I was a bit of a nerd. Yeah, I admit it, and I’m proud. I’ve always been a bookworm, and if I could have it my way, I would spend the rest of my life as a student. I love school and, with the exception of math classes, I love learning. I love sitting in class, listening to lectures, reading books and taking notes. I love having debates and philosophical conversations. I love hearing other people’s points of view and asking questions to learn more. Truth be told, I tend to go a little stir crazy when I haven’t attended a class in awhile.

Yeah, I know I’m weird. Don’t judge me.

Unfortunately, my addiction to all things knowledge-related has significantly increased the amount of clutter in my life. I have file cabinet drawers full of notes and writings and class assignments from high school and, until the math book purge earlier this week, I have been schlepping around every book and textbook I ever used in college. For every story or article or assignment I write, I have at least 5-10 drafts tucked away in a folder.

Here is just a small sampling from my Concordia College New York years…

Tucked away in these binders is every syllabus, every page of notes, every quiz, every exam, and every writing assignment for every class I took in my four years as an undergraduate.

What can I say? It’s a sickness.

I’ve got research papers…

And pages of notes…

A syllabus for every class…

And even quizzes.

I know. I’m crazy. But even with my recent commitment to decluttering my life, I still can’t bring myself to get rid of any of it. I figure as long as it is all organized in binders that can be neatly placed on a shelf in my office, it’s not really clutter. Hell, I’ve even pulled out some of my old notes and assignments to help me in grad school and planning a few of the courses I ended up teaching. So, until the weight of my old schoolwork falls off the shelf and buries me beneath a mountain of paper, or begins to cause structural damage to my home, I’m not giving it up.

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