I recently inherited some motivation - something I was severely lacking most of this year, really until I revamped this blog. But this last week really kicked it into high gear: I started an online book club (fingers crossed that we get it together!) and I am attempting to read The Hobbit in order to join yet another book club that a friend of mine is starting here in Des Moines. But the true testament to my new stimulus is this:
While home over the weekend for my grandma's 91st birthday, I felt compelled to pick up these boxes. They contain a few books and 90% of my notes, research, papers, tests, and other odds and ends from my lifetime of English classes. Seriously, a few things from Heelan, a couple binders from Drake, and a whole box of Tech stuff.
What I've learned is that, even after English majors graduate, it's hard to let it all go--especially after a stint in grad school, even an admittedly a short one. It's hard not to think that maybe I'll need these notes again, that maybe some day I'll have the opportunity to continue research or publish an article, or even that maybe one day I'll want my old tests for teaching my own courses. Basically, it's hard to give up on something you invested so much time, effort, emotion (and money!) into making happen.
When I graduated from Drake, I knew I was going to grad school someday, so I kept everything. Leaving Tech was hurried, and I had mixed feelings, so when I left I boxed up everything English and smacked a big ol' [SUX] on about four boxes, to indicate that those things needn't follow me to Des Moines. Over a year later, I'm ready to peak back at the world I left do a little selective notebook tossing and book selling. I mean, realistically, the notes I took on the math-equation-book-explanations that I can't even remember the name of, are never going to be useful ever again. And, well, I only need so many (zero) books by Jerome McGann.
Although, I do have one entirely open shelf in one of my bookcases... and bibliography was kind of interesting... maybe I can justify A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism...