What should I do with the following things?
- Old issues of professional journals, such as Speculum and PMLA. On the one hand I think that I should keep these. I want to keep them. They make me feel like a scholar, they're nicely bound, they're somewhat expensive, and they might (might) come in handy some day. On the other hand, they take up a ridiculous amount of space. I can see keeping them all very happily if I could store them in, say, an office which I planned to use for the next 30 years or so, but at this point--? What do you do with these things?
- Notebooks from grad school. Specifically, notebooks with teaching notes from courses I've TA'd, as I've essentially decided to scrap my course notes unless they're directly in my area of specialization (Marxist Theory, for example, while interesting, is unlikely to be noticeable in its absence. And were my notes really that good?). But there might be a chance I'll teach, I dunno, Ibsen again, and maybe the stuff I came up with the night before section back in 2001 was really profound? Maybe? Any chance, any chance at all?
- Notebooks from college. I actually only have one of these still kicking around, but it contains all of my notes from my senior year, somehow (I apparently didn't take many notes). Its potential value, however, is not scholarly so much as sentimental. It's full of drawings and doodles and sarcastic comments and fragments of fiction, as well as quotes that I liked. So...I might keep this, even though I'm unlikely to look at it again. Well, I do look at it every time I move, but that's about it. Oh well. It's one notebook, after all.
- Notebooks from (yes, I admit it) high school. In my high school English classes--which were excellent; it was one of the best HS English departments in the nation--we kept these elaborate reading journals in which we responded to discussion questions, did close readings of passages, and the like. I think I only have two of these (both composition books, so fairly small). I'm not sure why I'm keeping them, other than that it never occurred to me until tonight that I could throw them away. The scholarly value, again, is pretty much nonexistent. But might they help me to think about how to teach close reading and composition? I kind of wish I'd kept the assignments, too, but that would have been pretty weird. Anyway. Value or no value?