As soon as I leave town to head back to Brandeis, demolition begins for our little home remodel. I haven’t seen the plans and don’t actually know what is going to change, but one major part of it is re-apportioning my room. End result: all of my things need to be moved out. Right now I’m focusing on my collected papers of the last nine years.
It’s painful. Every new paper I overturn brings back memories, of my first two years of college, of high school, of middle school. I’d love to keep everything, and preserve it forever both in paper and online, but apparently I’m not allowed to do that, so most of it gets trashed. I’m setting aside things to scan in, assuming the scanner downstairs works, works well, and works quickly — it’s a fair amount of papers. Things I think I’m gonna keep: essays and essay prompts, exams, high school writing portfolios. Things that get dumped: all my homework, as fascinating as it is to look back at all the things I’ve studied (and mostly forgotten), and to remember people I’ve shared my life with, if only briefly, in classes.
It’s funny, because when I went to college I decided to treat it as a clean slate, a chance to start over, a tabula rasa, if you will. And in the process, as was somewhat my intention, I forgot about the drudgery and pain and silliness and stupidity of my high school years. But in the process, I forgot about the many good things about high school as well. Sifting through these relics of my life causes me to remember…and throwing them away ensures that I will, again, forget. And the memory will be harder to retrieve without these guideposts to show me the way.