Do you keep your old schoolwork (from college)? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 08-23-2006, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I used to keep EVERYTHING from school. At some point when I was in college I finally threw out almost all of my stuff from high school. After college I got rid of a lot but still have one file box full of work. I was a microbiology major so I mainly kept notes from science classes and all my labs. I look back through all those lab notebooks and see all this stuff I wrote on experiments I did, and it's been so long that I don't even understand a lot of it anymore! (I graduated 9 years ago, and even when I was working, I wasn't using a lot of what I learned in classes; I only had to know a little bit of chemistry for the job I had, so most of what I learned in my major classes was forgotten).

Anyway, part of me says I should keep this stuff so that down the road if I'm homeschooling the kids during their high school years I can teach them this stuff (I still have ALL my high school chemistry notes, since they were VERY thorough). But, chances are I'd use a curriculum, so I don't think I'd really take the time to read through all my old notes.

I think it would be very freeing to get rid of it all and have one less box to store. But would I regret it? And there'd still be another box of dh's old schoolwork. I'm pretty sure he'd object to geting rid of his. (He's always accusing me of trying to get rid of his stuff!).

While I"m on the subject, do you still have your old yearbooks? I have yet another box with those, as well as some plaques and awards. I don't have room on my bookcase for my yearbooks, so I have to keep them in a box instead, so I rarely look at them. (And it's a VERY heavy box to get out!). I'd eventually like to have more bookcases, but I know it's not going to happen anytime soon (dh is in school and we are in a small apartment, but will be moving in less than a year and hope to have more money then to take care of some furniture needs!).

Anyway, if you are staying at home with your kids (not working outside the home), is there really any good reason to hold onto the old schoolwork???
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#2 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 01:32 AM
 
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That's what libraries are for. Or, you could always look it up on the internet. Live in the present, not the past.

(Definitely keep one manilla envelope of "memories", but that should be enough!)
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#3 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 02:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LookMommy!
That's what libraries are for. Or, you could always look it up on the internet. Live in the present, not the past.

(Definitely keep one manilla envelope of "memories", but that should be enough!)
Definitely get rid of it. Technology changes, so chances are, by the time your kids are ready for HS Chem it will be outdated.

I never kept anything from HS or college. I am a nurse and medical tech is changing constantly. Even if I did keep my old research papers it would describing medical techniques that are now outdated.

DH has a box of school stuff that drives me crazy, he won't part with it nor sort through it.
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#4 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 09:55 AM
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no. i've only kept one folder of papers that i was really proud of. i also went to law school and got rid of all of that stuff too.

my husband also got rid of college and grad school stuff. we went through and purged our books too, so now we have considerably fewer and only our favorites (for research or whatever).
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#5 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's what I thought! I can hardly wait to fill some trash bags! Unfortunately since my SS# is on everything I'll have to rip it up really well (we don't have a shredder).

I think part of the reason I kept some of this is because it made me feel smart to go through and read what I was writing in those lab reports, etc. But now it's been so long that it's a little embarrassing to read them since I don't remember most of it!

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#6 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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Chuck it Maybe keep one or two pieces or a notebook if you are so inclined. I kept the book of sketches I made from one class on bone identification. I think that's it.

As for homeschooling - I second that this is what libraries are for.

I wouldn't get rid of your dh's though. Wait til he's ready to.
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#7 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 12:37 PM
 
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Um, yeah. You're not alone. I've kept a lot of stuff from college. Don't ask why I've kept 9-13 year old cultural anthropology papers. Yes, I should get rid of them and so should you.

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#8 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by marieangela
Um, yeah. You're not alone. I've kept a lot of stuff from college. Don't ask why I've kept 9-13 year old cultural anthropology papers. Yes, I should get rid of them and so should you.
And so should I! I'll commit to saving one binder with my favorite essays/papers, and the rest goes.
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#9 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 12:46 PM
 
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I should do this too. I have kept everything from college and I have 4 college degrees so there is a lot of stuff . I feel obligated to keep it, though I don't really know why.
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#10 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 01:12 PM
 
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I have 3 college degree's and keep all of my notes AND books. I just can't part with any of it! : It did come in handy when my mother wanted to go to the same nursing program that I just graduated from. She had all of the notes and didn't have to worry about missing a class day.
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#11 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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About a year ago I DID get rid of a lot of textbooks. i kept just the basic biology and chemistry ones, since occasionally I want to look something up. But you know what, the internet really has changed things, hasn't it? I think if I wanted to look up something I would probably go straight for the computer instead of my textbooks. I might have to see if there's a few more I can get rid of. Our bookcases are maxed out and I have a few homeschooling-related books coming. It would be nice to make some room for them! Thank goodness for a library that is willing to take any books in donations (for their library sale)! (I am not going to try to sell books because I am NOT lugging heavy books into the post office while 7 months pregnant with 3 preschoolers in tow!)

I'm definitely going to dig out that big box of notes in the next day or so (in between Braxton-Hicks contrations... )and get that schoolwork out of here! Maybe I"ll dig through dh's box and see what's in it and ask him if he wants to purge too. He's back in school for a completely different degree (got a BS in Recreation/Minor in Business and now is in Seminary to get an M.Div. and become a pastor!). I don't really think he needs most of his college stuff anymore!

Anyway, thanks for inspiring me. This board has been so great. I'm already pretty good at getting rid of stuff but I have learned that there's so much more I can get rid of.
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#12 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 03:28 PM
 
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DH has been after me to do this too. : I have 4 boxes of notes, lab notebooks, etc. from my bio sci degree. They're in the garage right now and I do want to go through them and get down to 2 boxes.
I don't think I could part with absolutely everything....but I'm sure I could find a healthy chunk of stuff that I'll never have a desire to look at again.

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#13 of 20 Old 08-24-2006, 08:11 PM
 
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I used to keep all my college and grad school papers but I never looked at them so I got rid of them (WAY more than one box!) It felt great and I have never missed them in the 10+ years since I tossed them.

When I had to clear out my parents' house, I ended up tearing all the pages from their yearbooks that had their pictures on them, and just keeping those pages. I felt bad doing it but I think it was the realistic approach- I never look through my old yearbooks, much less theirs!
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#14 of 20 Old 08-29-2006, 04:44 PM
 
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Thank you so much for starting this thread. A few days ago I was thinking about getting rid of my old college notes & books, but was hesitant since I never finished and the thought of me going back into that course (even though I start a completey different one next week) in the future kept me putting it off (even though I know I won't, but I always think of the what-ifs). I'm now inspired to go through, recycle the notes & freecycle the books!

Quote:
Originally Posted by smudge
Technology changes, so chances are, by the time your kids are ready for HS Chem it will be outdated.
Thats a VERY good point, and mostly the reason behind me deciding to get rid of my 5 year old software engineering books/notes. lol.
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#15 of 20 Old 08-29-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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I've kept all my old (typewritten, some of them!) college papers. At least, the ones from my major. (English). I even re-read them sometimes when I find myself in the basement. I look at all those sources, the scholarly insights I had into Spenser and George Eliot and Adrienne Rich, and I think, dang, I was smart! I was a good writer!

I enjoy this.
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#16 of 20 Old 08-29-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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Oooh I'm tempted to gravitate towards saying 'Keep it'

I never kept any of my notes from my first two years at University, but I have everything, including lecture notes, journals, essays and my dissertation from my final year. Intend to keep those so that I can look back in years to come and think 'Wow, wasn't I smart'
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#17 of 20 Old 08-29-2006, 06:42 PM
 
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I am queen of the purge but I still have many of my college notes and books. I am in the process of getting rid of most of the books since books are easy to get ahold of if I need them. Several years ago I got rid of any subject material I knew I had no use for. Like I dumped all of my social science and english notes. I have engineering degrees and while I know those other subjects have value, I can look up that sort of info anywhere. But I kept my more scientific notes. I hate to say it (as like I said, I am the queen of purge) but i am glad I kept what I did. After being out of the field for 6+ years, I just took a part-time job teaching engineering courses. This means scrambling to remember all of the stuff that fell out of my brain. Of course, I got new books and have access to an extensive library, but nothing is helping me more than looking at my own notes and homework. Everything is written down the way it makes sense for me rather than what seems logical to some textbook writers.

So the moral of the story is, if you think it has some chance of having invaluable use later, keep it, but if you are just thinking sentiment, keep a couple of key papers (where you sound REALLY smart), aced tests, any sort of thesis, and maybe one example of exemplary notes and put it in your memory box. Toss the rest.

As for yearbooks, I will never part with mine. I only have one largish "memory box" and the yearbooks take up like 1/3 of it. Mine have personal notes in them from friends and teachers, pictures of what it looked like to go to a school in "my time", etc..... I poured over my parent's books as a teen and I imagine dd might like to do the same. But plaques and rewards? Nope. Take a photo and toss.
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#18 of 20 Old 08-29-2006, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The notes and lab reports are gone! I now have NO paperwork left from college, other than my transcripts and the diploma that is hanging on our hallway wall. And you know what? I'm very happy with that.

My experience with working in a science field is: you use just a tiny little percentage of what you learned in college anyway. Jobs are so specialized, so if I ever go back to work (not likely to happen anytime in the near future) I would just have to brush up on whatever specifics that job required. For that I would use the internet and/or the few textbooks I kept. That seems quicker than digging through boxes of old notes.

Now if only dh would go through his stuff...
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#19 of 20 Old 08-29-2006, 10:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama
I've kept all my old (typewritten, some of them!) college papers. At least, the ones from my major. (English). I even re-read them sometimes when I find myself in the basement. I look at all those sources, the scholarly insights I had into Spenser and George Eliot and Adrienne Rich, and I think, dang, I was smart! I was a good writer!

I enjoy this.
Oh gosh . . . I could have said this myself. Ever since being pregnant and having my son, I only WISH I could come up with the brilliant observations and insight I had in college. I was smart! I was a good writer too! What happened? :

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Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#20 of 20 Old 08-30-2006, 02:01 PM
 
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I recently went through all my papers from freshman year and such and recycled a bin's worth of stuff. I ended up just keeping my concept sheets I wrote up for finals because they're a quick single sheet reference for all the material.
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