Friday, June 19, 2009

I Need A (Pack) Rat Exterminator!

For the past three days, the boys and I have been helping Mrs. Matthews pack up her classroom. She is leaving her old school and going to a new school this fall, so in effect, she has been evicted. This means that for the next two months, my garage will be home to boxes (and boxes and BOXES AND BOXES AND BOXES!) of books, games, files, curriculum binders, school supplies, paper and the other minutia of school teacher-dom.

My wife is not making this easy for the rest of us. She swears she is throwing stuff away that she doesn't need, or leaving it for her successor. In fact, she's left a lot of stuff. But the problem is, my wife is a packrat. She has major abandonment issues. In my garage, there is one large plastic tote filled with crayons. You've heard of the 64-color pack? Think of this as the 64-THOUSAND color pack! There is a large cardboard box filled with ziploc bags, and one tote filled with nothing but glue sticks. She could teach paper-gluing classes for the next five years, and we would still have leftover glue sticks.

This all creates a conundrum or two. First of all, there is the matter of our garage. It is now half-filled with her school materials, and some of those materials will now never be leaving the garage, because there is stuff she bought for Kindergarten (this past school year) that she will never use for Special Ed Preschool (this coming school year). So it will now have a permanent home here. Robin actually said to me last night "Well, I guess this means we won't be able to park in the garage". We have lived in this house for nearly five years, and we've never (ever - not once) parked in the garage! (Like I said... PACKRAT!)

Then there's the matter of moving stuff again. I have discovered that we have been moving some materials that have already been moved twice without being used. Case in point - Yesterday, I moved a box containing two gallons of Elmer's Glue. I recognized the box, because I had moved it from her PREVIOUS school last year, to our home last June, then to her old school last August, and back to our garage again yesterday. Will I dare move it to her new school again in eight weeks? How about most of the hundreds and hundreds of Scholastic books that Robin has somehow amassed over seven years of teaching. Her new students will not be literate, so am I really going to be moving a dozen cases of books that will only return home again in the (hopefully way, way, distant) future?

Robin insists she needs ALL of this stuff. I think what she really needs is an educator's yard sale.
Or, better yet - a gallon of gasoline and a match!

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