Organization 11:09 a.m. 2003-05-11 From The Friday Five May 09, 2003:

1. Would you consider yourself an organized person? Why or why not?

I am organized in the classroom. I make lesson plans, check off what is not done, try to keep my three Intermediate classes on the same track. I make my copies in the morning before classes, and am sometimes even able to make copies for the whole week at one time!! I also make it a point to write the day's plan on the board, so that students know what to expect. One thing I have not mastered is coming up with a pre-planned unit that acknowledges the existence of the QCC's (Quality Core Curriculum). I know that I am teaching them relevant skills, but I haven't gotten that part of the documentation down!

The only challenge I have is grading - doing it, and keeping up with it. But I actually send weekly grade reports home to all of my students (right now, I have 17 students). I am cautious about keeping this up, and being organized at school because I don't want to lose control of my class or lose my job.

At home, I try to be organized, and clean up, but am fighting an uphill battle because I have married someone who is very messy. I have to restrain myself from cleaning up after him, but it is inevitable. I strive to learn how to organize recipes and make shopping lists before I go to the grocery store. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

2. Do you keep some type of planner, organizer, calendar, etc. with you, and do you use it regularly?

Up until, say, last year, I kept a paper student planner - some inherited from the school system, and some purchased from a store. I would keep it and my paper journal with me all the time. I wrote everything down and made lists of things "to do". At the beginning of last year, I began my journal online, so no more paper journal. Then, my husband purchased a new Palm Pilot, and he gave me his old one. I thought I would try and go electronic all the way, but so far, it hasn't taken. I hunt and peck on the little keyboard on the Palm Pilot, and only occasionally make lists of things to do. I might go back to paper, but will feel guilty doing this, because my husband could have sold his Palm Pilot back then for a lot more than he could right now! Oops!

3. Would you say that your desk is organized right now?

Desk(s) at home (I have two)- no. Desk at school - pretty much.

4. Do you alphabetize CDs, books, and DVDs, or does it not matter?

No, not at all! Most of the CD's are in my husband's office - he was a music journalist, so he gets at least one free CD per week. We have to purge periodically.

I just tried to get rid of some of my books, too, but didn't get rid of much. My book categories are pretty much: self help books (creativity and childhood issues), horseback riding, foreign language references, diet and exercise, cookbooks, and adolescent favorites. I also have 3-4 years of Martha Stewart Living and Cooking Light magazine that I am holding on to.

I have quite a few video tapes (many purchased at the second hand booth at a flea market, and a few DVD's, and they are in drawers in my armoire and one of my desks.

5. What's the hardest thing you've ever had to organize?

Last fall, we had the carpets changed out in our apartment. We had to move all of the things from the living and dining rooms to the back rooms for phase one, which was not too bad. But then we had to move everything from our three bedrooms to the front of the house. That was a nightmare! And it was not organized - I eventually flung and piled a bunch of stuff in there. And then we had to move it back.

Soon, we are planning to move into a house across town, and I am determined to get a head start on the packing. I am asking the custodians for boxes, and am trying to pack a little each day, while watching Dr. Phil and Oprah. So far, I have my winter clothes packed. I am also setting aside stuff for a community garage sale taking place next week.

On the other hand, my husband and I are dropping the ball on such things as contract deadlines, 60-day notice to the apartment management - we hate paperwork! Wish us luck!

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