Thursday, December 01, 2005

From the favorites file

So, I have a problem. I am a constant bookmarker. If I read an interesting article, see a funny website, or just think that sometime in the vague and distant future I may want to see whatever it is I stumbled upon again, I bookmark it. But, the problem comes when the bookmarking gets so excessive and so unwieldy that the original purpose, finding things once thought interesting, is nearly impossible.

I've had Percy, this computer, for over two years, and during that time I haven't deleted a single "favorites" link. Kind of like I can't throw away old papers. And I don't just mean freshman-year-too-embarrassed-to-read-rubbish. No, I have my Socail* Studies notebook from sixth grade and my write-up from an Oregon Trail game** in the eighth grade. So, never deleting any links, my "favorites" list is made up of well over 250 websites.

I decided I was going to clean them out as an end-of-the-semester, getting organized kind of thing. It felt right. But, soon I got lost in memories. Looking through those links is like tracing an intellectual history. I can see where I was obsessed with certain topics. I can see where I was doing research for papers. I can look back to when I got on a grad-school-hunting kick****. I can fondly recall my desperate search for presidential debate drinking games*****. I can tell when I was in arguments with people about gay marriage, abortion, or affirmative action by noticing the trends in links.

In short, I decided that I am not going to clean out my favorites. There's too much history there.

I'm trying to work out a similar justification for not cleaning out my car and closet.

*Yes, it was spelled like that on my folder. This makes me so sad now. In fact, the handling of social studies throughout the school district I grew up in saddens me greatly. The folder had several checks and stickers, one for each six weeks of the school year. Yet the teacher never corrected my spelling.
**No, I don't mean the computer game (but, dude, that computer game rocked!). In my history class in eighth grade, we split up into teams and drew fate/circumstance cards (or something) and had to make it across the U.S. We then had to write up our experiences. I'm considering turning this paper in for my graduate school application writing sample. It's quite good.***
***Well, perhaps not, but I do believe that I can honestly say that it's better than the freshman-year-too-embarrassed-to-read-rubbish. I am ashamed that I ever turned that stuff in. Particularly papers from Intro to Sociology (which I hated, ha) and Race, Gender, and Class (throughout the course of which I was gaining a sociological imagination, but not without considerable resistance). I need to apologize to those teachers.
****Yeah, I was all enthusiastic when it didn't matter. Now that I'm in a time crunch with grad school stuff, I can't work up the motivation.
*****I bookmarked many, but actually did none. They're kind of funny, you know, take two drinks whenever Kerry says "purple heart," or Bush says "9/11." Not being 21 at the time, my intentions were, of course, to use soda or juice.

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