Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Case of the Exploding Inbox

I consider myself a fairly organized person. I like things a certain way, which is pretty clean and I can typically find things right away or within a few minutes if someone needs something. However, when it comes to my email account(s) it is a completely different story.

My main email account is the same account I used in college, started in the fall of 2004. It is the main account I use and today when I checked my email, 1,378 emails in the inbox. I have a problem: I have a hard time deleting emails. I fear that I never know if I'll need to reference them again. The logical thing to do would be to make files and file them away, but I never did that. So, I started to go through my 1,000+ emails.

As I started to go through the emails, there were 4 common people whose emails flooded my inbox: the director of the volunteer program I did after college, a friend that I lived with while doing the volunteer program, my co-teacher from my first year teaching, and my parents. There were also quite a few from Runners World that I deemed interesting and valuable at one time or another throughout the past 7 years.

As I was able to delete the majority based on their subject line, I did read a few so I knew what I was deleting, or not deleting. I don't keep a journal, but when I was rereading some of my emails to various people about various things I was getting a look back at different points in my life.

Some of the "highlights" include:
-Various emails about getting an insulin pump (2006), a new pump (2009) and a CGM (also 2009)
-Running information from the Flying Pig (Cincy 2009), Air Force (Dayton 2008) and Madison (May 2006 and 2007) half marathons along with the photo websites from each race
-Grad school projects, questions for professors, and many, many, on my final action research and paper
-One particularly funny one about how much I was excited to see Jason Castro in concert when a friend and I went to see American Idol and how if David Archuletta got suddenly sick and could not perform I would be happy

However, like all things, there was one item that stood out from all the rest. As part of my education degree for my undergrad, I had to take a psychology course about human development. I could not fit this class in until my senior year, second semester. It ended up being one of my favorite classes I ever took, partly because the professor was wonderful.

I always sat in the front row of "Dr. P's" psych class. "Dr. P" always started class with something in the news or a song...something just to talk to us about for a few minutes. I always enjoyed this part of class because I never knew what he was going to play or share with us. Some days it was some world crisis report that he would pull off of CNN, while one time he played a song on YouTube that made us all laugh so hard and think he was crazy.

I sent "Dr. P" an email during my first year of teaching stating how the final project I did in his class, involving inner-city education and psychology as well as Maslow's hierarchy of needs was useful in my teaching situation at the present time. I can vividly remember when I had to miss one of his classes to interview for the volunteer program I decided to do, he was in full support of it, with he being a former Peace Corps volunteer.

Below, you can find parts of the email that made me smile again.

Hello "Queenie",

I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed your email and how great it is your final project is currently useful to you. I am still teaching Dev Psych in the same room as you, and I can't tell you how many times I've thought about you sitting in your usual seat and bringing a zest of life to my classroom! I couldn't believe that I would have the delight of you being in two of my classes! (I was also in another general ed. class of his for seniors called Capstone)

It doesn't surprise me that your students think the world of you in your unique approaches to "scaffold" them into a world of dream-filled possibilities. While I have not taught Capstone since our class together, I am reluctant to do so given the enormous evaluations I received. Guess I'm a little rim shy about starting over after such a fun and memorable semester!

Before I sign off, I do wish to state how much I have appreciated having you in both of my classes. You will never know the number of times I have praised God, that you filled my class with precision and inspiration. As you know in this business, there are many days when I leave the classroom that I wonder if I'll ever return. However, I would often feel renewed after your involvement in class or your encouraging words of appreciation following class.

At any rate, you should know that you too, have carved an indelible footprint in my life and on my role as a teacher of young adults. Even when I was overseas teaching and had often received complements on my cultural sensitivity to developmental psych, it still did not pale in comparison to the feedback I'd received from you and others last year in developmental and capstone.

As I said to you on more than one occasion, rest assured that "you" do not come in twins, and anyone who is blessed to enjoy your friendship, should be thankful indeed. All the best, Queenie.

All the best,
"Dr. P."

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