Outside of cute kitchen message boards and restaurants with the evening specials, few people use slates anymore. You know, the fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock (that was the definition that sprang into your mind, right?) Laura Ingalls Wilder would clasp as she sat in that one-room schoolhouse on the prairie.
When I was teaching, and had time at the end of the day, I’d head to the girls’ room down the hall with my green plastic bucket. I’d fill it up and return to my classroom where I’d dip my giant sponge and wash away the day from my chalkboard. I might re-enter the detention list or a homework assignment, but the most part, it was a fresh start.
Maybe I liked the idea of a fresh start because it’s a close relative to my need for visual order. I could never understand those people whose filing system is composed of towers of paper. Before I begin a task requiring any sort of thinking, I have to clear my desk of the notepads, old mail, and gloves looking for a mate. When I’m cooking, to avoid using chili powder instead of cinnamon, or baking powder instead of baking soda, I have to empty the kitchen counter and sink before I begin.
An uncluttered surface can recharge my mind and soul. I can dodge real housecleaning far longer than I’d like to admit, but after I’ve sorted out a drawer or cleared the shoes from my closet floor I can reach inner peace. New shelf paper can leave me with a sense of tranquility that’ll stick around for the rest of the day.
These are all re-sets, new beginnings, another reason I enjoyed teaching. In September I was able to start over again with a new set of students and the optimism that came with a new year.
Funny, people write about the rebirth brought each year by Spring, but this is reversed in the teaching world. Spring is the culmination of the school year, when everything finishes up.
I'm the same way. I like a fresh start, a reset. I think it's why I enjoy cleaning -- restoring an environment to order soothes my soul!ReplyDelete
You have just explained my husband's habit of using resets to begin a project. I am afraid that I'm really a piler, not a filer. :-)ReplyDelete
There was a very large slate blackboard in the dining room of my childhood home. My brother took it away at some point. I wonder which ex-wife pitched it.ReplyDelete
I am a neat freak on some days. I have mellowed as I have aged,thank goodness. I never thought how education starts when most things endReplyDelete
I've been uncluttering, drawer by drawer. Just did the junk jewelry drawer.ReplyDelete
Funny, in a post reply this morning I said that I remember blackboards from my childhood. Are they still around? I even had a slate tablet for a while, that’s how old I am.ReplyDelete
I too am the sort of person who can only work from a clean ‘slate’. I need to have desks and shelves and kitchen surfaces clear before I can get down to work.
But ask me to clean the house and I suddenly find that I am not really all that bothered.
There is renewal each semester or year when new students restart us. I worked year_ round, and that meant new students coming into the school every month.
Now I know what my problems were. I never got off to a clean start. I taught during the chalkboard era. I used my board all day every day. My clothes were full of chalk dust. sometimes the caretaker cleaned the boards. I was the teacher who didn't use his desk as the pile was too high on it. Well, okay, there are opposites. I understand what makes people tick. Good story. It brought back many memories. I still like chalk boards and the smell of chalk.ReplyDelete
Because I am a pile type instead of a reset type might explain how I got garlic powder in my coffee and cinnamon on my turkey burger the other day. Garlic coffee sucks but the cinnamon was surprisingly tasty on turkey. I really need to put my spices away.ReplyDelete
I always have countertops ready to cook or bake. The kitchen is one area I cannot stand clutter of any kind. My desk is another story...it is a catch all and I have many projects going at once so it is a challenge sometimes!ReplyDelete
The ending of the school year is like an exciting celebration, we always used to have an end of school picnic...a bittersweet time to say goodbye to your teacher:)
I clean my kitchen before cooking too, mostly because it's so damn tiny, there just isn't room for two lots of messy dishes.ReplyDelete
I understand about clearing the slate though. Nothing settles me better than a good tidy up and sorting out of stuff.
I always thought baking powder and baking soda were the same thing.
I agree entirely with your approach I just never managed to achieve it.ReplyDelete
well, I hate to cook in a messy kitchen so if it is, I have to clean it first. and my drawing table has to be cleaned off before I can start on a full size art work but other than that, it tends to be cluttered here.ReplyDelete