Sunday, May 6, 2012
My Life as a Bag Lady
I have a collection of tote bags from various conferences I've attended, causes I've contributed to, promotional gifts, and of course the odd bag my kids decorated in preschool. These tote bags were useful when my kids were little, and we had to carry toys to the beach or snacks to the playground. Then for a while they sat in an useless heap in the linen closet, and I often contemplated getting rid of them. I never did because, after all, they could be useful some time.
These days they are; they have become organizational tools. I have a bag for each one of my jobs. I stuff anything that has to do with my office job into my laptop bag, so it's there when I need it. I have a specific tote bag I take to the creative writing class I teach. Even if that class only meets once a month, that bag sits in my closet, and if I come across a magazine I want to give to my students, I put it in that bag. When I taught at two different community colleges, I had one bag designated for each college, heavy with textbooks, student papers, extra markers, and my course notes. Since I taught at both colleges on the same day, I'd leave the house schlepping two heavy bags, sometimes a third for the creative writing class happening in the evening. More often that not I'd say to myself, "I've turned into a bag lady."
With several different jobs, I have several different bags at the ready. I never have to search around for that book I wanted to bring to class, or that notice I wanted to show a colleague. They'll be in the designated bag. The challenge is to keep the bags out of the entryway (where I like to dump them), so it doesn't look too much like a bag lady lives here.