For the past week, I’ve been working on a new project I’ve entitled Project Spring. Despite it not actually being springtime – we don’t have spring as a season in the Philippines, only summer, rainy season, monsoon season, and the icecaps are melting over in Siberia from late December to February – and the goal of the project is not actually spring cleaning, I am calling it Project Spring anyway, because I like to think of this time as the Springtime of My Life. And this means, if I want everything to work out in my new life, I have to really fix the old.
So first, I have to move out of the Hazy Shade of Winter (hello The Bangles fans!), and organize ALL MY FILES. The point of Project Spring is actually to create an archive of ALL THE STUFF I HAVE into a resource center that will be valuable to scholars like me. I’m actually the first to benefit from this archive/resource center, though this idea was mainly for World Dance Alliance Philippines, and not my idea but by our president and my academic mentor, Steve Villaruz. We’ve been working on what I publicly refer to as Big Project 2015 (my social networking friends will notice my hashtag #bigproject2015), and from this, Steve said, “Keep everything on file. You must start your archive now.” It just made so much sense to me, so here I am, starting the WDA-Ph Archive/Resource Center in my bedroom.
A universe in my bookcase.
My biggest problem though is getting started. To your left, you will see my big blue book case that my Dad made for me last year. Since completing it and putting it into my room, I have not been able to actually organize anything that’s on there. It’s mostly I’ve been cramming stuff into the open spaces. As you can see. Also, not everything that I work on is on there, they’re scattered in pretend-organized spots all over my room. Like, I’ve been working on a paper on the Pangalay the last two months, and all my resource materials are strewn across the desk I work on, in the different bags I use when I go out (I like to read on the commute), and just everywhere. And if you ask me, “Where is the Will Peterson Pangalay article you’ve been reading?” I actually DON’T KNOW. It’s here somewhere.
(Well, I know where it is now, it’s in a folder I named, “Current active research.” Yay.)
So even if I’ve been working non-stop on this for the last week, it doesn’t look at all like I’ve made a big dent in the organization. In truth, it hasn’t. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I cleared out 3 shelves, and accomplished this: I now know what categories my files need to be organized into. THAT’S ALL SO FAR. It took me three days, and it would make Thom Felicia cry. But seriously, when I’m done, the archive/resource center will be awesome.
I threw these out:
Some of the stuff that was taking up space in my book case needlessly was a few bags of … bags. Paper and plastic bags that I meant to recycle, that I’ve been keeping for the last 3 years. So, I’ve always looked at these and thought, eh, maybe I’ll find use for them soon. But this Cotton On biodegradable plastic bag I’ve been harboring had just disintegrated when I took them out for dusting. I came to accept that I’ll NEVER use these bags EVER, and just threw them out. Maybe some needy people will find them and have better use for them.
This is a big deal for me, because I’m such a pack rat. I’m starting to learn how to let go of things. Slowly, but it’s a start.
Before and After shots of some shelves, yay. In this shot, that leaning pile of paper were a bunch of performance programs, strategically placed behind me where I write on my desk, so that if I need to refer to any dance, or need info on a choreography, choreographer, dancer, etc, I just turn around and sift through this pile. I transferred my programmes into a box, and saved the space for my “Current Active Research” folder and any single programme I was currently writing about.
I also plan to get a box for each ballet company, plus a box for contemporary shows, and another box for shows I saw outside the country. But, you know, baby steps, tip of the iceberg.
In the mess you see here, I’ve managed to sort out all the files I found in this shelf, but only have so far accomplished putting like files together. Getting them all organized and cataloged will have to wait for next week.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment is getting all my “current active research” off my desk, and enabling me to prioritize my other work better, as I can actually find what I need faster. The weeks before, I needed time to look for stuff before actually using them as reference. Who works like this, Oscar? So, game for better efficiency.
Will go work now. Later.