Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What Evidence Do We Leave?

      In a previous post I dealt with cleaning closets and that some of the things I found were old and not used anymore. I'm still cleaning closets. Well, I don't put in too many hours a day.

    However some of the things you find bring back old memories. Today we were doing the closet with photos and various memorabilia. We got tough today and threw away many things. Who in the world keeps tourist brochures from 20 years ago? Okay, you don't have to answer that.

    What I did find that brought back memories was a letter that I wrote in 1963 to my brother's gr. three class. I had just gone to teach in Inuvik , NWT. My brother's class was doing a unit on Eskimos. They decided to write me and each kid asked a question. I wrote them a very long letter. This letter brought back memories and also showed what I was like in 1963. I think I've changed since then.

   I began to think about the 51 year old letter. How much of my written material is still surviving? How much material  written about me is still on file? I would think that very few bits of written information about us remain.

    Two days later! I've been at it again. I've found more boxes, folders and binders. I might have to change my mind. Today I found old school stuff and was surprised at how much I had. Here's a list: thank you notes, programs, awards, teacher evaluation reports, evaluations I did on teachers and student teachers, letters to my superintendent about me, professional development conferences. I was very surprised at how much I had. For most of the material , I would bring it home to show my wife and it would disappear. I naively thought it had been disposed. 

    Well, this material survived for a while but now it is gone. At this stage in my life I had no use for old information.  

   Then I started to think about the present time with the Internet. Much more material is left today. My blog leaves all kinds of information. I have pictures saved instead of lost in some box. Institutions such as government save much more information on me.

   So in the future  how much information will survive? Will people find more information about us? If there's more information left, researching families should give us much more information.

32 comments:

  1. Oh Red I would probably have saved those written words versus internet storage has me in a dither I trust the paper in my hands one more:) History.... it is your history but I understand the need to clean and not turn into a hoarder.I bet it was a little hard to do.
    B

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    1. I'm not the hoarder. I part with things very easily.

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  2. I wonder just how long Blogger or whatever will archive posts of the masses. I have been thinking of going through my blog posts and printing out those I thought were important...to me.

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    1. Some people make little books of their posts.

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  3. When my Mother sold her house, we had to go through years and years of paper n bout the same as you. We found olde grocery bills, for the corner store grocer, olde promissory notes from my Dad to a workman, olde pay notes of my Dads, receipts for everything and also dear Red.....travel brochures. ha,ha Every time my parents went somewhere to visit, they brought home travel brochures because of all the pretty photos, info and everyone could read them. I thought they had long gone to garbage, however my Mom had it all stashed in the back closet. ha,ha Oh, yes, keep a copy of all BILLS PAID TOO, EH. Great Post :)

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    1. My wife has all receipts as well as all information on all the stuff she's bought right from the paring knife to the house!!!

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  4. You should have made a scrapbook! I bet your 51 year old letter is interesting. Someday our blogs will be a relic, relatives down the line will probably read them and laugh:)

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    1. I would be happy if they laughed , but if they looked at it and said I don't know what he's talking about I would be disappointed.

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  5. I have a drawer filled with memorabilia, old letters and cards, and some pictures as well. I don't add to it any more, but I have carried it with me for decades. It's like your old boxes. I once tried to go through it, but I gave up. How could I throw away letters from my parents who are long gone? :-)

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    1. Memorabilia can easily be rated. You can pick what's important and what's not worth anything.

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  6. It is simply amazing how much we accumulate over the years!

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    1. Amazing is putting it mildly. I wish I'd kept on moving and I might not have so much stuff.

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  7. Wow, you've saved a lot of stuff! I hardly have anything. Only lots and lots of photos. I suppose some of those pictures will tell stories.

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    1. I don't take credit for saving any of this stuff. If it was me I'd have very little.

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  8. i believe you're right - what remains will be digital.

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    1. Digital is much easier to manage.

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  9. I've heard that the US government has warehouses filled with computer data from the Vietnam era that can no longer be accessed because because the technology has all changed. I wonder about the Internet. It's so pervasive, but nothing lasts forever. Hard copies of valuable items are probably the best way to preserve cherished mementos.

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    1. It's certainly an open question right now as to what might happen. I would think that programs will be in place to access older technology.

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  10. Cleaning out closets, drawers, and boxes of stuff gets me to feeling all confused and torn. I usually wind up putting it all back, thinking when I am dead and gone my daughters will enjoy going through this stuff. Maybe!

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  11. I am not that bothered to be honest. I write my blog because I enjoy doing so. My past paper trail is lost or the majority of it is.
    It's frightening how much rubbish can be saved. Tomorrow I have a 128GB memory card coming for one camera. it can transfer data at 60MBs/s. I could store my whole life on a fraction of that card.
    Amazing!!

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    1. Some people can travel light. I would like to be one of those people.

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  12. I think that future generation will have family trees mostly in place for them. The information about ancestors will no longer be limited to birth, marriage, children death and location but tell them a lot more about their personalities because of blogs, Facebook and the like.

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    1. WE can now access a large amount of family history on the internet.

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  13. Hmmm, what will they put in museums 100 years from now?

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  14. I wonder how much physical stuff will be kept and warehoused? I don't think much will be kept.

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  15. We should all make a personal time capsule. Only 5 things in it, like who we are and what our hobbies are. Would be interesting.

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  16. I'm just in the process of clearing cards and papers from 9 years in NZ. Why do we keep these things? Rhetorical question!

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  17. Perhaps we do leave a lot more information about ourselves in the age of IT but so much of it is rubbish which should really be disposed of, just like those old brochures and photographs of people we no longer know.

    Except now it all stays for ever, the good, the bad, the shameful and the merely self-indulgent.

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  18. I have some album/scrap books that I put together about my childhood and professional life. I am currently working on a memoir. I have lots of photo albums of my kids growing up. Now everything gets saved on the "cloud". I guess I'm leaving my mark.

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  19. These are valid questions. I've made a point of showing my kids where my passwords are!

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  20. I've worked on family histories for my mom's family and my husband's families. However, I haven't worked on my own. I feel like my blog is my history, but perhaps I need to work on something more organized. What fun to learn that you were an educator too, Red!

    I'm in between duties with our Southeast Asia photo album now. I've selected photos and my husband is organizing, replacing and adding his information. After that, it will be my turn to format the book which will take me away from visiting blogs for a time until I finish. I'm so glad I have this evening to visit and get to know you more.

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