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.