Monday, October 6, 2014

Desk Drawers: Portals to our Personality

I am what is mine. Personality is the original personal  property.                                                  ~Norman O. Brown 

I’m back in the blogosphere, my crazy life finally simmering down a bit. Today’s challenge is to talk about what’s in my desk drawers and what can I infer about the contents?
            The desk drawer. Who knew it could be a portal to our personalities? Everyone keeps stuff in their desk that they like or must use. For some these contents reveal a different side. I think of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, from "The Closer." She had a desk drawer filled with an assortment of chocolate and Ding Dongs. Her little snitch drawer in which she could ease her stress and anxiety in a few short bites. 
             Had the question been what's ON my desk, the answer would be much different. I'm not sure the stuff on my desk is really indicative of who I am. There are some juggling cubes, Woody from Toy Story, a couple of rubber ducks, and some Play Dough. Recess, anyone? Actually, these are good stress relievers for my students and lead to interesting conversations.

             So what's IN my desk? Well, it may not be what you think. The right side of my desk houses markers, colored pens and sharpies along with a general catch-all drawer and a file drawer. The markers may say I like to do crafty projects, right? Not if you know me, they don’t. Crafts and I, well, let’s just say there’s a reason my bulletin board looks the way it does. 
            No, my students use these colorful implements when doing close reads: underlining amazing wording, questioning other wording, and connecting to the reading. The highlighters are used for close reads and to distinguish between logic and emotion in a speech or to separate one long paragraph into two separate ones—one highlighter for one paragraph, the other color for the other paragraph. I’m always kind of surprised at how much my students like to mess around with these tools.
            So, that’s the right side. The left side is filled with cords, adapters, plug-ins and equipment. Camera, external hard drive, mp3 connecter, remote controls, and so on. I use the right side of my desk, but I LOVE the left side of my desk. If someone looked into my left-hand drawers, they would think I’m a techno geek. And they’d be right. I love technology and trying new things to draw kids into learning. My only regret is I feel like I never have enough time to really explore the different ways of using even one of these tools before discovering another exciting piece of technology.
            Desk drawers: a portal to our personality. In a way, that's true. That's what the drawers reveal--who we are, what we like, and what's important to us. 
           So the next time you go to throw something into your desk drawer, think about it. Or peer at the contents of your desk tonight . Look as though you were seeing it for the first time. Step back and view it objectively. We may see things a bit differently or the contents may just open that portal into our personality.

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