Sunday, January 28, 2018

January Extension, February Early Start

Here's an update on the January Project. A quick reminder - January's project was sorting out all paperwork, filing, employment forms and finances for the coming work year. In Israel the tax year finishes on December 31st. (I'm not self employed so I don't have to get tax returns in but we have to set up our tax positions for the coming year in January if we work for more than one employer.)

I finally tackled all the photocopied papers I've been storing for years and not using. I had five box files which I've condensed down to two. (See the photos.) The pile in front of the boxes is papers that are photocopied on one side only. I'm going to ask the local kindergartens if they want it for drawing paper. Next to that on the right is paper for the recycling bin. In front are files for school and college that I can use now - long lost copies of lessons I still copy regularly. Also on this pile are some packages I made up to give to colleagues who I know can use them.

Reader, I found lessons about phone boxes, tape recorders, and posting letters and waiting for replies. Cultural references to life in the UK including the milkman. I found computer printouts on long sheets of accordion-folded paper with the holes down the sides. I found photocopies of texts of topical interest about food and nutrition, women and work, people around the world, science..... if you still live in 1998. Pages of old fashioned typewriter print, pages of hand-written and photocopied exercises, pages so crammed full of small print that you'd never give them to students now. But back then we were so grateful to have some photocopied materials and there was no internet to provide anything. I found practice papers from exams that no longer exist.

(Yes that is my laundry drying in the background.
In the winter I bring it in from the balcony at night.)
I'm a bit disappointed that I still have two boxes of papers. I've not touched these papers for years (except to declutter once when I got it down from six boxes to a feeble five) so in theory it should all just go. I also told myself that I'd keep only one of each lesson and not all the copies of it. But if I already think I might use it, why throw away copies that I'll have to copy again? Doesn't make sense to do that.

The  January project was going great. I thought I'd finished my freelance work, I did my reports, I cleared out my teaching materials, I was up to date with my grading. I still had to organize the study and file bills, receipts, work forms and pay slips but this is only a couple of hours of sorting. January was winding down nicely and I was ready to jump into February's  project (to be announced).

Suddenly I got hit with a load more paperwork. The freelance writing is only half done. I'd conveniently forgotten about the other half of the deal. I found out yesterday that I have to write a summary of what we've done this semester for each of my nine school classes. I'd stuck my head in the sand about the fact that my students have an exam on the 6th of Feb. So that will be 40 exam papers to grade.

January is bleeding into February. In fact I've given it an extension until February 10th. And, if the truth be known, February had to start today. I need to be ready for two major events in it on Friday and Sunday, and Thursday is too late to get it all done. It's a fair swap.

More about February tomorrow. Suffice to say, life isn't so neat that one episode finishes on he 30th or 31st (or even on a neat 28th) of each calendar month and the next one starts on the 1st of the next month. Events that fall at the beginning of a month sometimes have to be prepared before the month starts. Such is life. All is good. Hectic but good.

Meet me back here tomorrow evening to talk about the February Project.


  1. That was a good lot of work done! Good for you - I wish I'd been as productive concerning all my paperwork. I've done some but it's too easy to procrastinate I'm afraid. I will try and use you as a good example to get stuck in this week although I can't believe that January is almost over already! Where does the time go!

    1. I know it goes quickly but better that than when time drags. Good luck with your paperwork.