I pride my self in not being a pack rat. In fact, I donate unwanted items to charities on a regular basis. Anyone who knows me well knows I organize everything: my desk at work, my closets in our home, the garage, the kitchen, the kids' toybox, and the list goes on. I've been this way since I was young; I credit my mom who is also a natural organizer. So, it is not a natural instinct for me to tell someone I want to keep what they are throwing away. For me to say that means I must really think it is special! Typically, in my eyes another person's trash is just that, trash!
Today at work (early childhood intervention) the developmental specialist (EIS) who has a desk next to mine was clearing out all of her belongings from her desk shelves and drawers. She is only going to be my co-worker until the end of June, and then she is going into another field of work...sob, sob, sob because I enjoy her company! She won't be working with kids any more, so she has no interest in numerous inservice handouts and journal articles on children with disabilities. Of course I was touched that she saved handouts from my inservices as far back as 2004, until I realized she saves EVERYTHING...not sure she knows we have an industrial sized shredder in the next room over! Yet, I feel like the manuals and journal articles that I rescued from the trashcan were worthy of my reading one day. I took home two inservices manuals that looked particularly interesting; the subject of one is working with infants with auditory impairments and the other is on infants with visual impairments. I started reading the handouts (from 2002) and was impressed with the information except for the "resources" on the back page because many of the listed websites aren't even up on the internet anymore...what a shame! But at least the activities, checklists, and technical explanations are still accurate. But one website was up and running and it linked to all of the state's (USA) schools for the blind. Then, those sites linked to many other sites. If you are like me, you may begin reading one website and then ten minutes later you realized you've clicked on so many links that you aren't even sure where you began. The following link on babies with visual impairments was one of the links that seemed interesting:
Well, I'm off to go get my 3-hole hole puncher and 3" three-ring binder from upstairs so I can file all of these handouts that I consider as "hidden treasures from my neighbor's trash."