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Monday, December 6, 2010

Unwrap a Treasure

I always expect the line between Trash and Not Trash to be much more clear than it turns out to be in third grade.  Today I was foiled again by the unclear distinction between the two.

In my book, Trash is something you don't want or need any more, that can't be reused or recycled or given away.  The category of Not Trash includes (but is not limited to) things you want to save for later, or things you might leave out on a shelf.

On my way to the stapler this afternoon after school, I happened to spot a folded up paper.  "Oh look!" I thought to myself.  "This must be a valuable item that someone wants to save for later, seeing as how it is left out on this shelf."  Upon closer inspection, I determined that this piece of Not Trash was actually a carefully folded index card.

"Ah--maybe a love note" I thought.  Those tend to come folded up in such packages.  Perhaps this wad contains reasons # 26-50 of the infamous Reasons Why I Am Nevery Leveing You.  Or maybe it's an interactive Circle Yes or No note.

"Or possibly a freshly lost tooth" I guessed as I opened the folds.  That would certainly be something to save and not throw out.  Well, except when those lost teeth and various other items get mistaken for trash and we have to stage heroic efforts to reclaim the Not Trash.

After several layers, the prized contents revealed themselves to be....pencil shavings.  Really?  That is what was so carefully wrapped and left on a shelf in a Save for Later bundle?  But--it's--[sigh].  I tossed the shavings and their origami-like container into the trash.  

Why would someone take all of that effort to package up some pencil shavings?  I did have some avid pencil lead collectors one year, so I guess there's a precedent for saving odd treasures and, in fact, starting a business by selling them

With a class full of eight year olds who, as a group, often save weird things and are also generally bad at cleaning, I guess I won't expect to Trash vs. Not Trash distinction to become any more clear in the near future.
Image: yr6rrr.wikispaces.com

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Haha! You know what they say... one man's trash, another man's treasure :)