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Looking Back to Move Forward

June 16, 2014

Cleaning up and out

Scan 2

George and Sophie Nestor, 1953

I think it is important to periodically reflect on where I’ve been in order to determine where I want to go. I admit that sometimes I can overboard with the idea. This time my reflection has been a personal look back, a LONG way back. This winter I spent many hours in the cellar going through 25 boxes and two trunks of my parents photographs and scrap books. It was an interesting journey reminiscing and recalling stories and events. It wasn’t without frustration, wondering about who some of the people were, especially the ones that were people from BA (before Argy). My parents had many friends, young and old; they loved getting together with folks and organizing events so people could come together. Often it was around being “Greek”! It usually involved lots of music, dancing, and fun! I am the beneficiary of wonderful memories growing up. Each year that becomes more and more clear to me!

I am fortunate that my Dad lived until 2006 when he was 90 years old and my mom is still living, having turned 96 on June 6. I realized about halfway through the process of sifting and sorting that the pictures reflected the threads of who I am. Some weekends I spent hours at it; it was exhausting, physically and emotionally and at the same time provided me the chance to look back and ground me in who I am today. My task is not over, the next steps involve putting them in chronological order and creating a book with pictures and text so my sons have their family history that is easily accessible. I realize it might be years before it is really meaningful to them (and who knows how long the books are completed). My favorite pictures are from when I was a child with my two brothers and sister (I am the youngest of 4). And, also the photos of my parents BA. It is as if the photos can speak, what an amazing feeling. And, it certainly is rewarding!

ScanSo, now I’ve moved on to the next project. I don’t normally undertake two enormous projects at one time however, due to a living room construction project, I am forced to. I have tackled the slides that I started taking in the early 1970s. Thousands of slides in slide trays, metal boxes, and small cardboard boxes. The ones they came in when developed at the photo drive-thrus (remember those?) I set up the slide projector in a bedroom that is not in use at the moment, so my husband I can grab a few minutes here and there to walk down memory lane. It is stirring up wonderful times that I haven’t thought about in quite a few years. When I was teaching I could devote some summer days to this type of project but now that I work all year round I have to carve out time whenever I can.

I have slides from every year of teaching. Artwork, students, colleagues, art exhibits, celebrations, new school construction, artist residencies, special events, integrated units, and on and on. It is amazing but right now I am at the “overwhelmed” stage. Simply not sure what to keep, what to ditch and wondering how I am going to save them for the long-term? DVD? External hard drive? In the cloud? In a web based book site?

I am hoping that some of you have gone down this path that I am on and can provide some suggestions, advice, and/or ideas??!! Please post your ideas in the comment section at the end of this post or email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov. And, thanks in advance for your help!

Next project??? Going through the 30 years of teaching that I’ve saved; artwork, lessons, examples, items from my travels that I brought back to use in my classroom, and on and on! It is time to clean out and move stuff on. It is fun to take time to reflect to help me determine my next steps!

Stuff? I got stuff! If any of you study Japan or Greece, please let me know, I might have some stuff for you! And, a set of encyclopedias – I’d gladly get them to you, neatly packaged in 3 very sturdy boxes!

 

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