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Stacey’s M.M. Post: Carrying It All With Me

Overstuffed File Tote

Originally uploaded by teachergal

When I lived in Manhattan I never carried that much stuff to and from school daily. After all, I couldn’t negotiate the stairs on the subway platforms at 86th and 103rd Streets with too much in my hands. Therefore, I’m perplexed at how much stuff I take to and from school every day now that I’m a suburbanite with a car. (Some people would argue that Providence is a city, but after living in the Foggy Bottom Section of Washington, DC and the Upper East Side of New York for 12 years, I feel that Providence is more of a suburb than a City.)

I put together all of my items for school this morning and realized I need to add two more file folders, bringing the total up to 14, to my file tote. I already put my charts for the week and a couple of other things in my car over the weekend. I also have to take my math teacher’s guide (had two of those in NYC, so I kept one at home and one in school) with me. I looked at my tote and realized that even that wasn’t all I had to take with me today. In fact, I still have to take my purse and my lunch. (Call-in the granny cart because there’s no way I’m getting all of this stuff upstairs to my classroom with just my two arms.)

Life, in general, seemed much more complicated when I lived in Manhattan. Grocery shopping and getting from place-to-place with mass transportation were just two things that made life more difficult. However, now that I have a car, I realize I schlep a lot more stuff with me… everywhere. This makes me wonder, is all of the stuff I’m schlepping really necessary?

Stacey Shubitz View All

I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.

I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

8 thoughts on “Stacey’s M.M. Post: Carrying It All With Me Leave a comment

  1. Last year, while working through the personal essay unit, I made an entry in my notebook about all the stuff I carry. There is meaning in the things we carry. Have you ever read Tim O’Brien’s book titled THE THINGS WE CARRY? It haunts me ten years after reading it for the first time.


  2. I am the same way and tend to haul everything with me each night not just on the weekends…I am up to two bags and sometimes a copy box when I bring home the kids readers and writers notebooks. If you come up with any ideas to lessen the “stuff” we bring home, please share! I do love your tote bag idea because write now I put everything in binders and that becomes even heavier to carry.


  3. Wow, that’s a lot of stuff, indeed! I always carry way too much stuff too and from work. I love your file bag, but I need to try to find a way to carry less … toting so much is taking a toll on my back!


  4. You reminded me to try and lighten the load in my purse and bag—
    It’s kinda nice to have “everything” with you at all times—you never know when you might need it.

    Good luck with the hauling!


  5. I easily haul that much stuff. I always think I am going to do a bunch of work on the weekend, then I get home and want to enjoy the weekend, so I haul it all back on Monday untouched. I have vowed this year to completely empty my tote bag at least once a week so as to clear out the junk that accumulates at the bottom.


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