Tag Archives: The Pacer

Living in the Clutter

Today I had a sneaking suspicion that everyone — even the most clean among us — have one place or space in their lives that are utterly void of organization, and perhaps, cleanliness.

I think it’s human nature.

It’s what separates us mere mortals who claim to be OCD-esque in nature from those who truly have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. (No matter how much you think you are like Adrian Monk from, well, the TV show Monk, you probably don’t have OCD.)

And that utterly unorganized space in your life? Well that’s just proof that you’re human.

I started thinking about this when I walked by my coworker Josh’s car this morning. Despite maintaining a cubicle that tops the office in terms of organization and feng shui, his car had to have at least half a dozen empty plastic water bottles in the passenger seat, bowling shoes in the back, and I have his word that up until a week or two ago, his tuxedo from the David Johnson Chorus had been in the back of the car since the end of their performance season in April.

For geography professor Dr. Mark Simpson, it’s his UTM office that is catastrophically cluttered. The man is a meteorology/climatology professor, but it looks like a tornado might be sneaking through his windows at night. (No offense, Dr. Simpson.)

For The Pacer staff, it’s pretty much the entire office. Everyone’s desk space mimics that of former Pacer managing editor Will York to some degree. Now that I’m gone, I think cleanliness will fall even further from the priority list.

My mom has her scrapbooking room, a room for creative clutter (though I’m sure she’ll tell you it’s not that bad).

My sister and her husband have…their entire house. OK, maybe they don’t fit into that “most clean” category I mentioned at the beginning of this post. Rachel has a nasty habit of rearranging every four to six months anyway, so whatever works for them…

But for Karen and me, it’s our “office” or “study” at home. The office is the one room we have yet to fully tackle in our new half-duplex. Nevermind the dishes in the kitchen that never seem to stop piling up (our dishwasher is small). It’s the office that I can’t stand.

Maybe we just have too many things going on in there.

For one, it’s home to our music, and that means a keyboard on one wall and my bass guitar rig next to it in a corner, not to mention our extensive collective sheet music library scattered in boxes and bags everywhere. We need a filing cabinet. Badly. I keep thinking to myself that if we could just get that done, then the rest of the room might fall in place. I think we’re going to buy a filing cabinet or something from Wal-Mart or look at office product stores in Jackson this weekend.

It can’t wait any longer.

Then there are our desks. I bought mine for (get this) $15 on Craigslist.com and it’s a very nice desk. Karen’s came from her mom, and it, too, is a nice computer desk. But there’s the problem of drawer space. Not a single drawer on either desk. This is a problem, especially when you consider that we both “moved desks” from our apartments in the University Village, which came with three-drawer desks and an upper shelf in the provided furniture. Most of my “desk stuff” is in two shoe boxes on my desk’s shelves; everything else is clutter and crammed on top of the desk. Karen’s stuff is everywhere, from the floor to on top of her desk.

We never spend much time in the office. Why bother when you can hardly see the floor? I don’t even use my Macbook much anymore, though that’s partly to blame because I sit at this computer at work seven to eight hours a day, plus there’s the iPhone in my pocket. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of the Internet are in my pocket, so why bother climbing through the office to use my laptop? I blame this for my lack of posting pictures to Flickr, by the way. I’m so far behind on that. I think I’ve uploaded six or seven Costa Rica photos out of several dozen, then there are plenty of photos of our puppy, and the Tennessee Safari Park from last Saturday…

It seems never ending.

So what should we do with this office? There’s no where else in the house to put stuff; we’ve finally improved the other rooms of the house to the point that they are livable and the floor is visible. We’ve thought about putting shelves in the office as one possible solution, and certainly the music library going into a filing cabinet will help, but what are your thoughts?

Scrambling the Troops

We found out late yesterday that every Academic College at UT Martin is meeting today at 4 p.m. to hear the latest information about budget cuts from the administration. According to a major administrator, this round of cuts will only be affecting administrative staff, but plans for up to a 15 percent cut for Fall 2009 must be made in case Gov. Bredesen must make that large a cut from the state’s universities.

That would translate into major cuts from the UTM Division of Academic Affairs up to $2 million. We are projecting that Dr. Jerald Ogg, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, could cut every lecturer and instructor and campus and not reach the $2 million level, so major changes (READ: CUTTING PROGRAMS OR COLLEGES) could be in store for UTM.

Because this is so important, The Pacer is scrambling to cover each of those meetings this afternoon in order to report on the findings for each college to the student body. We will be running online updates this afternoon and possibly putting out a special print edition to spread the information to students.

This coverage will be supplimented with news about the sudden closing of the Skyhawk Card Office on Monday, including the firing of the staff in a manner that can only be described as without tact. The Student Government Association will also meet tonight at 9 p.m. to discuss these issues.

Stay tuned to www.utmpacer.com for more information as it becomes available.

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Half a Month Later…

How can it possibly be August 9 already?

Things have been really, really busy since coming back from Berlin. Catching up on sleep. Catching up on work. Catching up on Karen-time. You get the idea.

Work has been insanely busy. I have updated a ton of Web sites in the last two weeks: Psychology, ECCE, ITC, Financial Aid, Honors Program, Visual and Theatre Arts, etc. The last two weeks have been the final weeks of my co-student worker, Hannah Burcham, who is going to Mississippi State University with the National Student Exchange program. In the mean time, we’ve been training her highly capable replacement, Jen DeYeso in all of the wonderful jobs (and the tedious ones, too) we take care of on a daily basis at the ITC. Mix into this helping the occasional professor who wanders over for help, working on the registrations for three different training topics coming up in August and September, and planning for the training session I am doing this coming Tuesday — you get the idea of how busy it’s been.

I’ve also spent some time working on the TNGIC summer newsletter, getting together the stories we will be covering for the end-of-August publication. Now I need to start laying it out in InDesign this week before things get even more hectic with The Pacer and that little thing called school.

Speaking of my favorite newspaper, I worked the last few days of this week with The Pacer’s adviser, Tomi Parrish, on buying the remaining iMacs we need to fully handle our computing needs for the coming years. The good thing about these Macs is that we should be able to get a lot more use out of them than we’ve been getting out of the PCs we’ve used for years. Now they just have to be shipped and have software ghosted onto them by the Technical Services folks and brought over to our office. I’m looking forward to kicking off the new year with lunch and training on August 18. Then we start working on our First Flight edition for the incoming freshmen…and then off we go!

In other news, Karen and I have discovered the addicting Web site Nutrimirror — an online food journal that can really help ANYONE trying to eat healthier. As Karen saw on a newscast on her Destin vacation, keeping a food journal is one of the best ways to eat healthier and get/stay in shape. Nutrimirror is doing just that, and with time it should be a big help.

Finally, with all this going on a few of my other projects are still hounding me to start/finish them, including: more research and reading on my Scholars project, a photo-video for a wedding at the end of August, posting more photos from Berlin, and buying my books from Amazon/Half.com. Anything else…? This is more than I can keep up with in my head. Good thing I have to-do lists!