Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Many Trees Must Die

I've spent more hours than I care to think about at the copy machine. Happily, the copy machine kept working. Well, actually, it needed more toner, but happily, our local tech crew could do that. When I saw the blinking message yesterday, my heart sank, as I thought we might have to wait on someone from Xerox to fix the machine. And I have a Friday deadline.

We're working on faculty professional development files. I have to make copies of various forms spanning several years and as much documentation as I have in my files. We're humanities people, so we have lots of documentation. We have to make copies to send away to accrediting agencies, copies for various departments on campus, and along the way, since I had everything compiled, I decided to make a copy for my office.

I tried not to think about my graduate school education going to waste as I spent over 40 hours photocopying and filing in the past weeks. I tried to remember poems as I watched the copy machine do its thing. "Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers": oh Wordsworth!

I'm sure it will come as no shock to you to hear that paperwork gets lost on campus (it's a small campus--where does it go???), and I'm often asked to reproduce what I've already done, often after I refiled everything. So, now, I just make an extra copy for my files, even though it duplicates what was already in the files, only filed differently.

I remember as computers in every office became a more common feature in the 90's, there was talk that we might actually move to a paperless office.

Based on my experience this week, we are reams and reams of paper away from being a paperless office.

My city government is having a tree sale this week-end. In flush times, they gave trees away, but now they're selling them for $10 a tree. It's a good price, and the city gets healthy trees. I should buy a truckload and surreptitiously plant them around town, since my own small yard already has more trees than it can support, should they all make it to adulthood.

I have a vision of being a guerrilla tree planter. Like Johnny Appleseed, only with native trees. Kristin Mangoseed, that's me!

I must atone for my sins. At least paper is a renewable resource.

1 comment:

Sandy Longhorn said...

K., I'm not even an administrator and I feel your pain. Does your campus have Shred-it or another paper recycling option? I tend to have leftover handouts and whatnot or drafts of assignments and whatnot. I take all of these home and use them in my home printer for drafts of my poems. It helps assuage the guilt of standing in front of the copier so often.