Ode to Pen and Paper

I can’t remember a time in the past 27 years of my life (am I really 27 years old now…damn) when I have ever written a letter to someone. I don’t count those letters we write in school to fake people. I mean, letters that I have actually sat down, pulled out pen and paper, and written down my thoughts and expressed them to someone through the written word. Throughout history, this is how people communicated and this is just one way of finding out more about them.

When I look back at my past, I very rarely look into the hard copies of papers that I have. I rely mostly on the copies of papers strewn about my various desktops. I sometimes wonder if having hard copies of these papers would be better – keeping them stored in one location. The beauty of having everything on my computer is that everything is searchable. However, what happens if my computer dies? I’ll lose all of it.

As a librarian who works at a school (notice I didn’t say SCHOOL LIBRARIAN), I often have to help students find primary source material. It’s amazing to see what kind of materials have survived throughout the ages to speak to us about what they know about their time. From pottery, to oral histories, to papyrus, each of these items have an interesting story to tell, not only what they record, but how they have survived.

I wonder sometimes what my legacy will be. When I pass away, what will remain for people to remember me by? My social network profiles, my mp3 files? What do I have that will tell my story? I suppose there is my bookcase, filled with all sorts of books and magazines and media that I have collected throughout the years. But what does that say about me? It says that I love digital culture and bad teen movies. Nothing about my actual history.

I suppose it might be a tad too late to start writing a journal about my personal life. 27 years have already passed – how could I possibly remember what happened in those 27 years and write them down for posterity. My legacy will just have to be the impact I have on society, whatever that will be.

A Future Without Personal History.

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