In the second presidential debate, Governor Romney caused quite a stir when he said that he had received “binders full of women” while he was looking for women to appoint to his gubernatorial staff. His precise words were: “I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
I didn’t realize that even a single woman – or a single man, for that matter – could fit into a binder. But the most alarming part of the whole binder quote for me was the idea that anybody would use binders as organizational tools today, or even back when the Mittster was Governor of Massachusetts. Heck, we live in a time of tablets, laptops, Google docs, spreadsheets, databases. If Moses came down from the mountain with the 10 Commandments today, he’d have them on an iPad, not on 10 unwieldy stone tablets. He’d fling his iPad into a crowd of heathens who were using the Golden Calf App on their smartphones, not dancing around a false idol. (We’ve all gotten a ton more efficient, that’s for sure.)
But the question is, what are binders good for today, if they are not actually good for storing women? (Or storing “folks,” whoever that means. Have you ever met a “folk”? I know I haven’t. But Obama and Romney apparently have, because they talk about them all the time.)
Here are some ways that students can use binders. . .
To store flat items that are not on paper. For example, I know a student who is working on a research project about the patches that police departments put on their uniforms. Sure, she has images of those patches scanned into her computer, and she will insert those images into her final paper. But she also needs to store the original patches carefully, and binders are good for that.
To organize and store on-paper course materials and handouts. Sure, you can scan in all the documents that your instructor hands out in class. But if you are only going to refer to those documents once or twice before you take your final exam, it can make more sense to punch three holes in them and insert them into a binder. You can then toss them and use your binder for another class. That’s low-tech. But low-tech works just fine in some situations.
To store a growing collection of items that you will organize later on. Think about those class handouts again. You get a few every week. So you organize them by topic in your binder for now. Later on when you have them all, you can finalize their order and scan them.
Okay, help me out here . . .
I have to admit, those are about the only uses for binders that I can think of. Have you got any? Please let me know.
One thing for sure – binders are apparently not good for holding men. Nobody has even suggested that. Nobody in his or her right mind would try it. Would you?
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