Sunday, September 6, 2015

My Office

Some friends were asking me about what my office looks like, so I thought it would be kind of fun to share it online. I obviously haven't done much in terms of "styling" it. All the furniture is provided by my university, the walls are the basic cream color of all the walls in my building, and I've just kind of "decorated" with whatever I already had on hand. It's kinda random. Let's call it eclectic. Let me give you a tour!

View from the door. Sometimes I sit on the exercise ball at my desk.

Close up. I keep vitamin-C lozenges in the little bowl. The framed photo farthest on the right (slightly blocked here by a photo of David and me at Stonehenge) is of David and my family and me at my graduation from my PhD program. I was 8 weeks pregnant with Eliza and my smile is SO happy.
It's a great office space, really. Very generous size, with huge windows, which I really appreciate, especially because I spent many years as a grad student in a shared basement office that was windowless! I've been thinking that I'd like to personalize and glam it up a bit more--maybe get a cute chair to put in the corner with a reading lamp, and bring in a rug for the spot in front of the desk.

Instead, I have a gray classroom desk and no lamp in the corner. This is the view when I'm sitting at my desk. Gallery wall of Zuzu art and clock that needs a new battery.
The work space. Keeping it real, and not clearing it off for photos. I make a real effort to keep it organized, but there are lots of stacks of papers and books going on.

Do you recognize the girl in the portrait above my bulletin board? It's Buffy. The Vampire Slayer. The painting was created for me by a student I had in class the semester after Eliza died. I used Buffy as an example topic for a research project, and the students (most of whom had never seen the show before I showed an episode in class!) teased me about it, but also recognized the awesome.
It occurs to me now that I could definitely improve the aesthetic of my bulletin board if I better organized it, but I decided to ahead and share it as it is. I'll keep you posted when (if?) I make improvements. In addition to schedules, phone numbers, and reminders ("Good writing is all in the rewriting"), there are my favorite family photos, "Hark! A Vagrant" comic featuring the Bronte sisters, postcards from Europe, and my two favorite poems that I return to again and again: "Heavy" by Mary Oliver and "The Laughing Heart" by Charles Bukowski.

This is the bookcase on the left as you walk in the door.
The top shelf of this bookcase features a phrenology head, a plant, a silver Big Ben, and a framed print that says, "I like big books and I cannot lie." My diploma hangs on the wall. The Sunset Boulevard poster was a gift from a high school boyfriend that I just can't let go (the poster, not the boyfriend, though that did take a while, too), and that shelf is full of comp textbooks and my notebooks from grad school, and stacks of exams and papers from previous semesters.

The bookshelf behind my desk.
The print on top of this bookcase was created by a student for a presentation--it's a pretty gruesome illustration from the seventh circle of hell in Dante's Inferno when he's in the forest, that she mounted on foam core (and evidently did not want to take home and display?). The shelves also feature plants, a pink geode bookend, photos of Zuzu and Coco, and an art print of Jackie Kennedy, baby-loss mama, who reminds me to keep my sh*t together and also wear big sunglasses.

Close up of gallery art so you can see what a genius my child is.
That gray chair is seriously sad.
The poster on the wall is the silhouettes of Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre surrounded by text from the book in the tiniest type. I bought it right after I found out I got the job, knowing I'd put it up in my office. The map of the world above it is a piece of wrapping paper I mod-podged onto a canvas. The ceilings are so high, I really just wanted to fill the space.

Sign by the door. #truth
Purchased after completing NANOWRIMO two years ago.
So, that's my office. Now that I've posted all these photos, I'm really feeling motivated to fix 'er up a little bit more... 


  1. What fun! Now that I'm coming up on the 1-year anniversary of moving to my new office, I'm inspired to document mine in a similar way. Maybe this week I'll take some photos!

  2. I pictured you in a much darker office with a big ole wooden desk. I love your wall of Zuzu art. A proud mama works here!

  3. I like how deliberate you are about what goes on your walls. Everything is special for its own reason and has its own meaning. I try to do this, too.

  4. I love the special touches you put in every space you occupy!

  5. So cool to see your space. Love the Zuzu art wall.

  6. Where does the door in the back (past the second bookcase) go?

  7. You have put more thought into decorating your office than I think I have into decorating my home. What a great space! I spent one year as a teaching assistant, and my office was in the Armory building. That would be the building where the ROTC did drills. It was windowless, had cinder block walls, and smelled like sweat. Needless to say, I was not inspired to become a professor.

  8. I know I said this on IG, but I thought your office would be dark and full of dark woods. It's so bright and lovely.