Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Office Sweet Office

For the first time since 1989, I am not beginning this school year as a student. Instead, I am learning what it means to be faculty, to be full-time, to be "assistant professor of English."

One thing it means is having my very own office. I treasured my office-mates in grad school, but there is a special thrill that comes from seeing one's name on a door, even if that door (so I'm told) used to open to a snack closet.

It takes more than a nameplate and a set of keys to make a place feel like home. In just three days, however, this little space has become dear to me because...

...when I sit at my desk, I can hear bells tolling the hours.

I'm pretty sure the bells come from this chapel. 

...when I open my door, I catch glimpses of the sky.

...words on the walls remind me why I am here.

I pulled this out of a college brochure more than ten years ago,
and it has gone up on nearly every wall I've had since then. 

Holy marginalia from a friend's notes on my dissertation, a happy print of my two favorite verbs,
and a dose of Celtic wisdom. 

...I can see the faces of people I love. 

...there is so much work--good work--to do already, and this is a place dedicated to that work. 

...students and colleagues stop by every day, several times a day. They sit down, pull books from the shelves, demand poems, spend words, practice hope. 

This is the newest of my little homes, and it is good.

Does your workplace feel like a home to you? Why or why not?


  1. For some unknown reason (most likely due to sentimentality and just how extremely proud I am to know you), this post brought tears to my overflowing.

    No one knows how to make a space mean something better than you, Dr. Bear, save perhaps the Bears who raised you.

    I love you, friend. I'm thrilled to see your newest space!

  2. So as these people drop by several times a day how long does it take them to realize this is no longer the snack closet?

  3. Much thanks for this inspiring post! One can surely feel at home in their office for as long as they love their job and the work itself! :) Kudos on this!