I spend a lot of time in my work space. As a result, I’ve made it my mission to make sure my office is a reflection of who I am, where I’ve been, and what I’ve accomplished. I have to admit, my office is also a reflection of the many different hats I wear. Sometimes that means that my office looks like a storage closet, or what my grandma would have referred to as the “junk drawer” in the house.
I’ve never thought of my office as anything special, but it is perfectly me. Let me walk you through the anatomy of my office:
Seating – The old Blockhouse seating isn’t particularly eye-appealing, but it’s something that students enjoy about my office. When I don’t have boxes or keys or something else on top of the seating, it provides a place where people can come on in and chat for a few minutes or, for some students, even take a nap.
Table of Toys – Not all conversations that happen in my office are light-hearted. As a result, the stress balls, Slinky, and magnetic sculpting toy are there for a reason. I’ve found that these things can put a student’s mind at ease, especially when they are concerned about the conversation that we are having.
Tissues – Like I said, not all conversations that happen in my office are light-hearted. One of the earliest mistakes I made in my career was not having tissues nearby.
Wall Décor – My walls are full of photos, collages, certificates, diplomas, artwork, Pitt paraphernalia, and more. Those things are mostly for me, but they often lead to interesting conversations with students. This is one of the ways I show my personality, which is important when trying to bridge a gap between a student and myself.
Dual Monitors – About two years ago I decided to go with a dual computer monitor setup. I don’t think I could ever go back. It makes the job of a multi-tasker so much easier. It also allows me an opportunity to sneak in an episode of my favorite Netflix show while still being productive during the summer months.
Diplomas & Certificates – I take pride in my achievements. Thus, I find it nice to display them in the office. I have everything from my high school diploma to my “Senior of the Year” undergraduate student award displayed in the office.
Dry Erase Board – To be honest, the white board came with the office. Usually it’s just full of doodles and nonsense that students have put there. Although it’s underutilized, I like having it. Currently, I have my to-do list on the board. (It’s a new thing I’m trying.)
Photos – I’m a photographer at heart, so it’s no surprise that my office is full of photos of friends, family, colleagues, and current and former students. Each photo tells a different story. One of my favorites is a photo collage that a student made for me this past year. The collage is from my Habitat for Humanity service trip to Romania last summer.
My Clipboards – I have 8 decorated clipboards along the back wall in my office. These clipboards all tell a story about me. They were each decorated by a different staff member over the past years. I love our department’s clipboard tradition (we draw names and decorate a clipboard for each other during ResLife training).
13 Drawers – My office is full of drawers, and every drawer is full of stuff… Sharpies, tools, paperwork, t-shirts, snacks, balloons and ribbon, stain remover, Duck Tape, batteries, Ping Pong paddles, gift wrap and tissue paper, and more. My office is full of random stuff. Sometimes you can see it, but most likely you can’t, because it’s in one of the 13 drawers in my office.
> BONUS <
Podcast With Sue Caulfield on “Suedles”, Creativity, & Learning Styles