The day has arrived: today I moved out of my office in the English department and began the process of occupying the Associate Dean’s office in the Faculty of Arts. Goodbye Hagey Hall 270; hello Psychology and Anthropology 2427.
As you can see, my new office is nice, big, and bright, but it’s a totally different working environment. For one thing, I am surrounded by other people, all of whom are in their offices all day long. Doors are open. Chatting happens, but also constant work. I feel a bit guilty about the fact that most of my day has been about unpacking boxes and answering emails.
There is a new desk to get used to. There is a table and chairs for meetings. There are locked filing cabinets. There are some bookshelves (not enough). I ate my packed lunch at my desk, as usual, but it felt weird, as if I’m supposed to eat something fancier or at least leave my office for lunch. I need art work on the walls, and not the posters that I usually hang. I need grown-up art work that speaks to my research and my academic interests. I need a plant or two. Maybe a coffee machine.
Email is different too. I get requests to “accept” meeting “invitations” (as if I have a real choice). I am sent spreadsheets and charts that I have to decipher. Back-and-forth emails about academic decisions.
The phone keeps ringing, but there’s nobody there….
What if I’m on Facebook when someone walks by my office? Ah, there’s the thing: no more Facebook at work. Well, maybe at lunchtime
I have never had such a spacious office. Yes, it has windows. Two of them.
It occurs to me that quite a few of my blog posts have been about space. Space and identity. Oh, guess what?: that was the topic of my dissertation and has informed most of my research in one way or another ever since. Will I be different over here? I hope I’ll be nicer, smarter, more compassionate when dealing with graduate students and faculty members. I hope I’ll be a good colleague to my new colleagues.
Exciting times! But so much newness: at home Arlequino and I have also been unpacking and rearranging and merging into a new life together. I am looking forward to some stability again. Because too much disruption plays with my head, not to mention my sleep patterns.