Every since I was a lowly undergraduate, cruising the English Department offices at U.T. Knoxville (& later U.T. Chattanooga) and seeing all those wonderful English related comics strips taped to professors doors, I’ve thought to myself that I’ve always wanted to something like that “when I grew up.”
I’ve never been one for customizing my “workspace” as the colleagues who I worked with at the public library can attest and I’m rarely at my workspace to begin with if I can help it. However, you could always find one or two comic strips (like the one I found above by Bill Watterson) adorning my workspace in some capacity–either on the desk itself or in a drawer or stuck unobtrusively to a wall.
Now that I’ve completed a year at MTSU, I’ve begun to do the same with the small cabinet that I was assigned in the Graduate Teaching Assistants office. However, for some reason, I also find that I want to add copies of the first pages of my published work. I hope I’m not trying to “show off” or “impress” the other G.T.A.s (nothing good comes of me trying to show off–I’ve learned that through HARD experience).
Yet, I feel the need to customize my space, and to say, “hey, I’m a creative writer and this is what I do.” Perhaps, it is because at this level, creative writing is somewhat frowned upon. There’s this idea that you’re not a true academic, that you’re not truly one of us, if you’re not writing papers for conferences, for (academic) publication, and for scholarly pursuits. Perhaps, customizing my workspace is my need to say, “no, my creative writing is just as hard and matters just as much as your academic writing, maybe more so, because I’m doing both . . . your academic writing and my creative writing.” I just hope that I’m not overdoing it and setting myself up for a fall. It would be awesome to be able to put clips from both cartoon strips and my own published writing on my very own office door one day.