ANYone that knows me, understands that I love a good theme. IF you have ever even stepped foot inside my office, you know it is all about PARIS!!!! While many have witnessed it first hand, you may not fathom the complete story behind it.
When I was an adjunct professor at Madonna University, one of the full-time faculty professors that I shared the College of Education suite with, had a Paris theme in her office. It was so beautifully decorated with black and white Paris items, pictures, and furniture that was absolutely breath taking. It looked straight out of a magazine! Other than being apart of her cultural background…she always told me that it made her feel like home. That inspired me.
Therefore, I always want any space I dwell in to ‘feel like home.’ Paris is the city of love, and I am all about that! When I complete my doctorate in about another year (more to come in a another blog post!) I plan to spend about 2 weeks in this city, truly taking in when it’s all about live and in color…
A huge part of my role as Dean of Students, (though I embody the complete idea of relationship and culture building), discipline is a huge part of that job title. It is so important to me that students, teachers, parents, co-workers, and friends entering my office feel what I refer to as, “Paris safe…” It’s the lighting, it’s the mood, the lit candles, the atmosphere, the music that sometimes softly plays in the background…it’s an experience!
People that visit ‘Paris’ know they can trust me and whatever they say won’t leave those walls. It is vital to me that they understand this concept. As a student you are always scared to be ‘called into THEE office..!’ However, students always seem to feel more at ease when I say, “Do you know why I called you into Paris today???” Some look puzzled and begin to look around. Once they realize what I am referring to, a sense of calmness seems to come over their faces. That is apart of the atmosphere that I long to construct….and then proceed to discipline with love and logic.
Some parents come in, laugh, and ask, “How do you stand being in this small office?” Or “What’s with this hole in the wall?” While I typically tend to chuckle at their reaction, I instantly let them know it is the most cozy and perfect magical place, and it works for me! Others feel bad and want to help me paint it, or build a ceiling (which is could seriously use..) and that is nice too.
Though many passions and stories are shared in ‘Paris’, it is surely a place that I pray and meditate each morning. My beautiful Godmother mailed me a ‘prayer before starting work’ from back home in Cleveland. This is apart of my quiet moments before I start my day every morning, and most times, just says it all…
So I ask you, do you have a theme to any room in you life? A place you can go, escape, pray, meditate, and feel safe?
I truly have found this to be a game changer in my career, no matter where my classroom or office has been. I challenge you to do the same! (Or at least try it out on a smaller scale…)