Spaces, for Class and Work

For today’s 20/20, Anya and I read What Happens When Millennials Run the Workplace? I think that it’s at least an interesting read, although it may not be my favorite.

As someone who is starting to think about what I want to do with my life over the next 10 years, this article provided an explanation of an alternative to the typical office setting. I’ve never really been a fan of the typical cubicle offices. I used to go to my dad’s office on the weekends with him sometimes when he needed to get work done and looking around at all of the grey cubicles with tall walls and few personal features made me wonder how anyone ever saw each other. Being in elementary school at the time, I was used to loud classrooms filled with students, playground covered in kids, and hallway walls decorated with projects. The cubicles of the middle of the office seemed oppressive and lonely (the big offices with windows overlooking the city didn’t seem too bad, though).

Because of this experience as a child, I’ve never pictured myself as one day having a job in an office, so it’s probably a good thing only one or two of my interests will put me in that position. Being a teacher would place me back in the classrooms I’m so familiar with, where I can easily talk and laugh with people. Being a writer could place me anywhere in the world, be it a desk at home or a yet-unknown city. And I could also end up having a job that hasn’t been invented yet, or will only be mine.

The recent trip to California with Innovation Diploma also gave a different perspective when we saw IDEO. It’s open, easy-to-comunicate-in space was brought to mind when I watched The Intern. To me, there’s something strangely appealing about having few walls, entirely open spaces, and easy ways to find people.

This train of thought made me think about classrooms, so bare with me for a bit.

Like I said earlier, classrooms are usually loud spaces of laughter and memories for me. At least, the good classrooms are. Others are just holding places for 45 minutes of silence and working, but most of the time at least someone is talking. Loud voices fill up the cracks left by wall corners, furniture pieces, dusty books, and human bodies. The noise is kept in by closed doors and windows. Inside of the classroom, it’s easier to feel like you’re a part of something, or at least less like you’re not supposed to be there. On the outside of classrooms, though, in the hallways that join doors to rooms, I find it easy to feel like I’m outside of an fishbowl. Between classes, hallways are quiet and only occasionally do you pass someone. I hesitate before entering other classrooms, and I know someone is probably seeing me walk by the small windows, wondering where I’m going.

Maybe to me, that’s why the spaces of no hallways and open doors appeal to me so much.

(Awkward wrap up, but time ran out.)

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