So, one thing that seemed like it was going to be an obvious (but tolerable) "downside" to this fellowship was that I was going to have to share an office. The person I'm going to be sharing an office with is both very likable and very smart, so my worry is more that I'll end up being a completely annoying officemate (especially giving how peripatetic I can be when working) than that I'm going to dislike sharing space with him. Still, you know, the idea that having your own office is better than sharing one is instilled pretty deeply in academia and elsewhere. But, as it turns out: my office turns out to be so completely splendid that thus far it feels like a step up from my Madison office regardless of my not having it to myself. I mean, look at these pictures from when I was moving in:
One of the other fellows noticed that I was working with my shades closed today and asked if my midwestern background made me averse to natural light in the office. Instead, it's that I'd been used to having an office window that looked out through this black grate* and didn't get much natural light, so it's not something I'm used to thinking about. I had the shades open the rest of the day.
Where is my office? Well, I'm a sociology Ph.D. doing a policy fellowship connected to public health and is funded by a foundation whose mandate keeps it relatively focused on the United States. So, of course: my office is in the Center for Government and International Studies. It's a brand new building, so new that there is still construction going on and far from everyone has moved in. (Indeed, so new I can't find a page for it to link to on the web.)
* Granted, I chose the grate view, to be closer to certain other things in the labyrinthine social science building in Madison. And, ultimately, I like my office there well enough, so I don't want to come across as unhappy at all about it.