>Yesterday was a good day. And it was all because of a rug.
The day started when I walked out my door at 8:30 am to find the new rug I’d ordered from Pier 1 had arrived. When had it done so? Was my doorbell not working again? Good thing it was not stolen from my very open-to-view front stoop, as seen here:
The luck I had in it not getting stolen was a good omen. Then I brought the rug to school, as I’d ordered it for my office, which has very ugly, old, stained, mustard-yellow carpet. I’ve done all sorts of things to work with the mustard color and also distract from it, first having the walls painted two shades of tealish blue, which also helps make my 7’x7′ office look bigger. Here’s a picture of the wall colors, with the ugly carpet:
In the picture the walls colors look more true-blue than they are. They’re really a teal-ish blue. And the carpet looks less mustardy that it is. Trust me — it looks just like traditional mustard. And you can also see a glimpse of the ‘chocolate kiss’ door jamb. I couldn’t do anything about the black foot guard thingy, unfortunately, though at least it matches the black in the casement windows.
And then I added a wicker chair and a multi-colored pillow that picks up on a lot of the colors I’m throwing together (also Pier 1 budget buys). It’s really the pillow that pulls the whole room together, but the post title is a Big Lebowski reference, of course. Anyway, here’s a bit of the chair and pillow, along with a throw that I bought on the Isle of Man at the Laxey Woolen Mills (founded by Ruskin and still in operation and, more amazing still, not an overpriced tourist trap!):
And I also added curtains of a bronzey-sagey color, with which the rug coordinates beautifully. Here are the curtains (again the colors aren’t quite true to life):
Not pictured anywhere here is the small, white-washed computer desk that I bought to replace the gargantuan oak number that really took up half of my miniscule office. I bought that at Pier 1 as well. I *heart* Pier 1. But it’s the rug that really makes the room. It covers the stains, warms the place up, and makes sense of all the other colors. I love it and it made an aesthetically pleasing start to my day. (Now all I have to do is get some pictures on the walls.)
Then everything else fell into place. First, teaching…Finally, at the end of the 5th week of classes, 1/3 through the semester, all three of my classes went well and I felt my old teaching self. There were a couple of technical snafus, but even they couldn’t bring me down. For instance, I couldn’t figure out how to get the visual part to work with the VCR in the high-tech, multi-media projection system in my first class, so I couldn’t show my Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Rock video, but we did listen to some of it. (Yes, you read that right. I was trying to show Schoolhouse Rock in a college class. It’s Old English and in the 5th week some of them still don’t understand what the parts of speech are or what “phrases” and “clauses” and “conjunctions” are, and that’s essential. I thought a few catchy jingles might make it stick.) And then in the literature class, the department laptop I’d borrowed didn’t have the password written on it anywhere (as they usually do) so the chair had to get me another one and I started class a little thrown off and rushed through the presentation of the Bayeux Tapestry, digital edition. But aside from all that, students were in a good mood, they were talkative, I was confident and myself, and I felt like each class had accomplished something.
And so I ended my last class feeling invigorated instead of exhausted, and thus headed to the gym with plenty of energy for a 5-mile run. And that, too, went well. I picked up the pace each mile and did a fast finish. Excellent.
Isn’t it amazing how a good teaching day can make other parts of one’s life go well? And really, I owe it all to that rug. Never underestimate the power of aesthetic pleasure. 🙂