Bob’s Wall

The names have been modified to protect the innocent.

Bob has an office. He is a college advisor so he has a lot of students visit him in his office. Bob is thoughtful, good at his work and respected by his colleagues. He has been working at the college for 20 years. Bob loves to take photographs and he is good at it.

Bob has beautiful photographs he has taken, all nicely framed and arranged in his lovely office. It is beautiful and clearly well cared for.

Like many large institutions, the walls of most classrooms, offices and hallways are off white. Only recently have there sprouted up accent colors on some walls. It is rare to see accent walls. And like many institutions, we are not really supposed to be nailing paintings and pictures to the walls. But of course, people do.

Even I, with limited visual arts and aesthetic understandings, can see the value in a colored wall. The color changes our experience. I can’t explain it, but it seems true. Accent walls accent something. I don’t know what, but they do. Bob understands this too.

I visited Bob the other day. He had a colored sheet hanging from ceiling to floor, almost, and almost from side to side. It was obviously a bed sheet. The color was nice, but it was a bed sheet. And over the bed sheet he had placed his beautiful framed photographs. Arranged perfectly, of course.

The bed sheet was clearly a bed sheet.

There in Bob’s well kept office that he obviously takes a great deal of pride in to make comfortable for his students and himself, is an accent wall color in the form of a bed sheet.

This is the part where Todd freaks out.

Someone needs to walk into Bob’s office and say, “Bob, thank you for the great work you have done for 20 years and thank you for providing such a beautiful office for the students you work with. Bob, why don’t you pick out an accent color you would like for your wall and I’ll buy it and have it painted for you.”

Why has that not already happened? Who is the person who should be helping Bob and honoring his space and his dedication to his work with a little paint and a few bucks?

Who the hell is that person?

It just feels like…


Gerald Scarfe

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2 Responses to Bob’s Wall

    • Todd Conaway says:

      I was going to comment about some autonomy in schooling and use A Domain of One’s Own as an example. But I am just too pissed about the whole thing to keep writing. I am just going to go paint a wall 🙂