Guide to psychoanalyzing your professor’s office

Grace Canny, Psychoanalysis extraordinaire

I know we’ve all been there in office hours. You are looking around like a fish out of water trying to take it all in. You say you’ll just steal glances here and there, but in reality, your eyes wander so much that you haven’t made eye contact with the professor once. Like every good liberal arts student, I am an expert in psychoanalysis because I have heard Freud referenced in maybe two classes. Therefore, I present my incredibly legitimate, well-researched, groundbreaking guide to psychoanalyzing your professor’s office.

1. Shelves

This is a big category because there is just so much to be gleaned here. In terms of organization, presentation, content and condition, professors can vary greatly. Professors with overfull shelves are communicating that their id is damaged because anyone with an intact id, like Freud and myself, understands that less is more when it comes to academic texts and scientific basis. Professors with organized shelves are indicating that their grip on reality is very weak, so they express control through manicured shelves. Professors with only the Twilight series on their shelves are incredibly intelligent and well-adjusted.

2. Walls

A professor’s walls may sometimes be covered with their children’s artwork. While it may take some time, possibly multiple office hour sessions, a full artistic analysis of the art is what I recommend to get the full picture. Not only would you learn about your professor’s child’s Crayola-wielding skills, but their child’s art actually reveals the childhood of your professor. Observe carefully, dear reader, and much will be revealed to you.

3. Door

The importance of the presentation of the door cannot be overstated. This is how your professor wants to be seen by the world. The door is the window to a professor’s soul. A professor with many papers and things taped to the door aims to showcase their well-developed superego. A door with only a meaningful quote on the door is a defense mechanism against a professor’s own doubts about the ethics of academia.

Psychoanalysis is a tricky craft, but here I have revealed the secret behind the innovative and valid science. Go off into the world with your newly attuned inquisitive eye, but beware, you may not like what you find.