For a student, some of the best places to work, study and dream are the residence halls, the library and the Cistern Yard. However, for me, the office of a teacher and mentor has become my go-to place to complete schoolwork while catching a glimpse of the lifestyle I hope to someday achieve.

One of my biggest dreams has always been to become a college professor. So, you can imagine how happy I was when, during the first semester of my freshman year, computer science professor Lancie Affonso ’96 offered me, along with another student majoring in computing in the arts, the opportunity to share his Harbor Walk office and get a firsthand look at life in academia.

Being in the primary building for the offices of computer science faculty, this space strikes the perfect balance between the buzz of computer science classes happening in nearby hallways and a quiet place to work after the students file out for the day. In addition, right outside is a balcony that overlooks the beautiful Cooper River: any time I need a break from working, I can step outside and enjoy the view.

Since the fall, we have been given access to the office to go in and out as we please, providing us with a quiet place to do schoolwork, surrounded by the very professors we strive to be like. Every day that I stop by for an hour of peace and quiet to work, I get another view into my future. Each visit to this ordinary, yet extraordinary, office gives me further insight into how it will feel to be a professor.

One day, maybe I will have an office like this of my own.

– Blaine Billings

A William Aiken Fellow in the Honors College, Blaine Billings is a sophomore from Florence, S.C., double majoring in math and computer science.

Photos by Reese Moore.