We could all use some therapy play dough

People, I am an adult. In a few short months, I will be 21 and there will be nothing–short of running for office and AARP membership–barred from me based on my age. But here’s a secret.

Lean in close.


Whew, glad to get that off my chest. So, here’s what I did today:
Play Dough and dinosaurs 005

RAAAAAAAAAAAAWR! Oh, my, excuse me! I didn’t see you there. My name is Timmy. Play Dough and dinosaurs 007

Timmy the mutherfracking PINK DINOSAUR. Allow me to show you around my play dough world.

Play Dough and dinosaurs 003

This is my mother. Timmolina.

Play Dough and dinosaurs 001A rare fossil of the love monster, kept in our house for generationsPlay Dough and dinosaurs 016


Ummm, ahem, excuse Timmy. What he meant to say is that play dough is easy to make. Combine:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • a few drops of food coloring
  • bonus points: aromatic oils to make it delicious smelling therapy play dough

Cook over medium high heat until it comes off the sides of the pan. Knead for a few minutes. Enjoy the magic of childhood. If you wrap it up when it’s not in use, or store it in a ziplock, it will keep for months and months, maybe a year or longer.

Believe it or not, Timmy is a therapy dinosaur. He and his play dough brethren can help you connect with your residents.

My sophomore year, I remember visiting one of the other AD’s with a couple of RA friends. This particular AD had a very small office, but she had a table with all sorts of little toys and trinkets on it. In the small white little room, the toys immediately drew my attention. I found myself playing with them in spite of myself, and I asked her why they were there. She told me that she likes to have little things for students to play around with while they’re talking to her. Usually people are coming to her to talk about emotionally charged things, or because something is not going well. The toys help to make a serious environment more relaxing, and gives people something to fidget with while they talk. It also makes the conversation feel less contrived–it makes it feel like you’re there to spend time with each other, and not “okay, I’m going to spill my guts because you’re the person I’m supposed to spill my guts to.”

A few months later, I found myself in her office, dealing with my own emotionally painful situation. I felt wretched, embarrassed to be breaking down in front of someone I respected, and I was trying hard to keep it together. I remember being extremely grateful for having those little toys to play around with in between talking. Those little toys reminded me that it is okay not to be professional and impressive all the time. I felt that I was in a place where I would be taken care of.

Because Timmy the dinosaur eats bad feelings for lunch.

Play Dough and dinosaurs 015

Too cool for fossil fuel

How to Make Awesome Posters and Why You Would Want to Do Such a Thing

Happy 4th of July! Let’s celebrate. If I may I direct you to gallery number 1:


America wants you to use *hot* waterDishes poster

Shamelessly ploying my residents to do dishes by using slogans with vaguely sexual undertones


Another very compelling argument



He's watching youProbably the most terrifying of the bunch

These are my World War II propaganda kitchen posters. I like to think they are so charming, my residents won’t even mind the fact that they are being reminded of…gasp…THE RULES! I printed a couple of these babies out (I couldn’t quite bring myself to put the last one up), covered them with clear packing tape, and put them on the walls. The packing tape functioned like a laminated coat, protecting my beautiful works of art from the perils of water and kitchen grime monsters. Ah, the vintage charm, the sweet je-ne-sais-quoi, that they lent the room!

Putting up some sweet posters might not convince my residents to start taking care of the kitchen, but I do think that they will remind residents of conversations I’ve had with them about the importance of the kitchen, and how to take care of it. Failing an education reminder, perhaps these posters will scare them into doing their dishes. Either way.

I made these priceless masterpieces using google documents. It was simple. Instead of making a ‘document,’ I made a ‘drawing.’ All I had to do was find pictures on google, upload them, and play around a little bit–add text, insert shapes, make borders. You can see in the first photo that I covered up the text below “we want you” so I could reappropriate the message for my own selfish means. I might have had a little *too* much fun.

A huge bonus with google documents is that you can share these documents very easily. Therefore, if you make a great poster for the kitchen, or a quiet hours poster, or a poster advertising a hall event, you can easily share them with your staff members so that they can print them too as needed. You can even have a staff folder of shared posters and documents.

If I may direct you to gallery number 2:

Kitchen poster 1 Kitchen Poster 2 Kitchen poster 3 Kitchen poster 4 Kitchen poster 5

I stole these images from Mr. Ron Fehling. You can see the originals here. http://rf_photography.imagekind.com/store/Images.aspx/a917b3ce-2810-4f9b-bc73-86dfd295b965/Stilllifekitchenblackandwhitephotography

You might say I did these out of sheer sadism. I just enjoy the tortured groans and existential crises they leave in their wake. In all honesty, I made these because they reflect my personality (I make lots of terrible puns), and therefore add unique flavor to my hall. These posters are affectionate, dorky, and beautiful, and they made my kitchen feel less like a laboratory and more like a home where I live.

Finally, and here is where I will stop for the time being–gallery number 3:

Kitchen wear care

Another Kitchen poster

The first poster has photography by smitten kitchen, my favorite food blogger. As you can see, it is an attempt to enlighten my residents–some of whom may have never cooked before in their lives–some of the finer points of kitchen wear care. Again, it would be most useful if you also tell them this information face to face, so that this poster only serves to remind and cement in the information.

The last photo, I apologize sincerely for how rude this is, but I can’t find where it comes from. It is just so beautiful and so simple, and I thought it might light up the overly plain white kitchen with its quiet charm.

In conclusion, freedom. Liberty. Posters.