Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Corner of One's Own

I am both easily distracted and easily engulfed in a project. Some days I sit down to work (work-work or schoolwork) and can easily conquer the world before my coffee is cold. Other days it is pulling teeth to eek out at least an hour's worth of salvageable dreck. For me, the environment quickly changes a slackful mood into a workful mood. There must be auditory distraction - as little as the sound of the dryer or as loud as the TV. It is impossible for me to work in absolute silence (or sleep in absolute silence for that matter... I blame my twin sister). I should be neither too warm nor too cold. Distractions for when the words stop or the ideas jam must be easily at hand, but not so easily accessed that I lose all will to do anything but play Solitare. Some days I'm a social worker and other days I need to be several layers away from people. It's a difficult balance. I think my best consistent environment was the British Library. I usually had BW nearby for tea breaks and lunch. I could switch between a well-stocked IPod or the shufflings of pages at the desk next to me. A novel was never further away than a look up computer and a willing staff member's trip to the stacks. When I had enough of Victorian Spiritualism or Scientific Romances, I could trudge downstairs to the cloakroom and then make my way home to my dorm room. Absolutely idyllic (in hindsight, of course).

This quarter has been absolutely experimental in terms of creating a space for schoolwork. In anticipation for the start of my new program, a friend and I ventured to Ikea, where a small folding table was purchase and then ceremoniously placed in the middle of a bedroom wall. I think I sat at it exactly twice for schoolwork. The desk sat parallel to the bed, so the chair barely fit, and it was too easy to unplug the laptop and curl up on the bed. I started sprawling out in the living room instead, losing my readings under the coffeetable while my lectures fought with the XBox for aural dominance. Wretched, but at least effective enough to allow me to complete my work (admittedly, AK would scurry off to his office when I started shouting at the screen).

In a fit of making space and time for finishing the last of my class presentations, I cajoled a sleepy boy into shifting the dresser so I could move my desk to the corner of the room. To get to the bed, I actually have to stand up and walk. I can't see the TV or the door, but there is a window. I've two lamps and all my papers. It's actually rather snug and I've knocked off a fair amount of work this evening (and this post). I still wish I had an office proper, but I lost that battle three years ago when we moved in and his drumset won the office. I dream of having a proper work office, with a door and a filing cabinet and artwork and everything. Really, that should have been on the top of my goal sheet for LIS 500.

But enough of this. I've more presentations to watch before I sleep tonight.

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