Saturday, December 23, 2017


My desk at its worst.
My study-under-the-eaves has two tables in it.  My computer resides on one and the other, tucked into a gable, is for spreading out and thinking.  Except when it's not. For the last three months I have been dropping stacks of papers and books on it, as one project has moved into the next without respite.  The surface vanished somewhere in late September.

Giving a talk at another institution earlier this fall, I was captivated by the states of various offices.  From starkly empty — nothing on the walls or desk or shelves — to stacks of paper on every surface, the monitor for the computer half on, half off a pile on a small side table. And every permutation in between. These are the #realDesksOfAcademia.

I really don't work well without a clear surface to spread out, and two current projects are in the stage where I really need that space.  And my office at the college (where the desks are indeed clear, and thus where I have been doing that sort of work) is going to be inaccessible for the next several weeks due to construction.

"Clear off the desk." was stuck on my Saturday to-do-list all November, finally morphing into an (aspirational) item on my daily list — "30 minutes on the !@#$& desk" — staring at me each morning, mournfully.

I finally got a breather on Thursday and spent an hour on the desk.  It's progress.  Perhaps next week I will see its surface.

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