Wednesday, April 20, 2011


On Thursday I will finally have a normal workspace for the first time since 2003. For almost 8 years, I worked on a sofa, on the floor, or out of an armchair while holding a laptop in my lap. I have permanent burn scars on my thighs from holding a laptop with a faulty ventilation system while I was writing my doctoral dissertation. Right now (like every single day since I started working at this university) I'm writing on a laptop that is placed on a coffee table. I'm sitting on the edge of a sofa with my body bent over the keyboard. Books and papers are spread all over the sofa next to me. They keep sliding to the floor and creating a mess. I clean it up but as soon as I start working, the mess accumulates yet again.

There were always tons of reasons why I couldn't get a normal desk and a comfortable computer chair. There was no place to put them, or I was about to move and it made no sense to invest in furniture, or there was no money, and so on. Finally, I just got used to the idea that working implies huddling over a computer in an extremely uncomfortable manner. Transience became an integral part of my identity and lack of comfort turned into a sine qua non of my existence. And then I walked into a store by pure chance, noticed desks and computer chairs and realized that my misery was of my own making.

So on Thursday I will finally sit at a normal workspace and blog about how fun it is to write in normal conditions. I will post pictures of my workspace before and after so that everybody can appreciate the difference.


Anonymous said...

I am SO jealous. I got my library (by which I mean I finally got bookshelves to put all of my books on) but I don't have a desk. My father refuses to let me have a desk unless I put it in the basement (or my room, but there's not enough space). What makes it worse is, that my older brother has a desk he's more than willing to let me have sitting unused in his garage.

But I'm happy for you! Yay!

-another blogger hunched over her laptop on the couch

feMOMhist said...

NICE! As I contemplate my sabbatical year I am wondering myself if some new furniture is in order. As a lifelong laptop habitue I wrote my dissertation in bed (a la Proust) with papers and books surrounding me. Some two decades later I doubt my back can take a year of that. I'll be interested to hear how the new setup works for you.