Twenty-four hours before the first class of the semester, my dorm-office deskscape reveals few surprises to me: books, two with cracked spines patiently waiting for me to finish this blog entry; an empty water bottle, an almost-empty coffee cup; a John Cleese YouTube video I am considering showing tomorrow in ENGL326 (for the tortoise shell concept); a flower cutout (or, rather, for the semioticians, this is not a flower); a television set I have not turned on since the World Cup; a wall calendar set to the correct month for the first time since May. This desk–the same one I worked at last year although then I was in a different office space–bears more short stacks of unshelved books than I would prefer. This condition, the result of reading somewhat less this summer than I at some point thought would be possible.
Where we live now the office has new Pella windows. Lalo explained to
me that they have ties to Iowa and were, on that basis alone, compelled to order
and install Pella windows from
All of the other surfaces in the office are new, too: walls, flooring,
lights, outlets, wall plates, and so on. There are two windows. One
looks toward the house next door; the other faces the back yard–a marvelous
double lot overgrown with blackberries, wild garlic, wild grapes, choke
cherries, and so on. What we’ve gained in yard, however, we have compromised in
the kitchen and eating area. The office is a newly finished walk-in attic.
Neither of the windows is positioned such that a desk would sit comfortably in
front of it. This means that the pleasure of staring out through a Pella window
must be indulged on breaks, on intermittent standing stretching book-retrieving
breaks from whatever is happening at the wall-facing desk-table. Like the
fancy windows, this work space is, compared to all of the places we’ve lived in
Syracuse, "viewed to be the best."