Prompt on ethnography

Choose a room in your house/apartment to describe. Write for 10 minutes.

The house I live in has three rooms: two are bedrooms and the third is my home office, a spare room that gets the most of the afternoon sun. As befits a spare room it had all the spares that the house has: the antique spare table, a spare office chair and a spare electric fan to deal with humid days. It also functions as a storage area: two bookcases flank one side, and the other side are a cabinet for clothes and storage boxes that are atop an antique wooden chest. The spare table functions as my work desk, with a spare monitor – the oldest of all that we have, twice-repaired, the screen’s hues changing from time to time. The room is lit up by a spare lampshade and a wide window that spans the length of the room to give in light and heat during the day. This whole situation made working in that room tentative and temporary, like it was an antechamber for a much larger, more improved room – and I do think like this: in my mind’s eye it would be more industrial, shabby-chic, with better shelves and a well-designed approach to maximize space – and I somehow imbibed this and made my attitude towards work the same. Because what is work if not a means toward a grander goal? Whether or not I deliberately thought of filling my home office with spares, the room’s status as a spare can be comforting, even oddly reassuring.

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