Do you ever need to escape from the comfort of your own office in order to actually get some work done?
This happens to me regularly; while I love my space on campus with its cool, repurposed laboratory cabinet full of Muppet figurines; electric kettle with a selection of coffee and tea; and window out onto a squirrel’s paradise of trees, sometimes all that coziness can be distracting.
And that doesn’t include the knocks on the door from students, colleagues, and random strangers fishing for a language tutor or trying to buy textbooks. I love visitors, but they are also my downfall. It doesn’t take much to pull me from revising an article to go grab a coffee or look over an essay.
That’s why the Writing Center’s faculty writing space in Cate 4, Rm. 134, is my favorite campus resource. It’s OU’s best-kept secret (which is why I’ve buried it in the fourth paragraph of this post), and it has been the key to my scholarly productivity this year.
I first found out about the Faculty Writing Space through a writing group I joined during my first semester at OU. Though our numbers have dwindled and we are now writing partners, my pal Sandy and I continue to meet there every Wednesday morning. Even if it’s only an hour a week, the cloistered time I dedicate to my laptop in the Faculty Writing Space has sometimes, in the busiest weeks of the semester, been the only attention my poor book manuscript has received.
The space has beautiful works of art, a couple of tables and comfortable desk chairs, several coffee makers with a variety of roasts to choose from, and bright windows. There is a seemingly endless supply of granola bars, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, notepads, and pens, everything a writer could need. If you really need to procrastinate there are numerous writing guides to peruse. The space is really not unlike my own office, but for an important difference: no one knows about it.
None of my favorite people can find me there and distract me with the welcome sight of their faces. And even the odd wanderer can’t accidentally stumble in to ask whether I will excuse him from his French exam next week (Jamais!) because — and here’s the best part —
there’s a passcode on the door.
Doing my part to keep Norman’s best-kept secret, I’ll let you contact the Writing Center to get the door code yourself; but, against my own selfishness, I highly recommend you do. And if you can figure out how to work the printer in there I’ll make you a cup of coffee and promise not to distract you.