Describe your room — an experiment.
My part-time responsibility as a Researcher is to contribute topics I believe are relevant and crucial within my field of study; which is Data Analytics and Photogrammetry. (Pretty boring stuff, for the most part)
Last week, I received an usual request from a fellow Researcher; she’d read my blog and asked how I keep writing.
Since “Writing” is a crucial part of preparing a research paper, she felt it’s important to educate Researchers not just how to research — but put their findings into words.
Words that can be understood, and articulated.
Deciphered by the most naïve of readers to the most experienced.
She asked me to prepare an “experiment”.
I’ve read about the Stanford Prison Experiment too many times to be cautious of experiments — because I’m not a psychologist.
I sat down, and pondered; how exactly do I write?
Well, I describe things — and I write how I speak.
I do not pay much attention to the form of my writing, because I can do that in Post-Production.
Refine it with an editor, In Research this would be a Supervisor.
I’m not a Supervisor, I’m just somebody who approves findings — and that’s my only duty.
I took upon the challenge and responded to my dear colleague with the following,
“I’d like you to ask the Researchers to pause their research for a day, go to their home, their dorm, their place where they sleep; and ask them to write a simple description of the room they encompass. Describe it in a way that a blind person could visualise it. Like Denzel Washington says in the movie “Philadelphia”, “Explain it to me like I’m a 5-Year Old”.”
As it happens with social media, the challenge started making the rounds between people outside research; and the responses drove the Research department insane.
They were flooded, and I was called in to explain why I’d chosen such an experiment; what was the point of it all.
Well…I thought about it and wrote the following back,
“Dear Fellow Researchers,
Firstly I’d like to applaud you on your will to pursue this experiment and see it to completion.
I’m blown away by the response, and never expected it to take a life of its own.
I’d like to confess to you that isn’t a creation of my own, but rather an elementary school assignment I once received when I was young.
“Describe your room in a short essay”, was the task.
I wanted students to respond like children.
Children that find excitement in placed we often turn a blind eye to as we grow older.
I couldn’t remember the colour of my bed recently when I thought about it, and I’ll admit I panicked.
The aim was simply this, if we can describe the room we’re writing from; it won’t be too difficult to describe our findings in the same manner.
Such as this for example,
“I am currently seated on my bed, against a bed frame made of velvet with an odd pin-stripe pattern running across it. To my right is my trusty side-table which rests on a Marble floor. Facing front I see the entrance to my toilet, and to my left is my closet. Looking upwards I see a blank ceiling, attached to it are tiny yellow lights around the corners. On the wall beside me, is an air conditioner which runs all day; sadly. And I like to rest my legs between my Micky-Mouse quilt which I’ve had since I was young, it’s old now and worn out — and I’ve attempted to have it fixed but it keeps falling apart on me. The windows facing on my right wall reveal the closed end street, and I’ll admit I make sure the dark curtains never let any light through. There’s a television that rarely gets turned on, and though I have many clothes in my closet; I’ve only ever worn the jacket that hangs outside it. Alongside the door is a pile of books, which is in dire need of a shelf. The exit to my room leads into the main hallway, and following that is the rest of my house. Most of my time is spent in this room, it’s my office and it’s also my place of solace — a reminder that this place is mine, and I know where all the things are; outside of it, I know very little.”
I hope that you’ll understand, when I say this — If the Researchers cannot define a room, they won’t be able to define their findings in a coherent manner.
That was the only test I could come up with, and I hope that I haven’t failed you; I apologise if I have.”
Maybe it’s a task, I think could help writers outside of the Research Field attempt at something new.
Maybe it’ll be fruitful or maybe it wont.
Do you think you’re up to it?
If so, “Describe your Room”.