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Walking

I finished my course work last night and head home Monday where I will continue the dissertation process. What is ahead is as uncertain as what I faced when I arrived at Gonzaga in June 2008. At the time, I envisioned me in a classroom, teaching and finishing this work during summer months.

I cannot predict what lies ahead and even the most immediate step tests new ground. When I look back, there is no going back. I see memories, frail and wispy, more distant in each ensuing moment.

Antonio Machado reminds me the journey is not planned with absolutism. It emerges anew in each step which is never re-traceable. I used the line “walking you make the road” in my last course paper describing teaching not as planned, mandated work, but as in-between spaces, ecotones, Teachers and student live those plans out in their real lives.

I look forward to going home, but know this place and these people, after 10 months living here, leave  imprints. They offer spaces ‘regular’ life does not always. There is no going back on what I learned, knowing it shapes my path.

Walker, your footsteps

are the road, and nothing more.

Walker, there is no road,

the road is made by walking.

Walking you make the road,

and turning to look behind

you see the path you never

again will step upon.

Walker, there is no road,

only foam trails on the sea.

 

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About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

16 responses »

  1. A beautiful poem and so true. We can look back to where we came from but cannot go back the same way – we see only foam trails on the sea. Congratulations to you on completing the course work!

    Reply
  2. Good luck with the next step

    Reply
  3. I’m sure there are many amazing surprises and joys waiting for you- the scary part is not knowing what they are!

    Reply
  4. I think we cannot help but be changed by what we see and do, as well as by all the influences (as in people) with whom we come in contact. Ten months is a prolonged ‘influential moment.’ However, I am a firm believer that roots remain to blend with this new persona, and serves as the anchor of who you are.

    Reply
  5. Nice poem, thanks for sharing. Dissertation? Congrats on getting that far!

    Reply
  6. I pray all goes well with your dissertation process! Blessings, Natalie 🙂

    Reply
  7. So great the people we meet on our paths in life – weather long-term or temporary. (Although – some I could have done without…) 🙂

    Reply

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