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I am back. The retreat was enjoyable and tiring. Although it was called a retreat, it was different in the sense that it involved research, writing, and lots of conversation. I find retreats invigorating. They are not sit, listen, and try taking notes as a speaker blasts through their presentation.

Retreats have a conversational part. Parker Palmer counsels people at his retreats not to take notes. Instead, we spend time writing and conversing how we feel about various prompts. That was a purpose of this retreat. It is the Currere Exchange.

Currere is the etymological root of curriculum, meaning to run the course of one’s life. It is a subjective way of interpreting a planned curriculum in a school. Whether teachers understand it or not, they are doing this continuously. As one of my co-researchers told me we make decisions about what to teach and leave things out we really like.

In a sense, currere is polishing a planned curriculum. It is a multi-faceted and complicated conversation between a person (re)membering their lived-experiences, aspire to a particular way of teaching in the future, and synthesize those two moments into the present. Each moment acts as a curriculum to inform the other, complicating one’s teaching in a dialogic way. Others enter the classroom and add to the complicated nature of the conversation, each adding their curriculum to the dialogue. It is like a piece of driftwood, being polished by the forces it comes in contact with.

My story being polished,

I (re)member and imagine;

Washed up on a new shore,

Who I am reflected anew.

I am a character in my story,

I pause a moment,

Noting lustre and matte,

Interpreting new meanings.

Soaking in the contours of living,

Experiencing new awakenings,

Running the course of my life,

Each new moment polishing me afresh.

Kathy took this picture in Waterton Lakes National Park.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

10 responses »

  1. Welcome back! Your poem speaks to the washing away of the last moment and its replacement with the next one that is anew 🙂 It sounds like the conversational part of the retreat served you well.

  2. Ivon, I like that you’re posting more of your poetry these days. Glad you’re discovering inspiration in meaningful connections.

    • With all the writing I did on the dissertation, it was a struggle to find that voice for a while.

      • I’ll bet. I wrote academic articles for many years. All those annotations and forms and structures I had to follow! But I never stopped writing poetry, my first love since I was young. So I can relate, for sure. And good for you! 😀

  3. In my youth, my mom and I would walk the Big Sandy (dry) riverbed, that only saw flash floods in spring – to gather up the ‘petrified wood’ that would work it’s way to be found by us – – I have many of those, now, gracing the rock areas at my home – 🙂 there is beauty in things polished to gloss over the ages – 🙂

    • One of the memories in our family is going camping with my mother-in-law. She was always looking for and gathering rocks from the creeks, rivers, and lakes. We have several pieces on our bookshelves.

  4. Pingback: Driftwood — Teacher as Transformer | By the Mighty Mumford

  5. Pingback: Driftwood | By the Mighty Mumford

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