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Driftwood

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

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

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.

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

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

      Reply
      • 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 – 🙂

    Reply
    • 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.

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

  5. Pingback: Driftwood | By the Mighty Mumford

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