Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Writing-Stories




"The story of a life is less than the actual life, because the story told is
selective, partial, contextually constructed and because the life is not yet
over. But the story of a life is also more than the life, the contours and
meanings allegorically extend to others, others seeing themselves, knowing
themselves through another's life story, re-visioning their own, arriving where
they started and knowing "the place for the first time"."

-Laurel Richardson, 'Fields of Play, Constructing an Academic Life'




I write even though I have four piles of SACs glowering at me, even though I haven't had five seconds to myself all weekend, even though the thought of the coming week exhausts me and brings me to tears.


I write because I have four piles of SACs glowering at me, because I haven't had five seconds to myself all weekend, because the thought of the coming week exhausts me and brings me to tears.


In the hurly burly: a moment of clarity. At a year 11 English team meeting, a colleague comments, "this new unit was a nice break, I felt, from the norm". Others nod. Later, I wonder why. Why did she (and others) feel this way about a new writing unit which is drastically different from the way that 'writing' was 'taught' last year (and has been for many years)? Why did this seem like a 'break' from the 'challenges' of the rest of our course, even though the level of thinking required and layers of complexity inherent in this new unit are significantly greater (in my mind now, and when I was developing this unit) than anything else that we do in Year 11 English? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the feedback from students has been so positive: their engagement has rendered the teachers' engagement. At least, that is what I hope.


I write because I need to, and I need to remember that I need to, no matter how chaotic 'life' is: "writing-stories" (Richardson, 1997) enrich my writing, enrich my life... and hopefully the lives of others.

Tightrope