Monday, July 30, 2007

My mountain trail

“People think in terms of stories…new events or problems are understood by reference to…stories… We understand personal problems and relationships between people through stories.”(218)
Whenever I want to start to whine about how homesick I am getting after 8 weeks, out of my comfort zone living at ETSU, I am reminded of Josh’s story of his trip on the Appalachian Trail. I think, if Joshua can do that I can make it 1 more week. I might be roughing it as a student, but I do have more comforts than he had. I do have my own personal mountains that I’ve had to cross, but it is that personal feeling of success when I do get home that will make it all worthwhile. I have many co-workers, who will not take a class in town, unless they know someone else who taking it too. They also won’t attend the staff breakfast at the beginning of school unless they go with someone. “Everyday is like every other…they know a limited amount, never venture outside their limits, never need to grow or change.” (231) So I truly feel I have conquered some personal mountains.
“We are the stories we tell, we not only express our vision of the world, we shape our skeletons to express what has happened to us”(170). When August first rolls around my inner clock, trained after 30 years starts thinking ahead to school. So my mind is starting to go there, even though there is projects needing to be completed here. “coping in one’s world is knowing the stories of the cultures in which you operate"(207). I had the great opportunity to design my classroom to fit my teaching styles and incorporate my teaching philosophies into the atmosphere of the room, during our recent remodeling project. I was able to enjoy the completed project one year. We are now adding full day every day kindergarten to our school system and they needed more rooms in the building where I was working. When return home, I will return to a mountain of boxes waiting in an intermediate grade classroom in another building. I will attempt to turn it into a primary classroom. I have already hassled with the janitors over lowering the whiteboard and finding me primary size desks. I will be on my own to find furnishings, as our curriculum director, who is 77 years old, has not yet accepted the newer reading philosophies. I will venture to the dungeons of our bus barn looking for others rejected, broken furniture in hopes to find something I can use to create several learning centers. Since I had all my other centers built in, I wasn’t able to have them moved. The other option which administrators love is buy my own furniture. So I will keep climbing my mountains, encouraged by Josh’s story, Danny’s sonnet, bits and pieces of all the other sharing. My Maine will be making it to May and be able to say I, too have succeeded against the odds.


Barnabus said...

You begin with a very strong metaaphor: Josh's climb and your student-in-waiting for a mountain view.

The next phase is very enlightening for someone who has only sat in a desk in the grade school world. It is very similar to military logistics. Challenges come, but can be made to go once priorities are defined. Your priorities are lofty since they appear to be making the world better for yourself and your students.

Joshua Gambrel said...

Yeah, we all have mountain trails to travel. One day at a time makes things much easier sometimes. Thanks for wanting to stick around Asheville today Brenda, I had a great time.