Monday 28 April 2014

Finding a voice

Our theme for week one of the Reflexion 'uncourse', #TDReflex14 is 'Finding a Voice'.  To be truly reflexive as an educator means going deeper in our thinking about our practice, and asking those 'why' questions that lead us to being more mindful and self-aware.  Our 'voices' when we do this may be vocal, in dialogue with others - or written, through journals and thinking that we might keep private or share publicly.

For me, it is all about writing.  As a little girl, I loved to write.

I can't remember what I was writing here, but it was most likely a very long Enid Blyton-inspired saga, sustained by the ever-present biscuit tin.

But although I still love writing, I don't write fiction any more. I'm overwhelmed by the brilliance of the authors who reside in piles of books around my bed or clog up my spare room. And it isn't just that sense of being an imposter either.  When it comes to a story, I've never been able to think of one. This put me off writing anything for years, until I thought I'd have a go at blogging as a way of writing reflective journals for my PGCE. Doing this helped me to realise that there is much more to writing than make-believe.  The kind of writing that I actually like to do blends the personal with the professional; ideas are often sparked by experiences at home with my daughters but linked to the thinking I do at work.

It's taken me 40 years to find a voice that is actually me, and I'm not sure I would have found it if it hadn't been for blogging.  There is something about writing in a public space that makes me more considered and precise, and I enjoy the process of creativity that starts with an idea and often takes weeks to reach the page. Sometimes the finished product goes out into the world, and sometimes it doesn't. But that's fine, too.

And I'm glad, most of all for that little girl who had such great aspirations and found such pleasure in writing down her thoughts and ideas. The old typewriter and 70's wallpaper may have long gone, but I'm still here, typing away - and the biscuit tin is still by my side :)

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful picture you evoke in every sense. I find this absolutely fascinating because you have said something i really identify with - wanting to write but not having a story. I used to love writing to friends about music, the imagery it created, the feelings of comfort and well-being, the journey inside of the music, not in a technical written score sense, but the emotional architecture of the music and how it oppupies space in time. It's a topic close to my heart and maybe i'm finally finding a voice to express that.

    In fact, i think the social purpose approach to teaching encourages being reflective and through that reflection you may find yourself and fine your voice. In a sense, it creates a new way of being and the things you did and said before when re-investigated take on new meaning. I once almost rejoiced in telling people how i gave up on 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez because it was too fantastical and long yarnish - by placing it on a tube seat, getting off and letting it go forever. Marquez just died. i reflected on that and decided to buy his masterpiece again as a mark of respect. I dipped ino it early this morning and by page 2 i was hooked. This sentence alone about magnets makes me want to continue:
    "Things have a life of their own." "it's simply a matter of waking up their souls"
    That says so much, it seems pre-science, but you know it's south America and you can get a strong flavour of religion and level of literacy.

    I'm coming towards the end of a course which has not enabled me to relax and lose myself into fiction since Christmas, but I'm really looking forward to it this summer and if I can find books with strong voices that will be so much better. There are writers who are verbose and clever, but fail to say anything other than, "take a look at me, I'm insecure," and there are those who, providing you are receptive and ready, can tell you a lot and open up a world in a few pages. Maybe the time is right for 100 Years. Maybe I should re-read all the stuff I tried to educate myself with in my teens and 20's: Kafka, Dostoyevsky, Camus, Orwell. Actually, I read 1984 last summer and practically every dystopian prediction has come to mass acceptance fruition. Maybe books are just like music and you pick out new things each time you read them relative to time. I know when i listen to music old and new, i hear new things, i go in from a different angle, focus on a different instrument and it's always incredible.