Back in 2006 I needed some credit hours to renew my teaching certificate. It’s part of the deal being a teacher—you have to keep learning (imagine that!) A fellow teacher-friend told me about a three-week workshop that was worth five credit hours. Five credit hours in three weeks? That’s equivalent to taking two classes for a whole semester. For a teacher, that time-saver is like striking it rich! Sign me up!
The Eastern Iowa Writing Project at Saint Ambrose University was my first real introduction to writing as a form of self-growth and reflection. I found out quickly that this workshop was not about using proper grammar and punctuation. Nor was it about writing a research or persuasive paper, instead it was about growing as a life-long learner through writing.
Here’s an actual excerpt from my journal (Yes, I keep them all—don’t judge):
We were having a discussion about reflection. I shared that I reflect every day, many times a day, and usually in brief, trying how to decide to best accomplish something and then reflect on ‘how it went’ too. My question that day at EIWP was: Could my reflections be better/deeper/lead me to other places if I were to write them down?
Of course, the answer is yes, yes, yes! But the workshop facilitators did not confirm that for me that day, they knew I would learn the answer for myself! I started journaling in 2006. Now, so many years later, I’ve written a novel; but more of that story later. I’ll leave today with a quote from Educating Esme` by Esme` Paji Codell: “The goal is not necessarily to succeed but to keep trying, to be the kind of person who has ideas and sees them through.”
I think that is the definition of success.