We are all storytellers: immersed in my narrative worlds

Humans are storytelling organisms who, individually and socially, lead storied lives. ~ Jean Clandinin & Michael Connelly 

our constructed stories connect us

our constructed stories connect us

Whether teaching, writing, conversing or considering our own lives and identities, we are all doing one thing: storytelling.

I have recently been quiet in the Twitterverse and blogosphere, partly because more than ever before I am immersed in micro and meta layers of story.

I have been tunnelling into my PhD narrative research in every spare moment, thinking obsessively and writing dangerously. I am sharing, constructing and analysing the stories of myself, teachers and schools leaders in order to reveal insights into professional identity, professional learning and school change. I am penning my first journal article about experimental ways of telling, utilising and analysing stories in research.

When I am not researching or thinking about my narrative research, I am teaching English to high school students. Reading stories, writing stories, analysing stories, watching stories, performing stories.

Or I am with my own children, reading stories, telling stories, making storyable memories, recounting favourite moments, role playing imagined scenes with make believe characters. Or talking to my husband about his work in media and content marketing, which is all about individuals and organisations telling their stories and constructing their storied identities, in order to communicate and connect. Or blogging vignettes from my own lived story. Or planning conference presentations of my research story or the story of my school’s teacher growth model.

We are indeed storytelling creatures. While I also try to be present in each moment and to live in wonder, stories embody the ways we construct our experiences, connect with each other and the world. I write my own stories, teach the telling and interpreting of stories, and engage in the theorising of stories. Have I used the word ‘story’ enough times in this post to indicate that it is currently both intoxicating and maddening to me? Story story story.

Obsessed and submerged, back into the subterranean story cave I go …

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world. ~ Philip Pullman

by @debsnet

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Words on New York: Manhattan through authors’ eyes

from Candace Bushnell's 'One Fifth Avenue'

from Candace Bushnell’s ‘One Fifth Avenue’

In a previous post I shared my New York fiction reading pile, as I prepare for a professional trip to NYC, which will be my third visit to the city but my first for work. As I make my way through the pages of my NewYorkspiration, here are a few quotes from some of those books.

“Possibly there were two tigers, the famous and chaotic one that lit the tabloid frenzy, and this more dignified one, who showed itself to us alone. It was after all moving along Eighty-fourth Street, toward the block where Brandy’s Piano Bar and Perkus’s old apartment lay condemned. Perhaps this was the tiger that put things back together instead of destroying them … it regarded us or didn’t, shone its light on us and then shut it off again, and was gone, leaving only claw prints and, with its tail, an inadvertent serpentine signature lashed into a parked Mayflower van’s snowy windshield.” Jonathan Lethem, Chronic City

“The bridge had been the first disappointment. Looking at it from the roof of her house, she had thought that crossing it would make her feel like a gossamer-winged fairy flying through the air. But the actual ride over the bridge was no different than the ride above the Brooklyn streets. … New York was disappointing.” Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 

“I wonder how she’ll find New York,” Enid said. “Having been away so long.” / “Exactly the same, Auntie,” Philip said. “You know New York never changes. The characters are different but the play remains the same.” Candace Bushnell, One Fifth Avenue

Two weeks til takeoff. Carpe NYC!

art journal page: I heart New York

art journal page: I heart New York