Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Week (Almost) on an Island

I'm getting ready to head off to Ocracoke on the NC Outer Banks to teach a writing class for five days for NCCAT. Very nice assignment, I know.

At the same time, teaching is the boldest thing I ever do. The most demanding of attentiveness. Writing is a piece of cake, by comparison. Public speaking is a walk in the park. (Pardon the cliches, please.) Teaching is serious stuff.

Ran across this comparison of writing and teaching from Parker J. Palmer, whom I've quoted here before:

"Writing is easy," someone once said. "You just sit down and open a vein." Teaching is an equally vulnerable act, performed, as it is, at the dangerous intersection of the public and the personal. To teach well, I must reveal things about which I care deeply-not the intimate details of my life, but subjects that I find crucial and compelling, that have helped shape who I am. The courage to teach is the courage to risk the judgment that comes when I expose my passions to public scrutiny."

So I'm getting my adrenaline cranked up--and packing my sunscreen. Will report back.



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7 comments:

Mojo said...

A week at the Outer Banks? But what's more important than educating the next generation of creative souls, right? No sacrifice is too great for that. It's a tough gig, but somebody's got to do it. I'd take the job for you if I could, but alas... my day job intrudes. ;) (Uh, you can detect the ironic humor in this right?)

I do have a bit of news that's (sort of) relevant though. As of last night my first book, Distant Echoes is officially in print. Not the same sort of book mind you, it's primarily photography, but I'm excited all the same.

Good luck with your workshop!

mamie said...

The writing week I spent with you was one of the best instructional weeks of my life! You've got it.

Anonymous said...

Peggy, I'm VERY envious, for Ocracoke is one of my favorite places on earth, and I LOVE to teach, as an antidote to the solitude of writing.
So how do you get a gig like this?

tspaine said...

I got on this blog as a reult of curiosity; I will be attending the NCCAT seminar at Ocracoke and am so excited I could burst...writing and the ocean are synonymous, I am certain!
I look forward to meeting you and picking your brain~

Debra W said...

From my experience, you are an excellent teacher, Peggy! I still refer to lessons that you taught during our stay at RLP almost three years ago! Was it really only three years ago? Time seems to race by or stand still depending on how much fun I am having at the moment:)

Have a wonderful trip! And happy teaching.

Greta said...

Peggy, I'll go to NCCAT's website and see what you're teaching this time. The week with you (Write From Your Roots, NCCAT in the mountains) really was inspirational and responsible for my current struggling...err, I mean writing! tspaine, you'll have a great week. Soak up Vitamin D, Peggy.

Peggy Payne said...

Congratulations on DISTANT ECHOES, Mojo.

And many thanks to veterans of my classes, Mamie, Debbie, and Greta. (I love the new picture, Greta.)

TS Paine, it was a pleasure to hang out with you this week. Your last reading was especially powerful.