Day 6: Short Term Goals and Future Plans

I’ve only got two more days left in this retreat to realize my goals, so this morning’s “Write into the Day” prompts were a good way to organize my thoughts on how to make progress both in the short and long term. I’ve identified three major goals I’d like to accomplish by Thursday. First, I’d like to finish up a vignette about the first few days of teaching from home in March of 2020. My original plan was to complete it by the end of today, but I wasn’t as productive as I would’ve liked to be, and I also kept thinking of new ideas and elements to add and expand on in my writing. I’ve already started adding some artifacts to this vignette, such as students’ comments on Google Classroom, and I’m still brainstorming ways to incorporate more of them into the rest of my stories. 

My second goal is to go back through my other vignettes and make some minor edits and revisions. I made some good progress toward that today and even added a bit of depth to one of my short stories. Hopefully tomorrow’s author’s chair will give me more ideas for how to enhance what I’ve already written. Finally, by the end of this retreat, I’d like to write (or at least start writing) a fourth vignette about teaching pre-pandemic. Like I said, I didn’t get quite as much writing done as I would’ve liked to, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish an entirely new piece, but I’d at least like to get a basic outline or rough draft completed so that I can continue working on it on my own time during the summer. 

Once this retreat is over, I definitely don’t want to abandon this project. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll continue this memoir as my thesis; in Dr. Nelson’s class, I started making vague plans for conducting a phenomenological study to see how hybrid learning affected teachers, so I’m debating whether I should go the more “creative” route and finish this memoir or if I should stick with the more traditionally “academic” project of conducting a structured, rigorous study. I’d love to continue to flesh out my memoir and give it a plot and some direction, but I’m worried I won’t be able to consistently write creatively for two semesters to finish such a huge undertaking. 

Even if I decide on conducting a research study instead of continuing this memoir for my thesis, the project I’m working on now will still be valuable practice for writing the narrative portions of the phenomenology, and it’s also a good way for me to dump out my own feelings on teaching and get them out of the way so that my own bias doesn’t interfere with my research. Ultimately, whether I connect this project to my thesis or not, by the end of this retreat I’d like to have the beginnings of a memoir that I can return to during future summer breaks and perhaps someday publish.