This time a year ago I wrote a blog post about everything that was new to me. I wrote: "Right now, ‘new’ seems to be my guideline, my companion". At the same time, I was discovering the process of reflection as a tool to question my practice, to challenge my views, to progress as a practitioner... Today, there is still so much that is new to me and I am still discovering new dance schools, new students, new classes, a new home, a new chapter in my life, a new module... more and more to reflect on, to process, to question, to challenge... And it really does help to progress.
In this context I will talk today about my feedback from module 2.
The feedback I received offered me a valuable overview of my work so far. It enabled me to see how someone who reads my proposal understands my proposal. Reading through my feedback was like listening to someone talking about what I am planning to do but in a different voice. This was very useful to deepen my own intentions but also to illustrate the main critique I got, namely finding a more flowing and consistent voice.
Writing on my blog, I am slowly finding my own writing style, my own voice. However, it is difficult to keep this voice while gathering stories of the people around me. It is difficult to continue in my own style while reading articles from different authors. My style shifts and mirrors the texts I am reading. I get carried away, get inspired by the authors' voices and let it 'bleed into' my own voice.
In a slightly different context I received a similar critique. It was suggested to me to respond to the stories I receive through my interviews rather than 're-writing' or 're-telling' their stories.
From today on, I want to try to respond to the authors' voices just as I will respond to another person's story. I do want to discover something new and unknown. I don't want to re-tell and risk generalising their stories by turning them into a single story. I see my research project more like a conversation between different experiences, stories and storytellers. So, in order to find a consistent voice, I will try to proceed in a similar way. I will consider my authors' writings as stories I need to respond to rather than re-tell. This will help me discover more and new things. This way, my understanding of original ideas will be greater and my study more complete because I will have to truly deal with the subject. I will converse with the texts I am reading just as I converse with my interviewees.
Today, I realise that the new is still my companion and will always be so. It isn't really a matter of starting a new programme or teaching in a new school. It is more of an approach that contributes to openness which helps constantly progressing in my understanding of the world around me.
I am excited to start this last term and hope that we all find some time to respond to each others' stories.