Circe Apprenticeship Retreat!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dr. Flint asked me last year if I would be interested in participating in the classical education teacher apprenticeship program offered by the Circe Institute. I was very interested, but when it came right down to it? I panicked and told her it was a bad idea for me to apply - I'm not smart enough, I'm too busy, I can't just up and LEAVE MY BABIES twice a year, etc. Luckily for me she ordered encouraged me to go anyway, right smack out of my comfort zone, and it has been exactly what I've needed. The retreat last week marked the beginning of my second year in the program and oh, how I love it. 

It's still ridiculously difficult to be away from my family for a week, and I'm still frequently intimidated by the intellectual level of everything, but I love it. I love the people and the books and the discussions and the TEACHER (seriously, may I please be Leah Lutz when I grow up?) and the location, and the opportunity. For all of the grumbling I do about being homesick, or mentally exhausted, or terrified to teach my model lessons, I'm insanely grateful for the opportunity to be in the program. I'm (hopefully) a better teacher because of it, but I think I'm also a better person... a tiny bit more brave and informed and confident. So many of my thoughts and instincts get fleshed and out and clarified through this process, as I'm being introduced to even more new thoughts. 

It would have been so easy -and so justifiable!- to stay burrowed in my busy little nest. Jetting off to California for a week of intense discussions on Dante and Homer and rhetoric and Hicks? With side excursions to Shakespeare in the Park and Rodin exhibits at Stanford and cute restaurants and sight-seeing in Carmel and Monterey?  Having time for actual, in-depth conversations with other ladies? Just being my own self and not taking care of a crew of children of varying degrees of height and independence? Really, really not everyday for me.

But, I think, very good for me. And by extension, very good for my family and my students. A part of me feels guilty to discover how much I needed to step away for a week! But I feel so refreshed and rejuvenated now, so ready to dive back in with all of these new ideas and perspectives, that I think they all needed me to take this time also. It's good to miss and be missed, if that makes any sense, and wonderful to be so happy to be home. It's all very affirming!


  1. I think we all need a "retreat" away from the everyday to get our focus back. Looks like you had a good time.

  2. I'm so glad you got a chance to do this. It really is a good way to regain some perspective!


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