Although it defies logic, each time I review a curriculum I wrote during my twenty years as an adult educator, my ambivalence about this stuff deepens. I'm still unsure what prevented me from getting rid of all these boxes eleven years ago. And though I know teaching about domestic violence, adolescent suicide and depression, inclusion in the workplace, etc. ended when my full time work years ended, my interest in the subjects and commitment to making the world a better place via education continue to be an integral part of me.
At the same time, I owe it to my daughter to begin shedding some of this old skin. I don't want her to be burdened with making a decision - hopefully years from now - about what to do with mountains of her father's curricula. It's bad enough she might be stuck with hundreds of journal pads, book journals, film logs, etc. Still, each time I plow through a curriculum, I find some kernel worth resuscitating; at least it seems worth it to me. I also fondly recall how delivering a class of my own was satisfying, even when the class was sparsely attended and ran just one time.
That's right, hundreds of hours developing a course - most recently reviewed and then discarded was my 1994 course entitled Awareness of Disability - for under a dozen participants, a class destined never to be repeated. Was it worth all that effort? Again, there's that ambivalence. I remember being juiced learning about the subject, excited as I developed the course, looking forward to sharing my passion for the topic with others. Then I was disappointed at the meager response and the fact that it never ran again. Then I saved my curriculum, storing it in a box moved from my last house to the one I've lived in since 2010. Then I recently reviewed it and relived a few meaningful moments from the only time I delivered it. Then I decided it was time to let it go. Then I found a few kernels worth saving and added those kernels to the mountains of my other past writing. Then I wrote this post thinking maybe at least one reader/writer might relate.