National Writing Project

Tablespoon of Panic

By: Michael Reinbold
Publication: Turning Points in Teaching: Narrative Reflection on Professional Practice
Date: 2001

Summary: Reinbold, a teacher-consultant with the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette University, tells a story of teacher rejuvenation as he takes a breakthrough idea from interviews with a group of seniors, to essays based on the interviews, to a series of monologues fashioned into a performance.

 

Excerpt

After the monologues have been written, rewritten, rewritten, and then finally rewritten, the experience that the class had signed up for arrived. From the outset, one of the team partners had been designated as the eventual actor and the other as the eventual director. My hope and presumption were that since both had been involved in the interviewing and writing, both would have developed a keen awareness of the senior with whom they had been dealing. Each would know what the person looked like, how he/she sounded and moved, the underlying attitudes inherent in the person's life. I saw, in fact, that both actor and director were able to bring personal understanding to the task of turning an interview, an essay, a written monologue into a believable stage presentation. The person they had interviewed was important to them. They wanted that person to be well represented and clearly understood.

About the Author In addition to teaching for more than twenty years, Michael Reinbold has an extensive background in stage, television, radio, and theatre. Michael teaches at North Salem High School in Salem, Oregon. He is a teacher-consultant with the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette.

Copyright © 2001. Reprinted with permission from Willamette University. Reinbold, Michael. 2001."Tablespoon of Panic." Turning Points in Teaching: Narrative Reflection on Professional Practice: 60-66.

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