Yesterday 30 people gathered for a presentation on my practicum on campus at The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. One of the main components of my practicum was an appreciative inquiry on the intersection of the Benedictine Values and Restorative Justice. Following each appreciative interview we wrote notes about what the people shared with us. I took all of those notes and compiled them into one text document that I entered into WORDLE:
At the presentation, we looked at that wordle and began exploring the results of the appreciative inquiry. Then I asked the whole group to help me distill those results through a collective poem writing process.
I organized them into groups of three and gave each group an envelope containing a pile of words cut up from that wordle. The raw material of the poem was the words spoken in the appreciative inquiry. To get the poem started and to help each group find a voice, I invited them to join me in a guided imagery of one to the earliest positive memories of Saint Ben’s |Saint John’s. Then I asked them to bring their awareness to who or what helped generate that feeling of belonging and to listen. Coming out of the guided imagery each of them turned to the members of their group of three and shared a short sentence or word of what they heard–what had spoken to them and had given them that sense of belonging. In each group this became the collective voice of a poem and also became their first line: Can you hear the … ? They continued in the writing of a poem by drawing words from the envelope and following an arc that I gave them to help generate the actions of the poem. We culminated the process by sharing the poems with the entire group.
Here are those poems…
Can you hear the curly, calm and connected friendships?
Offering the deeper community through experience.
Discover ripples creating hope.
Strive for open and welcoming community.
Learning together toward understanding.
Appreciate good conflict and good processing.
Feel faith in relationships.
Cultivating community through respectful work.
Dream openly and create change.
Do you remember caring, creating and educating?
Can you hear the voice of hope?
Can you hear the lake and Rene?
Can you hear the direction?
new faculty opportunity
caring inclusive attention
community justice perspective
open to support.
Striving for justice
Learning Benedictine traditions
Appreciate people’s impact
Dream cultivating values
cultivating inclusive relationships
try and become open.
Do you remember?
Can you hear the voice of the loons call, the wise monk, walking laughter?
Can you hear the invitation?
Offering stories of purpose and belonging.
Discover shared values, together.
Strive for inclusiveness:
Women. Learning. Students. Justice.
Appreciate caring through a hug and a smile.
Cultivate positive relationships.
Do you remember?
Can you hear the voice of the willing?
Can you hear the team, friendship, gratitude, belonging?
Offering, sharing, creating, learning.
Discover perspective, tradition, values.
Strive for justice, respect and sense of community.
Learning leadership, inclusion, your needs.
Appreciate people, women, students, faculty and staff.
Feel open, aware, social.
Cultivating relationships, opportunity, responsibility.
Dream. Become. Live.
Do you remember?
Can you hear the voice of the moment?
Can you hear the family?
We are offering common hospitality.
Together we discover our place.
We strive for deeper relationships and dialogue.
We are learning to build perspective.
We appreciate everyone’s culture and values.
We feel our mission is to cultivate community.
We dream of justice.
Do you remember the time, the place and the way?
Can you hear the voice of the family?
Can you hear the voice of community?
Offering Benedictine Values, connection, time, mentors, justice, community, educations, values, hospitality and dialogue.
Discover. Sisters, respect, connections, role, mission, freedom, place, healthy relationships, change, opportunity, needs.
Strive accountable dialogue, together, open, community, deeper, build healthy relationships. PEACE
Learning. Listen together, values, create change, justice, PEACE, Benedictine Values, ripple effect, abroad, residential community, common goo, accountability, involvement.
Appreciate. Faculty, staff, students, women, campus, orientation, time, value, place, Sisters, dialogue, freedom, community, Benedictine Values.
Cultivating. Community, relationships, mission, common good, respect, justice, change and perspective.
Feel. Healthy, accountable, connection, good.
Dream. Justice, peace abroad, together, community, Benedictine.
Do you remember: Perspective, students, mentors, faculty, peace, everyone?
Can you hear the voice of the students, faculty, sisters, needs, everyone. Values, respect, mentors, peace. common good.
Can you hear the song? The connection? The voice? The warmth?
Offering deeper connection.
Discover community and common values.
Strive for open dialogue, perspective, time, place.
Learning respect together.
Feel faith, listen.
Cultivating healthy relationships.
Dream of justice
Do you remember?
Can you hear the voice of the good?
Do you hear the voice of the students?
Can you hear the hum? The giggles? The unity? Offering perspective on people.
Discover your impact, attention!
Strive for learning on the campus of life.
Respect. Listening. Learning.
Can you hear the hum? The giggles? The unity?
Appreciate sharing and creating a new tradition,
feel the dialogue,
cultivating good (ness).
Dream. Become. Support.
Do you remember the hum? The giggles? The untiy?
Can you hear the voice of the people?