Autoethnographies of Educators Learning and Teaching With/In [Dis]ability
Chapter 15: Looking to the Future, by Phil Smith
The lake was quiet for once—just a light breeze ruffled the water; a single loon called up the bay. My daughter Marilla and I sat in Adirondack chairs on the cabin porch, looking out over Keweenaw Bay on Lake Superior. It was early evening in late June, but this far north and west in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the sun was still high in the sky, and wouldn’t set for hours. A warm evening, with a clear sky, we looked west toward what would probably be a terrific sunset. The end of another day in paradise.
Marilla picked up her beer from the little table between us. How was she old enough for her to be drinking beer? And she’s planning to get married. When did all that happen, I thought to myself? Dear god, I’m getting old.
She looked over at me. “So Dad, what’s this book you’re working on?”
“Weeeeeell…” Good grief, and I sound just like my father. “Hem. Uh, well, I told you about autoethnographies, didn’t I?”
“Yeah,” she said. “Real stories, about people’s lives, told by themselves, and about what they can tell us about our culture. Sort of—sort of researching your own life, instead of researching somebody else’s. Is that close?”
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