JFJ Rock Cullowhee and NCCAT

For the fourth time Dave and I presented a week-long renewal seminar at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) in Cullowhee, NC in a mountain retreat setting. It is truly heaven on earth for teachers as a place to go and to get some valuable professional development. We are honored to have presented our Visual Journals:Where the Image Meets the Word. This time around we had 22 educators from across the state from a variety of curricular areas - many feeling that they were not artists, but were wanting space and time to renew their spirits.

As is usually the norm with the NCCAT experience, we had many epiphanies and cathartic moments during the five days. Tears were shed as these teachers got back in touch with the most important things to them. It is an amazing and emotional experience with many finally getting much needed time to find themselves. And this past week was exceptionally powerful - for some it was a life altering experience, and many strong connections and friendships were forged.

The above photo is from the last day as participants spend a few last minutes looking through each other journals.

Another important aspect of NCCAT is not so much the content, but the time to be with one another, and it has become our tradition to indoctrinate willing participants in the game of Farkle (also spelled farkel). It is a dice game played with 6 dice that Dave learned, and we have played it for years. It can only be described as Yahtzee "on crack." There seem to be different versions out there, and we have set rules that we play by. The strange rules, the fun, and the laughter, are all a good compliment to the emotional days, and Farkle becomes an important aspect for some participants. Above is Bean's beautiful six-dice Farkle - when no dice score - and the first of the evening.

We are grateful to the center for allowing us the opportunity. We are gratefully to Center Fellow Donna Glee Williams for bringing us there and Program Associate Tootie Watson for all of her work throughout the week. We are also grateful to the 22 courageous individuals who now share the visual journal journey. More info on NCCAT can be found at http://www.nccat.org/.