A Commitment for Change

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Peter Taylor


I matriculated in the Critical and Creative Thinking Program as a Catholic school teacher looking to satisfy state Department of Education requirements of an M.A. for teachers with additional hopes of securing a better paying job in a public school. An underlying tension also nagging at my career thoughts was that I wasn’t really certain I wanted to teach for the rest of my life, and the CCT Program seemed to offer an open window for seeking alternative opportunities if I so desired. The academic structure I pursued resulted in a much more personal focus creating a necessary foundation on which to build any solid future endeavors whether personal or professional. This paper is a workshop representing a series of writing and thinking activities that help the participant(s) identify and discover enlightening information about themselves. These new insights can be reflected upon over and over as useful reminders to pay attention to what makes us view and participate in life with a healthy perspective. Beginning with uncovering one’s hidden diversity (Drumm) by exploring transformative moments, possessions (UMass Writing Program), and things that shape us, a participant can discover a common thread in important life experiences that reveals strong characteristics within themselves. Additionally, by using Elynne Austin Sharpe’s Write by Color process, one can further discover the many diverse traits we have within us that require constant nurturing and attention. Appreciative Inquiry (Hammond) is a third means by which we can strengthen our purpose by learning to value our current purpose and life situation. Finally, I adapted these writing and thinking tools to a workshop format with the intention of inspiring single mothers to strive for a positive living experience and avoid some of the pitfalls I have encountered and discovered as avoidable by going through this process.


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