Phoenix from the ashes

“Even when things don’t happen the way you want them to happen, there is always a gift.” Tracy Verdugo

This quotation sums up my feelings at the moment. One Saturday in July I opened an email which shocked me to the core: our entire stock of over 700 Values and Visions books had been accidentally pulped. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. For some months we had been agonising about low sales. We had also been notified that we had to find a new location to store the books. These headaches were keeping me awake at night.

The shocking news solved the problem. No more books to store. No more books to sell. No more outgoings. No more income. No more books… (apart from the ten I still have). Part of me was grieving for my and Georgeanne’s work; thirty years of Values & Visions crafted over 36 months into Values & Visions: Engaging students, refreshing teachers all gone in one fell swoop. Yet another part of me was starting to feel a weight being lifted off my shoulders. Inklings of ideas were forming: recrafting to make new packages and books more suited to post-pandemic educational needs. Our work was not lost; it could now take on new shape, new forms. Perhaps this was a gift.

It was then that I thought of the phoenix, the mythical bird that rises from the ashes.

“Some legends say it dies in a show of flames and combustion, others that it simply dies and decomposes before being born again.”[i]

Pulping is not quite analogous with flames and combustion but the key image for me is the rebirth. Values and Visions is not dead, just the paper it was written on. (I hope that it has gone on to become compost and feed the Earth.) As a phoenix rises rejuvenated and more beautiful so will Values & Visions be reborn and will be even stronger than before.

We already have the full book out there in Kindle and epub format as well as in a downloadable pdf file. Individual activities are available for download on Teacherspayteachers as well as bundles of activities with lesson plans on different themes. We are working on a pastoral care package and have been fomenting many other ideas. The physical book was holding us back. No more! We are free to recreate and to rework.

This is not what we wanted to happen, but it is a gift.


[i] Van der Broek, R (1972), The Myth of the Phoenix, Seeger, I trans, EJ Brill on Wikipedia, Phoenix (Mythology). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_(mythology)


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By NO Comment November 15, 2022

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