Secrets in the Open: An Exercise in Interpretive Writing


  • Galicia Solon Blackman University of Calgary



secrets, hermeneutic circle, childhood, interpretive writing


In this paper I present an exemplar of interpretive writing based on my engagement with the movie, My Life as a Dog. The film is a series of vignettes about Ingemar, a young boy, who is processing the events which arise from the difficulties wrought by his mother’s illness. This is not the typical coming of age film where the child becomes an adult through the initiation into life’s painful circumstances. The film ends with the character still in his boyhood. Nevertheless, the intermittent voice-over conveys the impression that Ingemar is narrating in retrospect, in a build up to his emergence from a state of innocence to awareness, and acceptance of pain and loss. I attended to the principles of hermeneutic practice outlined by several scholars to frame my understanding of what it means to enter the hermeneutic circle to explore the topic which addressed me: Secrecy.


Author Biography

Galicia Solon Blackman, University of Calgary

Galicia is a Master of Arts student in Educational Research, specializing in Curriculum and Learning. She has spent her teaching career committed to being in the classroom even while she has spent time behind the scenes in various administrative roles. She has taught Literature, English, and Communications Studies at secondary and post-secondary levels with a profound interest in how classroom experiences can incorporate alternative pedagogies and popular culture. Her current research interests include cognitive development in adult learners and strategies for re-orienting traditional pedagogical tools with emphasis on the dialogic classroom. 


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