The Heroine’s Journey of Gretchen Marteney

What is the best thing that I love about my work?  

What a difficult question to answer! I think it would be easier to say what I DON’T love about my work. I love the variety, I work with people ages 2-70, I love the different locations where I work. I love most seeing them be proud of themselves and their achievement.

What is my idea of perfect happiness?  

Peace.  A state of Grace that allows the unfolding of phenomenon before my eyes without any resistance or attachment.

What is my greatest fear? 

Not realizing my true potential.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?   

My unconscious reactivity- it can be quite mean.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? 

I admire the publisher Jordi Rey for his easy-going, curious, loving attitude and ceaseless desire to continue working to connect people and their potential across the globe even as he reaches advanced age.

What is my greatest extravagance? 

Food. New tastes to explore, wine pairings, fusions, classic dishes that warm your stomach on a cold winter day.

On what occasion would I lie?   

I would lie to a child to keep his or her parent in good light in the child’s mind. I wouldn’t outright lie, but change the context of the thought, words, or action to ensure that the child securely feels loved.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Some people’s conception of education is so rigid that they abhor any modification to the setup created two centuries ago, and as a result, are quite frustrated and usually much more disconnected than others, making my job more difficult.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? 

When I see my students strive forward with the confidence necessary to achieve their goals.

If I could, what would I change about myself? 

Judgement. I judge. Way too much. As a teacher I reside oftentimes in the mind, and the mind takes everything and puts it in relation to other things and judges them all as desirable or not.

What is my greatest achievement in work?   

Being fulfilled with it.

Where would I most like to live?   

Where I live now.

What is my most treasured possession?  

It used to always be my Nike Mission hockey rollerblades bought in the 90s and spent the last 20 years by my side, but they recently broke. I have a large box of memoirs that I have been saving for years in preparation for an important art project, though nothing makes me feel more at home than my books.

What is my most marked characteristic?

My energy. Apparently I have a lot of it.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Cathedrals and basilicas, like San Antonio de los Alemanes or Barbara de Braganza.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?

Literally impossible to answer. I have lists of restaurants, bars, cafes, cocktail bars, live music, Spanish food, international food…I love sharing this info with locals and tourists. Vinoteca Moratin is a humble place that is overflowing with Love of food and so anything you order is authentic and delicious with consciously chosen ingredients, and has a great local wine list.

What books influenced my life and how?

Spiritual growth books like The Power of Now or Letting Go probably the most because most people don’t have conversations about those topics. Made to Stick for business, and Ken Follet to get my historical imagination going.

Who are my favorite writers?

Eckhart Tolle. Ken Follet.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

As much as I love classical music, like the Bolero by Ravel and Habanero Suite by Bizet, I would have to say the ballads sung by Queen. Just Epic.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

The Little Prince.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Bernie Sanders. The man just doesn’t quite fighting for a better world, and is so diplomatic while at it.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Nanook of the North. It keeps things in perspective and awes at the same time.

What role plays art in my life and work? 

Art is beauty, beauty is life.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?


Whom would I like to work with in 2017?

Humans. Nice ones in particular. Young ones are a plus.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017?

As an aspiring politician I would like to meet Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?

Starting a food blog on Madrid and publishing a book of poems regarding the refugee crisis.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017?

Madrid, Facebook.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

You don’t want to stop doing the things you like.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Irene Valbona. Pam Bartlett.

How can you contact me?


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