Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Road Less Travelled

We finally finished our four-month writing project at the prison.
Jenn (who used to work in the prison library but left to complete her second novel) and I have been working with the men to produce a book of personal and creative writing based on the Robert Frost poem, The Road Less Traveled or The Road Not Taken as it is also known.
The men were asked to look back in their lives and consider an event which proved to be a turning point.
They could have gone one way or another.
They were asked to write about what actually happened and then to imagine what may have taken place if they'd taken the other path.
The results were interesting.
Very interesting.
Most pieces of imaginative writing proved to be wildly different to what actually happened.
But one piece intrigued me.
He took the other path but ended up in exactly the same place anyway.
We also had a great cutting and sticking session by making collages to illustrate these writings.
I learned so much from working with Jenn.
It is amazing how life imitates art.
I too have reached the point where two roads have diverged and I fear I will have to choose just one path to take.
Remember last year I revealed I had decided to go back to university and retrain as an English teacher?
Well today I was told the prison had renewed my contract for another year's residency.
Now I don't know which path to take.

I wore:
Shoes - Clarks
Skirt and Jacket - Marks and Spencer
Top - Priimark


  1. Hello Jane,

    I've followed your excellent blog(s) over the years and feel like I know you so well, even if we have never met. It was such a surprise to learn that you, like me, had applied for a PGCE course around the same time. It was also nice that both of us had been successful with our applications. I accepted the place two weeks ago with great enthusiasm, but since then certain events have forced me to reconsider. It has been a traumatic couple of weeks trying to weigh the pros and cons and reach a decision. Finally, just a few hours ago, I declined the offer. And now I come to your blog and read that you're in a similar position! What a coincidence! I'm not suggesting for a minute that you should decline the PGCE offer. I just want to wish you good luck with the decision - remember, whatever decision you make is the right one :)

  2. Gosh the project sounds wonderful, really amazing and I'm so glad people in prison have the opportunity to do this.

    As for your decision, go with your true north. Which direction do you want to go in? And don't forget I'm sure you can defer your uni place if it gives you a year to choose!

  3. Hi Jane,

    I completed my teacher training a couple years ago, and I thought I would give you some advice that I wish I would have had when I was in the exact same position as you:

    Teaching isn't a job. It's a lifestyle. On the one hand, the work that goes into the daily work can be very time consuming. On the other, you get to help influence and shape the lives of youth on a daily basis.

    Good luck with the decision! I'm sure you'll do well in either position!

  4. I'm so intrigued by your project and I hope we'll be able to read (or buy) the result somewhere. Good luck with your decision and luckily both roads seem like it will lead to great things for you :-)

  5. Your work at the prison sounds like it can be very interesting and rewarding, I'm sure no matter what you choose you will be wonderful and fulfilled.

    Love this look, black, red and white are such a perfect combination.

    Chic on the Cheap

  6. Choices are so difficult! I'm interested to hear what you eventually decide to do. In the meatime, I VERY much adore that lovely red jacket you used to brighten up your outfit. So lovely!


  7. Hi Jane

    maybe I am biased so I shouldn't comment! I think the PGCE probably presents greater opportunities in the long term, and more options for where and how to teach - but then again it would be great for you to stay at the prison another year because you enjoy it (most of the time!) and you're really good at it too. It sounds like a hard choice to make. Maybe you should flip a coin!

    x Jenn

  8. Hi Jane, I'm sure that whatever you decide it will be the right choice for you and your family. Just remember, though, than being a teacher is a neverending job and you might end up with less time for your family. In any case follow your heart! Hugs. A.

  9. OOh Jane thats a tough one but happens so often doesn't it. I sometimes find this quote helpful...'Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable'.
    The very best with making your decision; let us know what you decide and the best of luck whatever it is. Maureen

  10. How wonderful to be presented with two options, how daunting to have to choose.

    You sure look terrific in todays outfit.


  11. You have a wealth of riches as far as opportunities go. I always believe that if a door is opened for you free from your own effort, then that is God or the universe leading you. So, if for your teaching certificate, you have to take a pay cut, pay your way for school, find another job, etc. Then, the heavy lifting is coming all from you (i.e. the universe is not cooperating). If the certificate program was offered to you, they pay your tuition, you find a job easily, then the universe maybe helping you out. However, what is it about the prison job that prevents you from also studying for your certificate? Do they have night classes or online programs? Can you use your teaching in the prison as credit toward the experiential portion of the program. I only say this because when I returned to school after 10 years, it lined up...I was accepted, the program was paid for, my work could be used for credit, I was able to get work in my upcoming field -- These type of conditions present so many more options. When I have watched people really struggle to make something work and happen (I include myself in this) then I begin to wonder what other doors may have opened more easily...I hope that helps.

  12. Oh, good luck making your decision! That's a tough one.
    I'm always intrigued by the small turning points we face in life, and what their impact might be. I even find myself thinking morbid thoughts about which route to take in the car and how the other way might lead to an untimely death! Too much thinking, by far...

  13. Can you postpone taking up your PGCE place for a year, rather than turning it down? Would give you some more time to consider.