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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Two Roads Diverged...

The other day I was catching up with a friend, and talking about how my decision to go to graduate school was harder than I'd expected.

I've worked hard to make myself a life here this past year, and the thought of leaving it is a little saddening, especially when it comes to leaving the students I've been blessed to work with. Whenever I'd previously talked about how I like to teach, I'd say that I'd be willing to work with any age group- except middle school. So, of course, when I went job hunting after college, the only teaching opportunity that presented itself was at a middle school- the very same one I'd gone to.

Since then, twice a week, I've worked as a middle school tutor and made a surprising discovery. I love it. And I love my students. The age group- confused and overwhelmed as they are- is wonderful. While the drama the students make their lives out to be can get old, I've learned to just smile at it, and appreciate the potential I see in them.

So, why the title of the post? It's a line from a "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, a poem referenced several times in my conversation with my friend. We discussed decisions, and what it meant to have free will, and if choices are always either right or wrong. If, when faced with a decision, one choice is always God's plan, and the other not. And what I realized is that perhaps what it means to have free will is that sometimes we have decisions where both choices are right.

Going to graduate school is no more a "right choice" for me than staying here and getting my teaching certificate is. But it is the choice I've made. "And that," to quote Frost, "Has made all the difference".

And since it's Wednesday, I owe you a bit of creative writing. The following is a poem I wrote in college in response to "The Road Not Taken".


The Woods: In Retrospect

In these long forgotten woods I stand,
A changed man from when I last passed by.
Remembered roads lead from either hand;
One leads to lonely, now well-traveled land,
The other once dismissed with a sigh.

Was there so much virtue to be found,
In a road not used by other men?
Did I think their judgment so unsound,
That by walking on less trodden ground,
I’d ensure I’d never fall again?

Should I choose to go a different way,
Having now another choice to make?
And take the well worn path, come what may,
And to learn what others have to say;
Though I think the past was no mistake.

Others know lessons already learned,
Teachings I could never find alone.
And if their lessons I choose to spurn,
Then so by falling, my fate I’ve earned,
This, the cost of walking on my own. 

1 comment:

Stacy Barton said...

i wonder if your "success" of this year is due more to your spirit and character, than any sort of discovery of a final destination.

you found yourself where the road took you and you embraced that spot as a choice to be relished, rather than a fate to be tolerated. that is a beautiful quality that will serve you well wherever the road takes you next :o)