Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Road Not Taken.

This week, I'm teaching my students about symbols and symbolism - in life and in literature. In planning this lesson, I expressed to my cooperating teacher how much I loved Robert Frost and his poetry. She asked me why. I answered "Because the symbolism and the messages he writes about in his poetry always seem to find a way to impact me. His poems also tend to correlate with what is happening in my life." Smiling, she handed me a picture book filled with Robert Frost poetry. She recommended that I read through it and use it as part of my lesson this week. It was so hard to choose just one poem! They are all so good!

I did end up choosing one poem. This poem had me pondering for days afterwards, reflecting on the symbolism and the message Frost was sending to his readers. A simple but impacting message.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 

I asked my students what they thought Frost was saying through symbolism in this poem. I was astonished and pleasantly surprised as to how many of them caught on to the message and the bigger picture. Some of the answers they yelled out: "Uniqueness" "Don't be ordinary" "Don't be a follower" "Follow your dreams" "Be your own person." These are all superb answers and it warmed my heart how many of them were impacted by this poem, too.

Frosts message about following your own path - though maybe more difficult, results in a feeling of accomplishment and a life-time of happiness - makes me ponder my current situation in life. As I approach the end of my 2nd degree, I see the light of difficult life decisions approaching closer and closer. As well, family and friends are constantly asking what I'm going to do when I'm done school in the spring.

To be honest, I really don't know. I know I want to travel, and of course work with kids. But a part of me also wants to relax, go home for a while, and be me.

Take the road less traveled me implies going out of your comfort zone; thinking outside the box. At the same time, I need to follow the path that sees me happy and enjoying my life. I can tell you right now, I am THE WORST at making decisions. However, the not knowing (for the first time in my life) is kind of exciting. My life thus far has been so planned out and nailed down in stone. Finish high school, go to university, summer jobs, get a BEd - all things that I've planned or been obligated to do. Now, this upcoming chapter in my life sees room for new beginnings, new traditions, and new territory. Scary and intimidating, but refreshing nonetheless.

So, here's to the unknown! But first, let's finish this degree :)

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