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Student Stories: Jayne Belinda Allen

Jayne is a sixty-five year old Creative Writing student. She has Lived in other countries around the globe but was born in Crickhowell, Wales. She has two grown up children and a grand child.

"I love and am addicted to the arts in most forms. Tried playing a guitar but it would not sound the way I wanted it to. Being a lefty is detrimental to knitting also. I adore writing and am always, always, learning."

Here she tells us about her learning journey so far.


What is your previous educational experiences and what drew you to OCA?

My education has been a very disciplined life style. I have worked as a Book-keeper, Senior Physiotherapy Assistant, carer for the elderly, Mental Health Support worker, Bar Person.

I have volunteered as a Chairperson for a housing association, Treasurer, Secretary with the knowledge of Pitman 200 shorthand as a qualification), Executive member for housing and a cup tea maker. Also, a swimming instructor, Synchronised swimming teacher, life guard, Public Relations Officer.

All of it has been a brilliant journey for me. An insight into human kind. Also, enhanced how I have grown as an individual.

An OCA degree in creative writing is like the cherry on the cake.

Can you describe your OCA journey?

OCA has given me a fascinating journey. Frustrating, puzzling, getting to grips with. Mostly, challenging that brought the worst of frustrations out of me. The perseverance to never say never and the end result. Yes the completion of what was. I have come a long way and appreciate what I write, how, and the way I see things differently that has changed me for the better for ever. And has been added to my life's achievements. This is until I decide to do something more challenging. I really want to go Scuba diving again. I just won't tell them my age or fitness. Oh, and I have qualifications too.

What was the Tutor and/or Peer Support like on your course?

My Tutor is Gerry Ryan. This woman has held my hand along the OCA journey. Been there through some hiccups and guided me along the way. I couldn't wish for a better person to work with.

What does studying with OCA mean to you?

I have only written the knowledge from my school days and then I learned by self help. The knowledge that the creative writing course has given me already has changed my way of thinking for the better. Practically, it has challenged my way of thinking and philosophically, changed the way I write, the guidance of book reading has taught me how to create differently.

What's next?

I will carry on creating, learning, changing, building. Find new ideas of what to write. The world is my oyster and I shall feed. Always experimenting. Bring it on. Having a degree proves to the world I can create and write. It's a piece of paper that says she did it. To my audience hopefully confidence in reading with a bit of savvy. Now, that's a new word!

Any advice?

Read, read, read. Learn from other creations. Write what you want to write about and enjoy the journey. Question everything you do. Research what you don't know and find out more. Always be original in any writing you do and never use anybody else's work without putting your Harvard References down to cover legalities. I always look to my life's journeys. The inner me has always been full of adventure, inward and outward. Memories can be a multitude of wild and wonderful, cold, and dank or even horrifying and mystical. No two minds have the same journey. Maybe similar but we are all originals. Most of all, if you are in a quandary and need advise, your Tutor is your helper and guide. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Climbing a mountain is a mammoth task. So is learning about your journey. You will build and change, learn and frustrate your path with so many anomalies that you need to climb to grow. If you want change make it happen. Oh, and also ask. There are a variety of places set up for you to have a chat with other students at the OCA website. The best advice I would ever give is: enjoy what you are doing. Make it happen your way and build your empire into something better than you imagined. I have amazed myself. You can too.


We watched the German Telly,

We didn’t understand,

But in the film, they buried eggs and fried them in the sand.

The chicken hutch not far away,

Was just outside our front door,

We thought we would try,

And ventured a little more.

The chicken hutch was massive,

With a sloping wood walk way,

We crawled right through,

And then we knew,

Our plan was here to stay.

We carried as much as we could carry,

But broke some on the way,

To a mound of sand,

Which came hand in hand,

What we had planned to do today.

It was blissfully hot and sticky, We carried them quite a way, Then laid then down in rows,

We cracked a few and buried a few, And waited with anticipation.

The eggs, they sat there in the sand, Not moving and quite bland, They eventually consumed the sand.

It didn’t work,

It didn’t work how we had planned, The others we had buried,

We couldn’t even find them, The sand looked all the same.

The very next day,

The farmer came,

He told my Mom,

She’d have to pay.

This was a misconception,

The Telly lied and lied,

We thought the truth was out there,

And experimented with such pride.

The moral of this story,

Is not to understand,

The why’s or where’s,

Or what for’s,

Just use a frying pan.

This is a true story and I was only five years old at the time. I am now much, much older!!!

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