Dominic has been in and around education all his life. It placed him in the Himalayas for three years, took him to Taiwan, to Spain and now to a cottage on an island in Essex. Underpinning this peripatetic career are the qualifications he took along the way. This is a summary of his journey so far.
To university via the chicken factory
It took me a while to track him down, but when I finally arrived at his cottage overlooking the sea at the end of a farmer’s track, Dominic Jaume was sitting in the garden on a swing seat listening to the last test at the Oval. In some ways, this circumstance seemed to underline the message that came through my conversation with him: you never quite know where your educational choices will lead you. Dominic has just given up his job as a secondary English teacher to work freelance in education and journalism, but I started by asking him why he went to uni in the first place and why he started late (he entered HE 2 years after finishing college).
“Well, it wasn’t planned but more as a result of previous wrong decisions. I did a business studies diploma and imagined I was destined for industry but I was the worst salesman in Christendom. I ended up in dead-end jobs: working in the Sun Valley Chicken factory in Hereford was the nadir that pushed me into doing a degree. That and a life-long love of books. Looking back, I’m amazed I lasted six months at Sun Valley, but the prospect of leaving the stench of wet feathers and death behind to spend three years reading and discussing literature was not just enticing but became a desperately needed escape.
“The degree I got from Oxford Brookes University (it was a polytechnic in those days) provided far more than an escape from drudgery; it transformed my life in ways I couldn’t then have seen.”
Yet when I look back now, the degree I got from Oxford Brookes University (it was a polytechnic in those days) provided far more than an escape from drudgery; it transformed my life in ways I couldn’t then have seen. It wasn’t just a degree – there is something extraordinary about walking through bedewed meadows towards Oxford at the crack of dawn and hearing from the chapels the strains of ethereal choral singing rising through those dreaming spires into the ether. Those surroundings somehow lent extra power to the intellectual vigour I experienced in my studies.”